Brief comment by Kip Hansen – May 3, 2023
Gordon Lightfoot – how can we say enough good things about the living breath power of humanity that was Gordon Lightfoot? Born in 1938 and gives concerts to the end: His concert schedule announced on April 11, 2023:
Gordon Lightfoot announces the cancellation of its 2023 concert schedule for the United States and Canada. The singer is currently dealing with some health issues and is unable to confirm any new dates at this time.”
He died of natural causes in Toronto on May 1 at the age of 84. The NY Times published his obituary on May 2, 2023.
If you lived in the 1960s and 1970s, you heard his songs performed by Lightfoot himself and also by the “folk singers” popular at the time. And not just “folkies,” almost everyone has recorded at least one Lightfoot song. A very partial list includes: Barbra Streisand, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Marty Robbins, Peter, Paul and Mary, Harry Belafonte, Anne Murray, Sarah McLachlan, Eddie Albert, Herb Alpert, Erik Clapton, Petula Clark, Chad and Jeremy, Judy Collins, Jim Croce, Percy Faith, The Grateful Dead, Richie Havens, Ian and Sylvia, Waylon Jennings, Dianne Krall, Trini Lopez, Jerry Lee Lewis, Tommy Makem and the Clancy Brothers, Johnny Mathis, Billy Joel, Don Mclean, Liza Minnelli , Peter Paul and Mary, Lou Rawls, Frank Sinatra Jr., Conway Twitty, Hank Williams Jr., Neil Young and many more.
Part of the musical iconography of the folk era of the 1960s-1980s, Gordon Lightfoot songs have stood the test of time and become true classics of multiple genres. YouTube offers the opportunity to listen to Gordon Lightfoot’s “Greatest Hits” album from Rhino Records for free.
There are many tributes to this light of music from around the world – you can taste them here. There is a 10 minute tribute by Folk Alliance International covering his career.
To reassure the man himself: “But stories always end.”
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Gordon Lightfoot’s connections to climate and climate change begin and end with a song title: In the Early Morning Rain.
My connection to him is only in memory and song – as it should be.
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