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Shared March 16, 2012
"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 via the Illinois Central Railroad in bittersweet and nostalgic terms. Goodman got the idea while traveling on the eponymous train for a visit to his wife's family. He performed the song for Arlo Guthrie in the Quiet Knight, a bar in Chicago, and Guthrie agreed to add it to his repertoire. The song was a hit for Guthrie on his 1972 album Hobo's Lullaby, and is now more closely associated with him, although Goodman performed it until his death in 1984. The song has also been covered by Willie Nelson, John Denver, Johnny Cash, The Country Gentlemen, Judy Collins, Jerry Reed, Chet Atkins, Sammi Smith, Hank Snow, Gerard Cox, Rudi Carell, Joe Dassin, Richard Clayderman and others.
Steve Goodman won a posthumous Grammy Award for Best Country Song at the 27th Grammy Awards in 1985 for Willie Nelson's version, which was included on his 1984 album of the same name. It reached #1 on both the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in the United States and the RPM Country Tracks chart in Canada
The Old Grey Whistle Test (usually abbreviated to Whistle Test or OGWT) was an influential BBC2 television music show that ran from 1971 to 1987. It took over the BBC2 late night slot from "Disco Two", which had been running since January 1970, while continuing to feature non-chart music. It was devised by BBC producer Rowan Ayers. According to presenter Bob Harris, the programme derived its name from a Tin Pan Alley phrase from years before. When they got the first pressing of a record they would play it to people they called the old greys—doormen in grey suits. The songs they could remember and whistle, having heard it just once or twice, had passed the old grey whistle test. I believe this video to be from Steve's appearance on the show which aired on July 31, 1973.