Tony Tone
Tony Tone
Tony Tone has worked as a radio personality in Muscatine and the Quad Cities since 2006. He currently serves as Muscatine Community School District Communication and Community Outreach Director and writes Talk of the Town with Tony Tone for the Discover Muscatine newspaper.

Muscatine Living

John Prine is the greatest songwriter of all-time. You’d be hard pressed to find a better debut record than his 1972 self-titled release. It is one of those rare albums that you can start and listen to in its entirety without skipping a track. John Prine was born in Maywood, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, and worked as a mailman before breaking into the music business. What is it with former postal carriers making drastic career changes?

Locally, I think of my friend Mark Mitchell, who left his post office job to start Contrary Brewing Company here in Muscatine. Can Mark carry a tune? I’m not sure–I’ll have to ask him and get back with you. I am still, after all, trying to convince Mark to name a brew in my honor. Perhaps naming one after John Prine makes more sense!

Speaking of him, let’s get back to John Prine. The lyrics to his songs paint vivid pictures. As I’m writing this column, on my iPhone his aforementioned “1972” plays in the background. “Hello in There” is track #3 and tells the stories of couples and the aging process. This song gets me every single time. It has to be because I felt like I blinked my eyes and I went from 16 to 36-years-old.

Prine closes that song with a verse that I’ve quoted in this very space before, “So if you’re walking down the street sometime, And spot some hollow ancient eyes, Please don’t just pass ’em by and stare, As if you didn’t care, say, ‘Hello in there, hello.”’ I hear those lyrics in my head most days. I come across so many people in my line of work and I am compelled to say, “hello in there,” because I feel we as a society don’t communicate enough.

Certainly, John Prine has a vast catalog of music, and you should dive headfirst into all of it, including his 2018 release, “The Tree of Forgiveness.” I was fortunate enough to see John a few years back at the Adler Theatre and the show was beautiful. Mr. Prine is 73, has survived throat cancer (amongst other things), and is still making the world a better place one guitar pluck at a time.

I love music and respect people that can make it. Music has been my friend all my life and will continue to be. I’ve told you before about the first time I listened to the band Cream sitting inside the Maize Library in my hometown of Oak Park, Illinois. I had a similar experience listening to John Prine. I recall thinking how can these “stories” work so well as songs?

Prine covers so many topics on the release from “1972,” ranging from Vietnam War veterans “Sam Stone,” to a woman stuck in a toxic relationship struggling to leave “Angel from Montgomery.” This is why I’m a firm believer and supporter of the arts and music in our schools. You never know when the next John Prine may pick up the guitar. Happy listening and many thanks to John!

Latest News

AFS-USA seeks more international student host families

MUSCATINE, Iowa--For high school students, studying abroad can provide a first experience of international travel or a chance to...

More Articles Like This

Muscatine Today

MTS- Brandon is here to talk about Fat Cat

Today on the show Scott Schultz from Impact Fitness and Nutrition is here to talk about more healthy fitness tips. Then if you are looking to get your car cleaned up from the winter listen to today's show to learn about a business in town that can help you with that and more..... Thank you to our show sponsors: Harpers Cycling and Fitness, Beckey Insurance, Muscatine Power and Water, RIVO Plumbing and Heating, ImpactLife Blood Center, Lutheran Living, Toyota of Muscatine, Impact Fitness and Nutrition, Sun Tan City Muscatine, Real Estate Resource Associates, UnityPoint Health Trinity Muscatine and Hy-Vee Muscatine #muscatinetodayshow #goodmorningmuscatine #KindnessIsFree

DMSN Broadcasts

Manta Rays Swim

Join us as the Muskie Boys Basketball team hosts the North Scott Lancers! Watch Your Way: Discover Muscatine Facebook Discover Muscatine YouTube DiscoverMuskie Twitter Muscatine Power and Water Cable Channel 3 Brought to you by Muscatine Power and Water, Muscatine Lawn and Power, Hy-Vee, Bayer of Muscatine, First National Bank of Muscatine, Affordable Metal Manufacturing, Eastern Iowa Power Washers, Arty’s Ice Cream and Grill, Rivo Plumbing and Heating, Riots and Rebelle’s Salon, Bickford Senior Living, Let’s Eat, Muscatine Community Y and the Youth Sports Foundation. #DMSN #MuskieSports #Muscatine #MuskieSchools #basketball #prephoops #prepbasketball

Talk of the Town

No sugar tonight

Shout-out to the legendary band, The Guess Who, and their song "No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature" for the inspiration for the title of this...

Muscatine Area News

AFS-USA seeks more international student host families

MUSCATINE, Iowa--For high school students, studying abroad can provide a first experience of international travel or a chance to experience another culture up close...