5 hit songs you probably didn’t know John Prine wrote [LISTEN]
George Strait recorded a John Prine song – he took it to number 1, actually. Don Williams too. Miranda Lambert hasn’t released her cover of Prine as a single, but it’s still one of her flagship songs and a defining moment on her groundbreaking album.
While Prine is best known as a folk and country music songwriter who gave voice to a generation of artists, poets and thinkers, he reached a level of commercial success long before his debut album Top 5, 2018 The tree of forgiveness. Covers of his songs are perhaps more common today than ever before, as contemporaries such as Jason Isbell and Sturgill Simpson breathe new life into a 50-year catalog.
You might not even realize that Prine wrote these five songs, starting with the one that made him famous. The 73-year-old man died on April 7, 2020 – a year ago – after contracting COVID-19 in March. He has won two Grammy Awards with 18 albums to his name; he was also a cancer survivor, father and 24-year-old husband to his wife Fiona.
Bonnie Raitt, “Angel of Montgomery”
Bonnie Raitt cut “Angel From Montgomery” in 1974 and has since said the song is more important to her work than any other song. Dozens of artists have covered it on albums and at concerts over the past 45 years, making this song Prine’s best known.
George Strait, “I just wanna dance with you”
George Strait’s Breezy # 1 from 1998 was a co-writing by Prine. Prine had already cut the song for her 1986 album German afternoons.
Miranda Lambert, “This is how the world turns”
Although it was never a single, “That’s the Way That the World Goes Round” has become a staple on Lambert’s live show. She performed the song at the 2010 CMA Awards, a year after including it on her groundbreaking album, Revolution.
David Allan Coe, “You never even called me by my name”
Prine and Steven Goodman wrote “You Never Even Called Me By My Name”, and Goodman recorded it for his 1971 album, but Prine asked to be dropped from the credits because he didn’t want to offend anyone. It wasn’t until later, after David Allan Coe made the song a Top 10 hit, that people learned that Prine had played a role in the kissing of the country music industry.
Don Williams, “Love is on the Move”
While not one of Don Williams’ iconic songs, “Love Is on a Roll” was a No. 1 hit and his lead single by Yellow moon. It’s a wandering country love song made easy by the Gentle Giant, as most lyrics tend to be.
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