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one year before his debut, with classic hits & one unreleased song. 

John Prine THE SINGING MAILMAN DELIVERS reviews and information

Produced by Oh Boy Records









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Disc One
Studio Performance:

1. Hello In There
2. Souvenirs
3. Great Society Conflict Veteran's Blues (early "Sam Stone")
4. Paradise
5. Blue Umbrella
6. Aw Heck
7. Illegal Smile
8. Flashback Blues
9. The Frying Pan
10. Sour Grapes
11. A Star, A Jewel, And A Hoax


Disc Two

Live Performance:

1. Flashback Blues
2. Hello In There
3. Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore
4. The Great Compromise
5. Blue Umbrella
6. Illegal Smile
7. Angel From Montgomery
8. A Good Time
9. Hey Good Lookin' > Jambalaya (On The Bayou)
10. Quiet Man
11. Paradise
12. Great Society Conflict Veteran's Blues (early "Sam Stone")
13. Spanish Pipedream

Specially priced double CD set of John Prine's earliest recordings, unearthed tapes--the first disc is an August 1970 recording for John recording songs that would make up his first album at the WFMT studios in Chicago. These songs were recorded immediately after John's interview with the legendary Studs Terkel.

Disc 2 is a live set from November 1970--featuring versions of many of the same songs--recorded during John's residency at Chicago's Fifth Peg. Both discs are amazing finds and a perfect for celebrating the 40th Anniversary of John Prine's recorded debut.

This double CD collection features solo studio recordings from August 1970, as well as a complete live performance from November 1970 at an intimate Chicago nightclub with John Prine accompanied by a bass player.



Available from Oh Boy Records and from 


Oh Boy Records celebrates the earliest studio and live recordings of John Prine with the forthcoming two-disc album The Singing Mailman Delivers releasing on October 25!


(NASHVILLE, TN) – Long before the awards and accolades, all the concerts and many, many albums, John Prine trudged through snow in the cold Chicago winters, delivering mail across Maywood, his childhood suburb. “I always likened the mail route to a library with no books,” says John Prine. “I passed the time each day making up these little ditties.”


On October 25th, 2011, Oh Boy Records (founded in 1981 by Prine and manager Al Bunetta) will release The Singing Mailman Delivers. This two-disc archival release features the earliest studio and live recordings from Prine dating back to 1970, one year before his prolific, self-titled, debut album.


In August 1970, John Prine went to Chicago’s WFMT Studios to be interviewed by Studs Terkel. “I asked after the show if it were possible to stick around and tape all the songs I had written up until then,” Prine continues. These studio recordings were simply and sincerely recorded with Prine’s trademark guitar finger-picking and early vocal style. The disc closes with the unreleased track titled “A Star, A Jewel, And A Hoax,” a brief and whimsical look into an often-overlooked cranny of everyday life.


The live performance was recorded at the Fifth Peg in Chicago in November 1970, where Prine would play three nights a week, while still delivering mail during the day. Prine says, “I still maintain that Chicago winters and postman-hungry dogs finally drove me to songwriting.”


With just his acoustic guitar, some audience banter and a friend on bass, 24-year old Prine takes the live audience through 12 of his classic tunes, a few of which already sound like crowd favorites. “I was just learning how to sing a full set of my songs and still manage to talk in between without getting shot or anything thrown at me,” he admits. The one cover track is a Hank Williams medley that Prine learned for his father with the songs “Hey Good Lookin’” and “Jambalaya (On The Bayou).”


This fall marks the 40th anniversary of that first album, John Prine, and these amateur recordings on The Singing Mailman Delivers truly show Prine as a poet whose consummate songs were refined since inception. Even the then-titled “Great Society Conflict Veteran’s Blues,” his studio and live versions of “Sam Stone,” bestow the listener an intricate sense of understanding and compassion from a humble and unassuming songwriter who wrote such words to pass time on his mail route.


