Gordon Lightfoot, Canadian Folk Singer, Dies at 84 years old

After studying composition and orchestration at Westlake College of Music in Los Angeles, he returned to Canada. For a time he was a member of the Singing Swinging Eight, a singing and dancing group on the television show “Country Hoedown”, but he soon became part of the Toronto folk scene, performing at the same coffee shops and clubs as Ian and Sylvia. , Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Leonard Cohen.

He formed the folk duo, Two Tones, with fellow “Hoedown” player Terry Whelan. The duo recorded a live album in 1962, “Two Tones at the Village Corner.” The following year, while traveling in Europe, he hosted “The Country and Western Show” on BBC television.

As a songwriter, Mr. The Lightfoot has outgrown the Hula Hoop, but not by much. His work “has no identity whatsoever,” he told the author of “The Encyclopedia of Folk, Country and Western Music,” published in 1969. When the Greenwich Village pop boom brought Mr. Dylan and other dynamic songwriters to the fore world, he says, “I started to get a point of view, and that's when I started to improve.”

In 1965, she performed at the Newport Folk Festival and made her United States debut at City Hall in New York. “Mr. Lightfoot has a rich, warm voice and deft guitar technique,” ​​wrote Robert Shelton in The New York Times. “With a little more attention to his stage persona, he should become quite popular.”

A year later, after signing with Albert Grossman, Mr. Dylan and Peter, Paul and Mary, Mr. Lightfoot recorded his first solo album, “Lightfoot!” With performances of “Early Morning Rain”, “For Lovin' Me”, “Ribbon of Darkness” and “I'm Not Sayin'”, a hit record in Canada in 1963, the album was received warmly by critics.

Real commercial success came when he switched to Warner Brothers, initially recording for the company's Reprise label. “By the time I moved to Warner Brothers, circa 1970, I reinvented myself,” he told the Savannah Connect newspaper in 2010. That's where I probably had music people wanted to hear.