Gordon Lightfoot was a Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist. On February 6, 2012, Lightfoot was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. He died at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center in Toronto on May 1, 2023, at the age of 84.
Gordon Lightfoot Personal Life
Gordon Lightfoot was born on 17 November 1938 in Orillia, Ontario, Canada to Jessie Vick Trill Lightfoot and Gordon Lightfoot Sr. Gordon’s parents owned a local dry-cleaning business. They are of Scottish descent. Gordon has a sister named Beverley who dies in 2017.
As a child, he used to sing in the choir of Orillia’s St. Paul’s United Church under the direction of choirmaster Ray Williams. According to Lightfoot, Williams taught him how to sing with emotion and how to have confidence in his voice.
As a child, he sang Orillian St. Paul’s United Church Choir under the direction of Choirmaster Ray Williams. According to Lightfoot, Williams taught him how to sing with emotion and how to trust his voice.
As a teenager, Lightfoot studied piano and taught himself to play drums and percussion. He taught himself to play folk guitar. His music at the time was composed by the 19th-century American songwriter Stephen Foster. He was also a successful high school track and field competitor, setting school records in the shot put and pole vault and starting on his school’s Georgian Bay championship-winning football team. His athletic and academic aptitude earned him scholarships at university.
Gordon Lightfoot Career
To support himself, he sang on demo records and wrote, directed, and produced commercials. His influences included the folk music of Pete Seeger, Bob Gibson, Ian and Sylvia Tyson, and The Weavers. He lived in Los Angeles for a while but missed Toronto and returned there in 1960. Since then, he has lived in Canada, although he has worked extensively in the United States on an H-1B visa. After returning to Canada, Lightfoot performed with Singin’ Swingin’ Eight, CBC TV’s Country Hoedown, and the Gino Silvi Singers. He soon became known in the crowd-oriented coffee shops of Toronto.
In 1962, Lightfoot released two singles, both recorded at RCA in Nashville and produced by Chet Atkins, which were local hits in Toronto and gained traction elsewhere in Canada. “(Remember Me) I’m the One” reached number 3 on CHUM radio in Toronto in July 1962 and was in the top 20 of the then very influential Canadian radio station CKGM CKGM.
The next single was “Negotiations”/”It’s Too Late, He Wins”; in December it ranked 27th in CHUM. He sang with Terry Whelan in a duo called the Two Tones. They recorded a live album in 1962 called Two-Tones at the Village Corner (1962, Chateau CLP-1012). In 1963, Lightfoot toured Europe and hosted a country and Western program for BBC TV in Great Britain for a year.
He returned to Canada in 1964. He performed at the Mariposa Folk Festival and began to develop a reputation as a songwriter. Ian and Sylvia Tyson recorded “Early Mornin’ Rain” and “For Lovin’ Me”; a year later Peter, Paul, and Mary recorded both songs; other acts that recorded one or both of these songs included Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Chad and Jeremy, George Hamilton IV, the Clancy Brothers, and the Johnny Mann Singers. Established recording artists such as Marty Robbins (“Ribbon of Darkness”), Leroy Van Dyke (“I Don’t Say”), Judy Collins (“Early Morning Rain”), Richie Havens, and Spyder Turner (“I Can’t Do.”) and the Kingston Trio (“Early Morning Rain”) achieved chart success with Lightfoot’s material.
In 1965, Lightfoot signed a management contract with Albert Grossman, who also represented many famous American folk musicians, and signed a recording contract with United Artists, who released his version of “I’m Not Sayin'” as a single. Performances at the Newport Folk Festival, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and New York City Hall expanded his following and solidified his reputation. In 1966, his debut album Lightfoot! was released, which brought him more visibility as both a singer and songwriter. The album featured many now-famous songs such as “For Lovin’ Me”, “Early Mornin’ Rain”, “Steel Rail Blues” and “Ribbon of Darkness”.
Powered by Lightfoot! An album that mixed Canadian and universal themes, Lightfoot became one of the first Canadian singers to achieve ultimate domestic stardom without moving permanently to the United States to develop it. To kick off Canada’s centennial celebrations, the CBC commissioned Lightfoot to write the “Canadian Railroad Trilogy” for a special broadcast on January 1, 1967. Between 1966 and 1969, Lightfoot recorded four new albums for United Artists: The Way I Feel (1967), Did She Mainit My Name? (1968), Back Here on Earth (1968), and the live recording Sunday Concert (1969), with consecutive top 40 Canadian singles “Go-Go Round”, “Spin, Spin” and “The Way”. His greatest success of the time was a rendition of “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues” by Bob Dylan, which reached number 3 in the Canadian charts in December 1965.
