Gordon Lightfoot Book, Music and More!

The home of music journalist Nicholas Jennings, author of Lightfoot, the definitive new Gordon Lightfoot biography from Penguin Random House.
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Mariposa Folk Festival - 60 years ago

Sixty years ago this week, an estimated 5,000 people flooded into tiny Orillia, Ontario to attend the first Mariposa Folk Festival. Here is an excerpt from Before the Gold Rush about that historic inaugural event: Sitting in neatly arranged rows of canvas chairs, a buttoned-down crowd of 2,000 watched the inaugural Mariposa unfold one August weekend in 1961. The audience, mostly university students from Toronto, had travelled to Orillia on the shores of Lake Couchiching to hear an all-Canadian line-up headed by Sylvia Fricker and Ian Tyson, whoʼd also donated his artistic skills to create the stylized orange sun that dominated the festivalʼs poster. On the opening Friday night, fol...
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JoJo Bennett - Reggae trailblazer

JoJo Bennett was a Jamaican orphan who found his calling when a teacher handed him a horn. Excelling on the trumpet, he grew to become a successful touring musician, songwriter and recording artist. In Canada, he added award-winning bandleader and owner of a recording studio and record label to his accomplishments. But he never forgot his roots, also starting his own music school along the way. Mr. Bennett, who died on Aug. 3 at the age of 81, may have been best known as the charismatic, dreadlocked figure in celebrated Canadian pop-reggae band the Sattalites. But after his passing, those close to him remembered a wise, modest man they affectionately called “Guru” and “Teach.” “Jo was a beau...
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Music in Downsview

Everyone knows that SARSStock, featuring the Rolling Stones, AC-DC, Rush and others, took place in Downsview. But few are aware that Downsview is also notable for once having Canada’s largest nightclub and an auditorium featuring Toronto’s biggest bands. In fact, Downsview at one time was a go-to destination for music lovers, who ventured uptown and “out west” to attend weekly dances in the neighbourhood’s community halls, church basements, and YMCAs. Country music and rock ’n’ roll were the early draws. But, later, the area also became a major breeding ground for hip-hop and R&B. A deeper dive into this history reveals how live music in Downsview began in the late 1950s with countr...
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