Who was/is Gordon Lightfoot ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more

Gordon Lightfoot

GORDON LIGHTFOOT OBITUARY

 

No voice gracing the 1970s radio airwaves sounded as gloriously, unabashedly Canadian as that of Gordon Lightfoot. His flinty phrasing and rich, resonant timbre veritably screamed north-of-the-border origins, and his brilliant songwriting reflected his native environs at the same time it related universal truths.

 

Lightfoot, who passed away Mai 1st at age 84 in 2023, was a genuine folk troubadour whose material effortlessly crossed idiomatic boundaries. Born November 17, 1938 in Orrilia, Ontario, Lightfoot sang in his church choir as a child, soon graduating to performing on the radio. At 12, he sang at Toronto’s prestigious Massey Hall. He learned to play guitar in high school, then journeyed to Hollywood in 1958 to study at Westlake College of Music. “I left the small town that I lived in in central Ontario, and I went because of a ‘Downbeat’ magazine ad,” said Lightfoot. Back in Toronto in 1960, he sang with The Swinging Eight on CBC-TV’s ‘Country Hoedown.’ 

Lightfoot teamed with fellow folkie Terry Whelan as The Two Tones, the duo cutting a 1962 album, ‘At the Village Corner.’ But the singer’s first two solo singles that same year, produced by Louis Innis and Art Snider in Nashville for the Canadian Chateau label and picked up in the U.S. by ABC-Paramount, were much more pop-slanted. Daisy-Doo and Negotiations were closer to rock and roll, while the ballad (Remember Me) I’m The One was a hit in Toronto (the 45s were issued under the slightly truncated handle of Gord Lightfoot).

 

After spending much of 1963 in Europe and England (where he hosted BBC-TV’s ‘Country and Western Show’), Lightfoot returned to Canada, his compositional prowess growing by leaps and bounds. In 1965, Canadian folk duo Ian & Sylvia cut his Early Mornin’ Rain as the title song to their fourth album for Vanguard. The seeds were planted for its creation during Lightfoot’s stint in L.A

“When a car was available to take a drive out to the airport take off at LAX was quite thrilling. I remember a particularly rainy morning--which you can have in January in L.A.--and watching them, and having the vision come back to me perhaps 10 years later while minding my very first kid, while my wife was out shopping, back to the airstrip at LAX and a feeling of homesickness that I had at that time,” he said. “Because I was homesick when I went out there.”

Ian & Sylvia also included another Lightfoot classic, For Lovin’  Me, on that same album, and Marty Robbins scored a C&W chart-topper that year with his Ribbon Of Darkness. “I connected with Ian & Sylvia with some songs that I'd been writing, and they chose a couple of the songs they thought were very nice, and put them in their repertoire and recorded them. From there, they went to Peter, Paul & Mary, which took me into an American management situation,” he said. “So I was able to get a manager there down in the states. That was big news up here in Canada.”

Not just any manager, either: Albert Grossman also handled Bob Dylan as well as Peter, Paul & Mary. His business partner, John Court, produced the singer’s 1966 United Artists debut album ‘Lightfoot!,’ containing the three songs that had served Ian & Sylvia and Robbins so well (Peter, Paul & Mary had hits with Early Mornin’ Rain and For Lovin’ Me that same year; Waylon Jennings crashed the C&W Top Ten with the latter in 1966). Court produced Lightfoot’s UA encore set ‘The Way I Feel’ the following year before giving way to John Simon for Lightfoot’s ’68 album ‘Did She Mention My Name?’ and Elliot Mazer for ‘Back Here On Earth.’ “I was making an album a year then,” he noted.

 Lightfoot’s prolific songwriting skills were serving him well. “I was also in a kinetic energy to write more and more,” said Lightfoot. “I had a young family to support at that time, and that was coming into the equation. I just wrote and wrote and wrote. I just kept on writing.”

After the ‘69 live set ‘Sunday Concert,’ cut live at Massey Hall, Lightfoot left UA and signed with Warner Bros.’ Reprise label, where he really hit the bigtime. If You Could Read My Mind, produced by Lenny Waronker and Joe Wissert, came out in late 1970 and was Lightfoot’s first U.S. pop smash. He topped the pop hit parade and went gold in 1974 with his smoldering, blues-kissed Sundown. Was he surprised at its massive success? “I was indeed, though we had thought it might do something at the time,” said Lightfoot. “It got me further up in the pecking order.”

Carefree Highway was another major hit for Lightfoot later that year.

The rousing true-life nautical saga The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald was Lightfoot’s last blockbuster in 1976. “If I'm going to say anything, I like to try to keep it accurate, or in chronological order,” he said. “That was in chronological order. It has some conjecture. It has one point of conjecture about midway through about the midships--that's whether the old cook really did poke his head out on the deck, whether or not a hatch cover failed, whether or not they ground it out earlier on. There are all kinds of Coast Guard reports on the whole event. It's a song that we play with great gusto onstage, because it is that kind of song.”

