June 2, 2023

La Ronge Northerner

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Gordon Lightfoot, Canadian folk singer-songwriter, dies at 84

A year later, after signing with Albert Grossman, manager of Mr. Dylan, 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 1963 Canadian hit, the album was warmly received by critics.

Real commercial success came when he moved to Warner Brothers, initially registering the company’s Reprise label. “By the time I switched to Warner Brothers, circa 1970, I was reinventing myself,” he told the Savannah Connect in 2010. Where I might have some music that people might want to listen to.”

Accompanying himself on a 12-string acoustic guitar, Mr. Lightfoot, in a voice often trembling with emotion, gave first-hand accounts of his material. He sang about loneliness, troubled relationships, the itch to wander, and the majesty of the Canadian landscape. He was, in the words of Canadian writer Jack Patten, “a journalist, poet, historian, humorist, short story teller, and popular recollection of days gone by.”

His popularity as a recording artist began to wane in the 1980s, but he maintained a busy touring schedule. In 1999, Rhino Records released “The Songbook”, a four-disc survey of his career.

Mr. Lightfoot, who lived in Toronto, is survived by his older sister, Beverly Ayers. and his children, Fred, Ingrid, Miles, Meredith, Eric and Galen. Their marriage ended in divorce.

In 2002, before going on stage in Orillia, Mr. Lightfoot collapsed when an abdominal aortic aneurysm ruptured and left him on the verge of death. After two years of recovery, he recorded an album called “Harmony” and in 2005 resumed his live performances with the Better Late Than Never Tour.

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“I want to be like Ralph Carter and Stompin’ Tom and Willie Nelson,” Mr. Lightfoot told CBC in 2004. “Just do it for as long as humanly possible.”

Fjosa Isai Contribute to the preparation of reports.