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Steve Goodman

Growing up in what he called "a Midwestern middle-class Jewish family," Steve Goodman began playing the guitar as a teenager. He was influenced by the folk revival of the early '60s and by country performers such as Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams. After attending college in the mid-'60s, he turned to playing in Chicago clubs by night and writing commercial jingles by day. In 1971, he opened for Kris Kristofferson and was seen by Paul Anka, who financed demo recordings that led to a contract with Buddah Records and the release of Steve Goodman, which featured his train song "The City of New Orleans," a Top 40 hit for Arlo Guthrie in 1972 and now a folk standard. Goodman made a second album for Buddah, Somebody Else's Troubles (1973), then broke with the label, which went on to issue an outtakes record, The Essential Steve Goodman (1975). Goodman moved to the singer/songwriter-oriented West Coast label Asylum for his first charting album Jessie's Jig & Other Favorites in 1975, the same year that outlaw country singer David Allen Coe made the Top Ten of the country charts with a cover of his "You Never Even Called Me by My Name" from the Steve Goodman album. Goodman's subsequent Asylum albums were Words We Can Dance To (April 1976) (featuring "Banana Republics," popularized by Jimmy Buffett), Say It in Private (October 1977), High and Outside (February 1979), and Hot Spot (1980). None became a major commercial success, but Goodman established himself on the national club and festival circuits, frequently appearing with mandolin player Jethro Burns, formerly of the country duo Homer & Jethro. Goodman turned record producer for his friend and fellow Chicagoan John Prine on Prine's 1978 album Bruised Orange. In 1983, Goodman followed Prine in establishing his own independent label, Red Pajamas, which released the live Artistic Hair and Affordable Art (1984). Goodman died of leukemia after battling the disease for many years. Red Pajamas released Santa Ana Winds (1984) posthumously, as well as a double-disc LP drawn from a concert in his memory, A Tribute to Steve Goodman, which featured John Prine, Bonnie Raitt, and others. After a second posthumous release, Unfinished Business, Red Pajamas licensed the Asylum material and put out two Best of the Asylum Years compilations. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

joyfull403
John Prine wrote this song don Simms
Best Steve Goodman song ever!!!
lbjdirect4
Cracking up right now hearing this! I'd forgotten!!! Been in CA too long :-/
Saw Steve Goodman in Milwaukee in Sept. 1971 where he opened for, then stole the show from, Kristofferso n . Then saw him with my wife 3 years later - two Milwaukee guys opened for him; while they were playing, our month-old son got hungry, so my wife took him to the hallway to nurse. As she told the story, a small, jolly guy with a big guitar strolled along strumming a tune, and said she looked too young to be a mom; promised to play one for the kid! Have loved & missed him for many years!
Wayne Brady's favorite song
I know he is singing for the Angels. But I can't help but wish he was here singing for us and the Cubs.
I saw Steve and John Prine together in Ft Collins CO many years ago what a treat.
I was fortunate enough to see Steve in concert several times, mostly in very small venues. Best live performer I've ever seen--terrif i c charisma and presence. Artistic Hair my favorite album/cd.
if you love steve goodman check out his dvd.....it is so full of energy.... . . i never saw him live....bu t the vibe from this dvd is unbelievab l e . . . . s u c h a gift to us all.....
trudigoodman
Let me explain.... my last name is Goodman. Some of my people were from the Ukraine too. Jewish too. : ) T
trudigoodman
I love his music. I wish I was related to him. His music is so heartfelt and so infectious. When I was a college dj, I used to play The Dutchman. By the way, it's about a man and his wife. I have several of his albums, mostly found in second hand record stores with my ex. My ex left, but I kept the records. Those and Phil Ochs and John Prine. To listen to John Prine sing with Steve Goodman is amazing. You just hear the love that they had for each other. Mr. Goodman was a mensch!!!!!!
wlkmja
The shooting star of his generation. Long live the memory of Cool Hand Leuk
Great singer songwriter and one hell of a guitar picker!!
Often this of his tribute to the Cub fan who was buried at Wrigley field! Loved this guy!!
Steve was my cousin. I never go to see him perform wish I could have. My Mom and him were first cousins and she taught me all about him. She said he sang me Go Cubs Go when I was little! hahahahahhaa
I had the opportunity to meet Steve a couple of times, interview him once and see him play live a bunch of times. One of the greatest live performers you will ever see. I miss him a lot. If I had one musical wish it would be to see Steve Goodman on stage one more time.
I feel absolutely blessed to have seen him perform at the Earl of Oldtown in Chicago about 35 years ago or so. Amazing....
