Maywood Native, Grammy Winner John Prine Returns To Chicago Area Roots

Sunday, June 9, 2019 || By Community Editor/Photos by Alexa Rogals || @maywoodnews

Featured image: John Prine, a Maywood native and nationally known songwriter, stops by Val’s Halla Records in Oak Park on June 6. | Alexa Rogals

John Prine, the Grammy-winning songwriter who was born and raised in Maywood, was in town on June 6 for an event at Val’s Halla, a popular record store in Oak Park. Prine was at the store to sign his newest album, “Tree of Forgiveness.”

Doug Deuchler, an author, local historian and himself a former Maywood resident, posted an intimate reflection on Facebook about Prine. Deuchler attended the album signing:

“It’s his first album of new material in 13 years,” Deuchler said. “John and I are the exact same age, born in October 1946. He returned from the Army in 1968 as I began teaching at his former high school, Proviso East.

He was my mailman on 5th Avenue in Maywood. I taught his brother BILLIE PRINE, also a popular musician, in American Lit during the turbulent late ’60s–the riots at Proviso. I played John’s first album that came out in 1971 so much that I wore it out.

It had such great songs–like ‘Hello in There,’ ‘Sam Stone,’ and ‘Illegal Smile.’ John Prine was a central, influential figure in the Chicago folk revival. I remember following him at the Earl of Old Town, The Bulls, and The Quiet Knight. He was very funny and nostalgic about his younger days. He did this event to give a little boost to Val’s, struggling lately like many small record stores (Val passed last year).” VFP

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