Oh Boy Records will begin a presale for The Singing Mailman Delivers on Wednesday, September 21 via John Prine’s official online store at johnprine or





John Prine Discovers 'Singing Mailman Delivers' Album After Wife Forces Him to Clean Their Garage...
Twangville by Bill Wilcox
"If Mark Twain was a singer-songwriter, he would have sounded something like John Prine. The Singing Mailman Delivers provides a portrait of the artist as a young man that is definitely worth the listen."

Holly Gleason interviews Prine for Paste Magazine
“I wasn’t doing this for attention or to be on a record,” he explains. “That was such a different world! People whose records you bought? Or saw on TV? I didn’t aspire to that… I never even thought about it being a place I couldn’t get to or be a part of; that was just something else! Honestly, I just wanted to get off work and get home, have fun. Write songs, and all that. But there was no end game. Heck, I didn’t even think about a game: I just wanted to write and play those songs.”
~dead link
From Roger Ebert's Journal
John Prine: An American Legend
"Through no wisdom of my own but out of sheer blind luck, I walked into the Fifth Peg, a folk club on West Armitage, one night in 1970 and heard a mailman from Westchester singing. This was John Prine.

He sang his own songs. That night I heard "Sam Stone," one of the great songs of the century. And "Angel from Montgomery." And others. I wasn't the music critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, but I went to the office and wrote an article. [ below ] And that, as fate decreed, was the first review Prine ever received."
-dead link

John Prine: The Singing Mailman Delivers -
These two discs -- one live, one in the studio -- show Prine's early songs fully formed and genuinely brilliant, though we also hear him figuring out how best to deliver them.

No Depression
From "Turnstyled and Junkpiled" blogger on NO Depression - John Prine proves that the postman always does ring twice with his latest, The Singing Mailman Delivers. read the rest of it at ND here

The Singing Mailman Delivers | Album Reviews | Rolling Stone
Before John Prine's 1971 debut got him dubbed the next Dylan, he was a Chicago mailman playing his homespun folk tunes at an open mic. These two discs


Album Stream: John Prine - The Singing Mailman Delivers ...
From Paste Magazine

  John Prine’s had a consistent amount of recorded output over his four-decade long career. But he had to get a start somewhere, and his new album, The Singing Mailman Delivers, celebrates that beginning. The album gets its title from Prine’s pre-music job as a mailman, where he would brainstorm ideas for songs.

  “I always likened the mail route to a library with no books,” Prine said in a press release for The Singing Mailman Delivers. “I passed the time each day making up these little ditties.”

  The album will be released on Prine’s Oh Boy on Oct. 25. It’s a two-disc set filled with archived footage that dates back to 1970, which features Prine’s earliest recordings, including with a radio session Prine did after an interview with Chicago’s WFMT.

  “I asked after the show if it were possible to stick around and tape all the songs I had written up until then,” Prine said about the post-interview session.

The Huffington Post
John Prine, Iconic Folk Singer, Takes Everything In Stride In the late 1960s now-legendary folk musician John Prine was living in Maywood, Illinois, and working as a mailman. At night he would venture out to open mikes at Chicago bars, watching strangers play music, never really imagining he'd play his own songs onstage.
John Prine's original version of "Sam Stone" from his new album "The Singing Mailman Delivers" is featured as NPR's Song of the Day:
John Prine: A Look Back At One Man's War : NPR
In "Great Society Conflict Veteran's Blues," Prine captures as well as anyone the effects of modern warfare.

From Performing Songwriter

John Prine: The Singing Mailman Delivers, CD review - Telegraph
John Prine, who is one of Bob Dylan's favourite artists, has released his very first recordings and they show the emerging genius of one of America's greatest songwriters.

Peter Cooper On Music: New album fetes John Prine’s old songs | Tune In Music City | The Tennessean

John Prine sits in a hotel in Memphis while recording his 1971 self-titled debut
(photo: Anne Carole Prine, courtesy of Oh Boy Records).

John Prine Tells the Stories Behind His Most Loved Songs
from Performing Songwriter
Legendary songwriter John Prine tells the stories behind such classics as Sam Stone, Hello In There, Paradise, Dear Abby, and more.