John Prine died today of COVID 19. He had survived throat and lung cancer and was finally well enough to go back on the road. He had a tour planned and I was so happy for him. I have been a big fan of his for the past 10 years.Β  I loved his music, his attitude, his love for the common struggling man in a harsh world.

While I was growing up, my world was entirely full of classical, baroque, and other “serious” music. No complicated reasons. I spent a lot of time studying and practicing the piano. Eventually, I added many other individuals and groups, as well as many other categories of music. John Prine was a favorite from the first time I heard him sing.

On Stephen Colbert’s show a few days ago.

The original song!

John Prine was a latecomer to my “playlist,” but he remains a favorite. For years, he was best known as a songwriter than as a singer. Nonetheless, though he never had a melodious voice, he had such a lot of emotion and power in his words and guitar (he was a great guitarist), it was always worth hearing the original John Prine. These are songs I particularly enjoy. They would always cheer me when I was blue. It’s a sad date today because John Prine is no longer with us.

Not everyone heard of John Prine, but he wrote many songs. He sang them himself on various recordings, most of which I once owned on vinyl. Lo and behold, there’s a CD collection of his work available … just $10, double CD. I ordered it. Of course.

John Prine sings about life. He always had a sense of humor, too. He wrote great, witty lyrics and melodies. What more do you need? Because to me, that’s music. A sentiment … several sentiments … to which I can really relate. John Prine. Singing one of my favorites.

Life according to John Prine. Thanks, John! Your music will live on.

Categories: Humor, Life, Marilyn Armstrong, Music, obituary

Tags: , , , , ,

18 replies

  1. I have a similar story Marilyn, but while I did become a professional musician for about 10 years of my life it taught me a few things. First was that I would never become the musician I wanted to be. Second, I was a really good listener which showed me there were far better musicians around that deserved that I not crowd the field. Third, I was always repairing the electronic gear of other musicians. Fourth, I needed to combine the skills and talents I had, that others didn’t, into a reliable career. My combination of love for music, good ears and technical skills lead me to the field of recording. It’s been over 40+ years now and shows few signs of letting up. It’s funny that, at this late time in my life, I should prefer live recording..,only it’s just a bit harder to lug the gear around now.., but thank God for digital requiring far more portable stuff.

    To some degree it took musicians like John Prine and The Beatles to turn my head around too. Not to mention fusion jazz groups like Return to Forever and Steps Ahead. Classical has always been a favorite and that’s what I finally ended up recording mostly.


    • Well, you know my story. You are actually one of the very few people who knew me when I was still optimistically serious about music. I would NEVER have imagined I’d wind up doing technical writing. The writing part, sure … but technical anything would have made me fall down laughing. Who’d have guessed I’d find a home in the high tech world and be damned good at it too? But from the first time I wrapped my head around a computer and designed a (very primitive) database, I knew I’d found my thing. Music has been a great accompaniment to life, sort of the “score” of my “movie.”

      It was really obvious pretty early in my non career that I simply didn’t have the skills to be a pro and was not going to acquire them. What you said. Times two.


  2. I had never heard of John Prine. I am really liking “That’s the Way the World Goes Round.” Thank you for the introduction!! πŸ™‚ (and sorry to hear about your buckets of rain, although rain can be a good thing, at least for the environment…not so much for people’s mental health)


    • John Prine is one of those inspiring stories. Especially because he’s still working, even though he’s on his second or third round of cancer (two different kinds). He never had a great voice and after a lot of surgery on his neck, his voice is even more gravelly. But ah, the songs πŸ™‚

      The rain is going to last all week. I wish we didn’t have to go anywhere, but there are doctors appointment and other stuff we’ve delayed several times, so now it’s time to deal with it. Though I may move the eye guy because having a head cold doesn’t yield accurate eye exams. The dogs are happy. We are all enjoying the quiet sofa time together πŸ™‚ But it is pretty dreary, even though we need the water.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I grew up with some classical music – my mother learnt the piano and violin. But we also had a lot of the 50’s music – she had a great collection of old 45’s. I do prefer listening to music where I can here the words properly and they have a meaning. Which in the case of the 50’s was usually schmaltzy love songs


    • Garry is five years older than me, so much of his favorite music is from the 1950s. I’m a baby boomer, so my music started in the 1960s. Classical is timeless and will probably always be my “first love,” musically speaking.


  4. John Prime is OK. I grew up with the beatles and Stones, but was more a Stones person than beatles I think. There were many groups at the time. Some overlived the sixties and some still tour over Europe, grey haired elderly gentlemen, still rocking on their way.


    • The Stones are mostly still alive, sort of, though Keith Richards looks sort of like a vampire who needs a good long drink of blood. I liked the Stones too, especially for dancing … but the Beatles took the music was made into a whole new realm. Not alone. The 1960s and early 1970s were a really rich, creative period for music. Since they, there is some good music, but nothing especially new or unique. We were lucky in living in a very creative time. The best music in a hundred years played on our little radios πŸ™‚


  5. A tribute worth a read. Beatles are all time favorite


  6. Nice tribute to an admirable musician. Always have enjoyed his work.


  7. I never heard of this musician, thanks for sharing, I really enjoyed this!


    • You are welcome. You’ve probably heard a lot of his music … because so many other musicians sang it. He was far more influential as a composer than as a singer … and despite cancer times two (squamous cell AND lung), he’s still singing. And composing.


  8. I was’t familiar with that fellow, Marilyn.


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