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

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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Obituary: Elyse Weinberg - Yorkville's Forgotten Folkie

She was one of Yorkville’s forgotten female folkies, a contemporary of Joni Mitchell and a friend of Neil Young who left Toronto in 1968 for the hills above Los Angeles. For a while, Elyse Weinberg was a Lady of the Canyon herself, with an acclaimed debut album and a rose-tinted future. Newsweek magazine even compared her to Ms. Mitchell, Melanie and Laura Nyro. But disillusionment with the music business eventually caused the husky-voiced singer to drop out, move to the rural northwest and change her name.In 2000 Ms. Weinberg, then living as Cori Bishop in Ashland, Ore., received an out-of-the-blue phone call: a young musician had found her mystical self-titled debut in a thrift s...
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Jackie Shane - Toronto's answer to Little Richard

The North American rhythm-and-blues circuit of the 1950s and ’60s had a surprising number of artists pushing gender boundaries. Macon, Georgia’s Little Richard, who’d once performed as Princess Lavonne in a traveling tent show called Sugarfoot Sam's, was certainly the best known. But Richard was heavily influenced by Esquerita, a flamboyant and feminine pianist from New Orleans. Also from New Orleans were two other artists who were gay or transgender or nonbinary: Patsy Vidalia, born Irving Ale, hosted the city’s legendary Dew Drop Inn and recorded as Pat Valdelar; and gay soul singer and impresario Bobby Marchan regularly switched between male and female clothing—complete wit...
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