Ask a music-loving Canadian to enlighten you on who Gordon Lightfoot is and you just might be inviting yourself to at least an hour long conversation, clearly not because of the loquaciousness of the narrator but due to Lightfoot’s robust profile. To save you from that stress, the man is a talented Canadian singer and songwriter who by the looks of things, has dedicated his life to dishing out good music for the gratification of our ears.
Who’s Gordon Lightfoot?
Gordon Lightfoot is a talented singer and songwriter. He was born on November 17, 1948, in Orillia Ontario, Canada, to Gordon Lightfoot Sr. (Father) and Jessie Vick Trill Lightfoot (mother) who were big shots in the dry cleaning business. His love for music came at a very tender age with him going on to perform the popular Irish lullaby titled Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral while just in Grade four at a Parent’s day event.
After the performance, his parents took notice of his talents in music and decided to nurture him into becoming a successful child performer. He first gained knowledge on the technicalities of singing during his teen years, when he joined the choir at Orillia’s St. Paul’s United Church under the leadership of choirmaster Ray Williams. It was in the choir that he learned how to use his voice as a direct representation of his emotions, this made him more confident vocally. His brilliance in music was so profound to the point of him teaching himself how to play the percussion, drum set, as well as the folk guitar.
Growing up, he had his high school education at Orillia District Collegiate & Vocational Institute where he developed a reputation for being really good at sports like shot puts, pole vaults, and football. As a result of his abilities in sports, he was granted scholarships to study at the University of Toronto as well as McGill University Schulich School of Music. But instead, he opted to attend the Westlake College of Music where he studied Jazz Composition and Orchestration from 1958 to 1960.
Upon graduation from college, he moved back to Toronto, Canada, with the aim of focusing on his musical career. Thereafter, he released two singles titled “Remember Me I’m the one” and “Negotiations” which received massive airplay in Toronto but was unpopular in other parts of Canada. Taking a cue from that, he decided to go on a performing spree with several established groups such as The Swinging Eight and Gino Silvi Singers so as to promote his brand. This eventually led him into setting up a duo with Terry Whalen which they called Two Tones. Although the duo was short-lived, they recorded a live album which they titled “Two Tones” in 1962.
In 1966, he released his debut studio album titled “Lightfoot” which became an instant hit in Canada. While still basking in the euphoria of his debut album, he released a sophomore album the following year titled “The Way I Feel”. After the release of two other albums, he finally reached international stardom in 1971 after his cover of “If You Could Read My Mind” found its way to the American Top 10. Following the success recorded in 1971, he released a single titled “Sundown” which debuted at Number 1 on the American Charts and led to him recording about 59 concerts in the USA within the period of a year. In 2002, after winning the battle against abdominal hemorrhage, he received the highest national honor in Canada – The Companion of the Order of Canada. This was in recognition of his contribution to the betterment of Canada through his music.
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Interesting Facts To Know About The Musician
Gordon Lightfoot, and Bette Midler: Image Source
Below are five facts you should equip yourself with before going on to contribute to any discussion relating to Lightfoot publicly.
1. He isn’t just called successful for the sake of it. Over his long musical career spanning 5 decades, he has been nominated for the Grammy award five times. That aside, he has won 17 Canadian Juno awards in several categories which shows his commitment towards making good music.
2. Lightfoot has had a really hard time in marriage. Over the course of his life, he has been married thrice. His first marriage was in April 1963 and to Brita Ingegerd Olaisson but they decided to end their marriage in 1973 on the grounds of infidelity on the part of Lightfoot. In 1989, he ventured into marriage again. This time, with Elizabeth Moon but after 22 years of marriage, they got divorced in 2011.
He is currently married to Kim Hasse whom he tied the knot with on December 14, 2014. Gordon Lightfoot is a father’s of four children; Fred and Ingrid from his first marriage, Miles and Meredith from his second.
3. He is a big fan of Justin Bieber’s music. According to him, irrespective of Justin Bieber’s tendencies to get into trouble every now and then, he knows how to make really great music.
4. His hit single “If You Could Read My Mind” was composed by him after drawing inspirations from His failed marriage with his ex-wife, Brita. However, in recent times, he altered the lyrics from “I’m trying to understand the feelings that you lack” to “I’m trying to understand the feelings that we lack” after requests from his daughter Ingrid to change it.
5. Over the years, this iconic singer and songwriter has amassed an estimated net worth of about $30 million, the bulk of which he earned through successful album sales.