Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Steve Goodman

You Never Even Called Me by My Name

Co-written and first recorded by Steve Goodman (1971).
Hit versions by David Allan Coe (C&W #8/CAN #4 1975), Doug Supernaw (C&W #60 1994).

From the wiki: “‘You Never Even Called Me by My Name’ was written by Steve Goodman and John Prine. (Prine requested that he be uncredited on the song, as he thought it was a ‘goofy, novelty song’ and didn’t want to ‘offend the country music community.’)

“Goodman released the song on his eponymous 1971 debut album Steve Goodman to little acclaim. It was more famously covered by country music singer David Allan Coe on his 1975 album Once Upon a Rhyme. It was the third single release of Coe’s career and became his first Top Ten hit.”

City of New Orleans

Written and first recorded by Steve Goodman (1971).
Hit versions by Arlo Guthrie (US #18 1972), Willie Nelson (US #30/C&W #1/CAN #1 1984).

From the wiki: “‘City of New Orleans’ is a folk song written by Steve Goodman (and first recorded for Goodman’s self-titled 1971 album), describing a train ride from Chicago to New Orleans on the Illinois Central Railroad’s City of New Orleans in bittersweet and nostalgic terms. Goodman got the idea while traveling on the Illinois Central line for a visit to his wife’s family.