Downtown Music Publishing announced today that it has entered into a worldwide agreement with legendary singer and songwriter John Prine, representing more than 230 compositions from his songbook. According to the announcement, the agreement covers the vast majority of his output as a solo artist — including his forthcoming Dave Cobb-produced album, “The Tree of Forgiveness,” his first in 13 years — as well as works recorded by Johnny Cash, Bonnie Raitt, the Everly Brothers, John Denver, Kris Kristofferson, Carly Simon, Ben Harper, Joan Baez, George Strait, Old Crow Medicine Show, Norah Jones, Bette Midler, Miranda Lambert, Carla Bruni, Zac Brown Band, and many others.
While not a household name, Prine is one of the most respected songwriters to emerge from Nashville in the past 50 years, a status that has become clearer as later generations have acknowledged his influence: Cobb, one of Nashville’s most in-demand producers via albums with Grammy-winner Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson and others, worked on Prine’s latest album, and Prine is co-headlining with Simpson at New York’s Radio City Music Hall next week. His best-known works include “I Just Want to Dance With You,” “In Spite of Ourselves,” “That’s the Way the World Goes Round,” “Long Monday,” “20th Century Is Almost Over,” and “Speed of the Sound of Loneliness.” He has won two Grammys, is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and his 1971 self-titled debut album is in the Grammy Hall of Fame.
On the signing Prine commented, “I’m very pleased to have Downtown represent my catalog of songs. Steve Markland in Nashville has been hugely supportive of our family owned independent label Oh Boy Records. We are looking forward to working with him and whole Downtown team.”
“I’ve known John and his family for quite some time and am so excited for myself and Downtown to officially be apart of the team,” said Steve Markland, Downtown’s VP A&R, Nashville. “Working with John Prine and his vast catalog of timeless, immaculate compositions is truly a career milestone for me. I am simply honored and humbled to be apart of John’s great work.”