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The home of music journalist Nicholas Jennings, author of Lightfoot, the definitive new Gordon Lightfoot biography from Penguin Random House.
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Liner Notes: Kensington Market - Avenue Road

The Summer of Love gave the world the Monterey Pop Festival and The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper. Ultimately, those precious months in 1967 produced something far greater: the full flowering of the hippie movement and a sense of cultural, social and political barricades coming down. Change was in the air. The seeds were sown at the Human Be-In in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park and quickly spread to most major cities in the western world. In Toronto, the May Love-In at Queen’s Park attracted a crowd of barefooted flower children who danced to Buffy Sainte-Marie and Leonard Cohen under a thick cloud of marijuana smoke.That same month, three musicians from Yorkville, Toronto’s hippie village, gathere...
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Liner Notes: The Paupers – Dig Deep 1966-1968

Canadians have a peculiar ability to downplay—or forget altogether—their artists’ achievements. “Cultural amnesia,” Margaret Atwood once called it. Canada’s first lady of letters could well have been referring to how the fabulous Paupers were (until now) relegated to the delete bins of Canadian music history. Atwood was giving her first poetry readings at Toronto’s Bohemian Embassy when The Paupers were establishing themselves as a legendary live act up the street, in Yorkville clubs like the El Patio and Boris’ Red Gas Room. The group went on to score radio hits such as “Simple Deed” and “If I Call You By Some Name.” But most significant—and forgotten—is the fact that in the months leading ...
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Liner Notes: Kensington Market - Aardvark

By the end of the 1960s, the psychedelic-rock revolution was peaking. Dream-laced lyrics and trippy effects, including distortion, tape-loops, echoes, delays and phase shifting, were rampant. Adventurous musicians were busy employing a new array of instruments to conjure up kaleidoscopic sounds. The Beatles, leaders in the new music, had already introduced the sitar on Sgt. Pepper’s and the Mellotron on “Strawberry Fields Forever.” The year 1969 saw numerous bands tripping out with delightfully freaky albums, including Skip Spence’s Oar, Jefferson Airplane’s Volunteers and The Moody Blues’ On the Threshold of a Dream.During the winter of ’68, the members of Toronto’s Kensington Market were d...
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Before the Gold Rush - Flashbacks to the Dawn of the Canadian Sound

Book Description from AmazonThis is an entertaining, authoritative, and highly anecdotal look at the golden era of Canadian pop music-the historically important decade that gave birth to such internationally respected recording artists as Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Ian & Sylvia Tyson, Gordon Lightfoot, Murray McLauchlan, Bruce Cockburn, Buffy Saint Marie, Blood, Sweat & Tears, and Ronnie Hawkins. In the bohemian sixties, Toronto's Yorkville neighbourhood was a hippie haven-our version of Haight-Ashbury or Greenwich Village, a place where coffeehouses like the Riverboat and the Purple Onion offered a creative mecca for musicians from across Canada. They came from Saskatoon and Winnipe...
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Riverboat Plaque Presentation

Heritage Toronto press release: On June 18 2009, Heritage Toronto was joined by some of Canada's most notable musicians to commemorate famed Yorkville coffeehouse, the Riverboat. Located in the narrow basement of a house at 134 Yorkville Ave, the Riverboat was opened in 1964 by Bernie Fiedler and became the best-known coffeehouse in Canada. Over its history, the Riverboat stage was graced by Canada's music elite, including Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Gordon Lightfoot. The Riverboat remained open until 1977, by which time it was the sole remaining coffeehouse in the area.A number of musicians who graced The Riverboat's stage during its illustrious life attended the event, includin...
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