Oh Boy Records

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Oh Boy Records
Oh Boy Logo.jpg
Founded1981 (1981)
FounderJohn Prine, Al Bunetta, Dan Einstein
Distributor(s)Alternative Distribution Alliance (US), Fusion III (Canada), Proper Music Group (UK), I.R.D. (Italy), Shock Records (Europe), Elite Imports (NZ)
GenreAmerican folk, Americana, country
Country of originU.S.
LocationNashville, Tennessee
Official websitewww.ohboy.com

Oh Boy Records is an independent American record label founded in 1981 by singer John Prine, his manager Al Bunetta, and their friend Dan Einstein. The label has released more than 40 audio and video recordings by singer-songwriters Prine, Kris Kristofferson, Daniel "Slick" Ballinger, Shawn Camp, Dan Reeder, and Todd Snider, along with a dozen reissues of classic country music artists. Oh Boy Records also manages two subsidiary labels, Steve Goodman's Red Pajamas Records and specialty label Blue Plate Music. Oh Boy is based in Nashville, Tennessee.


Al Bunetta was a talent manager with Paul Anka's management company CMA, working with artists such as Bette Midler, Al Green, and The Manhattan Transfer. When Anka signed John Prine and Steve Goodman to management contracts in 1971, Bunetta became the manager for both of them.[1] In 1980, Prine finished his recording contract with Asylum and moved to Nashville. Rather than sign with another major label, he decided to start one of his own, and was joined by Bunetta and associate Dan Einstein.[2] The new Oh Boy label's first release was a red vinyl Christmas single with Prine singing "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" on the A-side and "Silver Bells" on the B-side.[3] The first full-length release was Prine's Aimless Love in 1984. Around 1989, Sony offered to buy Oh Boy Records, but Prine decided to keep the label independent and turned down the offer.[4]

Recent projects[edit]

In 2000, the label began reissuing a series of classic country music artists titled Oh Boy Classics Presents... These are remastered versions of the original recordings. The first three artists in this series were Roger Miller, Willie Nelson, and Merle Haggard. In 2007, Oh Boy released Standard Songs for Average People, an album of classic country duets by Prine and bluegrass singer Mac Wiseman. In February 2010, singer-songwriter Dan Reeder released his album This New Century, using instruments he made himself.[5]

The release of a new Prine live album in 2010, In Person & On Stage, was followed by Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows, a tribute album of Prine songs performed by artists such as Sara Watkins and Old Crow Medicine Show.[6] Both of these 2010 releases debuted at number one on the Billboard Folk Album charts.

In April 2018, John Prine released Tree of Forgiveness produced by Dave Cobb. This was Prine's first album of original works in 13 years. Guest artists on the album include Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires, and Dan Auerbach.[7]

In 2019, the label signed singer-songwriter Kelsey Waldon. The female outlaw country singer is Oh Boy's first artist signing in 15 years.[8]

In December 2019, Oh Boy Records signed Sacramento, California-based indie folk-singer Tré Burt. Burt was introduced to the label by Jody Whelan, who had discovered the folk singer's album Caught It from the Rye.[9]

In June 2020, Oh Boy Records signed Ohio-based country singer Arlo McKinley, marking him as the last signee by John Prine.[10]


