Billy Prine is the younger brother of the late legend John Prine. Billy led his first bar band in Chicago at the tender age of twelve. Growing up in such a rich musical city allowed Billy to develop his unique style of American roots music and absorb a myriad of influences firsthand by seeing Buck Owens and the Buckaroos, The Rolling Stones and Chicago’s innumerable blues legends such as Howlin’ Wolf, Paul Butterfield, Muddy Waters, Michael Bloomfield, and many more.
As any true child of the late 60’s and early 70’s, Billy headed west to California for several years before heading back east again with his thumb out in the wind catching rides back to Chicago. This unto itself is another education, which took him through the heartland and even as far south as New Orleans.
But the call of family was strong and Billy served as his brother John Prine’s tour manager in the late 70s, which included hanging at Sam Phillips recording studio in Memphis, Tennessee in 1979 while John was recording his Pink Cadillac album with Knox and Jerry Phillips producing. Jerry and Knox’s father – the iconic Sam Phillips – stepped in to produce two tracks for the first time in years at the recording console.
In the 1980s became one of the original bartenders at the world-famous Bluebird Café in Nashville, Tennessee when it opened in 1982. He was a deejay at the famous Nashville nightspot Chevy’s where he would stroll in for his shift in white tails and a white top hat spinning all the hip records. And while residing in Nashville, Billy would head back to Chicago to blow the doors off the joints there with his band Billy and the Bangers.