51.8 F
Saturday, February 22, 2020

The Singing Mailman

Hy-Vee Deals

Muscatine Living

Learn more about ractopamine and swine

By Chris Rademacher—Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Learn about raising swine...

Swine building maintenance the topic of statewide workshops

By Kapil Arora—Iowa State University Extension and Outreach This March, Iowa State University...

Come Together this Lent

Have you ever driven by a church on a Sunday morning and thought, “Hmm, I wonder if...
Tony Tone
Tony Tone
Tony Tone has worked as a radio personality in Muscatine and the Quad Cities since 2006. He currently stars in the Hy-Vee Today show, serves as the store's Marketing and Merchandising Director, and writes Talk of the Town with Tony Tone for the Discover Muscatine newspaper.

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

Grandview Avenue Corridor Project pushed back to 2021

MUSCATINE, Iowa – The Grandview Avenue Corridor Project will be pushed to the 2021 construction season after the Iowa Department of Transportation inform

2020 Muscatine High School Athletic Hall of Fame inductees

Track and field athlete Danielle Jenkins nee Frere and family. Basketball player Emily Wiescamp nee Clemons and family. Football player...

League of Women Voters commemorates 19th Amendment

MUSCATINE, Iowa—Since its inception on Feb. 14, 1920, the League of Women Voters has had close ties to both passing the 19th...

MP&W seeks input on water tower design elements

MUSCATINE, Iowa--In fall of 2019, the Muscatine community and friends of Muscatine worldwide played a major role in earning Muscatine Power and...

2019 Red Kettle Campaign surpasses goal

MUSCATINE, Iowa—In 2019, the Salvation Army of Muscatine County set a goal of $180,000 for their Red Kettle Campaign, enough to cover...

More Articles Like This