This is FRESH AIR. I’m David Bianculli, editor of the website TV Worth Watching, sitting in for Terry Gross. Today’s guest is songwriter, singer, and guitarist John Prine. Prine released his first album in 1971 with several songs that remain staples of his repertoire, inclusive of “Angel From Sir Bernard Law,” “Paradise,” “Sam Stone,” and “Hello In There.” Last week, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. This followed an honor he acquired in 2016, while Prine became recognized through the writers’ corporation PEN for lyrics of literary excellence. The numerous performers who recorded his songs are Johnny Cash, Bonnie Raitt, and Bette Midler.
Terry Gross spoke with John Prine last year when he turned into an excursion to promote his new album “The Tree of Forgiveness,” his first album of latest songs in more than a decade.
It’s undoubtedly a form of terrific that he is nonetheless appearing. In 1996, he had an essential neck surgical operation to eliminate a cancerous tumor. In 2013, he was operated on once more for lung cancer. But he has made a remarkable comeback, each recording and journeying.
(SOUNDBITE OF JOHN PRINE SONG, “TREE OF FORGIVENESS”)
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “SUMMER’S END”)
JOHN PRINE: (Singing) Summer gives up around the bend, just flying. The swimming fits are on the line, simply drying. I’ll meet you there for our verbal exchange. I wish I did not break your entire vacation. Well, you never realize how much distance from domestic you feel until you’ve watched the shadows across the ceiling. Well, I don’t know, but I can see it snowing. In your automobile, the home windows are huge and open. Just come on home. Come on, domestic. No, you oughtn’t to be on my own. Just come on, domestic. Valentines break hearts and minds at random…