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.

The Lightfoot Band returns

The legacy of Gordon Lightfoot's music is in good hands, thanks to his longtime backing group of Rick Haynes, Barry Keane, Mike Heffernan and Carter Lancaster. Those veteran musicians are committed to keeping the master's songs alive. Last Saturday (Jan. 27), the Lightfoot Band made its debut at Toronto's El Mocambo with its newest member Andy Mauck on vocals and rhythm guitar. Anyone worried about how the American-born singer might sound delivering those classic songs can rest assured: Mauck, vocally, is a dead ringer for 1970s and '80s-era Lightfoot. Plus, he's humble as hell, repeatedly saying what an honour it was to be asked to join the band and sing the songs of his hero. "Gord was a s...
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Gordon Lightfoot's music education

Gordon Lightfoot, who passed away May 1, would have turned 85 today. His legacy includes songs that will live on for decades to come. Success didn’t come easy for him. In the beginning, Lightfoot worked hard at learning everything there was to know about music. Long before his first hit records, Lightfoot tried choir singing, barbershopping, pop crooning, jazz drumming and square dancing. While in a folk duo called the Two Tones, he even jumped on the Belafonte craze and belted out a calypso. When he was 19 and studying jazz composition and orchestration at the Westlake College of Music in Hollywood, Lightfoot and three fellow students moonlighted as the Four Winds, recor...
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Gordon Lightfoot: The Canadian bard wrote the tunes for a nation's identity

More than any other singer-songwriter, Gordon Lightfoot personified Canada. His robust songs about winter nights, morning rain, being bound for Alberta and sailing on Ontario’s Georgian Bay came closest to expressing for many Canadians the essence of life in the Great White North. Historical epics stood alongside romantic ballads. Author Pierre Berton once said that Lightfoot’s “Canadian Railroad Trilogy” conveyed as much about the building of the national railway as his own best-selling book on the subject. When Lightfoot died Monday evening at the age of 84, leaving a vast legacy of more than 500 songs, Canada lost a masterful composer, a distinctive vocalist and one of its ...
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Ecological Rock: Pop Musicians Sing Out to Save the Planet

It resembled the historic Live Aid concert of 1985: a global jukebox featuring some of the world's top musicians performing for a cause. And like the original world benefit for African famine relief, the event was broadcast to an audience expected in advance to number one billion viewers in more than 100 countries.Last Saturday's multinational concert, titled Our Common Future, also reflected the new activism in rock music by focusing on an urgent global issue: the environment. The performers included Elton John in Edinburgh, Diana Ross in London, Herbie Hancock and John Denver in New York City, Midnight Oil in Sydney, Sting in Rio de Janeiro, along with artists in Los Angeles, Norway, Tokyo...
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Don Cullen: Bohemian Embassy ‘Ambassador’ Nurtured Talents of Fellow Artists

Creative versatility came naturally to Don Cullen. Writer, actor, comedian, producer and impresario, he could apparently do it all. His talents first surfaced at high school, where Mr. Cullen’s flexible physical features and talent for vocal impersonations made him popular with his classmates. “I became the funny kid,” he once recalled, “by capitalizing on the angularity of my frame and the rubbery quality of my face.”  Mr. Cullen took those attributes onto the stage and across the airwaves, voicing more than 1,500 radio programs and appearing in nearly as many theatrical reviews and television shows. He starred in a production of Beyond the Fringe which was performed more tha...
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