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.

Toronto Songs: Ian Tyson's Marlborough Street Blues

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When Ian Tyson arrived in Toronto in September 1958, the folk music scene didn’t exist. The coffeehouses hadn’t yet appeared in Yorkville. The city’s bohemian district consisted of a few ramshackle cafés and galleries along a tiny stretch of Gerrard Street, near Bay, that attracted colorful personalities and painters like Harold Town. All of that was about to change with the Folk Boom ignited by the Kingston Trio and its massive hit “Tom Dooley.” Tyson had hitchhiked his way East from the West Coast, where he’d graduated from the Vancouver School of Art. He was 25 years old. His life experience at that point largely amounted to riding bareback in rodeos and playing a little guitar in rockabi...
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Letter to Globe & Mail re: Sam's sign

                            The Citgo sign near Fenway Park in Boston. The old neon lights that lit up the sign for years (L) have been replaced by much brighter LEDs, the glowing chips found in digital clocks. Officials say the sign will stand up to the tough New England weather. Re: Preservation of iconic signs is admirable, but not at the expense of common sense (Sept. 12) Ryerson knew full well the challenge it faced with the Sam the Record Man sign, but chose not to embrace it. The university's agreement with the city, dated August 15, 2008, stated that it would use "reasonable best efforts to identify an opportunity ...
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Deputation to Community Council - on the Sam the Record Man sign

                                  Deputation to Toronto and East York Community Council – September 10, 2013 Speaking in opposition to TE26.34 ( Proposed Amendments to Agreements between Ryerson University and the City of Toronto - Sam the Record Man Signage ) Madam Chair and Councilors: My name is Nicholas Jennings. I am a journalist, historian and a graduate of Ryerson. I have spent my entire career writing about music, including books, TV documentaries and, for 20 years, as feature writer and reviewer for Maclean’s magazine. One of my books, Before the Gold Rush, focused on the history of Toronto’s music ...
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