Musician Barry Goldberg Goes Public With Cancer Battle

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Barry Goldberg

Barry Goldberg, the Chicago-born bluesman and keyboard master celebrated for backing Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival, founding The Electric Flag in partnership with Mike Bloomfield, and for his session work with Muddy Waters, Mitch Ryder, Otis Rush, Leonard Cohen, Ramones and Howlin’ Wolf, has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He has been dealing with the condition for the past decade, but has chosen to keep it private until May 2024, since it has affected his ability to perform. Friends and family have responded with a “Help Barry Goldberg Beat Cancer and Play Again” GoFundMe page. Donations in any amount are most welcome here.

Goldberg, the centerpiece of the documentary film Born in Chicago, began his recording career as a partner in the Goldberg-Miller Blues Band with Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Steve Miller. Goldberg went on to be a part of the groundbreaking 1968 Super Session album with Bloomfield, Al Kooper and Stephen Stills. He is also the co-writer, with Gerry Goffin, of hits including “It’s Not the Spotlight” (Bobby Blue Bland, Rod Stewart) and “I’ve Got to Use My Imagination” (Gladys Knight & the Pips, Joe Cocker) and co-producer, with Saul Davis, of two award-winning Percy Sledge albums. More recently, he toured and recorded with The Rides, a musical partnership with Stills and Kenny Wayne Shepherd whose 2013 debut full-length topped Billboard’s Blues Albums chart.

Watch a 2017 interview with Stills, Shepherd and Goldberg

Goldberg, 82, was born on Christmas Day, 1942. He was first diagnosed in 2014, but kept his condition private, hidden from fans and collaborators until the present, as he’s been unable to play. The lymphoma has morphed and the treatments he’s undergoing are extremely taxing. He needs help to pay for specialized medical care and his debt keeps growing. Donations in any amount are most welcome here.

Many of Goldberg’s recordings are available here and here.

Related: Our feature story on The Electric Flag

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