I came across Steve due to The City of New Orleans, one of my favorite tunes. But then I started listening to his other stuff and was totally entranced. I can't even imagine being able to see him in person. I too fought a form of leukemia in 2007, and listening to his music helped get me through. Souvenirs is my all time favorite song. Most of the versions have Steve and John Prine singing together. Cool Hand Luek, Gone Way Too Soon!
sanbro1991
My favorite by Steve was Spoon River. I saw him and John Prine perform several times at the Philadelphia Folk Festival. Steve has always had a special place in my heart and was taken from us too soon. I miss him also. Bunny
Just want to mention that is was Michael Smith who wrote The Dutchman.
trudigoodman
I miss this guy to the max. Ah, just a wonderful songwriter and a very courageous cat to boot. T
johnhalgren
Coe may have recorded it, but Goodman delivered it better than anyone.
You Never Even Called Me By My Name, David Allen Coe made it a hit.
What is the title of the perfect country song I believe Steve Goodman sang? It had a dog, beer, a pickup truck, a broken heart, and possibly a train included in its lyrics.
dan6878: It's The Dutchman that you're thinking of. I get tears in my eyes whenever that one comes to mind. I shared the same feeling of discovery in Urbana and Chicago in the late 70s. Now, I SOAK all of my sons in Steve's music (my 9-year-old asks me to sing him Turnpike Tom at bedtime!). A wonderful mensch!
pittcairn
I discovered Steve in college in the 70's, and always enjoyed his work. By the Zyder-Zee (I think that's what it was called) is still one of my favorite tunes. He deserves more recognition.
Still a favorite for so many. Bless him!
The first time i heard Steve was on Austin City Limits. I knew his music before but someone else was always singing it. A brilliant funny man.
I had the privilege of shaking Steve's hand backstage at the Troubador in 197-somethin g . He was so drunk he could barely stand up but his show was as energetic and entertaining as any I'd ever seen. John Prine came onstage and joined him on "You Never Even Call Me By My Name". I miss the guy terribly.
I've been singing Steve's songs in my head since I heard him in University Coffee houses in Urbana. I find his Ukraine connection in my kids adopted from Ukraine. I only met Steve one time as we watched music at the Earl of Old Town. We miss him so.
(I meant Dave Bromberg - not Brubeck. Sorry)
The tribute concert is one on of my favorite albums. The artists are totally engaged. Dave Brubeck an Arlo are unreal.
Sandy: I've been trying to find a copy of his song "I'm Attracted to You" for years...do you know that one?
--anyone?
My friend Mark C. told me about Pandora.com last night, and I just tried it, and it is, to use my daughter's favorite word, totally awesome.
one of my all time favorites. no one wrote better songs
SO LOVE MUSIC....IF GOD & JESUS>.BUDDA . . M O H A M A D . . . a s close to sweet God Things...so inspirationa l . . . s o absolutely.. b e a u t i f u l . . t o m m y t. irann texas.
sctjnk
the man was great. Wahat a loss.
fethers5
I think they still are...
Imagine -If Steve, Jim Croce - Hoyt Axton were still kicking-
I saw him live in the 70's opening for Emmylou Harris. it was just him and his guitar w no band. I recorded it on a cassette player,& everybody who later heard the tape could NOT believe that it was just one guitarist on the recording. And his songs were so good, and some of them were so funny. May he rest in peace,he was a great great artist!
Man he was good. sounded so much like John Prine, it was scary
Truly a great loss in music and life. Emagine if Steve was still around today? I'd like to think that Bush would have only had one term and we wouldn't be in this mess today.
dgoldblatt
did he ever record the perfect country song?
skurtzman
I saw Goodman several times in the mid 70's in Chicago and Evanston. No one ever had more fun performing. His live DVD shouldn't be missed. I met him once outside the Earl of Old Town, a great person and performer.
eshapirohall
The Dutchman" is my favorite Goodman tune, (Go Cubs Go is a jingle ergo doesn't count despite its infectious tune) It describes a relationship between an elderly dutchman suffering from Alzheimer's and his daughter (some say she is his girlfriend) who loves him and protects him.
SURE LIKE STEVE GOODMAN,"WHE N MY ROWBOAT COMES IN" IS A NEAT SONG,HAD NOT HEARD OF HIM PRIOR TO THIS SONG.VERY SORRY TO LEARN HE PASSED AWAY SO YOUNG..REST IN PEACE STEVE..WE MISS YOU......THA N K S PANDORA
i met steve and his grandma at chicago fest on navy pier in chicago about 25 years ago. it was awesome and its something ill never forget.
This is music! How wonderful to find this artist...and how lucky we are that his songs are preserved through recordings.
I am amazed at how much Steve accomplished in his short life. Genius often seems to sense that life may be shortened in some way, and volumes of high quality work are produced in a relatively short time. Witness Buddy Holly, Eva Cassidy, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison,Edg a r Allan Poe ...
Another great singer/songw r i t e r gone too soon.
Thanks for the music, Steve.
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