The Canadian Music Community is mourning the loss of a Canadian songwriting icon and trailblazer, Gordon Lightfoot.
Born in Orillia, Ontario in 1938, Lightfoot expressed an interest in music from a young age, and had his first appearance at Massey Hall at just 13 years old. He spent many years gigging around the Toronto folk scene, and it wasn’t until 1964 that his music was discovered by two other Canadian Icons; Ian and Sylvia Tyson. The Tysons had chosen two of Lightfoot’s songs for their upcoming record.
In the late ’60s, Lightfoot ended up getting signed by Albert Grossman, a manager who had Peter, Paul and Mary, Gibson & Camp, and Bob Dylan on his roster at the time. Under Grossman’s management, Lightfoot recorded 5 albums for United Artists. Upon completion of his contract with United Artists, Lightfoot signed with Warner/Reprise. He split from Grossman and formed his own company and released 14 more original albums from 1970-1998. His latest studio album, “Harmony” was released in 2004 by independent Canadian label Linus.
From the ’60s, up until today, many of the world’s most renowned artists have covered Lightfoot’s songs, and his achievements have been highly recognized in Canada – with 17 Juno Awards, an induction into the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame in 1986, receiving the prestigious Order Of Canada in 1970, and in 1997, receiving the Governor General’s award – the highest official Canadian honor. In September, 2001, he was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall Of Fame and in June 2012 he was inducted into the U.S. based Songwriters Hall of Fame, which recognizes songwriters from throughout the world.
In a career spanning more than 45 years, Lightfoot has recorded over 200 songs, and written many more. He has been acknowledged as an artistic influence to many of the world’s top artists, and continues to make a significant impact on the entire Canadian music community.
We will continue to celebrate Gordon Lightfoot’s life and all the great he has done for Canada and the music industry.
Rest in peace.