John Prine featuring Kelsey Waldon
“Kentucky Means Paradise”


Earlier this summer, Kelsey Waldon, a songwriter and singer from Monkey’s Eyebrow, Kentucky, whom we’ve followed at The Bitter Southerner for several years now, got happy and rare news. The legendary songwriter John Prine wanted to sign her her to his own recording label, Oh Boy! Records.

Prine founded Oh Boy! in 1981, fed up by the machinations of the commercial music business and determined to go his own way. Oh Boy! has rarely signed other artists, and Waldon is its first signing in 15 years. Shortly after the deal was done, Waldon and Prine went into Nashville’s Studio G to celebrate, and they recorded two songs together: a remake of a Prine classic, “Paradise,” and this song, “Kentucky Means Paradise.” The latter was written by the legendary guitarist Merle Travis, who grew up in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, the setting of Prine’s “Paradise.”

Waldon’s first album on Oh Boy!, White Noise/White Lines, will come out October 4. Those who pre-order that album directly from the label will get a bonus — a good old-fashioned vinyl 45 of her duets with Prine on “Paradise” and “Kentucky Means Paradise.”

The Bitter Southerner is proud as can be that Oh Boy! chose our publication as the place to debut this video.