Masks required in Abakanowicz Research Center; optional for rest of Museum more

3.30 | Tell us a story, John Prine

Today, our hopes are with country folk singer-songwriter John Prine as he battles COVID-19.

Born and raised in west suburban Maywood, Illinois, he was a prominent member of Chicago’s folk revival in the early 1970s. Prine is a masterful storyteller known for his humorous lyrics about love, life, and current events, as well as serious songs with social commentary.

While taking classes at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music and working as a mailman, Prine would sing original songs at the Chicago folk club The Fifth Peg. A young journalist named Roger Ebert happened to hear one of his sets and gave him his first-ever review in the Chicago Sun-Times, praising his songwriting as “closer to Hank Willilams than to Roger Williams, closer to Dylan than to Ochs.”

Listen to Prine’s 1975 interview with Studs Terkel as they discuss his family’s Kentucky roots, his childhood, and his career.

John Prine Publicity Photo


Explore the full Studs Terkel Radio Archive, which features more than 1,200 programs and interviews with the 20th century’s most fascinating people. Browse the archive.


The Chicago History Museum, a major museum and research center for Chicago and American history, is located at 1601 N. Clark Street. The Museum has dedicated more than a century to celebrating and sharing Chicago stories through dynamic exhibitions, tours, publications, special events and programming. The Museum collects and preserves millions of artifacts, documents and images to help audiences connect to the city and its history. The Chicago History Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of the Chicago Park District on behalf of the people of Chicago. The Chicago History Museum is a 2016 winner of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the highest award given to these institutions for their community engagement and having an impact on the lives of individuals, families, and communities.

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago's Stories