In 2005 Peter Jennnigs the anchor of ABC news died. Turned out he started smoking again as the pressure of covering 9/11 hit him and he died of lung cancer. Not a huge drip in the country's bucket but it really hit me and still resonates a bit. I don't really know why of all the people why his death would matter so much to me. I didn't have any personal connection other than I watched him on the news nearly every night and that he was kind of a bulwark to me, a follow on of Cronkite who was a follow on of Edward Murrow in a kind of begat domino effect. But I was rattled but Jennings' death for months.
This is how I feel about John Prine but maybe more so. In 1973 I heard The Devine Miss M for the first time. In retrospect I think it was in a dorm room of a guy who came out of the closet 10 years later but I may be remembering that wrong. Regardless I was rocked by Bette. And she sang 'Hello in there' better than anyone and I discovered John Prine and have listened to him now for 47 years along with Bette and Bonnie Rait and all the others who added their voices (and who, no doubt will continue to add their voices) to the Prine chorus including Stephen Colbert.
John's off down the track walking with his guitar whistling and fishing.