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  • Brand: Viking
  • UPC: 9780735232556
  • Item #: 1913856X
  • Available Date: 9/26/2017
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List Price: $30.00
Price: $22.40
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LIGHTFOOT

Summary

The definitive biography of Canada’s most beloved singer-songwriter, a legendary musician who helped define the folk-pop era.

From the tender ballad of “Beautiful” to the historical lament of“The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” to the plaintive political plea of “Black Day in July,” Gordon Lightfoot’s songs have inspired and enchanted fans for more than fifty years. Beloved by a devoted Canadian audience, Lightfoot’s work has been performed and admired by musicians from around the world, including Joni Mitchell, Nico, Ronnie Hawkins and Robbie Robertson. Nobel Prize-winner Bob Dylan once listed “Sundown” and “If You Could Read My Mind” among his favourite Lightfoot songs, before adding, “I can’t think of any I don’t like.” In addition to winning nearly every Canadian music award, in 2012, Lightfoot was inducted into the American Songwriters Hall of Fame alongside such luminaries as Leonard Cohen, Kris Kristoffersen, and Dylan; it honoured Lightfoot as a singer who helped “define the folk-pop sound of the 1960s and ’70s.”

Biographer Nick Jennings has had unprecedented access to the notoriously reticent musician. He chronicles Lightfoot’s early efforts—his school principal recorded a disc of “Gordie” singing at age 9—to his beginnings as a songwriter to his heyday in concert halls around the globe. Possessed of a strong work ethic and a perfectionist bent, Lightfoot brought discipline to his craft and performances. But he partied just as hard in that rock ’n’ roll era, and alcoholism began to take its toll. Lightfoot toured relentlessly and his personal life suffered as marriages and relationships unravelled. At 63, he suffered an aortic aneurysm that nearly killed him and kept him in a coma for six weeks. But his amazing stamina helped him survive and miraculously saw him on stage once again, resuming his touring and yearly sold-out show at Massey Hall.

Jennings paints an unforgettable portrait of an artist in the making, set against the turbulent era of sex and drugs and rock ’n’ roll. Voices from the music industry mix with loyal fans to illustrate how the boy from small-town Ontario became the legendary bard of Canada. Stuffed with anecdotes and the singer’s own reminisences, Lightfoot is an exhilarating read.

About the Author

NICHOLAS JENNINGS is one of Canada’s most respected music journalists. He was the music critic and feature writer for Maclean’s magazine from 1980 to 2000. In addition, he has written for Saturday Night, Billboard,Words & Music, TV Guide, Inside Entertainment and Hello! magazines, reviewing literally thousands of recordings and interviewing and profiling many of the world’s leading artists, from Oscar Peterson, Paul Simon, Mick Jagger, and Paul McCartney to Joni Mitchell, Sarah McLachlan, Diana Krall, and Shania Twain. For newspapers, he has written on music for The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, and, from 1992 to 1998, contributed the “Global Groove” column to Toronto’s Eye Weekly. He has been a frequent guest on CBC Radio, as a panelist on 50 Tracks and a regular contributor to Inside the Music. His previous books include Before the Gold Rush: Flashbacks to the Dawn of the Canadian Sound and Fifty Years of Music: The Story of EMI Music Canada.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Viking
  • Biography & Autobiography / Composers & Musicians