Music icon

Remembering Jim Post, Chicago folk music icon who died last month at 82

CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago and the world remember local music icon Jim Post, who died last month at age 82.

Post, a longtime resident of Galena, Illinois, died Wednesday, Sept. 14, in Dubuque, Iowa, according to an obituary published in Dubuque Today.

As noted in a Northwest Quarterly Magazine blurb that appears on its website, Post hung out with Janis Joplin and Studs Terkel and opened for Cream. But he had been known for decades in Chicago as a regular on the folk scene.

Post was born in Houston, Texas on Oct. 28, 1939, and won a radio contest at age 6, according to his obituary.

In the 1960s, Post launched a successful recording career with his then-wife, Chicago native Cathy Conn, as Friend & Lover. The duo’s most famous song was “Reach out of the Darkness”, a top 10 hit in 1968.

Post also became a major fixture in Chicago’s folk music scene in the Old Town neighborhood – particularly at the Earl of Old Town at 1615 N. Wells St. He performed alongside other icons such as Steve Goodman , John Prine and Bonnie Koloc, according to her obituary.

Steve Goodman, Rita Coolidge and Jim Post perform at the Earl of Old Town (Chicago, 1972) by
UndergroundNewsRestart on Youtube

Post regularly released albums as a solo artist in the 70s and 80s – among them “Colorado Exile” (1973), “I Love My Life” (1978), “The Crooner from Outer Space” (1984) and Jim Post & Friends (1987).

Post was also host of WBEZ’s folk and world music radio show “Flea Market” – broadcast as a live concert on Sunday nights at the Armitage Avenue location of the Old Town School of Folk Music. in the 1980s. He also performed for children, including a regular engagement at the Organic Theater in Lincoln Park called the Cookie Crumb Club.

Post has also published a few children’s books — “Barnyard Boogie” and “Frog in the Kitchen Sink” — and co-created Reading by Ear, a music program to help children learn phonetically, read his obituary.

Jim Post on stage
American folk singer and guitarist Jim Post performs on stage at Triton College in River Grove, Illinois on September 17, 1977.

Paul Natkin/Getty Images

Later, Post – long known for his dramatic mustache – starred as Mark Twain in a long-running one-man show, “Mark Twain and the Laughing River.”

Jim Post – Oh Galena! by
Galena Arts Center on Youtube

In 2007, Post made an appearance at the Summer of Love 40th anniversary reunion in San Francisco, his obituary noted.

Post lived in Galena for nearly 50 years and became known as the Bard of Galena, according to her obituary.

“Anyone who has ever spent time listening to his golden voice live or on record or attended one of his concerts or musicals in person is much richer for the experience – his contagious good humor, his love of life and its masterful composition shines through every note and its will to live as long as humans have ears to hear,” reads the Post’s Dubuque Today obituary.

The obituary indicates that a musical celebration of Post’s life will be held at a later date.