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Earl Pionke, 80, ran The Earl of Old Town folk club

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Updated: May 30, 2013 2:29PM

Earl Pionke — whose Chicago folk club the Earl of Old Town helped launch the careers of Steve Goodman, Bonnie Koloc and John Prine — has died, his friend Marina Jason said Friday.

Mr. Pionke was 80.

The Earl of Old Town operated from 1962 until 1984 at 1615 N. Wells. Located across the street from Second City, it was a regular hangout for John Belushi and comedian Pat Paulsen.

Mr. Pionke died of pancreatic cancer. He old the Sun-Times in June that he was “rehabilitating under chemotherapy.”

There will be no funeral service, but a memorial tribute is being planned for June at FitzGerald’s nightclub in Berwyn.

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