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-   -   LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017 (http://www.corfid.com/vbb//showthread.php?t=28489)

charlene 12-22-2017 08:12 PM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017
from Nicholas Jennings: photo by Henry Grossman


charlene 01-08-2018 05:58 PM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017

One of Gordon Lightfoot’s best-known songs was born out of a dying marriage. With its visions of wishing-well ghosts, movie queens and paperback novels, “If You Could Read My Mind” contains some of Lightfoot’s most vivid imagery. Emotionally, the lyrics stand out for their startling honesty. The words had poured out of him one afternoon in 1969, while sitting alone in an empty house.

Baring his soul like never before, he’d written lines like “I don’t know where we went wrong, but the feeling’s gone and I just can’t get it back.” There was little doubt it was about his broken marriage. The words “heroes often fail” suggest he blamed himself for its demise, but the phrase “chains upon my feet” indicates he also felt imprisoned by it.

Lightfoot had met Brita Olaisson in 1962, just as he was trying to get his solo career off the ground. Newly arrived from Sweden, Brita was a smart, attractive blonde who lived in the same rooming house as Lightfoot in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood. They hit it off and married a year later in Brita’s hometown of Stockholm.
After spending their first summer together in London, England, where Lightfoot appeared on a BBC TV series, the couple holidayed in Ireland and then returned to Toronto. Brita was already pregnant with their first child. Meanwhile, Lightfoot’s ambition to succeed with his music kept him away from home much of the time. And the second child that quickly followed only caused him to tour even more to support his growing family.

Honeymoon copy 1Brita had been hugely supportive of Lightfoot’s career. With her level head and mathematical skills, she’d been a willing sounding board and shrewd financial advisor. But Lightfoot’s frequent absences and his affairs with other women in towns and cities where he performed had put a strain on their marriage. There was jealous, mistrust and a growing distance between them—and no apparent way to bridge the gap. In 1969, during one of their frequent fights, Lightfoot had lost his temper with Brita and put his fist through a door. His broken hand became an ugly metaphor for the dissolution of their marriage.

That same year, Lightfoot signed a recording deal with Warner/Reprise. His first order of business was to write new songs for a new album. In July, while his wife Brita and their children, Fred and Ingrid, were still in the family home, Lightfoot moved into a large new house he’d purchased at 222 Blythwood Road in Toronto, in a quiet neighborhood just off Mount Pleasant. With just a wicker chair and his beloved Quebec table for furnishings, it became Lightfoot’s songwriting retreat. It was there he composed “If You Could Read My Mind.”

Lightfoot’s new album, Sit Down Young Stranger, came out in May 1970. Warner decided that Lightfoot’s first single should be his cover of Kristofferson’s “Me and Bobby McGee”—the only song on it he didn’t write. If Lightfoot was ticked, he didn’t let on. He was pleased that the album was receiving strong reviews, including one from Rolling Stone, which called it “some of the nicest folk music on record anywhere.” Also heartening: Dylan had just released a version of “Early Morning Rain” on his Self Portrait album.

But then a strange thing happened: Emperor Smith, a disc jockey at Seattle’s highly influential KJR radio station, discovered “If You Could Read My Mind” on Sit Down Young Stranger and started playing it instead of “Me and Bobby McGee.” Soon, other radio stations jumped on board, and Lightfoot’s song started getting airplay across the country. Prompted by the strong listener response, Warner/Reprise released “If You Could Read My Mind” as the follow-up single. “It’s a highly sophisticated, beautiful song, but it didn’t have a conventional structure, so I assumed radio wasn’t going to accept it,” says Warner producer Lenny Waronker. “But it became our unexpected hit, and a very pleasant surprise.” Almost immediately, the song reached Billboard’s Top 40.

In February 1971, thanks to snowballing radio play, “If You Could Read My Mind” hit number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and number 1 on the magazine’s Easy Listening chart. It was so successful that Warner/Reprise renamed Lightfoot’s album. Up to that point, Sit Down Young Stranger had sold about 80,000 copies. The title was changed to If You Could Read My Mind and within six weeks it had sold 650,000 copies. And it kept on selling. Lightfoot finally had his long-awaited US hit.

