NASHVILLE, Tenn., November 7, 2013 - The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum will unveil a special spotlight exhibit dedicated to revered singer-songwriter John Prine on November 15. John Prine: It Took Me Years to Get These Souvenirs, which will be located within the museum's permanent exhibit on the second floor, will incorporate instruments, manuscripts and other relics spanning Prine's four-decade career. The exhibition will run through May 2014.
John Prine: It Took Me Years to Get These Souvenirs traces the singer's life from his early musical influences to his critically acclaimed career as a folk and country singer-songwriter with a knack for social commentary, free from judgment but full of poignancy, heartbreak and humor.
John Prine was born October 10, 1946, in Maywood, Illinois-a suburb of Chicago. His parents gave him his first guitar for his 14th birthday. Both his family's love of country music and its roots in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, would greatly inform Prine's songwriting style and content.
After high school, Prine served a two-year stint in the U.S. Army before taking a job as a postal worker in Chicago, where he wrote songs while walking his route. He tried out those songs on the Chicago folk circuit. In 1971, Kris Kristofferson heard Prine perform and helped him secure a record deal.
Prine's self-titled debut album included the songs "Hello in There," "Paradise" and "Angel from Montgomery," later recorded by Bette Midler, the Everly Brothers and Bonnie Raitt, respectively. The album also included one of Prine's most famous songs, "Sam Stone," a raw look at a drug-addicted Vietnam veteran that critic Roger Ebert called "one of the great songs of the century."
Prine released a string of other critically acclaimed albums in the 1970s, including Diamonds in the Rough, Sweet Revenge, Common Sense and Bruised Orange. "Souvenirs," "Christmas in Prison," "Dear Abby" and "If You Don't Want My Love" are among his songs from that period.
Prine moved to Nashville in the early 1980s and founded the independent record label Oh Boy Records with his longtime manager, Al Bunetta. In 1991, The Missing Years earned Prine his first Grammy, for Best Contemporary Folk Album. He won another Grammy in 2005 with Fair & Square. In 2007 he released Standard Songs for Average People, an album of duets with Mac Wiseman.
Prine lives in Nashville and continues to tour and record.
Among the artifacts on display in John Prine: It Took Me Years to Get These Souvenirs are:
Spotlight exhibits supplement themes or aspects of the museum's core exhibition, Sing Me Back Home: A Journey Through Country Music. These short-term, informal displays either provide a closer look at a particular person, group or aspect of country music, or spotlight recently donated items or special anniversaries. Rotated often, spotlight exhibits also offer a glimpse into the museum's unique collection, which includes recorded discs; historical photographs; films and videotapes; thousands of posters, books, songbooks, periodicals and sheet music; personal artifacts such as performers' instruments, costumes and accessories; and more.
Lee Greenwood is the subject of another current spotlight exhibit.
Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is operated by the Country Music Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization chartered by the state of Tennessee in 1964. The museum's mission is the preservation of the history of country and related vernacular music rooted in southern culture. With the same educational mission, the foundation also operates CMF Records, the museum's Frist Library and Archive, CMF Press, Historic RCA Studio B and Hatch Show Print®.
More information about the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is available at countrymusichalloffame.org or by calling (615) 416-2001.
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