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.

Shakin' All Over: Canadian Pop Music in the 1960s

 A two-hour documentary that initially aired on Canadian TV in January, 2006 and was released on DVD on December 11, 2007. The documentary captures the sounds of the 1960s in Canada, from the folk music of Ian and Sylvia, and the rhythm 'n blues of Ronnie Hawkins, to the many other legendary stars like Joni Mitchell, The Guess Who, Neil Young, Anne Murray, The Band, cult heroes like David Wiffen, The Collectors and Mashmakhan, and some of Canada's brightest younger stars including Blue Rodeo, Barenaked Ladies and Sarah Harmer. Full of candid interviews with more than 60 iconic figures.         Here is a list of all the songs featured, taken from concert footage and T...

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Oscar Peterson’s pioneering Toronto jazz school

Oscar Peterson is remembered as a gifted pianist who could play it all, from Chopin and Liszt to blues, stride, boogie and beyond. Peterson led his own jazz trios, performed with such legendary figures as Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong, who dubbed him “the man with four hands,” won eight Grammy Awards and Canada’s prestigious Glenn Gould Prize. Called the "Maharaja of the keyboard" by Duke Ellington, he released over 200 recordings before his death in 2007, including his 1956 Stratford Festival recording, 1958’s On the Town, recorded at Toronto’s Town Tavern, and 1962’s Night Train, which featured a number of Ellington pieces a...

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Rise Up: Canadian Pop Music in the 1980s

A two-hour documentary that aired on television in 2009 and was released on DVD  that same year. Looks at the digital age of Canadian music in the 1980s, a visual era of big hair and shoulder pads, when music videos helped homegrown artists to take off internationally.The documentary is split into nine segments: - Video Rock - Reggae / New Wave - Quebec Pop - Art, Pop & Politics - Alt-Country - Heartland Rock - Roots / Hip Hop - Blues Rock - Divas & Icons Songs featured in concert footage and videos (in alphabetical order): "A Criminal Mind" – Gowan "Ain't No Room For Cheatin' – Handsome Ned "Black Velvet"&nbs...

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This Beat Goes On: Canadian Pop Music in the 1970s

A two-hour documentary that aired on television in 2009 and was released on DVD  that same year. This Beat Goes On tells the story of Canadian music in the 1970s, a ground-breaking era of great sounds, from glam and progressive rock to punk and reggae.  Mixing archival footage with candid interviews, the documentary features proven hitmakers as well as a wealth of new folksingers, blues artists and mullet-rockers. Solo artists and progressive rockers still rule, but it’s also a time of shaved heads and skinny ties, as punk and new wave artists push their way into the spotlight. By the end of the decade, the Can-rock revolution has arrived. This Beat Goes On presents ...

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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 ...

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