Hello, kittens and dawgs! My inspiration or need to know for a post idea often comes while researching and composing a post. Naturally, while Googling a seed planted and today we’re going to learn more about Whatever happened to Gordon Lightfoot?
Gordon Lightfoot is a Canadian singer-songwriter. He’s credited for defining the folk-pop flavor of the 60s and 70s. I remember some of his early to mid-70s songs like If You Can Read My Mind (1970), Sundown (’74), Carefree Highway (’74), and The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (’76) which are perhaps some of his most popular tunes of the decade. I thought his music was nice, but I couldn’t fully appreciate it with my head stuck in fluffy songs by the Osmond Brothers or pop dance tracks of the Jackson Five. It wasn’t until later that I developed a fondness for Lightfoot’s music.
Let’s take a look at Gordon Lightfoot’s stuff starting from the 80s because I don’t remember anything beyond the 70s. Either way, it’ll be a refresher or an introduction to his newer works.
Lightfoot released his 14th album in 1980, Dream Street Rose. The album peaked at 58 on the country charts and 60 on the pop charts. The song track bearing the album title hit #80 on the country charts.
Lightfoot’s 1982 album, Shadows, didn’t do well but one song from this album hit the Adult Contemporary charts at #20 with Baby Step Back.
The following year, Lightfoot released a more uptempo album, shifting from folk pop to adult contemporary recording, which barely registered the charts at 175. Listen now to Lightfoot’s complete little-known works from Salute!
The early 90s, Lightfoot sorta made a comeback with his 18th recording where he gets back to his folk-pop roots of writing and singing folk-pop style songs which he dedicated to his wife and son with the 1993 release of Waiting for you (listen to the entire album below).
The last album Gordon produced with all new works for this decade came in 1998 with A Painter Passing Through (listen to the full album below).
The last recording for the decade was a box set with some of Lightfoot’s top-notch recordings as well as some never released tracks spanning from the 1960s through the 1990s on his Songbook (4CD) album collection.
The new millennium wasn’t too kind to Gordon Lightfoot. After a concert in September 2002, Lightfoot airlifted to a hospital because of severe stomach pain turned out to be an abdominal aortic aneurysm, a serious and sometimes fatal condition. He was in a coma for 6-weeks and underwent four more surgeries but three months from the day admitted, he got to go home. A follow-up procedure for the same medical issue occurred in 2003 and thankfully by the next year he was back to his music with the release of his 20th album, Harmony (click the link to listen to all song tracks). The next three cuts come from this album and are my favorites.
His voice sounds strong and smooth, doesn’t it? He made a surprise comeback performance at Mariposa in Orillia, performing “I’ll Tag Along“ solo and in 2005 appeared on Canadian Idol. 2006 Lightfoot suffered a minor stroke resulting in the use of his right-hand middle and ring fingers but since then has regained mobility in his hand again.
It’s rather amazing to think Gordon Lightfoot produced 200+ recordings in five-decade span and received many honors along the way. What’s even more incredible is Lightfoot continues to tours. He’s booked now through the end of November in various cities in the US and Canada. 😉
You can follow Gordon Lightfoot on one of these social media sites.
Gordon, if you’re visiting. Thank you for the music. You still have all the right stuff! And, thank you, my sweet peeps for joining me today to learn Whatever happened to Gordon Lightfoot!
This is Curious as a Cathy. I’ll see you tomorrow for not-so Wordless Wednesday! ?