Copyright © Bear Family Records®. Copying, also of extracts, or any other form of reproduction, including the adaptation into electronic data bases and copying onto any data mediums, in English or in any other language is permissible only and exclusively with the written consent of Bear Family Records® GmbH.

More information about Gordon Lightfoot on Wikipedia.org

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Lightfoot! - The Way I Feel (CD)
Gordon Lightfoot: Lightfoot! - The Way I Feel (CD) Art-Nr.: BCD15576

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1-CD with 36-page booklet, 26 tracks. Playing time approx. 78 mns. Canada's Gordon Lightfoot parlayed his songwriting into a recording career, though this wasn't a case of a mediocre singer who happened to craft fine songs. His debut...
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Did She Mention My Name - Back Here On Earth (CD)
Gordon Lightfoot: Did She Mention My Name - Back Here On Earth (CD) Art-Nr.: BCD15699

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1-CD with 40-page booklet, 24 tracks. Playing time approx. 78 mns. By 1968, Gordon Lightfoot was coming to terms with stardom and changes in the music world. His third United Artists album, "Did She Mention My Name", was produced in New...
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Sunday Concert, Plus (CD)
Gordon Lightfoot: Sunday Concert, Plus (CD) Art-Nr.: BCD15691

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1-CD with 36-page booklet, 16 tracks. Playing time approx. 54 mns. Gordon Lightfoot's Massey Hall concerts in Toronto are a 30-year tradition. The March 30th, 1969 concert not only allowed the singer/songwriter an opportunity to perform...
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The Way I Feel - Sunday Concert, Plus - Did She Mention My Name - Back Here On Earth (3-CD)
Gordon Lightfoot: The Way I Feel - Sunday Concert, Plus - Did She... Art-Nr.: BCD15576-bu

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1-CD with 36-page booklet, 26 tracks. Playing time approx. 78 mns. 1-CD with 36-page booklet, 16 tracks. Playing time approx. 54 mns. 1-CD with 40-page booklet, 24 tracks. Playing time approx. 78 mns. No voice that resounded through the...
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An Introduction To Gordon Lightfoot (CD)
Gordon Lightfoot: An Introduction To Gordon Lightfoot (CD) Art-Nr.: CDR2570984

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(Rhino Records) 10 tracks 1970-1982 - Essential Nice Price Highlight!***** Gordon Lightfoot, one of the leading singer songwriters of the 1960s and 70s, was Canada's most successful contemporary folk artist, establishing himself as a...
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The Complete Singles 1970-1980 (2-CD)
Gordon Lightfoot: The Complete Singles 1970-1980 (2-CD) Art-Nr.: CDRGM0877

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(Real Gone Music) 34 Tracks - Every hit and rare B-side in their hard-to-find original single Versions! Gordon Lightfoot is a genre in its own right. Neither pop nor folk, country or rock, his music is unvarnished, direct, a statement...
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Solo (CD)
Gordon Lightfoot: Solo (CD) Art-Nr.: CDR2850349

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(Warner) 10 tracks Gordon Lightfoot is Canada's most celebrated songwriter and an international folk legend. Now, after more than a decade, he is announcing his new album Solo - the first studio album with new songs since Harmony was...
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Gordon Lightfoot At Royal Albert Hall (2-CD)
Gordon Lightfoot: Gordon Lightfoot At Royal Albert Hall (2-CD) Art-Nr.: CDLI8412

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(Linus) 26 tracks After 50 years of hit making and with international album sales well into the multi-millions, Gordon Lightfoot is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest singer-songwriters of all time. Inducted into the Songwriter's...
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Harmony (CD)
Gordon Lightfoot: Harmony (CD) Art-Nr.: CDLINUS270027

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(Linus) 11 tracks. Few singer songwriters have given as much quality material to the medium as Canadian-born troubadour Gordon Lightfoot, so it comes as no surprise that after suffering a near-fatal abdominal hemorrhage in 2002, he awoke...
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At Royal Albert Hall (2-LP)
Gordon Lightfoot: At Royal Albert Hall (2-LP) Art-Nr.: LP270841V

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(Linus Entertainment) 26 tracks, gatefold cover. This double-album set is an unadorned live mix of that evening's performance, with no edits, overdubs, remixes or resequencing. It captures every song in the order it was played, up to and...
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If You Could Read My Mind (LP)
Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind (LP) Art-Nr.: LPFRM063992

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(Friday Music) 11 tracks More than 50 years ago, Gordon Lightfoot released the song that not only gave him his first appearance on the US charts, but also his first top five single on the Billboard Hot 100, not to mention a number one...
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