“If You Could Read My Mind” has become Lightfoot’s most covered song, with over 300 recorded versions by everyone from Johnny Cash, Barbra Streisand and Neil Young to Holly Cole, Glen Campbell and Olivia Newton-John. There are two disco hit versions, one by Viola Wills and another by Stars on 54. Diana Krall and Sarah McLachlan recorded a duet of it on Krall’s 2015 album Wallflower.

Speaking of duets, “If You Could Read My Mind” remains one of the few songs of his that Lightfoot has ever sung with another artist. In 1984, Lightfoot sang it on TV’s Solid Gold with Marilyn McCoo, formerly of the Fifth Dimension.

Watch Lightfoot duet with Marilyn McCoo

One final footnote: Lightfoot’s daughter Ingrid had once challenged him on the sentiment expressed in the lyrics. Recalled Lightfoot: “She said, ‘Daddy, it’s not “the feelings that you lack,” it’s “the feelings that we lack.’ She was clear that I was pointing at her mum. She said, ‘Wasn’t it a two-way street, Daddy?’ And I said, ‘You know, you’re right.’” From that point on, Lightfoot has always sung his famous song with the words “the feelings that we lack.”

Adapted from Lightfoot by Nicholas Jennings. Copyright © 2017 Nicholas Jennings. Published by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Photographs used are courtesy of Gordon Lightfoot unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.

formerlylavender 02-23-2018 10:58 AM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017

Originally Posted by youngstranger (Post 190632)
It's also seems to be the only song so far (I'm up to '83) that he straight out criticises.

Totally agree! I just got to that part too. I like Rainbow Trout! Even if I didn't, it's strange that it was singled out.

charlene 08-02-2018 12:39 PM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017

2018 Historical Writing: Book Nominees
This category recognizes English language non-fiction books or e-books.

Nicholas Jennings
Penguin Random House Canada Lightfoot
Lightfoot chronicles the life and career of Gordon Lightfoot, unquestionably one of Canada’s greatest songwriters. No matter how much his fame grew abroad, Lightfoot has always come home to Toronto.

In this book, celebrated music journalist Nicholas Jennings captures how he has influenced the city’s culture and the musicians who followed him – from his first performance at Massey Hall to the Rosedale mansion that hosted his legendary after-parties.

The 2018 nominees are:

Bruce Newton

Bruce Newton, Toronto Paramedic Services

Accidents, Illness and Sirens: The History of Toronto’s Ambulance Service
Accidents, Illness and Sirens is the first book written detailing the history of Toronto’s ambulance service. It describes 184 years of history of the service by describing the issues surrounding the paramedic and medical services.

It offers information on teams, support units, major incidents, and important milestones that have shaped the service. As well, it focuses on the cultural importance of disease and the impact of the ambulance service on people living in Toronto.

John Lorinc, Jane Farrow, Stephanie Chambers, Maureen Fitzgerald, Ed Jackson, Tim McCaskell, Rebecka Sheffield, Rahim Thawer, Tatum Taylor

Coach House Books

Any Other Way: How Toronto Got Queer
Any Other Way is a richly woven history that reveals how individuals and queer community networks transformed Toronto from a place of churches, into a city consistently leading the way in queer activism internationally.

From the earliest pioneers to politics of the contemporary era, the book explores how queer Toronto has shaped one of the world’s most diverse cities.

Tim Morawetz

Glue Inc.

Art Deco Architecture across Canada: Stories of the Country’s Buildings between the Two World Wars
Art Deco Architecture across Canada is a portrait of architecture in Canada between the late 1920s and the early 1950s. Of the 150 structures featured in the book, 30 are located in Toronto.

These buildings are brought to life through more than 400 contemporary colour photographs and rare archival images. The book showcases Toronto’s landmark buildings that remain intact, celebrates those that have been successfully repurposed, and mourns those that have been lost.

