I missed Steve Goodman. I miss Steve Goodman. I never hung out at The Earl of Old Town. I never heard him sing “City of New Orleans” or “The Dying Cubs Fan Last Request” but I know people who knew him and describe him as a wonderful person and a national treasure. Steve died tragically in 1984 of Leukemia at the age of 36 just as his career was about to take off and his beloved cubs were going to play their first playoff game in decades. His ashes were buried under home plate at Wrigley Field. You can read an extensive bio here and learn how he mentored John Prine, gave Arlo Guthrie his biggest hit and how he so loved the cubs and Chicago.
Few songwriters have added to the mucial cannon as Steve Goodman has. He has written 2 or 3 of the best songs ever. “City of New Orleans” has been called “the best train song ever”, he penned the best country song in “You Never Even Call Me By My Name” and perhaps the best basballe song ever in “The Dying Cubs Fan Last Request”. Red Pajamas (dist. by Prine’s Oh Boy) is a label that is pretty much devoted to the music of Steve Goodman and the songs below are from their new live release Steve Goodman: Live At The Earl Of Old Town. Buy it here.
The best You Tube Video I could find related to Steve Goodman is this one of Arlo Gutherie singing “City of New Orleans” (kinda strange though hearing it on piano)