John Prine to Be Honored With a Week of Concerts, Events in Nashville
When John Prine died of COVID-19 in April 2020, the novel coronavirus pandemic was really just beginning. With social distancing guidelines and pandemic-related shutdowns in full effect, the folk icon's family, friends and fans could not gather in person to honor him.
A year and a half later, however, they'll have their chance. A week's worth of concerts and events memorializing Prine -- dubbed You Got Gold: Celebrating the Life & Songs of John Prine -- are set to take place in Nashville in early October. As Rolling Stone reports, the tribute event is scheduled for Oct. 3-10, ending on what would have been Prine's 75th birthday on Oct. 10.
You Got Gold -- named for a Prine song released in 1991 -- will include four tribute concerts: two at the Ryman Auditorium on Oct. 6 and 7, one at the CMA Theater at the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum on Oct. 8 and one at the Basement East on Oct. 9. Each show, per the official You Got Gold website, "will include a unique surprise lineup of friends performing and celebrating John's inimitable life and songs."
Each You Got Gold show will benefit the newly established Hello in There Foundation, a non-profit organization established by Prine's family in his memory. "The work of the foundation will be inspired and guided by John’s simple song title, “Hello in There,”" the You Got Gold website explains, "and aims to identify and collaborate with individuals and communities where people of all ages are marginalized, discriminated against or, for any reason, are otherwise forgotten."
Rolling Stone reports that the Nashville-based Thistle Farms and Room in the Inn -- which work with female trafficking, prostitution and addiction survivors and the homeless population, respectively -- will be the Hello in There Foundation's first beneficiaries.
According to Rolling Stone, tickets for the You Got Gold shows will be available on Friday (May 28), with pre-sales beginning on Wednesday (May 26). The four concerts aren't the only events planned for that week, though: The week's website notes that additional events are to be announced.
On the Friday of the You Got Gold events (Oct. 8), in fact, a Prine tribute album is set for release. Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine, Vol. 2 will feature Brandi Carlile, Sturgill Simpson and many more covering Prine's songs. A full tracklist for the project has not yet been announced, but 2010's Vol. 1 includes covers by, among others, Justin Townes Earle, the Avett Brothers, Sara Watkins and Drive-By Truckers.
Prine is known for songs such as "Sam Stone" and "Angel From Montgomery," the latter of which Bonnie Raitt made famous. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy in January of 2020, just over two months before he died of COVID-19. His Oh Boy Records -- the label that Prine co-founded with his manager, Al Bunetta, in 1981 -- is also celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2021.
"We wanna continue to support his music, and then also the next generation of singer-songwriters," says Jody Whelan, the oldest of Prine's three sons with wife Fiona and who runs Oh Boy Records. "We've released a few great things over the last couple years, but we've got some more surprises coming."
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