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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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 Feature: Jimi Hendrix in Toronto

He’s one of the most famous musicians of the 20th century and a rock guitarist of unparalleled talent. Although his mainstream career lasted only four years before his death on Sept. 18, 1970 of an apparent drug overdose, Jimi Hendrix shone so brightly that today his albums and concert appearances are the stuff of legend. The official Hendrix website, run by his estate, painstakingly catalogues every recording and performance he ever made under his own name. And many devoted fan sites do the same.As most fans know, the Jimi Hendrix Experience performed twice in Toronto: once at the Canadian National Exhibition on Feb. 24, 1968, on a bill with England’s Soft Machine and Toronto’s own Pau...
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Music Feature: Rune Halland and Cruisin' Records

Rune Halland, of Oslo’s Cruisin’ Records, caught the music bug—you could say a case of rockin’ pneumonia and the boogie-woogie flu—at an early age. At 22, the university student made a pilgrimage all the way to New Orleans, the cradle of jazz and the home of rhythm & blues greats like Fats Domino, Professor Longhair and Allen Toussaint. While in the Big Easy, Halland heard that his hellcat hero Jerry Lee Lewis was performing in Detroit. He excitedly bought a bus ticket and headed north, only to find when he arrived in the Motor City, after an arduous 30-hour-long journey, that the Killer had cancelled. What to do?After wandering the mean streets of Detroit, in predominantly black ne...
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Music Feature: A Palace of Rock - The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

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

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 original t...
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