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

Ronnie Hawkins - Rock of Ages

The beer was flowing freely as waitresses served platters of breaded shrimp, gourmet pizza and chicken wings. But it was not the regular hockey crowd at Gardoonie’s, a popular watering hole opposite Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens. Instead, more than 300 people were gathered there last week to pay tribute to a rock ‘n’ roll legend.Standing amid the hockey memorabilia on the walls, Ronnie Hawkins was beaming as he surveyed the crowd. Officially, the lavish party was being held to launch Let it Rock!, his 26th album and the accompanying video that captures his recent 60th birthday concert at Toronto’s Massey Hall, featuring such rock luminaries as Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and The B...
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Beatlemania and the Toronto Sound

The Beatles changed the world in countless ways, but they also dramatically changed Toronto over three consecutive years of performances (1964 to 1966) at Maple Leaf Gardens. Almost overnight, the city was hit with a cultural shift of seismic proportions: Boys grew Beatle bangs, girls pinned photos of John, Paul, George and Ringo on their walls and parents worried about the sanity of their teenaged children. Canada’s folk darlings Ian & Sylvia had ruled up to that point, but as the male half of that duo, Ian Tyson, remembers, “the minute the Beatles arrived, it was over—well and truly over.” The folk boom slowed, as every kid on the block rushed to form rock bands.Toronto’s music scene f...
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Music Review: John Prine - The Tree of Forgiveness

One of America’s finest singer-songwriters (Johnny Cash, Bette Midler and Bob Dylan have all covered him), the Chicago native specializes in razor-sharp observations of ordinary lives. Dylan once said of him: "Prine's stuff is pure Proustian existentialism. Midwestern mindtrips to the nth degree. All that stuff about Sam Stone, the soldier junky daddy, and Donald and Lydia, where people make love from ten miles away. Nobody but Prine could write like that. " Prine's first album of new songs in 13 years is full of such gems, including “Knocking on Your Screen Door,” and a wry look at the afterlife, “When I Get to Heaven.” It's a heartfelt collection about the search for meaning in everyd...
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