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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Obituaries, Books

Beatlemania and the Toronto Sound

The Beatles changed the world in countless ways, but they also dramatically changed Toronto over three consecutive years of performances (1964 to 1966) at Maple Leaf Gardens. Almost overnight, the city was hit with a cultural shift of seismic proportions: Boys grew Beatle bangs, girls pinned photos of John, Paul, George and Ringo on their walls and parents worried about the sanity of their teenaged children. Canada’s folk darlings Ian & Sylvia had ruled up to that point, but as the male half of that duo, Ian Tyson, remembers, “the minute the Beatles arrived, it was over—well and truly over.” The folk boom slowed, as every kid on the block rushed to form rock bands.Toronto’s music scene f...
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Music Review: John Prine - The Tree of Forgiveness

One of America’s finest singer-songwriters (Johnny Cash, Bette Midler and Bob Dylan have all covered him), the Chicago native specializes in razor-sharp observations of ordinary lives. Dylan once said of him: "Prine's stuff is pure Proustian existentialism. Midwestern mindtrips to the nth degree. All that stuff about Sam Stone, the soldier junky daddy, and Donald and Lydia, where people make love from ten miles away. Nobody but Prine could write like that. " Prine's first album of new songs in 13 years is full of such gems, including “Knocking on Your Screen Door,” and a wry look at the afterlife, “When I Get to Heaven.” It's a heartfelt collection about the search for meaning in everyd...
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Music Review: John Prine & Steve Goodman -

Folksingers, the troubadours who inhabited so many coffeehouses and festivals two decades ago, had become an endangered species by the early 1980s. But recently, as rock returned to its roots, folk music has quietly staged a comeback—through adventurous festivals and such popular artists as Suzanne Vega and the punk-influenced Billy Bragg and Michelle Shocked. Two singer-songwriters who have influenced the new wave of folk, John Prine and Steve Goodman, have new recordings out on Edmonton’s Stony Plain label. Their albums reveal the source of folk’s strength: songs of intimacy and insight.Goodman, who died in 1984 after a long battle with leukemia, and Prine, Goodman’s close friend, rank amo...
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