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As John Prine’s Indie Label Turns 40, A Big Old Goofy Documentary Tells the Story

Dec 16, 2021


A cinematic saga of a roots music icon has come to a close. The three-part documentary series titled Big Old Goofy World: The Story of Oh Boy Records celebrates not only the music of John Prine, but also his deeply-imprinted legacy as a writer and label executive. A beautifully done commemoration of Prine’s work on Oh Boy, Big Old Goofy World presents the history of Nashville’s oldest artist-owned independent record label (and the second-oldest in the country). After a decade of major-label releases, Prine started the business in 1981 with his manager, Al Bunetta. Over three installments and 40 years of memories, viewers can watch the ascent of a scrappy company into a highly-regarded label.

Oh Boy Records partnered with directors Joshua Britt and Neilson Hubbard to bring this story to life and to showcase the deep ties that Prine and his label made to the independent artist community in Nashville. Along with the documentary series, Oh Boy released a tribute album this fall that features many of Americana’s biggest names and biggest Prine fans. From Tyler Childers and Brandi Carlile to Jason Isbell and Margo Price, all-star features abound on Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine, Vol. 2. And although this three-part documentary series coincides with the label’s 40th anniversary, there is surely more music to come, as the Oh Boy roster now includes longtime favorite Dan Reeder and rising stars such as Tré Burt, Kelsey Waldon, Arlo McKinley and Emily Scott Robinson.

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As John Prine's Indie Label Turns 40, A Big Old Goofy Documentary Tells the Story