John Prine’s self-titled debut album celebrates 50th anniversary today

Article Contributed by Sacks and Company | Published on Thursday, September 23, 2021

John Prine’s beloved self-titled debut album is celebrating its 50th anniversary today (purchase here). Originally released September 23, 1971, John Prine features some of Prine’s most acclaimed and iconic songs including “Hello In There,” “Your Flag Decal Won’t Get You Into Heaven Anymore,” “Sam Stone,” “Paradise” and “Angel From Montgomery,” which was recently selected as one of Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” (#350). The record was also named #149 on Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” list and was inducted into the Recording Academy’s “Grammy Hall of Fame” in 2014.

In celebration of this milestone, NPR Music will broadcast a special listening party for the record this afternoon at 2:00pmET/1:00pm CT via their YouTube page. Hosted by NPR Music’s Ann Powers, the event will feature conversations with Grammy Award-winning artist Bonnie Raitt, producer Jim Rooney, and members of Prine’s family, Fiona Whelan Prine and Jody Whelan.

Additionally, Prine’s label Oh Boy Records, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, will release a limited-edition box set, “John Prine Plays John Prine,” this spring—a special live recording of the only time Prine performed his debut record front to back (pre-order here). Recorded during AmericanaFest in 2016, the box set—created by the Grammy Award-winning Dodds Sisters—will include a CD, vinyl and DVD version of the performance, with a portion of all proceeds benefitting the Americana Music Association Foundation.

Adding to an already legendary career, Prine’s last recorded song, “I Remember Everything,” won Song of the Year at yesterday’s 2021 Americana Music Association Honors & Awards. Written by Prine and his longtime collaborator Pat McLaughlin, the Grammy Award-winning song is Prine’s first #1 single and was recorded with Grammy Award-winning producer Dave Cobb and engineer Gena Johnson. Prine was also honored during last night’s awards ceremony with a special performance of “I Remember Everything” by Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires and Margo Price.

Reflecting on the accolade, Prine’s wife Fiona Whelan Prine shared, “On behalf of our family, I want to thank the Americana Music Association for the love and respect you’ve shown us by keeping John’s name and music alive for all of us. We are so grateful for this posthumous recognition of his last recorded song. It seems fitting that my sons and I are here this evening, like you, all dressed up in our Sunday best, to accept this meaningful award together at the Mother Church.”

Further honoring his esteemed life, The Prine Family will present “Souvenirs: Celebrating the Life and Songs of John Prine with Family and Friends,” a special livestream tribute broadcasting from Galway’s The Mick Lally Theatre, October 4 at 7:30PM IT/2:30PM ET. Tickets for the event, which will also be available for on-demand viewing October 7-10, are on-sale HERE with proceeds benefitting two local Irish organizations: Doras and The Druid Theatre Company.The first public celebration of Prine’s legendary life and career, the event will feature performances from several of Prine’s friends and supporters including Mary Black, Paul Brady, Pat Crowley, Mette Jensen, Ruth McGill, Tanya McCole, Chris Meehan, Paul Mulligan, Little John Nee, Declan O'Rourke, Brian Palm, Bill Shanley, Sharon Shannon, Mary Staunton, Mary Stokes and Ciaran Tourish as well as Prine’s youngest son, Tommy Prine. The broadcast will also include conversations between each performer and the evening’s MC, John Creedon.