Posts Tagged ‘folk’

No Sundown in Sight for Gordon Lightfoot

December 1, 2007


True Folk Music never dies. These are songs that tell a story. Much like Country music or Rap but the difference is they are not soon forgotten when another comes along. They are woven into our lives and memories. Try getting Puff The Magic Dragon or Blowin’ in the Wind out of your head, it won’t work.

Canadian, Gordon Lightfoot personifies true, traditional Folk music. He’s had music bust out of the Folk charts and onto Pop, Country and others just for the sheer feeling they invoke. Everyone know the names of Peter, Paul and Mary, Bob Dylan and Gordon Lightfoot and when the names are invoked, they posess a power that both soothes and excites us. Folk music is sing-along music. That’s how I can always tell. If a song is playing and everyone stops what they’re doing and sings along as a group of strangers with now, something in common… that’s Folk.


Lightfoot’s If You Could Read My Mind, inspired by his divorce is a song that invokes real feelings for those who hear it.

Sundown went to #1 in 1974 on the Billboard charts and hit the Country charts big. Play it on a jukebox somewhere and watch the room quiet down. Interestingly, Sundown was inspired by Gordon’s then girlfriend, Cathy Smith who is most famous (infamous?) for her role in the death of John Belushi.

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald took its isnpiration right out of Newsweek Magazine and tells the story of the 1975 sinking of the USS Edmund Fitzgerald in Lake Superior. If Folk music tells a story, this is a great example.

And when you’re on a road trip and Carefree Highway comes on the radio, everyone in the car is practically screaming the song.

Lightfoot has produced 20 albums from Lightfoot! in 1966 through Harmony in 2004. That’s staying power, but the really good news is that he’s never stopped touring. He tours in 18 month increments and the next leg of his current tour takes on the South East U.S. in February 2008.

This is a timeless man singing timeless music, reaching generations of listeners. If you see him in person, prepare yourself for a bad sore throat. You’ll be singing your hearts out. Make sure you introduce this music to the next generation. This is our way of passing down stories from the past.

There is a very informative fan site at with all you’ll need to know about buying music or if you’re lucky enough, seeing him in person.