“City of New Orleans” was written by Steve Goodman in 1970, and he released it as a single in 1972, but it was made popular by Arlo Guthrie’s recording also in 1972. Guthrie’s version went to #18 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and #4 on the US Billboard Easy Listening chart. Steve Goodman died of cancer in 1984 and that same year Willie Nelson released it on his “City of New Orleans” album, with the single reaching #1 on the US Hot Country Songs chart and winning Song of the Year at the Country Music Association awards.
This song uses “Travis Picking” fingerstyle accompaniment on the ukulele. Many of my songs use the same technique and it’s simple once you get the hang of it, although it may take quite a bit of practicing it slowly to master it.
The first three example patterns on my fingerstyle tutorial show you how to play it. Here’s a link:
I’ve also created a separate category just for the Travis Picking style where you can find other songs that I play in the same style. You can find it here: