So back in 1971 I found the music of John Prine. The liner notes on his début album were written by Kris Kristofferson whose music I knew and whose opinion I respected, I had also read great things about the album, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the album. That album started a 42 year and still continuing love affair with John’s music. A year later, I read the following on the back on another début album:
I been listening to the radio since I was three years old. I figured by now I could see songs better than most people listen to them. The first time I heard Steve Goodman on the radio, I knew I was listening to a tall skinny cat with a little beard singing the best damn train song I ever heard.
Two months later in the backroom at The Earl of Oldtown, I met a short stout fellow with no beard who wrote and sang the best train song I ever heard. His name was Steve Goodman. The Lord works in Mysterious Ways – John Prine, 1971
The album was produced by Kris Kristofferson and Norbert Putnam and the musicians who played on the album included some of my favorites like: David Briggs, Charlie McCoy, Ben Keith, Kenny Buttrey, and Vassar Clements. So with all that fire power, I took a chance and again a 40 plus year love affair with a musician, this one Steve Goodman started. Steve left the party way too soon in 1984, when he lost his battle with leukemia, but his musical legacy is still with us! Steve is one of those musician who can: make us move with his version of “Mama Don’t Allow”; make us laugh with songs like “Vegamatic”, “Talk Backwards” or how about “I’m My Own Grandpa”; or touch our hearts with songs like his cover of Michael Smith’s “The Dutchman”, “The Ballad of Penny Evans”, “My Old Man” or this one “Would You Like to Learn to Dance”. So today we celebrate the day Steve Goodman was born in Chicago in 1948 and wish that he were here to celebrate with us, but we still have his music…..
On his website you will see a hand written note that sums it up…..
I still sing his songs
sometimes just to myself
We miss you Steve
– Johnny Cash
I know I do, how about you?