Saturday, July 30, 2011

Gordon Lightfoot Day

I read yesterday about a movement in Canada to have an official Gordon Lightfoot Day. Dave Bidini, a Canadian musician, author, journalist, music aficionado and hockey fanatic, has posted an online petition you can even sign to propose it to the Canadian government. I'm not sure that American signatures will count (officially) but I did it anyway.

Having a Gordon Lightfoot Day makes a lot of sense to me, even as an American. Gordon, while not a number-one-on-the-survey hit generator for decades, has been a continuing--and touring--musician who embodies folk music in Canada.

His "If You Could Read My Mind" was the first big hit in America, and there were others, notably "Sundown" and "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald." Since then--lots of albums (fewer in the 20th century)--but a continuing presence on the airwaves and in intimate convert venues.

I've been a fan since 1975, accumulating stacks of vinyl LPs, which are now replaced by CDs--which are then loaded into my iPod. I don't carry the complete works in my iPod, but I have all four of the first 1960's albums, when he was at his folkiest and Don Quixote, when he was in his prime.

One song that had a huge impact on Canadians was "Canadian Railroad Trilogy," which was a song of national celebration that came out in 1967--when Canada was celebrating its centennial. That in itself has put Lightfoot in a special place with Canadians. And--he was a native son, on the radio, someone who wasn't American or British.

Bidini has a book on Lightfoot coming out in October. Looking forward to reading that--and to hearing Gordon Lightfoot on my iPod periodically, too. And--maybe Gordon Lightfoot Day someday.

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