John Prine’s Oh Boy Records Celebrates 40th Anniversary With New Documentary

Watch the trailer for the film, which traces the label's history

John Prine in 1975
John Prine hangs out on campus before being interviewed live on WRAS-FM at Georgia State College in 1975.

This year marks four decades since John Prine and his longtime manager Al Bunetta launched their independent record label, Oh Boy Records, in 1981. To celebrate the occasion, the label is releasing a documentary about its origins and history, which will debut as several mini-films on its YouTube channel.

Of course, Prine himself is no longer with us to celebrate the label’s anniversary, having tragically died of COVID-19 last April, but he appears in the doc via archival footage. In one scene in the trailer, he explains the genesis of the Oh Boy name: “When things are going really good, I can just go, ‘Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, what a year we had!’ And when things ain’t so good, you go, ‘Oh boy …,’” he says.

In addition to Prine, the film features interviews with his wife and Oh Boy Records president Fiona Whelan Prine, Todd Snider, Bunetta, and other Oh Boy staff.

The label also plans to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Prine’s self-titled 1971 debut album with a new reissue of that record. As Rolling Stone reports, there are also plans for a “Prine 7-inch box set, a vinyl release of 2005’s Fair & Square LP, and curated playlists and pop-up events in the label’s home base of Nashville.”

You can check out a trailer for the documentary below.

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