All posts tagged: John Prine

Saturday Soundtrack: Duets

I love a good country or folk duet, so when several came up yesterday on my Pandora station, I just assumed that it was a Saturday Soundtrack sign from God…and I decided to listen to her. Living in Tennessee in the 1960s and 70s, it was easy to hear some of the classic country duet acts on the radio and see them on Nashville’s numerous country music television shows. George and Tammy singing Golden Ring was perfect, because it was a song that matched their tumultuous relationship. Dolly and Porter were big during those years, before Dolly left the partnership some forty-six years ago to become a force of nature all on her own. And of course, at the top of the heap was that duet of country royalty, Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash. So let’s dive in, beginning with the Johnny Cash tune I Still Miss Someone which I’ve always enjoyed. It is a classic “I’m lonely and miss you” song that Emmylou Harris has recorded in both solo and duet versions. Emmylou …

Find your benefactor moments

I was reading a journal the other day where the author was describing ways to tap into self-compassion. In it, she suggested that we recall “a benefactor moment, an instance in life ‘when we felt seen, heard and recognized by someone who showed us genuine regard and affection.’” She was quoting Thupten Jimpa, PhD, adjunct professor of religious studies at McGill University and author of A Fearless Heart. By way of example, the author suggested we think of a time when we were speaking during a big work meeting and a colleague begins talking over us. In the moment we begin to question ourselves, wondering if our point had value. But when he’s finished, “your boss redirects the conversation back to you, because she wanted your take. Benefactor moments like these make us feel valued.” The suggestion was that when you question your sense of purpose or usefulness, call upon those moments from your past as reminders that you do have value. In The Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology, …

John Prine

I’m gonna make you laugh until you cry: R.I.P. John Prine

And now it claims John Prine. Damn. Anyone who ever cared about “a word, after a word, after a word” is grieving today. America lost one of its greatest songwriters to the coronavirus when John Prine died on April 7th at age 73. When I wrote about Prine and his music just a little over three weeks ago, on March 14th — before the world learned he was suffering from the symptoms of COVID-19 — I said it was a good time to recall the work of the man who wrote the classic line, “To believe in this living is just a hard way to go.” Now that he’s gone, we’ll have to be content with what is an amazing body of work by any definition. The origin story could come from a classic Prine song. He was a postman who wrote during his breaks. On a dare from friends (and under the influence of a few beers) he stepped up to an open mic and sang Sam Stone, Hello in There, and Paradise, three …

Saturday Soundtrack: John Prine

(UPDATE:  John Prine passed away from COVID-19 on April 7, 2020, just three-and-a-half weeks after I wrote this post suggesting how much we needed his music and his outlook on life. My appreciation can be found here.) This seems like a good weekend to recall the work of the man who wrote the classic line, “To believe in this living is just a hard way to go.” John Prine has been in my life, and in my head, forever. When the singing mailman was discovered in 1970 at The Fifth Peg in Chicago by a young journalist named Roger Ebert, he was already writing and playing such incredible songs as Sam Stone, Hello in There, and Paradise. In fact, those were the first three songs Prine ever played on stage. To hear a 1970-era country singer and songwriter tackling subjects such as the Vietnam War and drug use, old age and loneliness, and environmental degradation and rural depopulation in such a sensitive and thoughtful way was unheard of from the country music industry in nearby …

Macon musical history

Not my average radio interview

Folks in Macon, Georgia, take their musical roots seriously.  (Think Otis Redding, the Allman Brothers, Little Richard.)  So on Friday morning when I was booked for an interview on WNEX, The Creek — a new Macon radio station featuring Southern roots music and local issues — I assumed it would be different from the local NPR stations where I normally find myself talking about preservation. I was right.  And (with the possible exception of my time on the Honolulu public radio station), it turned out to be much more fun than my average NPR radio interview! We were in town to launch our National Treasures campaign for the Ocmulgee National Monument.  Lands affiliated with the Ocmulgee National Monument have been home to Native Americans for more than 17,000 years.  However, over recent decades the places with ties to the site have been threatened by urban sprawl, the subdivision of forested tracts, and ownership fragmentation. The National Trust and our partners are seeking to re-designate the monument as a historical park, expand the current boundaries, and …