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.

Eleanor Collins - Trailblazing jazz singer overcame racism with quiet dignity

From her birth as a daughter of Black settlers in the early 20th century to recognition as Vancouver’s first lady of jazz, Eleanor Collins was a trailblazer in music and African-Canadian history. Her role in breaking new ground for women and Black performers earned her membership in the Order of Canada in 2014. Then, in 2022, Canada Post featured Ms. Collins on a stamp, honouring her as the first Black Canadian entertainer – and first female Canadian singer – to star in her own nationally broadcast TV series, The Eleanor Show. Acknowledging the honour, Ms. Collins said she had no sense of her pioneering role back then. “We each did what we felt we were called to do – live in the present...
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Gordon Lightfoot: The Canadian bard wrote the tunes for a nation's identity

More than any other singer-songwriter, Gordon Lightfoot personified Canada. His robust songs about winter nights, morning rain, being bound for Alberta and sailing on Ontario’s Georgian Bay came closest to expressing for many Canadians the essence of life in the Great White North. Historical epics stood alongside romantic ballads. Author Pierre Berton once said that Lightfoot’s “Canadian Railroad Trilogy” conveyed as much about the building of the national railway as his own best-selling book on the subject. When Lightfoot died Monday evening at the age of 84, leaving a vast legacy of more than 500 songs, Canada lost a masterful composer, a distinctive vocalist and one of its ...
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Mendelson Joe: Outspoken artist blended music and art with activism

It surprised no one who knew him that Mendelson Joe would choose to die entirely on his own terms. In a Feb. 7 post on his website titled “That’s It Folks,” the prolific, self-taught musician, painter and activist who had advanced Parkinson’s disease, wrote: “I have ended my job as multi-media artist with the provision of MAID (Medical Assistance in Dying).” Unable to resist a last chance to advocate his beliefs, he added: “I see MAID as a sign of a civilized society. To be born Canadian is a great blessing. We have free speech. We have healthcare. We have MAID. Thank you, Canada.” Mr. Joe was 78. Those closest to him remember a unique man, unwavering in his views and blunt in delivering the...
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