Iconic Folk Singer Gordon Lightfoot Dead At 84 | Eastern North Carolina Now

    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Hank Berrien.

    Legendary Canadian folk singer Gordon Lightfoot, famous for songs including "If You Could Read My Mind," "Sundown," "Carefree Highway," and "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," has died at the age of 84.

    Lightfoot's career was studded with awards, including seventeen Juno awards, four ASCAP awards, and five Grammy nominations; in 1974 "Sundown" was named pop record of the year by the Music Operators of America. He was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1986.

    "If there was a Mt. Rushmore in Canada, Gordon would be on it," musician Tom Cochrane said in the 2019 documentary "Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind." Cochrane lauded Lightfoot at the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame gala in 2003, saying, "Gordon's songs are works of art, every bit as relevant as classic poetry. But even more importantly, Gordon Lightfoot led the way and he showed us ... that you can be true to your roots. You can draw on your influences at home and country and you can incorporate those inspirations into the fabric of your work and still be internationally successful."

    "He is our poet laureate, he is our iconic singer-songwriter," Rush singer Geddy Lee stated.

    Lightfoot was born in Orillia, Ontario, on November 17, 1938. He sang in his church choir, performed in local operettas and oratorios, and set high school records in the shot-put and pole vault, as well as playing the starting nose tackle on his school's Georgian Bay championship-winning football team. He earned scholarships to McGill University's School of Music and the University of Toronto.

    In 1958, Lightfoot moved to California to study jazz composition and orchestration for two years at Hollywood's Westlake College of Music. He returned to Canada in 1960 and started performing at coffee houses. In 1962, he released two singles produced by Chet Atkins: "(Remember Me) I'm the On" and "Negotiations"/"It's Too Late, He Wins." They became local hits in Toronto.

    Peter, Paul and Mary recorded Lightfoot's "Early Mornin' Rain" and "For Lovin' Me," which were also recorded by a number of other famous performers. In 1966, Lightfoot's debut album "Lightfoot" was released, but it wasn't until 1970, with the release of "If You Could Read My Mind," that Lightfoot became a star.

    Lightfoot followed that hit with a string of others.

    "Sometimes I wonder why I'm being called an icon, because I really don't think of myself that way," he told The Globe and Mail. "I'm a professional musician, and I work with very professional people. It's how we get through life."
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( May 4th, 2023 @ 7:24 am )
Gordon Lightfoot was the Bob Dylan of Canada, and I will always consider "If You Could Read my Mind" as one of the most poignant, if not the most poignant, unrequited love songs ever written ... like "lightning in bottle" when created
and sung when Gordon was in his prime, this melody is timeless.

It is a song that I choose to play on my Pawn Shop Guitar #1, and sing once in a great while when I am especially thankful for being married to just one fine woman for nearly 45 years. Sometimes, I even get close to that Lightfoot lilt in his pained voice just as a homage to such a great song, so well performed.

"If I could read your mind, love
What a tale your thoughts could tell
Just like a paperback novel
The kind the drugstore sells
When you reach the part where the heartaches come
The hero would be me
But heroes often fail
And you won't read that book again
Because the ending's just too hard to take

I'd walk away like a movie star
Who gets burned in a three way script
Enter number two, a movie queen to play the scene
Of bringing all the good things out in me
But for now, love, let's be real

I never thought I could act this way
And I've got to say that I just don't get it
I don't know where we went wrong
But the feeling's gone and I just can't get it back" - Gordon Lightfoot

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