In January 1968, “Did She Remember My Name?” was “Black Day”. 1967 Detroit riot. Weeks later, when Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered on April 4, radio stations in 30 states called the song “Fantasy”, even though the song was a plea for racial harmony. Lightfoot noted at the time that radio station owners were more concerned with playing songs “that make people happy” than songs that “make people think.” Dissatisfied with the lack of support from United Artists, he went to Warner Bros. Records and scored his first major international hit in early 1971 with “If You Could Read My Mind”. Lightfoot’s albums from that period were well-received abroad but did not produce hit singles. Outside of Canada, he was known more as a songwriter than a performer.
His success as a live performer continued to grow in the late 1960s. He embarked on his first Canadian national tour in 1967 and also performed in New York. Between 1967 and 1974, Lightfoot toured Europe and was well-received on two Australian tours. UA continued to release “Best of” album compilations throughout the 1970s, although Lightfoot later became a hit for Warner Bros.
In the 1970s, Lightfoot’s songs covered a wide variety of subjects, including “Don Quixote,” about Cervantes’ famous literary character, “Ode to the Big Blue,” the mass slaughter of whales, “Beautiful,” the simple joys of love, “Carefree Highway” about the freedom of the open road, “Protocol” about the futility of war, and “Alberta Bound”, inspired by a lonely teenage girl named Grace, whom he met on a bus traveling to Calgary in 1971.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Lightfoot recorded six more original albums and a compilation for Warner Bros./Reprise: Dream Street Rose (1980), Shadows (1982), Salute (1983), East of Midnight (1986), another Gord’s compilation. Gold, Vol. 2 (1988), Waiting for You (1993), and A Painter Passing Through (1998). The Dream Street Rose album features the folk-pop sound that Lightfoot has created over the past decade. In addition to the title song, it includes tracks such as “Ghosts of Cape Horn” and “On the High Seas”. It also includes Leroy Van Dyke’s 1950 composition “The Auctioneer”, a bluegrass-style tune that was a Lightfoot concert staple from the mid-1960s through the 1980s. The Shadows album represents a departure from the acoustic sound of his 1970s guitar playing and introduces a mature contemporary sound. Songs such as “Shadows” and “Thank You for the Promises” contain sadness and resignation. The 1982 US single “Baby Step Back” made him the last top 50 hit in that country.
The album Salute (1983) produced no hits; The East of Midnight album (1986) featured several Adult Contemporary songs such as “A Passing Ship”, “Morning Glory” and “I’ll Tag Along” (East of Midnight). East of Midnight’s single “Anything for Love” reached number one on the Billboard Country & Western charts in 1986. In April 1987, Lightfoot filed a lawsuit against composer Michael Masser, claiming that he stole 24 bars of Masser’s melody for “The Greatest Love of All”, versions of which were recorded and released by George Benson in 1977 and Whitney Houston in 1985.
From Lightfoot’s 1971 hit “If You Could Read My Mind.” The transition to Masser’s song, which begins with “I decided a long time ago that I would never walk in anyone’s shadow” is to the same tune as “I never thought I could feel this way and I have to say that I just don’t understand.” I don’t know where we went wrong, but the feeling is gone and I just can’t get it back” from Lightfoot’s song. Lightfoot later claimed that he didn’t want people to think he stole his tune from Masser. The case was settled out of court, and Masser issued a public apology. In the 1990s, Lightfoot returned to his acoustic roots and recorded two albums. Waiting for You (1993) includes songs such as “Restless”, “Wild Strawberries” and “Ring Them Bells” by Bob Dylan. A reboot of A Painter Passing Through was released in 1998, more reminiscent of his earlier recordings with songs such as “Much to My Surprise”, “Red Velvet”, “Drifters” and “I Used to Be a Country Singer”.
During the decade, Lightfoot played approximately 50 concerts a year. In 1999, Rhino Records released the Songbook, a four-CD box set of Lightfoot’s recordings that includes rare and unreleased tracks from the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, as well as a small hardcover booklet for his fans detailing how he created his songs. facts about his career. In April 2000, Lightfoot recorded a live concert in Reno, Nevada; the hour-long program was broadcast by CBC in October and as a PBS special across the United States. PBS stations offered a video of the concert, and the tape and DVD were released in Europe and North America in 2001. It was the first Lightfoot concert video to be released.
