Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Gordon Lightfoot: Canadian Troubadour

Born on this day in 1938 in Orillia, Ontario, he began his musical career singing in the church choir; he was also in his high school's barbershop quartet. An accomplished athlete as well as a musician, Gordon Lightfoot set out to see the world when he moved to California in 1958, and did he ever; stints in Europe and the UK, Australia, and New York City spread evidence of his talent wherever he went...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThough a radio and concert favourite in Canada throughout the 1960s, it wasn't until 1970 that he broke through into the ranks of superstar; the song that did it was If You Could Read My Mind, and it made the already popular folkie one of that decade's signature performers.

He followed it with a string of successful albums, each studded with hit songs: Summer Side of Life (1971), Don Quixote (1972), Old Dan's Records (1972), Sundown (1974), Cold on the Shoulder (1975), Gord's Gold (1975) - a compilation containing nine rerecorded versions of his most popular songs - Summertime Dream (1976), and Endless Wire (1978). Songs such as Sundown and The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, ensured his status as Canada's troubadour, as much as his quiet, self-effacing manner.

Proof of the love Canadians feel for their native son came in January 2002, when Lightfoot fell ill, and was admitted to hospital with a bleeding abdomen; during his three months there (two of them in a coma) good wishes continued to pour in from around the country. It was even the top story on the news several times. Fortunately for all of us - not to mention him - he recovered, and in 2005 his Better Late Than Never Tour sold out venues across the country.
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