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

Rosalie Trombley - 'The most powerful woman in popdom'

In the world of Top 40 radio, Rosalie Trombley was a trailblazer – one of the few women to hold a broadcast executive position in an industry that was essentially a boys-only club. Blessed with an innate sense of music, she could pick out a good song from a pile of duds and help to make it a hit, earning her the nickname “the girl with the golden ear.” Ms. Trombley made her mark as music director at Windsor, Ont.’s powerful CKLW, known as “the Big 8,” whose 50,000-watt signal could be heard widely in the United States as well as across southwestern Ontario. Her influence in choosing what music to play was equally far-reaching: when she put a song into rotation, other stations followed suit. ...
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Dennis Brown - Reggae crooner extraordinaire

Reggae artists seem to have a knack for taking well-known pop songs, transforming them with reggae’s distinctive, loping rhythm—what Bob Marley called “the one drop”—and creating new, sure-fire hits for themselves. Think of Toots and the Maytals’ reggae-fied remake of John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” Peter Tosh’s Rasta variation on Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” or UB40’s version of Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe.” Reggae crooner Dennis Brown is no exception. Brown’s two current albums, Victory is Mine (on RAS Records) and Over Proof (Shanachie), each takes a North American hit and puts an unmistakable Jamaican spin on it. The former features a bubbly versi...
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Gil Scott-Heron - The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

He has been called the godfather of rap, but Gil Scott-Heron steadfastly refuses to bask in any hip-hop glory. It isn’t that the writer of such classics as “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” doesn’t see any relationship between his jazz-poetry and today’s rap music. Nor is it that the 44-year-old artist isn’t flattered by all the attention from the hip-hop generation. It’s just that Scott-Heron—who performs at the Phoenix Concert Theatre with local rappers Nu Black Nation opening—wants people to make other connections. With his music, for one thing. “I was a pianist before I was a poet,” says Scott-Heron, “and music is as much a part of what I do as poetry. “Rappers seem to be more rhyth...
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