Synopses & Reviews
?Steve Goodman wrote Good mornin America, how are ya” into the nations consciousness, becoming one of the most respected singer/songwriters of the 1970s and early 80s. With warmth and wit, he charmed better-known peers, top critics, and countless fans. Yet this 5-foot-2 troubadour nearly lost his chance at adult life. Diagnosed with leukemia at age 20, Goodman kept it a secret for 16 years as he sang for a generation that assumed it would live forever. This biography scrutinizes a theme that Goodman knew all too well: when death is imminent, we grasp that life is about connecting with others. Goodmans childhood, the untold full story of City of New Orleans,” his launching by the unlikely duo of Kris Kristofferson and Paul Anka, his teaming with wild and crazy” Steve Martin for more than 200 shows, his landmark recordings and two Grammy awards all get extensive attention in this biography. The book delves into his personal and professional life, drawing on over 850 original interviews with Goodmans family, childhood and adult friends, and a diversity of celebrities. From the cradle to the crypt, its a mighty short trip,” Goodman wrote in a song shortly before his 1984 death. This biography verifies that the universality of his work hilarious, political, romantic, or all three rolled into one resonates deeply in todays musical firmament.
"The definitive biography of the beloved Chicago singer-songwriter." Chicago Sun-Times
"An exhaustive bio." Washington Post
"Bursting with photographs, personal remembrances, and straightforward reportage, [this]is a hefty book that, when you hold it in your hands, looks and feels like an atlas of a human life." Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"Goodman fansthere are many in Canada, where he often performedwill enjoy the tales here." Globe and Mail
Intimate and touching, this biography captures the warmth and wit of Steve Goodman, one of the most respected songwriters of the 1970s and early 1980s. Diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 20, this portrait tells how Goodman strove to be a model husband and father while juggling experimental medical treatments with a career he found irresistible. Often strained for commercial success, Goodman found solace in performances for audiences from the tens to the tens of thousands. Drawing from more than 850 interviews—including those with family members, Jimmy Buffett, Steve Martin, Willie Nelson, Studs Terkel, Roger Ebert, and Carl Reiner—this book verifies the universality of his work, replete with Goodman’s themes on the fleeting nature of human existence. A 17-song tribute CD is included.
About the Author
Clay Eals is the author of Every Time a Bell Rings. He is a writer for the Portland Oregonian and an editor of publications for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. He lives in Seattle, Washington.