Image result for city of new orleans steve goodman images

Deep Cuts from 1971: “City Of New Orleans”- Steve Goodman. The version of “City Of New Orleans” that was the hit single was the cover by Arlo Guthrie which went to #18 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972. I wasn’t big into music at the time but I can still remember hearing it one night on my transistor radio and loving it. While Arlo Guthrie’s cover is certainly a memorable one- the song was written and first performed by a folk singer-songwriter Steve Goodman. Goodman got the idea for the song while traveling on the Illinois line to visit a friend of his wife’s family. The City of New Orleans is of course a train. Over the years it has been covered by a number of other artists too -most notably Willie Nelson.

Steve Goodman would die way too young- in 1984 of leukemia at the age of 36. Goodman wrote and performed one of my favorite baseball songs- “A Dying Cub Fans Last Request.” Goodman a Chicago native and Cubs fan- had some of his ashes scattered at Wrigley Field.


  1. I just went to your 2012 post and followed the link to the song. Just as good as City of… but with acute poignancy as I see he released it in 2001 and died in 2004. It was his dying wish 😦

  2. Love that song!

    As I recall, there’s a great story Arlo Guthrie told how he first heard the song. Apparently, one night after a Guthrie gig in some bar, which Goodman had attended, Goodman walked up to Guthrie, asking him whether he could play a song he had written. Guthrie went, “if you buy me a beer, I will sit and listen to you as long as the beer lasts.” He added, “it was definitely one of the better beers I’ve had in my life!”

    I actually think this little anecdote is captured on an Arlo Guthrie live album.

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