“My Old Man” by Rosanna Goodman and a Little Bit by Her Father, Steve
“My Old Man” by Rosanna Goodman
By Harry Lipson III Harry@HarryShots.com
When I remember Steve Goodman, I think of the finest solo acoustic stage performer that I ever saw. He was so in touch with himself and his audience. Steve was naturally funny, even with a poignant story or song to sing. And he was among the finest guitarists that I ever saw in person. Tragically, Steve died in 1984 after a long battle with leukemia (He would occasionally refer to himself as “Cool Hand Leuk”). The night Steve died, I was on the phone with Monteray Peninsula Artists, Steve’s booking agency, talking to Paul Goldman with some dates that I was hoping that Steve might play for FolkTree, my concert company. I will never forget Paul Goldman saying that Steve had died about twenty minutes earlier in a Seattle hospital.
I have a sweet spot in my heart for Steve Goodman. He wrote great songs, co-wrote many great songs, was such a crackerjack performer, and his albums were stellar. A lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, Steve’s ashes were scattered (as was his wish in one of his songs) at Wrigley Field. When the Cubbies someday win the World Series, I will be thinking, first and foremost, about Steve Goodman. And I won’t be alone.
The first time I saw Steve Goodman perform, he was the opening act for Emmylou Harris back in 1975 in Birmingham, Alabama. The house lights went down and a little sprite of a guy wearing a white collarless shirt and blue bib overalls bops out on stage, sits down and begins to play amazing guitar and sing. He doesn’t introduce himself, just starts into his first song. He was not introduced to the audience, his name was not in the show advertising nor on the tickets, so none of us in the crowd had any idea who we were listening to. That included me, until he mentioned his father, Joseph, and I realized who he was. Suffice it to say that Emmylou (I always refer to her as EmmisLou) was great as always, and I love her, but what I remember over three decades later is Stevie Goodman and the one man show he was.
So today, it is Steve’s daughter, Rosanna, who sings the song about her grandfather; a song that her father wrote about his father. “My Old Man” is a beautiful song and Rosanna puts her heart into it. Bravo, Rosanna. Harry Lipson