Dan Einstein, who was instrumental in the launch of John Prine‘s Oh Boy Records and Steve Goodman’s Red Pajamas Records, died Jan. 15.
Einstein was a member of Leadership Music’s Class of 1996. According to Leadership Music, Connecticut native Einstein attended UCLA and soon began booking artists at various venues. He later began work at Al Bunetta Management. In 1981, Einstein and Bunetta together launched Red Pajamas Records with Steve Goodman, and in 1982, they launched Oh Boy Records with Prine. Following Goodman’s death in 1984, Einstein was one of the producers of A Tribute to Steve Goodman, which featured Prine, Arlo Guthrie, John Hartford and others. The album brought Einstein and fellow producers Hank Neuberger and Al Bunetta the first Grammy for best contemporary folk recording in 1987.
In the 1990s, Al Bunetta Management had relocated to Nashville and Oh Boy Records became an essential part of the rising roots/Americana community, releasing music from artists including Prine, Kris Kristofferson, Janis Ian, Shawn Camp, Todd Snider and many others. Most recently, the label has issued music from artists including Kelsey Waldon, Emily Scott Robinson, Tré Burt, Arlo McKinley and more.
On Twitter, Prine’s widow, Fiona Whelan Prine, paid tribute to Einstein, saying, “Dan was truly one of the loveliest and smartest men I ever met. He was gentle, kind, funny, honest, and he loved Ellen to the moon and back. We will miss you Dan. So grateful to have been graced by your generosity.”
After his years of work in the music industry, Einstein teamed with his wife Ellen to start Nashville’s Sweet 16th Bakery in 2004. The bakery’s breakfast sandwich was named one of the top breakfast sandwiches in America by Food & Wine.