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.

Ronnie ‘Bop’ Williams - Unheralded reggae pioneer helped define the genre

He was one of the early architects of Jamaican music – a guitarist, bass player, songwriter, arranger and producer whose contributions to hundreds of recordings helped to shape reggae and popularize it around the world. He played with Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Johnny Nash and Toots and the Maytals, and worked for such famous studio owners as Duke Reid, Bunny Lee and Lee (Scratch) Perry, and the Trojan, Treasure Isle and Upsetter record labels. Yet the name Ronnie (Bop) Williams is barely known outside of reggae circles. Part of the reason for the near anonymity was Mr. Williams’s own modesty. A soft-spoken man, he came from extremely humble roots in rural Jamaica, teaching himself to play on ...
Continue reading
  595 Hits

Doug Chappell - A knack for picking hits

It was the summer of 1963 and Doug Chappell was riding high. His Toronto band Richie Knight & the Mid-Knights had just hit No. 1 on the charts with Charlena, bringing the group local fame and enabling members, each barely out of their teens, to buy a car. Most purchased sensible sedans. But Mr. Chappell splurged on a brand new Pontiac Parisienne convertible – and painted it an eye-popping shade of pink. Then he cooked up a bold plan: to drive his new set of wheels to Detroit, stopping at every radio station along the way to talk up the band. Mr. Chappell’s taste for crazy promotion schemes and flashy sports cars never waned. Nor did his passion for music – especially by Canadian art...
Continue reading
  184 Hits

Denise Jones - A vital force for reggae music in Canada

Denise Jones wore many hats: actress, dancer, artist manager, concert presenter, festival producer, event planner and mother of two. A pillar, along with her husband, Allan, of the Jamaican-Canadian community, she worked tirelessly throughout her career to promote Caribbean culture – first through plays and pantomimes and then through reggae concerts and arts festivals – to increasingly larger audiences. The multifaceted businesswoman was also a strong activist, championing diversity long before “Black Lives Matter” became a popular movement. In 1989, in the wake of the police shooting death of Mississauga Black teenager Wade Lawson, Ms. Jones spoke to a task force on race relations and crit...
Continue reading
  549 Hits