Year Artist Title Number Comments
1981 John Prine Red Vinyl Christmas 45 OBR-001 "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"/"Silver Bells"
1984 John Prine Aimless Love OBR-002
1986 John Prine German Afternoons OBR-003
1987 John Prine Green Vinyl 45 OBR-004 "Let's Talk Dirty in Hawaiian"/"Kokomo"
1988 John Prine John Prine Live OBR-005
1989 John Prine Bruised Orange OBR-006 Originally released in 1978 as Asylum 139
1990? John Prine Pink Cadillac OBR-007 Originally released in 1979 as Asylum 222
1990? John Prine Storm Windows OBR-008 Originally released in 1980 as Asylum 286
1991 John Prine The Missing Years OBR-009
1993 John Prine A John Prine Christmas OBR-011
The Bis-Quits The Bis-Quits OBR-012
John Prine Great Days: The John Prine Anthology OBR-ANT Originally released as Rhino R2 71400
1995 John Prine Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings OBR-013
Heather Eatman Mascara Falls OBR-014
1997 John Prine Live on Tour OBR-015
RB Morris Take That Ride OBR-016
Donnie Fritts Everybody's Got a Song OBR-017
1998 Various Artists Lucky 13 OBR-018
1999 John Prine In Spite of Ourselves OBR-019
2000 Todd Snider Happy To Be Here OBR-020
John Prine Souvenirs OBR-021 Number may be OBR-010, sources disagree
Roger Miller Oh Boy Records Classics Presents Roger Miller OBR-400
Willie Nelson Oh Boy Records Classics Presents Willie Nelson OBR-401
Merle Haggard Oh Boy Classics Presents Merle Haggard OBR-402
2001 Joe Tex Oh Boy Classics Presents Joe Tex OBR-403
Conway Twitty Oh Boy Classics Presents Conway Twitty OBR-404
Bill Anderson Oh Boy Classics Presents Bill Anderson OBR-405
The Kendalls Oh Boy Classics Presents The Kendalls OBR-406
Merle Haggard Oh Boy Classics Presents Merle Haggard...Again OBR-407
John Prine Sessions at West 54th OBR-500DVD DVD
2002 Riders in the Sky A Pair of Kings OBR-022
Todd Snider New Connection OBR-023
Don Gibson Oh Boy Classics Presents Don Gibson OBR-408
Roy Acuff Oh Boy Classics Presents Roy Acuff OBR-409
Rusty & Doug Kershaw Oh Boy Classics Presents Rusty & Doug Kershaw OBR-410
Lorrie Morgan Oh Boy Classics Presents Lorrie Morgan OBR-411
Don Everly Oh Boy Classics Presents Don Everly OBR-412
2003 Todd Snider Near Truths and Hotel Rooms OBR-024
Kris Kristofferson Broken Freedom Song: Live from San Francisco OBR-025
Janis Ian Live: Working Without a Net OBR-026 Double CD
2004 Dan Reeder Dan Reeder OBR-027
Kris Kristofferson Repossessed/Third World Warrior OBR-028 Double reissue of 1986/1990 Mercury albums
Janis Ian Billie's Bones OBR-029 Also released as Rude Girl Records RGR0019
Slick Ballinger Mississippi Soul OBR-030 EP
Todd Snider East Nashville Skyline OBR-031
Shawn Camp Live at the Station Inn OBR-032
Kris Kristofferson Breakthrough OBR-501 DVD
2005 John Prine Fair & Square OBR-034
John Prine Fair & Square OBR-034-1 Vinyl with 4 Bonus Tracks
John Prine Fair & Square OBR-034-EP EP on CD with 4 Bonus Tracks
2006 Slick Ballinger Mississippi Soul OBR-035 Full Length
Dan Reeder Sweetheart OBR-036
2007 Todd Snider Peace, Love and Anarchy OBR-037 Rarities, B-Sides and Demos, Vol.1
John Prine with Mac Wiseman Standard Songs for Average People OBR-038
2010 John Prine In Person & On Stage OBR-039 Live. Includes duets with Iris DeMent, Sara Watkins, Emmylou Harris, Josh Ritter, Kane Welch Kaplin
Dan Reeder This New Century OBR-041
Various Artists Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine OBR-042 Tribute CD. Also vinyl as OBR-042-1
2011 John Prine The Singing Mailman Delivers OBR-040 Double CD, live + studio, recorded in 1970
2015 John Prine September '78 OBR-043 Live at Park West in Chicago. Limited edition with 2000 units produced for Record Store day, re-released in 2017
2016 John Prine For Better, or Worse OBR-044 Also vinyl as OBR-044-1
2018 John Prine The Tree of Forgiveness 13327 Also vinyl as 35143
2019 Kelsey Waldon White Noise/White Lines OBR-050 Also vinyl as OBR-050LP
2020 Tré Burt Caught It from the Rye OBR-052 Also vinyl as OBR-052LP
2020 Arlo McKinley Die Midwestern OBR-055 Also vinyl as OBR-055LP
2021 Emily Scott Robinson American Siren

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bunetta, Al (2006-08-02). "Episode #9". Music Business Radio (Interview). Interviewed by David Hooper. Nashville, Tennessee: WRLP. Retrieved 2008-11-30.
  2. ^ "Question & Answer with John Prine". Oh Boy Records. Retrieved 2008-12-15.
  3. ^ Bunetta, Al; Einstein, Dan. "A John Prine Christmas Liner Notes". Oh Boy Records. Retrieved 2008-11-30.
  4. ^ Baker, Brian (June 2005). "John Prine does it "Fair & Square"". Country Standard Time. Archived from the original on 2006-09-10. Retrieved 2009-01-11.
  5. ^ Andrew Dansby (25 February 2010). "CD reviews: Dan Reeder, Los Campesinos, Midlake". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
  6. ^ "Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine". Oh Boy Records. Retrieved August 8, 2010.
  7. ^ Keith Caulfield. "Jason Aldean Scores Fourth No. 1 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart With 'Rearview Town". Billboard. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
  8. ^ Annie Reuter. "John Prine Signs Kelsey Waldon to Oh Boy Records". Billboard. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
  9. ^ Cooper, Daniel (2019-12-03). "John Prine's Oh Boy Records signs Tré Burt". The Grateful Web. Retrieved 2020-07-23.
  10. ^ Sacher, Andrew (2020-07-22). "Arlo McKinley releasing 'Die Midwestern' on John Prine's label (watch video for new song)". Brooklyn Vegan. Retrieved 2020-07-23.

External links[edit]