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John Prine

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January 17, 2013 | By Randy Lewis
"Dear Abby," aka Pauline Phillips, the celebrated advice columnist who died this week at age 94, already had been an American institution for decades when folk singer-songwriter John Prine immortalized her in his 1973 number titled - what else? - “Dear Abby.” The acclaimed Chicago musician and former mailman tapped the everyday sort of gripes that populated her columns, which were syndicated in newspapers across the country including, for many years, the Los Angeles Times. Dear Abby, Dear Abby, My feet are too long My hair's falling out and my rights are all wrong My friends they all tell me that I've no friends at all Won't you write me a letter, Won't you give me a call Signed Bewildered PHOTOS: Pauline Phillips | 1918 - 2013 Prine, naturally, supplied the response as well as the inquiry, answering: Bewildered Bewildered, You have no complaint You are what you are and you ain't what you ain't So listen up Buster and listen up good Stop wishing for bad luck and knockin' on wood Then came three more mock letters - each receiving precisely the same response, Prine's eye-winking acknowledgement of the essence of what Abby was really telling her millions of readers week after week.
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 17, 2013 | By Randy Lewis
"Dear Abby," aka Pauline Phillips, the celebrated advice columnist who died this week at age 94, already had been an American institution for decades when folk singer-songwriter John Prine immortalized her in his 1973 number titled - what else? - “Dear Abby.” The acclaimed Chicago musician and former mailman tapped the everyday sort of gripes that populated her columns, which were syndicated in newspapers across the country including, for many years, the Los Angeles Times. Dear Abby, Dear Abby, My feet are too long My hair's falling out and my rights are all wrong My friends they all tell me that I've no friends at all Won't you write me a letter, Won't you give me a call Signed Bewildered PHOTOS: Pauline Phillips | 1918 - 2013 Prine, naturally, supplied the response as well as the inquiry, answering: Bewildered Bewildered, You have no complaint You are what you are and you ain't what you ain't So listen up Buster and listen up good Stop wishing for bad luck and knockin' on wood Then came three more mock letters - each receiving precisely the same response, Prine's eye-winking acknowledgement of the essence of what Abby was really telling her millions of readers week after week.
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ENTERTAINMENT
March 21, 1988 | MIKE BOEHM
If he had more of a penchant for dramatics, for the grand emotive gesture, John Prine might command a bigger following. Instead, he sticks to being authentic. Opening a three-night stand of solo concerts Friday at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, Prine used his rough, gravelly voice and simple, serviceable folk-guitar style to fashion poignant, detailed stories about heartbreak and loss and humorous songs in which most of the laugh lines landed as unobtrusively as a fly fisher's casting.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 27, 2010
Crying at cartoons : Given their well-earned (and lucrative) run of critical acclaim, the film genies at Pixar hardly belong in this column. But when did John Lasseter & Co. get so great at tugging heartstrings? First there was that famed montage in "Up," and now "Toy Story 3" features a tense moment involving just heartfelt eye contact that fogged up our 3-D glasses (especially thanks to you, Bullseye). Pixels never seemed so alive. John Prine : A favorite among fans of rustic, sharply drawn songwriting, the sixtysomething Prine has two terrific releases this month.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 21, 1988 | MIKE BOEHM, Times Staff Writer
If he had more of a penchant for dramatics, for the grand emotive gesture, John Prine might command a bigger following. Instead, he sticks to being authentic. Opening a three-night stand of solo concerts Friday at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, Prine's style was almost mundane: a rough, gravelly singing voice that falls squarely in the scruffy troubadour mold of the early Bob Dylan, and simple, serviceable folk-guitar strumming and picking.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 20, 1989 | MIKE BOEHM
Singer-songwriters are becoming the rage in pop music once more, just as they were in the early 1970s, when the term "singer-songwriter" was coined for the likes of James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne. As a singer-songwriter who went through it all the first time around, John Prine is pleased, but not inordinately excited, that a quieter, more intimate and literate form of music making is coming back into vogue with such success stories as Tracy Chapman and the Cowboy Junkies.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 7, 2005 | Michael McCall, Special to The Times
Leave it to John Prine to find a silver lining amid life-changing adversity. For anyone, having a section of neck and throat cut out in cancer surgery would be traumatic. For it to happen to one of the most respected singer-songwriters of the post-Dylan years made it a calamity. Just as Prine's songs consider the reprehensible and the glorious as inevitable aspects of life, he's come to see the humor and humanity in what he's endured.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 27, 2010
Crying at cartoons : Given their well-earned (and lucrative) run of critical acclaim, the film genies at Pixar hardly belong in this column. But when did John Lasseter & Co. get so great at tugging heartstrings? First there was that famed montage in "Up," and now "Toy Story 3" features a tense moment involving just heartfelt eye contact that fogged up our 3-D glasses (especially thanks to you, Bullseye). Pixels never seemed so alive. John Prine : A favorite among fans of rustic, sharply drawn songwriting, the sixtysomething Prine has two terrific releases this month.
