Steve Goodman

Steve Goodman 4/30/83, originally uploaded by dgans.

From now until September 19 I am conducting an online interview with Clay Eals, the author of Steve Goodman: Facing the Music, a thorough, warm, and engrossing biography of a great American musician.

Goodman was well-known and much beloved in the music world I was coming up in in the early ’70s, and I saw him perform many times. He wrote some very funny songs, including “Elvis Imitators” (which appears on my CD Solo Acoustic), “The Lincoln Park Pirates” (about a renegade towing company in Goodman’s native Chicago), “Door Number Three” (made famous by its co-author, Jimmy Buffett), and countless others. Goodman also wrote some of the sweetest, most sentimental songs you could imagine (“Would You Like to Learn to Dance?”, “Old Fashioned,” and “My Old Man”) – and of course he is most famous for composing “City of New Orleans,” most famously covered by Arlo Guthrie but recorded by many others as well. And of course, he is the composer of “A Dying Cub Fan’s Last Request” and the ultimate country-music sendup, “You Never Even Call Me By My Name.”

Goodman died of leukemia in September 1984, having survived for 15 years after he was first diagnosed. He was a tiny dynamo onstage, often levitating with the excitement of what he was playing on the guitar. His songwriting and performing styles were a great inspiration to me, and I have several of his songs in my repertoire to this day. (I’m planning to sing “Chicken Cordon Blues” on West Coast Live next Saturday Morning, September 15.)

Come check out the interview with author Clay Eals. Steve Goodman’s story is a colorful and inspiring one, and Clay has done a brilliant job of telling it.

3 Responses to “Steve Goodman”

  1. […] Goodman was a huge influence on me when I was a pup, and I’m steeped in his music again as I interview the author of his biography online at […]

  2. […] including the time he had Zal Yanovsky as his guitar player (which I never knew about), the night Steve Goodman brought Kristofferson and Paul Anka (!) to hear John Prine, […]

  3. […] an earlier post on this blog: Goodman was well-known and much beloved in the music world I was coming up in in the […]

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