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.

Obituary: Paupers and Lighthouse drummer Skip Prokop

Skip Prokop was one of Canada’s first major rock stars, a world-class drummer and talented songwriter who co-founded the groundbreaking jazz-rock band Lighthouse, which earned international acclaim in the 1970s. His death on August 30, after a long battle with heart disease, sparked an outpouring of tributes from the music world. Prokop got his start with the Paupers, an innovative Toronto rock quartet that took New York by storm in March 1967 and became the first Canadian band to land a U.S. album deal. He then recorded with Janis Joplin, performed with Cass Elliot and Carlos Santana and became greatly admired for his session work with Peter, Paul & Mary and Al Kooper and Mike...

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Obituary: Lucille Starr - Queen of Yodels and Yearning Ballads

She was Canada’s consummate country music queen: petite, buxom and with towering hair to match a voice that could scale heartbreaking heights. Beginning in the late 1950s and early ’60s, Lucille Starr was also a trailblazer, singing in both English and her native French while becoming the first Canadian woman to sell one million records and the first to perform at Nashville’s famous Grand Ole Opry. There were many other firsts for the feisty francophone artist, an accomplished yodeller who yodeled Cousin Pearl’s character on TV’s The Beverly Hillbillies. Signed to A&M Records in Los Angeles with Bob Regan, her partner in the Canadian Sweethearts duo, Ms. Starr was simultaneousl...

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Obituary: Roy Orbison - Rock ’n’ roll romantic

He sang songs steeped in melancholy with a voice that could hit the sweetest heights. As a member of the first generation of rock-and-rollers, he was a loner, a shy teetotaller who, despite his tough-looking, dark attire and ever-present sunglasses, preferred wrenching ballads to the rugged side of rock. And when he died last week from a heart attack at 52, Roy Orbison touched off a new wave of emotion from a diverse range of musicians and fans. At the peak of his career in the 1960s, Orbison had 27 consecutive records on the charts, including “Only the Lonely” and “Oh Pretty Woman.” Recently, he returned to the charts by collaborating with Bob Dylan, George Harrison and Tom Petty in the gro...

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Richard Bell: Full Tilt Boogie's dazzling keyboardist

Among blues-rock soloists and accompanists, he had few equals. An exceptional pianist, organist and accordion player, Richard Bell left his mark on more than 400 albums, some of which he also produced, arranged and composed and sang on. Renowned for his sense of humor as well as his dazzling keyboard chops, the Toronto-born Bell performed with such legendary figures as Janis Joplin, Paul Butterfield and Bob Dylan and played a supporting role in some key events in rock ’n’ roll history. When he died last week at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital, after a year-long battle with cancer, friends and associates around the world mourned the loss of a beloved and highly respected musician who, according...

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Obituary: Elyse Weinberg - Yorkville's Forgotten Folkie

She was one of Yorkville’s forgotten female folkies, a contemporary of Joni Mitchell and a friend of Neil Young who left Toronto in 1968 for the hills above Los Angeles. For a while, Elyse Weinberg was a Lady of the Canyon herself, with an acclaimed debut album and a rose-tinted future. Newsweek magazine even compared her to Ms. Mitchell, Melanie and Laura Nyro. But disillusionment with the music business eventually caused the husky-voiced singer to drop out, move to the rural northwest and change her name. In 2000 Ms. Weinberg, then living as Cori Bishop in Ashland, Ore., received an out-of-the-blue phone call: a young musician had found her mystical self-titled debut in a thrift ...

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