Oh Boy Records, the country’s second oldest artist-owned independent label and the oldest in Nashville—celebrates its 40th anniversary this year with a series of special releases and events. Founded in 1981 by legendary singer, songwriter and musician, John Prine, along with his longtime manager, Al Bunetta, Oh Boy has gone on to release more than fifty audio and video recordings and continues today as a vital part of Nashville’s independent music community with the recent signings of emerging artists Tré Burt, Arlo McKinley and Kelsey Waldon.
Of his initial inspiration to start the label, Prine has shared, “Every time I’d go to a little concert hall or a club, I was filling it up. So I thought, ‘Why not make music just for those people.’ And that’s when I talked to Al about starting Oh Boy. I’m really proud of it. As time’s gone by and people starting independent record companies has kind of become the thing, it’s great that we’ve stayed afloat for this many years.”
Prine’s widow and President of Oh Boy, Fiona Whelan Prine shares, “As long as there are people who want to listen to good music, who will value the singer-songwriter than we will keep on going.”
To commemorate the milestone, Oh Boy will share a new documentary series chronicling the label’s rich history and legacy via their YouTube page. Watch the official trailer above.
This year also marks the 50th anniversary of Prine’s landmark self-titled debut album. Featuring iconic songs such as “Hello In There,” “Paradise,” “Sam Stone” and “Angel From Montgomery,” John Prine was inducted into the Recording Academy’s “Grammy Hall of Fame” in 2014 and was recently named #149 on Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” list. In celebration of the occasion, Oh Boy will release a special anniversary edition of the album later this year with much more to be announced.
Additionally, throughout the year, Oh Boy will roll out several new releases from their catalogue—including new music from Tré Burt, a special edition John Prine 7-inch box set, Fair & Square on vinyl and new material from Dan Reeder—as well as exclusive new merchandise, special curated playlists, outdoor pop-up events and more. Moreover, each week this year, the label will celebrate a different album or artist from their extensive catalogue. The series kicks off this Wednesday, February 24 highlighting The Bis-Quits.