Music legend Gordon Lightfoot, whose songs had been carried out by Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan or Eric Clapton, dies

Gordon Lightfoot, the legendary people singer-songwriter identified for “If You May Learn My Thoughts” and “Sunset” and for songs that advised tales of Canadian id, died Monday. He was 84.

Consultant Victoria Lord mentioned the musician died at a Toronto hospital. His reason behind loss of life was not instantly obtainable.

Thought of one of the vital famend voices to emerge from Toronto’s Yorkville people membership scene within the Nineteen Sixties, Lightfoot recorded 20 studio albums and penned a whole lot of songs, together with “Carefree Freeway,” “Early Morning Rain” and “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.”

Within the Seventies, Lightfoot garnered 5 Grammy nominations, three platinum data and 9 gold data for albums and singles. He carried out in nicely over 1,500 live shows and recorded 500 songs.

He toured late into his life. Simply final month he canceled upcoming U.S. and Canadian reveals, citing well being points.

“We’ve misplaced one in every of our biggest singer-songwriters,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted. “Gordon Lightfoot captured our nation’s spirit in his music – and in doing so, he helped form Canada’s soundscape. Could his music proceed to encourage future generations, and will his legacy reside on endlessly.”

Lightfoot was “uncommon expertise”

As soon as known as a “uncommon expertise” by Bob Dylan, Lightfoot has been lined by dozens of artists, together with Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand, Harry Belafonte, Johnny Money, Anne Murray, Jane’s Habit and Sarah McLachlan.

Most of his songs are deeply autobiographical with lyrics that probe his personal experiences in a frank method and discover points surrounding the Canadian nationwide id. “Canadian Railroad Trilogy” depicted the development of the railway.

“I merely write the songs about the place I’m and the place I am from,” he as soon as mentioned. “I take conditions and write poems about them.”

Lightfoot’s music had a mode all its personal. “It isn’t nation, not people, not rock,” he mentioned in a 2000 interview. But it has strains of all three.

“The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” as an example, is a haunting tribute to the 29 males who died within the 1975 sinking of the ship in Lake Superior throughout a storm.

Whereas Lightfoot’s dad and mom acknowledged his musical abilities early, he did not got down to change into a famend balladeer.

He started singing in his church choir and dreamed of turning into a jazz musician. At age 13, the soprano gained a expertise contest on the Kiwanis Music Pageant, held at Toronto’s Massey Corridor.

“I bear in mind the joys of being in entrance of the gang,” Lightfoot mentioned in a 2018 interview. “It was a stepping stone for me…”

The attraction of these early days caught and in highschool, his barbershop quartet, The Collegiate 4, gained a CBC expertise competitors. He strummed his first guitar in 1956 and commenced to dabble in songwriting within the months that adopted. Maybe distracted by his style for music, he flunked algebra the primary time. After taking the category once more, he graduated in 1957.

By then, Lightfoot had already penned his first severe composition – “The Hula Hoop Music,” impressed by the toy that was sweeping the tradition. Makes an attempt to promote the tune went nowhere so at 18, he headed to the U.S. to review music for a yr. The journey was funded partially by cash saved from a job delivering linens to resorts round his hometown.

Life in Hollywood wasn’t a superb match, nevertheless, and it wasn’t lengthy earlier than Lightfoot returned to Canada. He pledged to maneuver to Toronto to pursue his musical ambitions, taking any job obtainable, together with a place at a financial institution earlier than touchdown a gig as a sq. dancer on CBC’s “Nation Hoedown.”

His first gig was at Fran’s Restaurant, a downtown family-owned diner that warmed to his people sensibilities. It was there he met fellow musician Ronnie Hawkins.

The singer was dwelling with a number of pals in a condemned constructing in Yorkville, then a bohemian space the place future stars together with Neil Younger and Joni Mitchell would study their commerce at smoke-filled golf equipment.

Lightfoot made his fashionable radio debut with the one “(Keep in mind Me) I am the One” in 1962, which led to a lot of hit songs and partnerships with different native musicians. When he began taking part in the Mariposa People Pageant in his hometown of Orillia, Ontario that very same yr, Lightfoot solid a relationship that made him the competition’s most loyal returning performer.

By 1964, he was garnering constructive word-of-mouth round city and audiences had been beginning to collect in rising numbers. By the following yr, Lightfoot’s tune “I am Not Sayin'” was successful in Canada, which helped unfold his title in the USA.

A few covers by different artists did not harm both. Marty Robbins‘ 1965 recording of “Ribbon of Darkness” reached No. 1 on U.S. nation charts, whereas Peter, Paul and Mary took Lightfoot’s composition, “For Lovin’ Me,” into the U.S. Prime 30. The tune, which Dylan as soon as mentioned he wished he’d recorded, has since been lined by a whole lot of different musicians.

That summer season, Lightfoot carried out on the Newport People Pageant, the identical yr Dylan rattled audiences when he shed his folkie persona by taking part in an electrical guitar.

As the folks music growth got here to an finish within the late Nineteen Sixties, Lightfoot was already making his transition to pop music with ease.

In 1971, he made his first look on the Billboard chart with “If You May Learn My Thoughts.” It reached No. 5 and has since spawned scores of covers.

Lightfoot’s recognition peaked within the mid-Seventies when each his single and album, “Sunset,” topped the Billboard charts, his first and solely time doing so.

Throughout his profession, Lightfoot collected 12 Juno Awards, together with one in 1970 when it was known as the Gold Leaf.

In 1986, he was inducted into the Canadian Recording Business Corridor of Fame, now the Canadian Music Corridor of Fame. He obtained the Governor Normal’s award in 1997 and was ushered into the Canadian Nation Music Corridor Of Fame in 2001.