Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

LIGHTFOOT, Gordon

(b 17 Nov. '38, Orillia, Ontario) Singer-songwriter. Worked as pianist and arr. of commercial jingles; infl. by Tom Paxton, Ian and Sylvia, Bob Dylan, he began writing his own personal and poignant songs: 'For Lovin' Me' was a top 30 hit for Peter, Paul and Mary, who reached only no. 91 with 'Early Morning Rain' (but it since became a standard), and Marty Robbins had a no. 1 country hit with 'Ribbon Of Darkness', all '65. Lightfoot's first LPs were on UA, now Liberty: Lightfoot '66 was followed by Did She Mention My Name and The Way I Feel; Sunday Concert '69, made live at Massey Hall in Toronto, was first to make the top 200 LPs. Switched to Reprise and Sit Down Young Stranger '70 leaped to no. 12, helped by no. 5 hit single 'If You Could Read My Mind'. Summer Side Of Life '71, Don Quixote and Old Dan's Records '72 were followed by Sundown '74, no. 1 LP USA incl. no. 1 hit title single, also no. 10 hit 'Carefree Highway'. Cold On The Shoulder '75 was a top ten LP; two-disc compilation Gord's Gold incl. an LP of new versions of older songs. Summertime Dream '76 incl. no. 2 hit 'The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald'. Switched to WB for Endless Wire '78, Dream Street Rose '80, Shadows '82, Salute '83; East Of Midnight '86 was his 23rd LP, prod. and co-written by David Foster in a modernizing effort, Lightfoot's style being singularly out of fashion in those days of gaudy trash; later came Waiting For You. His songs were covered by Dylan, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Barbra Streisand, Waylon Jennings, Glen Campbell etc.