Scott Kennedy

Dundurn Press

Don Mills: From Forests and Farms to Forces of Change
Don Mills remembers the agricultural areas that pre-existed Canada’s first subdivisions surrounding Toronto’s downtown core. This book honours the rich history of the region to make sure that the original farms and farmers of Toronto are not forgotten.

Population growth has resulted in pressure to develop Don Mills, which has caused the landscape of the area to be irreparably altered. Today, the farms have been replaced by industries, homes, and shops.

Shawn Micallef
McClelland & Stewart Signal Frontier City: Toronto on the Verge of Greatness
Frontier City is a view of the Toronto of today and an inspiring vision of the Toronto of the near future. This book is a collection of conversations with political candidates from across Toronto, observing how they energize their communities and addressed local issues of poverty, violence, racism, and drugs.

It is an introduction to those fighting for a more inclusive Toronto, and reveals the potential for a city long suffering through a severe identity crisis.

Peter Goddard

Dundurn Press

The Great Gould
The Great Gould, with the support of the Glenn Gould Estate, draws on interviews with Glenn Gould to present a freshly revealing portrait of the musician’s unsettled life, his radical decision to stop playing concerts, his career as a radio innovator, and his deep response to the Canadian environment. Sci-fi and hi-fi, hockey and Petula Clark, Elvis, jazz, chess, the Beatles, and sex—all these inform this exploration of the pianist’s far-reaching imagination.

David McPherson

Dundurn Press

The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern
The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern captures the story of the tavern founded by Jack Starr in 1947 as a country music club on the site of a former blacksmith shop. From country and rockabilly to rock ‘n’ roll, punk, and more, the live music venue has evolved with the times and trends—always keeping pace with the music. This book celebrates the legacy of the Horseshoe Tavern, and its importance to Toronto music culture today.

Robert C. VipondPublisher:
University of Toronto Press Making a Global City
Making a Global City critically examines diversity in Toronto’s Clinton Street Public School between 1920 and 1990. The book eloquently highlights the challenges posed by multicultural citizenship in a city that was once dominated by Anglo-Protestants and the gradual globalization of the community starting in the 1970s.

This book celebrates diversity as Toronto’s strength while highlighting the vital role that public schools play in integrating immigrants into liberal democracies.

charlene 08-02-2018 12:39 PM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017
Roberto Perin

University of Toronto Press

The Many Rooms of This House: Diversity in Toronto’s Places of Worship Since 1840
The Many Rooms of this House recounts the rise and decline of religion in Toronto over the past 170 years. This book is a nuanced analysis of how the growing wealth of Toronto over time stimulated religious congregations to compete over the size, style, materials, and decoration of their places of worship. It provides a lens to understand how this once overwhelmingly Protestant city became a symbol of religious and cultural diversity.

Phillip Gordon Mackintosh

University of Toronto Press

Newspaper City: Toronto’s Street Surfaces and the Liberal Press, 1860-1935
Newspaper City tells the story of how the Toronto Globe and Toronto Daily Star campaigned for surface infrastructure improvements as liberal editors saw this as the leading expression of modern urbanity. This book traces the opinions expressed in news articles over 75 years to understand the conflict between newspaper editors and property owners who resisted paying for infrastructure improvements.

Karolyn Smardz Frost

HarperCollins Publishers Ltd

Steal Away Home
Steal Away Home captures the story of fifteen year old Cecelia Reynolds’ escape from slavery in Kentucky and her new life as an immigrant in Toronto’s vibrant African-American community. Created out of in-depth research on the Civil War, this book traces the history behind one woman’s escape from slavery and delves into her risky return back to the United States to be reunited with her mother. It provides a larger narrative on the struggle for freedom that supported the growth of diversity in Toronto.

Lance Hornby

ECW Press

Toronto and the Maple Leafs: A City and Its Team
Toronto and the Maple Leaves explores the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 100 years as Toronto’s team, and the city’s relationship with the beloved sports team. This book gives a thorough analysis of how Toronto and the Leafs have become one through two world wars, the depression, and many years of dysfunctional hockey operations. This book not only is about a hockey team, but it creates a larger picture of the people who live in Toronto and their connection to the city.

