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.

Red Shea and John Stockfish: Lightfoot's first sidemen

Gordon Lightfoot's music has always been about more than just the man and his songs. Beginning in 1965, all of Lighfoot's performances and recordings included regular band members. The first two musicians to join him were guitarist Red Shea and bassist John Stockfish. Throughout the rest of the '60s and into the '70s, Shea and Stockfish each provided key elements to the Lightfoot sound. But who were they, and where did they come from?Red Shea was born Laurice Milton Pouliot in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Red had a checkered past, having hopped freight trains and worked in a traveling carnival. He'd even done a stint in prison. Looking to break into show business, he ventured east with his b...
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Toronto Songs: Gordon Lightfoot's On Yonge Street

Gordon Lightfoot got his start on Yonge Street, not in Yorkville. Although the bard of Canadian song is often associated with Yorkville’s Riverboat coffeehouse, where he first became a star while performing weeklong stints in the mid-1960s, his first real home as a solo artist was Steele’s Tavern, at 349 Yonge. A two-storey operation run by Greek restaurateur Steele Basil, Steele’s was sandwiched between Yonge Street’s famously competitive record stores: Sam’s and A&A’s. There, in the upstairs Venetian Lounge, Lightfoot performed his songs for anyone who would listen, often competing with the clink of beer glasses and televised hockey games for people’s attention.Lightfoot had traveled d...
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Book: Lightfoot

Details:Author: Nicholas Jennings; Hardciover/Paperback: 327 pages; Publisher: Penguin Random House; 2017/2018; Language: English; ISBN: 978-0-14-319920-5Book Description from AmazonThe definitive, full-access story of the life and songs of Canada's legendary troubadourGordon Lightfoot’s name is synonymous with timeless songs about trains and shipwrecks, rivers and highways, lovers and loneliness. His music defined the folk-pop sound of the 1960s and ‘70s, topped charts and sold millions. He is unquestionably Canada’s greatest songwriter, and an international star who has performed on the world’s biggest stages.While Lightfoot’s songs are well known, the man behind them is elusive. He’s neve...
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Headstones cover Lightfoot's "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"

Few artists have seen their songs covered more than Gordon Lightfoot. But usually, it's the legendary singer-songwriter's tales of love and loss, of broken hearts and promises, that get reinterpreted. Rarely are his story songs offered a new spin by other performers.Now Canada's veteran punk-hard rock band Headstones have served up a feisty take on Lightfoot's famous shipwreck song. Over a driving beat and slashing guitars, Headstones frontman Hugh Dillon delivers an edgy account of the harrowing night that the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald sank on "the big lake they call Gitchie Gumee."The video of the song shows Dillon alone on a frozen lake and later the band performing on a barren windswept lot...
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Blog Post: Gordon Lightfoot and Massey Hall

March 1967
No single artist is more closely connected to Massey Hall than Gordon Lightfoot. Beginning in 1951 and ’52, as a pre-teen with his first place wins in two Kiwanis Festival singing competitions, Lightfoot has made over 165 appearances (and counting) on its hallowed stage. The Orillia native returned in ’55 with his Teen Timers quartet to take second prize in a barbershop singing contest. Lightfoot’s first concert as a featured singer-songwriter came in March 1967, which one critic described as a “country-and-Lightfoot parade of Canadiana.” Two years later, Canada’s folk star recorded his first live album there, Sunday Concert (his second was 2012’s All Live, drawn from material recorded at Ma...
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