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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Obituary: Soul singer Jackie Shane

JackieShane-promoshot Photo courtesy of Gerry Miskolczi
Jackie Shane broke all the rules. An American-born, black, transgender woman, Ms. Shane first came to Canada in the conservative early 1960s and won over audiences with her glamorous image and soulful singing. For the next decade, she packed clubs in Ontario and Quebec and landed one memorable song, the slinky, sassy “Any Other Way , ” near the top of the charts. But then Ms. Shane disappeared and erroneous rumours circulated of a possible murder or suicide. For the next 40 years, the mystery grew until word came that the retired performer was living back in her native Nashville. Ms. Shane’s rediscovery resulted in a massive comeback that the former singer never planned – nor actively partic...
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The parallel paths of Dylan and Lightfoot

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Bob Dylan and Gordon Lightfoot have long been mutual admirers. The legendary singer-songwriters began moving in the same circles in 1964, after Lightfoot was signed to Groscourt Productions by Dylan's manager Albert Grossman. It wasn't long before Lightfoot, at Grossman's suggestion, recorded Dylan's "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues." Although it would be several years before Dylan returned the favour and cut his own version of "Early Morning Rain," the "Blowin' in the Wind" singer had already expressed his fondness for Lightfoot's "I'm Not Sayin'" and several of his other tunes.  In the summer of '65, Lightfoot and Dylan crossed paths at Grossman's house in Woodstock, New York (Lightfoot e...
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Toronto Songs: Ian Tyson's Marlborough Street Blues

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When Ian Tyson arrived in Toronto in September 1958, the folk music scene didn’t exist. The coffeehouses hadn’t yet appeared in Yorkville. The city’s bohemian district consisted of a few ramshackle cafés and galleries along a tiny stretch of Gerrard Street, near Bay, that attracted colorful personalities and painters like Harold Town. All of that was about to change with the Folk Boom ignited by the Kingston Trio and its massive hit “Tom Dooley.” Tyson had hitchhiked his way East from the West Coast, where he’d graduated from the Vancouver School of Art. He was 25 years old. His life experience at that point largely amounted to riding bareback in rodeos and playing a little guitar in rockabi...
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