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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Music Feature: The hypnotic pull of the reggae beat

Bunny Wailer Bunny Wailer - Photo by David Corio
When Bob Marley died of cancer at 36 in 1981, he received a burial more befitting a king than a musician. His funeral drew the largest crowds in Caribbean history. The Jamaican parliament recessed for 10 days of national mourning, having just awarded him an Order of Merit. As millions mourned the passing of reggae music’s first major star, music industry insiders predicted that reggae— with its bass-heavy beat and its lyrical links to the island’s mystical Rastafarian religion— would soon fade away. But the forecast was wrong. Despite the death of its leading practitioner and reggae’s continuing struggle for airplay on North American radio stations, its appeal keeps spreading. This summer, r...
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Interview with Dr. John - July 11, 1987

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Mac Rebennack a.k.a. Dr. John (November 20, 1941 – June 6, 2019) "This guy has the whole history of New Orleans music in his head," David Simon, creator of TV's Treme , once said about Dr. John. Indeed he did. In the summer of 1987, I was the lucky recipient of an extensive history lesson from the Good Doctor on the Big Easy's musical past. Over the course of an unforgettable hour, the "Right Place, Wrong Time" singer regaled me with tales of his musical career and the pivotal figures he worked with, artists like Fats Domino's guitarist Walter 'Papoose' Nelson, producer Cosimo Matassa and bandleader Bumps Blackwell, as well as his own heroes, including Professor Longhair. These are my origin...
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Music Feature: Dr. John - New Orleans is Rising

DrJohn-Purple
Dr. John and New Orleans. Although the legendary pianist has made New York City his home for almost a decade now, his name still conjures up visions of Voodoo, Mardi Gras and the Big Easy. Born in New Orleans nearly 50 years ago as Mac Rebennack, the man once known as the Night Tripper is so deeply steeped in the city’s musical traditions that he’s become its best-known historian and archivist, a walking, talking encyclopedia and human jukebox rolled into one. Sitting in the dressing room at Toronto’s El Mocambo after a recent night stand, Rebennack downplayed any talk about his newfound success. Despite having won a Grammy for “Makin’ Whoopee,” a sultry duet with Rickie Lee Jones from his b...
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