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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 is situated on ancestral homelands of the Potawatomi people, who cared for the land until forced out by non-Native settlers. Established in 1856, the Museum is now at 1601 N. Clark Street in Lincoln Park, its third location. As a major museum and research center for Chicago and U.S. history, the Chicago History Museum strives to be a destination for learning, inspiration and civic engagement. Through dynamic exhibitions, tours, publications, special events and programming, the Museum connects people to Chicago’s history and to each other. To share Chicago stories, the Museum collects and preserves millions of artifacts, documents, images and other items that are relevant to the city’s history. The Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of the Chicago Park District on behalf of the people of Chicago. 

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