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

Maestro leads the big rap attack

It begins with one of the most recognizable riffs in Canadian music: a simple piano intro that goes “dum, da-da-dadum, da-dum, da-da-da-dum.” Written by CanRock legends Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings, it’s the introduction to “These Eyes,” the Guess Who’s massive international hit of 1969. But then a sliding guitar cuts in, followed by some thumping bass and drums. By the time a voice starts rapping about being “in this game a long, long time,” the song has been transformed into something entirely different. “It’s Stick to Your Vision,” the new hit by Maestro, the Canadian artist formerly known as Maestro Fresh Wes. “I’ve seen a lot of valleys, I’ve seen a lot of peaks,” he reminisces in ...
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Dream Warriors - A fresh spin on rap

The setting was a public-housing unit in the Toronto suburb of Willowdale. But the two young men were basking in an unmistakably Caribbean atmosphere. The townhouse was filled with the pungent smell of a West Indian fish fry, and a video of a Jamaican reggae dance was playing on the TV. It seemed an unlikely base for two of the fastest-rising stars in rap music, a musical style more associated with U.S. ghettos than Canadian suburbs. But Caribbean-born King Lou (Louis Robinson) and Capital Q (Frank Allert) have made a name for themselves, as the Dream Warriors, by revolutionizing rap music. Said Q: “Everyone’s accustomed to rap with guys swearing and bragging about themselves and violence. W...
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Feature Article: The Fight Over Golden Oldies

Even from an artist renowned for outrageous behavior, the action was a shocking sight. In August, 1984, Richard Penniman—better known as Little Richard, the flamboyant 1950s rocker—began picketing an office building in downtown Los Angeles. The rock star was not on strike; he was on a crusade. The offices belonged to ATV Music Corp., one of the world’s largest song publishers. Little Richard’s claim: that ATV, along with Specialty Records and Venice Music, owed him millions of dollars in royalties for “Tutti-Frutti,” “Good Golly Miss Molly” and other classic Little Richard hits. Four months later his $115-million lawsuit against those companies was thrown out of U.S. Federal Court.Now, Littl...
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