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: Beatles visionary, talent scout Paul White

PaulWhite-Beatles-LynnBall Capitol Records Canada executive Paul White (second from left) with the Beatles, Toronto, September 1964. Photo by Lynn Ball.
He’s the man who first brought the Beatles’ music to Canada—almost a full year before America embraced Beatlemania. He then opened the doors for other British Invasion acts and went on to sign the first wave of Canadian pop artists during the 1960s, including Anne Murray and Edward Bear, in his capacity as Capitol Records’ artists & repertoire executive in Canada. When Paul White died on March 13, after a cardiac arrest, the music industry mourned the loss of a jovial gentleman and creative trailblazer. Along with issuing Beatles’ singles, beginning with “Love Me Do” on February 18, 1963 and hitting number one with “She Loves You” by the end of the year, White designed and compiled sever...
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Obituary: Full Tilt Boogie keyboardist Richard Bell

Obituary: Full Tilt Boogie keyboardist Richard Bell
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: Jazz giant Oscar Peterson

oscar-peterson
Few pianists swung as hard or played as fast and with as many grace notes as Canada’s Oscar Peterson. The classically trained musician could play it all, from Chopin and Liszt to blues, stride, boogie, bebop and beyond. He led his own jazz trios, performed with such legendary figures as Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong, who called him “the man with four hands,” recorded more than 200 albums and wrote such memorable works as “Hymn to Freedom” and the “Canadiana Suite.” “A virtuoso without peer,” concluded his biographer, Gene Lees, in The Will to Swing . When Peterson died this week, music lovers around the world mourned the loss of a lyrical stylist and one o...
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Obituary: Parachute Club drummer Billy Bryans

Obituary: Parachute Club drummer Billy Bryans
Billy Bryans was best known as the drummer and founding member of the Parachute Club, the Juno Award-winning political rock group famous for its anthemic hit “Rise Up.” But his credits and contributions ran much deeper and he may ultimately be remembered as a cultural bridge builder who changed the sound of Canadian music. As a musician, Bryans performed and recorded with bands across the musical spectrum, from rock and blues to punk and African styles. At the height of the new wave era, playing in several groups at once, he was often seen pushing his drum kit on a trolley from club to club along Toronto’s Queen Street. His work as a record producer was equally eclectic, working with everyon...
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Obituary: Kate McGarrigle - compelling songs, spellbinding harmony

Obituary: Kate McGarrigle - compelling songs, spellbinding harmony
Folksinger Kate McGarrigle left a deep musical legacy both in recordings with her older sister Anna McGarrigle and in her two children, singer-songwriters Rufus Wainwright and Martha Wainwright. Kate and Anna McGarrigle were revered for their heavenly harmonies and sensitive love songs, made famous by the likes of Linda Ronstadt and Maria Muldaur. Lavish praise greeted the Montreal duo's arrival in the mid-1970s, with the British and American press citing the intimacy of their voices and honesty of their songs. Along with critically lauded albums, the McGarrigle sisters each gave birth to musically talented offspring. Kate McGarrigle grew up bilingual, but, in many ways, music was her first ...
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