With apologies to Groucho Marx, John Prine will be happy to be a member of any club that might have him -- especially if it's the Songwriters or Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The veteran composer of "Angel From Montgomery" and so many others has been nominated for induction into both shrines, with voting currently going on -- all on the heels of the April release of The Tree of Forgiveness, Prine's first new album in 13 years. "It's been quite a year," Prine tells Billboard. "The (halls of fame), those things are pretty darned neat just to get nominated for. I know there's lots of people who have been waiting years to just get in. Truly, the nominations are good enough. I haven't been nominated before for these particular organizations. I don't know if I'll get in the first year or not."
The Songwriters Hall of Fame, of course, holds special meaning for Prine, who began writing songs as a teenager. "It's kind of my getaway from the world," he explains. "I found it easier to make up songs than to learn other people's songs." In addition to his own recordings over the years Prine has had his songs recorded by Bonnie Raitt, David Allan Coe, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Johnny Cash and scores of others. "The Songwriters Hall of fame, that's the one all the big-time writers get into, the really great stuff, the Broadway stuff and all that," Prine says. "That would be something, to get your name in there."