The lovable “Funky” Donnie Fritts is dead. I learned today he passed away Tuesday at the age of 76. I interviewed Donnie in late ’97 or early ’98 in promotion of the release of his album “Everybody’s Got a Song.” Five minutes of conversation and he felt like an old friend. I asked him how much of John Prine’s story about how “The Oldest Baby in the World” came to be was true and he said “all of it” and then he laughed. I asked him what his favorite Prine song was and he said without hesitation, “Beautiful World.” As many times as I’ve heard John perform over the past 40 years, I never heard him perform “Beautiful World.” The only way I new about the song was because it was on a 13-song sampler called “Lucky 13” that was released in 1998. John only had 3 songs on the CD, and “Beautiful World” was on it. Fritts made the music world a more beautiful place. He will be missed.