By Harlan Draeger and Donald M. Schwartz. Chicago-born folk singer, Steve Goodman who coupled his performing talent with a lifelong passion for the Cubs, didn't live to see his team play in the World Series.
The 36-year-old folk artist and song-writer died late yeasterday at University of Washington Hospital in Seatle.
He succumbed to kidney and liver failure after a fifteen year struggle with luekemia that included a bone maarrow transplant on Aug. 31.
A nationally-known performer who had moved to Los angeles in 1980, Mr. goodman drew heavily on his Chicago background for his mellow, easygoing music.
In 1981, he recorded a light-hearted peice called "A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request" It suggested that he be cremated at home plate in Wrigley Field so his ashes could come to "final resting place out on Waveland Avenue"
While he was undergoing treatment in Seatle, his Go Cubs Go theme song for the Chicago National League team was played almost daily on station WGN-AM (720) , for which he wrote the piece.
Mr Goodman acheived his greatest fame when City Of New Orleans a 1972 song about the demise of the nation's railroads, was made into a national hit by singer Arlo Guthrie. The song was also a big hit for Willie Nelson this Year.
Tunes such as Lincoln Park Pirates and Daley's Gone made Mr. Goodman a Chicago Favorite.
"Steve was someone who touched everybody he came in contact with in a very special way" said his Los angeles Agent, Dan Einstein. "He taught me quite a bit about what it's like to stand up for yourself. He was a man of uncompromising principles--just t he way he conducted himself in business and performing. He was very true to his form in his art.
Mr Goodman's last recording released this week, was a collection of new songs called Santa Ana Winds. Einstein said it is "typical Steve Goodman," combining humor and a bittersweet touch. As in much of his earlier work, einstein said the songwri ter's Chicago experiences "seems to pervade the entire collection.
Goodman, born on the North side, sometimes scheduled performances around his chemotherapy treatments. During the early '70s as Mr. goodman was establishing himself as a national recording and performing artist, he would travel to New York's Memorial Slo an Kettering Cancer center every two weeks. From his buoyant performances audiences for "Chicago Shorty" never suspected a thing.
During the third week of July Mr. Goodman traveled to New York to participate in a Harry Chapin benefit concert. He became ill, was hospitalized, and was told that some white blood cells had been found in his spine-- a symptom he had never exhibited befo re.
Although Mr. Goodman moved to Los Angeles along with his wife, Nancy, and their three daughter, he remained in close touch with his Chicago Home. He had family here. The Earl of Old Town was here. He had friends here and fans here, although there was n ever a strict distinction between the two.
For Mr. Goodman the big break came in April, 1971 when he was the opening act for Kris Kristofferson at the Quiet Knight. The headliner was so impressed with his opener that he took Mr. Goodman to play a few songs for Paul Anka.. Anka offered him a plan e ticket to New York. "City Of New Orleans", Kristofferson once said was "the best damn' train song I ever heard"
In addition to his wife, Mr Goodman is survived by their three daughters, Jessie, Sarah, and Rosanna; a brother David; his mother, Minette, and his Grandmother.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
excerpt from: Sport (New York, N.Y.). v. 76, Apr. '85, p. 96. Kieth Moreland pondered what to do with an autographed baseball that he failed to deliver to folk singer Steve Goodman prior to Goodman's death. The singer wrote a humorous song, "A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request," in which he conjectured that the perfect ending to his funeral at Wrigley Field would be for outfielder Keith Moreland to "drop a routine fly" during the post-funeral game. Moreland, amused, signed the ball after learning that Goodman really was dying, and entrusted it to the writer, who never found time to deliver it. Ironically, Goodman passed away just as the Cubs were about to clinch the Eastern Division championship.
Songwriter Steve Goodman died of leukemia on September 20  after suffering with the disease for sixteen years. Best known for songs like "City of New Orleans," Goodman had a modest recording career, critical acclaim, and a small but loyal audience. Goodman toured often, performed at Carnegie Hall, and has had his songs covered by Arlo Guthrie, Johnny Cash, and Joan Baez, among others. He believed in traditional folk music. His songwriting ranged from blues to protest, and was characterized by fine melodies and clever lyrics.