Gordon Lightfoot

~ Person

Legal name: Gordon Meredith Lightfoot


Gordon Meredith Lightfoot Jr. CC OOnt (born November 17, 1938) is a Canadian singer-songwriter who achieved international success in folk, folk-rock, and country music, and has been credited for helping define the folk-pop sound of the 1960s and 1970s. He has been referred to as Canada's greatest songwriter and internationally as a folk-rock legend.

Lightfoot's songs, including "For Lovin' Me", "Early Morning Rain", "Steel Rail Blues", "Ribbon of Darkness"—a number one hit on the U.S. country chart with Marty Robbins's cover in 1965—and "Black Day in July" about the 1967 Detroit riot, brought him international recognition in the 1960s. He experienced chart success in Canada with his own recordings, beginning in 1962 with the No. 3 hit "(Remember Me) I'm the One". Lightfoot's recordings then made an impact on the international music charts as well in the 1970s, with songs such as "If You Could Read My Mind" (1970) his first U.S. top 10 hit reaching #5. "Sundown" (1974) a #1 hit, "Carefree Highway" (1974) which followed reaching #10, "Rainy Day People (1975) at #25, and "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" (1976) (No. 2, Hot 100).

Some of Lightfoot's albums have achieved gold and multi-platinum status internationally. His songs have been recorded by some of the world's most renowned recording artists, including Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams Jr., The Kingston Trio, Marty Robbins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Judy Collins, Barbra Streisand, Johnny Mathis, Herb Alpert, Harry Belafonte, Scott Walker, Sarah McLachlan, Eric Clapton, John Mellencamp, Jack Jones, Bobby Vee, Roger Whittaker, Peter, Paul and Mary, Glen Campbell, The Irish Rovers, Nico, Olivia Newton-John, Paul Weller, Nine Pound Hammer, and Ultra Naté.

Robbie Robertson of the Band described Lightfoot as "a national treasure". Bob Dylan, also a Lightfoot fan, called him one of his favorite songwriters and, in an often-quoted tribute, Dylan observed that when he heard a Lightfoot song he wished "it would last forever". Lightfoot was a featured musical performer at the opening ceremonies of the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary, Alberta. He received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree (arts) in 1979 and the Companion of the Order of Canada—Canada's highest civilian honour—in 2003. In November 1997, Lightfoot was awarded the Governor General's Performing Arts Award, Canada's highest honour in the performing arts. On February 6, 2012, Lightfoot was presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario. In June that year he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. On June 6, 2015, Lightfoot received an honorary doctorate of music in his hometown of Orillia from Lakehead University.

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Year Title RatingReleases
1966 Lightfoot! 3
1967 The Way I Feel 2
1968 Did She Mention My Name 2
1968 Back Here on Earth 2
1970 If You Could Read My Mind / Sit Down Young Stranger 5
1971 Summer Side of Life 3
1972 Don Quixote 3
1972 Old Dan's Records 3
1974 Sundown 9
1975 Cold on the Shoulder 5
1976 Summertime Dream 4
1978 Endless Wire 2
1980 Dream Street Rose 2
1982 Shadows 1
1983 Salute 1
1986 East of Midnight 3
1993 Waiting for You 2
1998 A Painter Passing Through 3 2
2004 Harmony 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title RatingReleases
1970 The Best Of (United Artists) 2
1971 Early Lightfoot 1
1974 The Very Best of Gordon Lightfoot 1
1975 Gord's Gold 3
1977 Fantasstic 1
1981 The Best of Gordon Lightfoot (Warner Bros.) 1
1985 Songbook (16-track single release, not box set) 1
1987 Over 60 Minutes With ... 3
1988 Gord's Gold, Volume II 4
1991 Best of Gordon Lightfoot (Curb) 5 1
1991 Lightfoot! - The Way I Feel 1
1992 The Original Lightfoot 2
1993 The United Artists Collection 1
1993 36 All Time Favorites! 1
1995 Early Morning Rain 1
1999 Songbook (4-CD box set) 1
2000 Did She Mention My Name? / Back Here on Earth 1
2001 Early Lighfoot / Sunday Concert 1
2001 Gordon Lightfoot 1
2002 Complete Greatest Hits 3
2003 Classic Masters 2

Album + Live

Year Title RatingReleases
1969 Sunday Concert 2
2002 Live in Reno 1
2012 All Live 1


Year Title RatingReleases
1966 Early Morning Rain 1
1966 Spin, Spin / For Lovin' Me 1
2009 Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald / The House You Live In [Digital 45] 1

EP + Compilation

Year Title RatingReleases
2005 Rhino Hi-Five: Gordon Lightfoot 1

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