Song of the Day: John Prine, “Sam Stone”


I’m sure no one will mind my deviation from the topic this week to pay tribute to John Prine, who died Tuesday from complications of Covid-19. He was just starting a tour, or was supposed to. John was part of a group of folk singers and songwriters that played in Chicago during the ’60’s and ’70’s that included Steve Goodman, with whom he wrote “You Never Even Called Me By My Name,” though he didn’t want credit for it because he thought it was a goofy song. Which it is, but a classic. “Sam Stone” might be my favorite of his songs. It was on his debut album, recorded around the time this was taped in the early ’70’s. This is the John Prine I remember. Rest in peace, John…

11 thoughts on “Song of the Day: John Prine, “Sam Stone”

  1. Hi John – so sad … and he has the most wonderful voice … as well as through his career – obviously influenced many … desperate times – take care as you say you are … as best we all can. Hilary


  2. It’s a real shame that he died as a result of this virus. I find that many musicians seem to be dying because of this covid19. You stay safe and hope you don’t go out unless it is necessary


  3. This song and Dear Abby is what I remember him most by. I had a friend who saw him in the 80s and met him after a show in the parking lot. John’s car wouldn’t start so my friend boosted him off. He said John was a really nice guy…


    1. There was a great camaradarie in the singer-songwriter community in Chicago in the ’70’s, with people like Prine, Steve Goodman (who had a strong bond with Jethro Burns of Homer & Jethro fame), Bonnie Koloc, Corky Siegel, Jim Post, Brian Bowers etc. You knew you were going to see a great show with any of them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There was a lot happening there in the seventies…didn’t Chicago also have “Second City” the comedy group that pretty much spawned SNL?
        I’m sad to say I’ve only been to Chicago once in the late 90s and stayed at the Hilton (I believe) downtown for a convention. I went walking to all of the delis.


        1. Right: Second City started in the ’50’s and is still going strong. There’s a second one in Toronto that spawned “SCTV.” The alumni list for Chicago and Toronto is here: You’ll recognize a bunch of the names, I’m sure. Chicago is also the home of Steppenwolf Theater. Gary Sinise and a couple of others (I think John Malkovich was one of them) started it, and people like Laurie Metcalf and John Mahoney came up through it.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. That is a lot of talent…looks like 73-74 stocked SCTV and SNL.
            Hard to believe the Steppenwolf started by teenagers is still going…that is great.


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