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John Prine Biography

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©Brian David Frain  
Mr. Switalski  English IV - College Bound 26 April 1996
back to the Biography


Thesis: John Prine’s efforts as a singer and a songwriter have greatly influenced the music industry.

I. Introduction

II. The early years

    A. Childhood
    B. Postal service and the military
    C. Discovery/breakthrough

III. First recordings

    A. Success with John Prine
    B. Meaningful Diamonds In The Rough
    C. Critic disapproval with Sweet Revenge

IV. Trials and tribulation

    A. Common Sense leads to dropping a label
    B. Ending a honeymoon with Prime Prine

V. Mood Swings

    A. Folk-rock stardom with Bruised Orange
    B. Wild and crazy Pink Cadillac
    C. Soft and gentle Storm Windows

VI. More problems

    A. Low sales
    B. No label
    C. Little success with Aimless Love
    D. Death of Steve Goodman

VII. Friends Pull Through

    A. Varying success with German Afternoons
    B. A Grammy nomination
    C. Participation on Other Voices, Other Rooms

VIII. Back down to the bottom

    A. A cult for fans, and nothing more
    B. Possibility of quitting music

IX. Comeback of the decade

    A. The Missing Years
    B. A John Prine Christmas
    C. Great Days: Anthology
    D. Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings

X. Conclusion 

Works Cited

  • Cullen, Jim. "Mellencamp’s Uneasy State of Grace." Review. Rolling Stone, April 2, 1992, pp. 15 & 16.
  • Dawson, Pat. "Prime Prine Liner Notes." From WNEW-FM New York Radio, 1976.
  • Fricke, David. "Great Days Liner Notes." From Rolling Stone article in John Prine Anthology, 1993, pp. 5-50.
  • Kosner, Anthony. "Great Days: The John Prine Anthology." Review. People Weekly, December 20, 1993, p. 27.
  • Manning, Kara. "Q & A with John Prine." Rolling Stone, September 21, 1995, p. 36.
  • Milward, John. "The Missing Years." Review. Rolling Stone, January 23, 1992, p. 46.
  • Prine, John. "No Big Surprise." Red Pajamas, 1994, p.13.
  • Puckett, Jeffrey Lee. "Fine Prine: Singing Stories From Everyday Life." The Courier Journal, May 27, 1995, p. 15.
  • Puterbaugh, Parke. "Performance: Cowboy Junkies and John Prine." Review. Rolling Stone, May 28, 1992, p. 24.
  • Sanz, Cynthia. "Special Delivery." People Weekly, June 29, 1992, p. 61.
  • Scelsa, Vin. "Fast Forward: Sounds." Review. Penthouse, February 1992, p. unknown.
  • Strauss, Neil. "A Rock Singer Whose Words Sing Too." The New York Times, September 27, 1995, p. B3.
  • Unknown. "Heroes at a Hootenanny." Time, March 29, 1993, p. 67.
  • Unknown. "The Prine Times." The John Prine Newsletter, available from <>, the Oh Boy web page. Downloaded April 8, 1996.
  • Wild, David. "Tuning Into Prine Time." Rolling Stone, February 20, 1992, pp. 15 & 16.

    ©Brian Frain 1997-1999  


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