NEWS
July 2, 1992 | MIKE BOEHM, Mike Boehm covers pop music for The Times Orange County Edition.
In the opening lines of his latest album, "The Missing Years," John Prine introduces us to "a young man from a small town, with a very large imagination." The album, like much of Prine's 21-year body of work, serves as a good example of where a pop songwriter can go when he immerses himself in the flow of ordinary things, yet brings his imagination along. Prine is no pop hero. He won't fly around a stage like Axl Rose or Garth Brooks.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 8, 1991 | ROBERT HILBURN, Robert Hilburn is The Times' pop music critic. and
If you listen closely--past the roar of heavy metal, the pulse of dance-pop and the machine-gun insistence of rap--you might just hear early whispers of the return of the intimate, artful stylings of the singer-songwriter. The timing couldn't be better for John Prine, who is about to release his first studio album in five years. Titled "The Missing Years" and featuring guest appearances by Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and Bonnie Raitt, the album is due in stores Sept. 16.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 14, 2009
Guest roster: Bruce Springsteen, Bono, the Edge, Sheryl Crow, Lyle Lovett and John Prine will be among the guests on the second season of "Spectacle: Elvis Costello With . . . ," which launches Dec. 9 on the Sundance Channel.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 21, 2007 | Robert Hilburn, Special to The Times
Conor Oberst writes with such originality and depth that you have to forgive critics for dusting off Bob Dylan references to convey their enthusiasm. So it felt quite fitting earlier this month for Oberst to take time during his concert at the El Rey to sing a song by another songwriter who was described in Dylanesque terms when he came on the scene almost 40 years ago: John Prine.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 30, 2006 | Steve Hochman, Special to The Times
What might John Prine have wanted for his 60th birthday a couple of weeks ago? Maybe the household-name renown of Bruce Springsteen, whose most poignant songs seem built from the Prine blueprint but without the zinging wit and whimsy? Or the fame and fortune of Jimmy Buffett, who shares Prine's whimsy but lacks his depth? Nah.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 7, 2005 | Michael McCall, Special to The Times
Leave it to John Prine to find a silver lining amid life-changing adversity. For anyone, having a section of neck and throat cut out in cancer surgery would be traumatic. For it to happen to one of the most respected singer-songwriters of the post-Dylan years made it a calamity. Just as Prine's songs consider the reprehensible and the glorious as inevitable aspects of life, he's come to see the humor and humanity in what he's endured.
NEWS
March 3, 2002 | JOHN BALZAR
"You know that old trees just grow stronger. And old rivers just grow wilder every day. Old people just grow lonesome waiting for someone to say, hello in there. Hello." --John Prine PORTLAND, Ore.--It's a familiar scene, but this time you won't hear me scoffing. I'm looking into the recreation room at a busy high-rise. We have here a bank of glowing computers, the click-clack of keyboards, the synthetic sound effects and the hypnotized faces of people lost to the world around them.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 30, 2000 | RANDY LEWIS, Randy Lewis is a Times staff writer
John Prine has been lionized by critics and folk-rock aficionados during his three-decade career, and 99.9% of the compliments have to do with the second half of the "singer-songwriter" description that usually accompanies his name. Rarely does the "singer" part enter the picture.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 30, 2000 | RANDY LEWIS, Randy Lewis is a Times staff writer
John Prine has been lionized by critics and folk-rock aficionados during his three-decade career, and 99.9% of the compliments have to do with the second half of the "singer-songwriter" description that usually accompanies his name. Rarely does the "singer" part enter the picture.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 7, 1992 | NOEL DAVIS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
At a time when big business, big government and big entertainment seem increasingly to have failed us, it is encouraging that such a determined individualist as John Prine can succeed on his own terms. After two decades of albums that were hailed by critics but that hardly set the marketplace on fire, Prine's latest release, "The Missing Years," has sold like hot dogs on the Fourth of July--250,000 copies so far.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 12, 1999 | ROBERT HILBURN
Prine is a magnificent songwriter but a limited singer. Unfortunately, it's the latter role he occupies on this offbeat outing (due in stores Tuesday). The idea is intriguing--Prine teams with some interesting duet partners, from Iris DeMent to Emmylou Harris to Melba Montgomery, to record some classic country tales about troubled relationships, including such lively numbers as "(We're Not) the Jet Set" and "Loose Talk."
ENTERTAINMENT
March 7, 1996 | ROBERT HILBURN
John Prine has been widely heralded as one of the premier songwriters of his generation, but he's earning a new title on a tour that began a brief Southern California swing on Tuesday at the Ventura Theatre in Ventura: promising talent scout. Opening for Prine is Heather Eatman, a 27-year-old singer-songwriter from New York whose 45-minute set was filled with an authority and individuality of vision that you rarely find among new arrivals.
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