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

John Finley - Soul Singer

Blue-eyed soul was the term coined in the 1960s to describe the sound of the rhythm-and-blues stylings of excitable white boys. The most famous exponents were America’s Righteous Brothers, the Young Rascals and England’s Spencer Davis Group, with vocalist Stevie Winwood.One the world’s best blue-eyed soul singers has always been Canada’s John Finley. As a member of Toronto’s r&b heroes Jon and Lee & the Checkmates, Finley caused a sensation in the mid-’60s with gut-wrenching, sweat-soaked performances and hyper-adrenalized emotion in a voice that held audiences spellbound as he soared from hushed stage whisper to rafter-shaking scream. With the Checkmates, Finley was a dominant ...
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Martin Worthy's 5

Most drummers stick with the backbeat. With few exceptions (Levon Helm, Ringo Starr, Don Henley and Father John Misty come to mind), the dudes behind the kits rarely step forward to become solo artists in their own right.Toronto’s Martin Worthy has always been a different kind of drummer, one who could easily pick up a guitar and croon a sweet folk ballad or a wry country tune—songs he’d come up with when no one was watching. Although he started out in high school pounding the skins in various rock and soul bands, Worthy was really a singer-songwriter trapped in a drummer’s body.During the 1970s, Worthy partnered with his friend Paul Quarrington in a Seals & Croft-style folk duo called, ...
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Remembering Toronto's Colonial Tavern

The illustrious history of Toronto's famous Colonial Tavern, once one of North America's top music clubs, is now etched into the sidewalk at 203 Yonge Street on a fabulous granite disc, thanks to the Downtown Yonge business association and MOD Developments. The disc, which features the names of over 130 artists who performed at the Colonial, was unveiled on Oct. 29, 2020.So many Canadian artists—of all genres— played Toronto’s storied Colonial, from Cy McLean & his Rhythm Rompers (who broke Yonge Street’s colour barrier in the late ‘40s) to The Viletones (who simply tore up the place in the ‘70s).Through the 1950s and into the '60s, the world's top jazz artists played the Colonial, inclu...
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