Last night, the world lost one of the greatest songwriters and storytellers of our generation. A simple singer from Orillia, Ontario, who brought us some of the greatest love songs and ballads and stories in contemporary music.
And if you’ve never heard of Gordon Lightfoot … let this blog post be a refresher course.
I mean, just to start off … his song “Early Morning Rain” was so beloved, it was covered not only by Peter Paul & Mary, but also by Elvis Presley. That’s respect right there.
Another early song, “Canadian Railroad Trilogy,” is a story-song about Canada’s own transcontinental railroad and its construction. In fact, not only do I have a version of his great track – I also have a version as performed by several of the Canadian Idol finalists.
Let’s now enjoy some of Gordon Lightfoot’s greatest 1970’s hits, including “If You Could Read My Mind.”
And long before Taylor Swift began re-recording her entire catalog, Gordon Lightfoot did the same thing when he left his old record company and signed with a new one – here’s his updated version of “Beautiful.”
And hearkening back to the story-songs of the turn of the century, like “The Wreck of the Old ’97,” Gordon Lightfoot came up with this story-song about a Great Lakes maritime disaster. You know it, you love it.
How great was Gordon Lightfoot during his time? One of the greatest Canadian rock bands, the Guess Who, even wrote a song about him – it was the B-side of their hit “These Eyes.”
Going to put a personal favorite on here, I always thought this song “Daylight Katy” deserved more love on the radio.
Can’t forget the song he wrote and sang about Cathy Smith, the song “Sundown.” By the way, Cathy Smith would later be the person who provided the lethal “speedball” drug cocktail to John Belushi. Puts a very weird twist on this song, knowing that would later happen.
One more Gordon Lightfoot classic. Because, honestly, I could put 35 more Gordon Lightfoot songs on this blog post and it still wouldn’t be enough.
Rest in peace, Gordon Lightfoot, and thanks for all the musical treasures you gave us on your short journey through our lives.
Thanks for the linkable post. If You Could Read My Mind makes me oddly weepy.
This is a gut punch to anyone that listened to AM radio in the 70’s, like we did, Chuck. “Edmund Fitzgerald” is a personal favorite. So is “If You Could Read My Mind”.
Now, you’ve got something to record for Friday. An all-Gordon show.