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.

Music Feature: A Palace of Rock - The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

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As museum pieces, they are the most humble of artifacts: a few report cards, a black leather jacket, a pair of government-issue eye glasses. Yet for many, the three objects are priceless. Once the property of John Lennon, those treasures are now on display at the recently opened Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, where they are already among its most popular exhibits. Looking at the articles, it is easy to see why: each of them brings the viewer closer to the real Lennon. His elementary school report card reveals that one of his teachers found rock’s future genius “hopeless,” while the well-worn, sloppy jacket somehow perfectly captures the musician’s irreverent charm....
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Interview with Dr. John - July 11, 1987

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Mac Rebennack a.k.a. Dr. John (November 20, 1941 – June 6, 2019) "This guy has the whole history of New Orleans music in his head," David Simon, creator of TV's Treme , once said about Dr. John. Indeed he did. In the summer of 1987, I was the lucky recipient of an extensive history lesson from the Good Doctor on the Big Easy's musical past. Over the course of an unforgettable hour, the "Right Place, Wrong Time" singer regaled me with tales of his musical career and the pivotal figures he worked with, artists like Fats Domino's guitarist Walter 'Papoose' Nelson, producer Cosimo Matassa and bandleader Bumps Blackwell, as well as his own heroes, including Professor Longhair. These are my origin...
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Obituary: Deane Cameron - Music executive passionately supported Canadian talent

Barry Roden photo With Stompin' Tom Connors
In the industry where he spent his entire working life, Deane Cameron was fondly known as Captain Canada, a passionate man with an unwavering commitment to musicians, a hilarious way with one-liners and a heart, many say, that was as big as the country itself. Too modest to embrace any superhero title, Mr. Cameron worked tirelessly to boost new and established Canadian pop and rock artists during his nearly 25 years as head of Capitol Records-EMI of Canada (renamed EMI Music Canada), where he famously started in the warehouse and worked his way up to president. Few have played a more vital role in this country’s musical culture. Among his many accomplishments, he coaxed Stompin’ Tom Connors ...
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New York: If you can make it there....

The Paupers in Central Park - photo by Linda Eastman
Canadian musicians have always flocked to New York, drawn like moths to the bright lights of the city that never sleeps. Dreams of a breakthrough in New York have inspired artists ever since Toronto vocal groups the Crew-Cuts, the Four Lads and the Diamonds all had success there, followed by Ottawa teenager Paul Anka, who ventured to the Big Apple in 1957 and scored a number one hit with "Diana," his lovestruck ode to a former babysitter. The steady stream continued during the folk boom. In November, 1965, Ian & Sylvia performed at New York's prestigious Philharmonic Hall while Gordon Lightfoot played a few days later just down Broadway Avenue at the Town Hall. Both folk acts became regu...
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The Band, a marijuana bust and the Ed Sullivan Show

Levon and the Hawks to the Band on Ed Sullivan
In early 1965, Toronto's Levon & the Hawks were having a hard time with the law. Levon Helm, Robbie Robertson, Garth Hudson, Rick Danko and Richard Manuel, along with their road manager Bill Avis, were charged with possession of marijuana, after being arrested at Toronto's airport by RCMP officers. With bail set at $10,000 apiece and a court case likely to drag on for months, the pot bust threatened to detrail the momentum of the group that would soon become world famous as the Band. The charges were all a set up. A jealous boyfriend of a girl Danko was seeing told the cops that the group was smuggling in a trunkful of pot into Canada. In fact, Danko had an ounce of Panama Red in his jac...
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