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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Jay Douglas at the Friar's Music Museum

Toronto reggae-soul star Jay Douglas, originally from Montego Bay, got his start with the Cougars, playing at the West Indies Federation Club at Brunswick and College then at Club Jamaica on Yonge Street before crossing over to Le Coq D'Or. The Cougars can be heard on the great Jamaica to Toronto compilation from the Light in the Attic label. Here, Jay and his band return to Yonge and take over the Friar's Music Museum space for a half-hour concert and an animated history lesson of the Toronto music scene. Tip o' the hat to Mark Garner, Museum co-curator Jan Haust and the ever youthful legend Jay Douglas.Watch Jay at the Friar's Music Museum here 
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John Finley - Soul Singer

Blue-eyed soul was the term coined in the 1960s to describe the sound of the rhythm-and-blues stylings of excitable white boys. The most famous exponents were America’s Righteous Brothers, the Young Rascals and England’s Spencer Davis Group, with vocalist Stevie Winwood.One the world’s best blue-eyed soul singers has always been Canada’s John Finley. As a member of Toronto’s r&b heroes Jon and Lee & the Checkmates, Finley caused a sensation in the mid-’60s with gut-wrenching, sweat-soaked performances and hyper-adrenalized emotion in a voice that held audiences spellbound as he soared from hushed stage whisper to rafter-shaking scream. With the Checkmates, Finley was a dominant ...
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Jackie Shane - Toronto's answer to Little Richard

The North American rhythm-and-blues circuit of the 1950s and ’60s had a surprising number of artists pushing gender boundaries. Macon, Georgia’s Little Richard, who’d once performed as Princess Lavonne in a traveling tent show called Sugarfoot Sam's, was certainly the best known. But Richard was heavily influenced by Esquerita, a flamboyant and feminine pianist from New Orleans. Also from New Orleans were two other artists who were gay or transgender or nonbinary: Patsy Vidalia, born Irving Ale, hosted the city’s legendary Dew Drop Inn and recorded as Pat Valdelar; and gay soul singer and impresario Bobby Marchan regularly switched between male and female clothing—complete wit...
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Music Review: Van Morrison - A Sense of Wonder

A mystical master of Gaelic rhythm and blues, Van Morrison has for more than 20 years served up musical puzzles to which he has offered no answers. But on A Sense of Wonder, his first album since Warner Brothers, his long-time label, reportedly dropped him, the Irish-born singer has stopped asking questions altogether. The result is lacklustre music with none of Morrison’s usual gut-wrenching soul. On the title track, Morrison contemplates nature’s beauty; with “Ancient of Days” and “The Master’s Eyes” he thanks the Creator for His generous ways; on the dirge-like “Let the Slave” he delivers the 18th-century visionary poet William Blake’s “The Price of Experience” in rapid monotone. Only on ...
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