After losing beloved songwriting legend John Prine to COVID-19 last April, his family announces You Got Gold: Celebrating The Life & Songs Of John Prine—a week-long series of Prine-centric concerts to pay tribute to his legacy. The celebration commences on October 3 and concludes on October 10, which would have been Prine’s 74th birthday.
Each of the shows will feature surprise all-star lineups of performers, “celebrating the legendary singer, songwriter and performer’s inimitable life and songs.” The first two concerts will take place at The Ryman on October 6 and 7. Another concert will be held on October 8 at CMA Theater at The Country Music Hall of Fame. The intimate Basement East will host a performance on October 9. Additional You Got Gold events are expected to be announced at a later date.
Proceeds from You Got Gold: Celebrating The Life & Songs Of John Prine will benefit the newly established Hello In There Foundation, the non-profit organization founded by The Prine Family in his memory. Beneficiaries of grants from the foundation this year include Nashville-based non-profits Room In The Inn and Thistle Farms.
The foundation is named after a hit song from his 1971 self-titled debut. The lyrical messaging here aligns with the mission of the non-profit which “aims to identify and collaborate with individuals and communities to offer support for people who are marginalized, discriminated against or, for any reason, are otherwise forgotten.”
His wife, Fiona Whelan, shared on social media, “John Prine wrote the song, ‘Hello In There,’ while walking his mail route in Maywood, Illinois. He was not yet 22 years old but had the compassion and kindness even then to understand that sometimes just a simple Hello, or random act of kindness, can make a difference.”
Tickets for the You Got Gold shows will be available on Friday, May 28, with pre-sales beginning on Wednesday, May 26.
On Friday, October 8, a tribute album is set for release. Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine, Vol. 2 will feature Brandi Carlile, Sturgill Simpson, and others covering Prine’s songs. The album is a post-humous sequel to Vol. 1 in 2010, which includes covers by, among others, Justin Townes Earle, the Avett Brothers, Sara Watkins, and Drive-By Truckers.
Prine received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy in January of 2020, just over two months before he died of COVID-19. Oh Boy Records—the label that Prine co-founded with his manager, Al Bunetta, in 1981, which is now run by his son Jody Whelan—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 Whelan. “We’ve released a few great things over the last couple years, but we’ve got some more surprises coming.”