In April 2001, Lightfoot performed at the Tin Pan South Legends concert at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, closing the show. In May, he performed “Ring Them Bells” at Massey Hall to celebrate Bob Dylan’s 60th birthday. Lightfoot returned to the music business with a new best-selling album and an appearance on Canadian Idol, where the top six contestants each performed a song, culminating in a group performance of his Canadian Railroad trilogy – on their instruments. In 2005, he did a modest tour called the Better Late Than Never Tour. Lightfoot’s first UK tour in 35 years was announced in 2015, with 11 dates in England, Ireland, and Scotland between 18 May 2016 and June 1, 2016. Lightfoot played at Canada’s 150th birthday celebration on Parliament Hill on July 1, 2017, which was opened by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The Prime Minister mentioned that Lightfoot had played on the same stage exactly 50 years earlier, on Canada’s 100th birthday.
Lightfoot said in 2016 that he had no intention of returning to songwriting later in life, concluding that it was “such an isolating thing” for him earlier in his career and affected his family life. That changed in 2019, however, when he announced plans to make a new studio album for the first time in nearly two decades. His 2017 and 2018 tours included dozens of dates in Canada and the United States. Lightfoot’s 2019 tour was cut short when he was injured while training in the gym.
In March 2020, his concert schedule was suspended due to government restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic. On March 20, 2020, Lightfoot released Solo without other musicians. It was his 21st studio album, released more than 54 years after his debut album. It was released by Warner Music Canada, marking Lightfoot’s return to Warner Music Group.
Gordon Lightfoot’s Health Condition
In September, before the second concert of a two-night stand in Orillia, Lightfoot suffered severe abdominal pains and was airlifted to McMaster University Medical Center in Hamilton, Ontario. He underwent emergency surgery for a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm and remained in critical condition in the intensive care unit (ICU). Lightfoot endured six weeks in a coma and a tracheotomy and underwent four operations.
In 2003, Lightfoot underwent follow-up surgery to continue treatment of the abdominal cavity.
On September 14, 2006, Lightfoot suffered a mild stroke in the middle of a performance, which later left him without the use of the middle and ring fingers of his right hand. He returned to the show nine days later and was briefly used as a stand-in guitarist for the heavier guitarists.
In February 2010, Gordon Lightfoot became the victim of a Twitter death hoax when then-CTV reporter David Akin posted on Twitter and Facebook that Lightfoot had died. Lightfoot was at a dentist’s office when the rumors spread and was discovered listening to the radio on his way home. Lightfoot dispelled those rumors by calling Charles Adler of CJOB, the DJ and radio station he heard announcing his death and gave an interview stating that he was alive and well.
Gordon Lightfoot Net Worth
Gordon had a net worth of $42 million. He earned it by being a musician and singer-songwriter. He has worked over a period of 65 years.
Gordon Lightfoot Relationship
In April 1963, Gordon got married for the first time to a Swedish woman, Brita Ingegerd Olaisson. The couple welcomed two children, Fred and Ingrid. They divorced in 1973, the marriage ending partly because of his infidelity. He admitted that his musical touring and the fact that he found fidelity difficult in a long-distance relationship contributed to the failure of at least two relationships.
In the early 1970s, Gordon was involved with Cathy Smith; their volatile relationship inspired his songs “Sundown” and “Rainy Day People”, among others. “Cathy was an amazing woman,” Gordon told in an interview after her death. “Men were attracted to her and she made me jealous. But I have nothing bad to say about her.”
Gordon remained unmarried for 16 years. In 1989, he got married for the second time to Elizabeth Moon, an American science fiction and fantasy writer. The couple welcomed two children named Gaylen McGee and Eric Lightfoot. They split in 2011 after a separation that Gordon said lasted nine years.
Gordon married Kim Hasse for the third time on December 19, 2014, at Rosedale United Church.
Gordon Lightfoot Education
Gordon graduated high school, at Orillia District Collegiate & Vocational Institute (ODCVI). He earned scholarships at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music and the University of Toronto, Faculty of Music. In 1985, he moved to California to study jazz composition and orchestration for two years at Hollywood’s Westlake College of Music.
On June 6, 2015, he received an honorary doctorate of music in his hometown of Orillia from Lakehead University.
Gordon Lightfoot Physical Stats
|Height||6 feet 0 inch|
Gordon Lightfoot Wiki/Bio
|Full Name||Gordon Meredith Lightfoot Jr|
|Date Of Birth||17 November 1938|
|Date of Death||1 May 2023|
|Age||84 (as of 2023)|
|Birthplace||Orillia, Ontario, Canada|
|Died||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Parents||Gordon Lightfoot Sr., Jessica Lightfoot|
|Spouse||Kim Hasse (m. 2014), Elizabeth Moon (m. 1989–2011), Brita Ingegerd Olaisson (m. 1963–1973)|
|Children||Ingrid Lightfoot, Eric Lightfoot, Fred Lightfoot, Meredith Lightfoot, Miles Lightfoot|
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