Adam Bunch

Dundurn Press

The Toronto Book of the Dead
The Toronto Book of the Dead delves into the history of the ever-changing city of Toronto through the lives and deaths of those who made it their final resting place. From morbid tales of war and plague, to duels and executions, Toronto’s past is filled with stories whose endings were anything but peaceful. This book uses these stories of death to expose how Toronto has gone from being a muddy frontier town to a booming metropolis of concrete and glass.

Timothy J. Stewart

WLU Press

Toronto’s Fighting 75th in the Great War 1915–1919: A Prehistory of the Toronto Scottish Regiment (Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother’s Own)
Toronto’s Fighting 75th evokes the spirit and consequences of Toronto at war. It tells the story of urban professionals, university graduates, labourers and the unemployed who fought alongside the British in 1915 to 1921. This book was created out of exhaustive research, drawn from archival sources, diaries, letters, newspaper accounts, and interviews, and has created a lasting record of the sacrifice of Toronto’s Fighting 75th in the Great War.

Pedro Mendes

Figure 1 Publishing

Walter Beauchamp: A Tailored History of Toronto
Walter Beauchamp is a lively tale of how the renowned company survived the effects of World Wars, the Great Depression, and the wrecking ball, as well as the fickle face of fashion retail with grace, elegance, and always discretion. This book reveals an intriguing history of Toronto from the perspective of a custom tailor and the vantage point of the Beauchamp shop windows, including the stories of soldiers, prime ministers, mayors, artists, and more.

Trevor Cole

HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

The Whisky King
The Whisky King tells a rich and fascinating history of Canada’s first celebrity mobster, Rocco Perri—King of the Bootleggers—and the Mountie who pursued him. With in-depth research and masterful storytelling, this book details the fascinating rise to power of a notorious Prohibition-era Canadian crime figure twinned with the life of Frank Zaneth, Canada’s first undercover Mountie who pursued him.

Gare Joyce

Simon & Schuster Canada

Young Leafs
Young Leafs tells the story of Auston Matthews, who made history in 2016 by becoming the first player in the modern National Hockey League to score four goals in his debut. It was a momentous occasion for the talented young All-Star, but it was equally important for his newly adopted city and its century-old team, the Toronto Maple Leafs. This book follows Matthews and his team through the 2016 season, tracing the divergent journeys of each player leading up to the teams complete rebuild.

charlene 03-27-2019 07:32 PM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017
FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/lightfootbook/
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charlene 03-27-2019 07:34 PM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017
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charlene 03-27-2019 07:37 PM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017
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charlene 03-27-2019 07:38 PM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017
https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7863/...b33d3e1bc9.jpglightfoot launch-nj-arkan zakharov photo by char Westbrook, on Flickr

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lighthead2toe 03-27-2019 08:26 PM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017
Great stuff Char.
Thnx for keepin' it movin'.
The music carries on!

It's Hanover, Ont. April 5th with "Classic Lightfoot Live" and then "Gordon Lightfoot Live" in Mississauga on April 15th.

Springtime has arrived and the maple syrup is flowing.

And I need to and will be there!

Dave, Melbourne,Australia 03-28-2019 07:10 AM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017
I just recognised the castle in the photo of Gord and first wife Brita in post #77. It's Blarney Castle just outside Cork City in the Republic of Ireland. Tourists visit the top level to hang upside-down and kiss the Blarney Stone in order to attain the gift of eloquence. I suspect it was taken during their honeymoon.

paskatefan 03-29-2019 05:54 AM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017
Great pics! Thanks!


johnfowles 03-29-2019 07:29 PM

Re: LIGHTFOOT by Nicholas Jennings - Sept.2017

Originally Posted by Dave, Melbourne,Australia (Post 192031)
I just recognised the castle in the photo of Gord and first wife Brita in post #77. It's Blarney Castle just outside Cork City in the Republic of Ireland. Tourists visit the top level to hang upside-down and kiss the Blarney Stone in order to attain the gift of eloquence. I suspect it was taken during their honeymoon.

well spotted David I can just about remember bending over backwards to kiss the Blarney stone during a visit to Cork in 1982 see the two photos on

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