John Prine, the Grammy Award-winning songwriter whose debut album alone drew comparisons to Bob Dylan, who turned one in all his staunchest admirers, died Tuesday from problems attributable to COVID-19. He was 73.
On March 29, his household turned to Twitter, urging his huge community of followers to ship “love and help.” They described a “sudden onset of COVID-19 signs,” which led to his being intubated. His state of affairs even then, they mentioned, was important.
Fiona Prine, his spouse and supervisor, added later that whereas his situation was steady, “he wants our prayers and love.”
On April 3, she gave an replace on his situation. “Right this moment is John’s eighth day in ICU,” she wrote. “He’s receiving wonderful medical care and being handled with kindness and compassion by all the group taking care of him day and evening. I can’t be with him which makes this nightmare all of the extra distressing for me.
“As , John was placed on a ventilator final Saturday. He nonetheless wants fairly a little bit of assist together with his respiratory. Like many sufferers presently in ICU beds all all over the world, John has pneumonia in each lungs. He has additionally developed some peripheral points which might be being handled with meds, together with antibiotics. He’s very in poor health and but I stay hopeful that he can proceed to struggle this devastating virus and are available residence the place we are able to look after him.”
She completed by thanking his followers “for the outpouring of affection and prayers that John and our household has acquired this final week. It means the world to us to have your love and help at this troublesome time.” The outpouring included tributes from Stephen Colbert and Joan Baez.
Prine’s widow has additionally lately battled COVID-19, a element she shared on Fb to boost consciousness concerning the want for social distancing. “It’s actually crucial that we keep residence — all of us,” she mentioned.
Prine’s emergence within the music enterprise got here with a roar in 1971, with a self-titled debut that drew instant raves and recognition from coast to coast. He went on to win 4 Grammy awards and recorded greater than 20 albums, his final being The Tree of Forgiveness in 2018. His military of high-profile followers included the enormous to whom he was typically in contrast — Dylan, who in a memorable 2009 interview with the Huffington Submit mentioned:
“Prine’s stuff is pure Proustian existentialism. Midwestern thoughts journeys to the ninth diploma.”
Phrases cannot even come shut.
I am crushed by the lack of my pricey good friend, John. My coronary heart and love exit to Fiona and all of the household. For all of us whose hearts are breaking, we are going to preserve singing his songs and holding him close to. @JohnPrineMusic
— Bonnie Raitt (@TheBonnieRaitt) April 8, 2020
Dozens of artists have lined his songs, particularly Bonnie Raitt, whose model of “Angel from Montgomery” turned a staple of her profession as a Grammy-winning vocalist and 2000 inductee within the Rock & Roll Corridor of Fame. Raitt sang “Angel from Montgomery” within the wake of the Nice Recession throughout a present on the Meyerson Symphony Middle in Dallas. Afterward, in her dressing room, she mused on the somber temper within the corridor, saying it felt to her as if the music carried higher resonance on an evening when individuals had been fearful and frightened. And on that evening particularly, no music moved the gang extra.
She sang it once more in 2017, performing because the opening act for James Taylor within the debut live performance at The Ford Middle at The Star in Frisco.
“Angel from Montgomery” appeared on Prine’s traditional debut, as did “Hiya in There,” which has been lined, by, amongst others, Bette Midler and Joan Baez. Prine’s physique of labor drew main recognition in 2019, when he was inducted into the Songwriters Corridor of Fame.
In the summertime of 2018, Prine appeared on the Winspear Opera Home in Dallas, the place he drew a packed home.
“This one’s type of a tragic music, however I like a tragic music now and again, in case you couldn’t inform,” Prine deadpanned as he launched the music “Summer time’s Finish,” which seems on The Tree of Forgiveness, which turned out to be his grand finale of an album. Pausing briefly to strum his guitar, he added, “I might need to get a job promoting Kleenex.”
Born in Maywood, In poor health., because the blue-collar son of a steelworker, Prine labored as a paperboy and mail provider and served within the U.S. Military earlier than destiny modified his life endlessly in a Windy Metropolis nightclub. A member of Chicago’s folks revival, he received his first huge break 50 years in the past when fellow songwriter and native Texan Kris Kristofferson heard him sing.
He was, as The New York Occasions reported Tuesday, “a relative unknown in 1970 when Mr. Kristofferson heard him play one evening at a small Chicago membership referred to as the Fifth Peg, dragged there by the singer-songwriter Steve Goodman. Mr. Kristofferson was performing in Chicago on the time on the Quiet Knight. On the Fifth Peg, Mr. Prine handled him to a quick after-hours efficiency of fabric that, Mr. Kristofferson later wrote, ‘was in contrast to something I’d heard earlier than.’ ”
A number of weeks later, when Prine was in New York, Kristofferson invited him onstage on the Bitter Finish in Greenwich Village, the place he was showing with Carly Simon. There, The Occasions wrote, he launched Prine to the viewers.
“No manner any person this younger might be writing so heavy,” Kristofferson mentioned. “John Prine is so good, we might have to interrupt his thumbs.”
The Occasions famous that file government Jerry Wexler, who was within the viewers, signed Prine to a contract with Atlantic Data the following day.
Kristofferson typically spoke of feeling mesmerized by the ability of Prine’s lyrics. In coping with habit in “Sam Stone,” which additionally appeared on his debut album, Prine wrote, “There’s a gap in Daddy’s arm the place all the cash goes.”
Johnny Money, in his autobiography Money, wrote, “I don’t hearken to music a lot on the farm, until I’m going into songwriting mode and in search of inspiration. Then I’ll placed on one thing by the writers I’ve admired and used for years — Rodney Crowell, John Prine, Man Clark, and the late Steve Goodman are my Huge 4.”
In an article in Pitchfork, written by Jayson Greene, Prine expounded with reference to demise.
“I assume I simply course of demise in another way than some of us,” he mentioned. “Realizing you’re not going to see that particular person once more is at all times probably the most troublesome half about it. However that feeling settles, after which you might be glad you had that particular person in your life, after which the happiness and the disappointment get all swirled up inside you. And you then’re this nice, terrible sweet bar, strolling round in a pair of footwear.”