Steve Goodman was a student at Lake Forest College when he started playing for a living. It was 1969, he had just married Nancy Pruter and was writing commercial jingles to pay the bills when he was diagnosed with leukemia.
In 1971 the artists of the Earl issued a locally produced album entitled "Gathering at the Earl of Old Town" on which Goodman first appeared on record. Later in 1971, Goodman was playing at another little Chicago club called the Quiet Knight as the opening act for Kris Kristofferson. Kristofferson was impressed enough with Goodman that he intoduced him to Paul Anka who recorded a few demo tapes and signed him to Buddah Records. Once again opening at the Quiet Knight, this time for Arlo Guthrie, Goodman asked Guthrie for his opinon of a song he had recently written. Arlo Guthrie liked "The City of New Orleans" enough to ask Goodman for permission to record it. The song became a hit in 1972 and provided Goodman with enough money to make music his career.
Steve Goodman was always active at the Old Town School of Folk Music and it was there that he met and mentored another folksinger by the name of John Prine. The two would remain good friends and collaborators. Goodman and Prine had written a spoof on the typical country song entitled "You Never Even Call Me By My Name", which was recorded by David Allen Coe in 1974 and hit the country charts. Goodman wrote many songs about his hometown of Chicago, including two songs for the long-suffering Chicago Cubs; "A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request" and "Go, Cubs, Go". Steve Goodman also saved a piece of stringband history when he convinced Martin, Bogan & Armstrong to join him on one of his albums and then to renew their own careers and begin recording again.
A songwriters songwriter, Goodman never found commercial success with his own recordings, although all recieved critical acclaim. He was a tremendous influence on other singer-songwriters.
Leukemia took Steve Goodman at the age of 36 on September 20, 1984. Goodman's ashes are buried under home plate at Chicago's Wrigley Field.
These cuts are from Steve Goodman's 1972 LP "Somebody Else's Troubles".
All of Steve Goodman's recordings are still available thanks to John Prine's Oh Boy Records. Buy them at www.stevegoodman.net.