The Daily Walk with Love
— I became familiar with Gordon Lightfoot’s music in 1971
and he has been my favorite folk musician ever since.
Here is “Sundown,” which was Lightfoot’s
most popular CD, from 1974, and my favorite too, which has
an indefinable country-folk-pop blend to it that is
hard to describe. We also have a lot of links to videos and
other resources for the listener.
March 30, 2019
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Gordon Lightfoot – “Sundown” 1974
I became familiar with Gordon Lightfoot’s music in 1971
and since then he has been my favorite folk musician. br />This is his most popular CD, “Sundown” from 1974
The Daily Walk with Love (Home page abd blog), March 30, 2018, by Paul Evans, videos courtesy of Gordon Lightfoot, Reprise Records and YouTube. Gordon Lightfoot will be remembered as one of the twentieth century’s most important folk musicians. Some of his music speaks about love, other songs speak about society in quite prophetic ways. He will always be my own favorite folk artist, even more than Dylan. Featured photograph courtesy of Pinterest and shows Lightfoot about 1974, the date “Sundown” debuted. Actually, as I remembered, the album enjoyed its greatest popularity here in the U.S. about 1976. Popularity of his material some time after release here in America was characteristic of his songs and albums, as Gordon Lightfoot is Canadian, and after all it’s “just” folk music, right?
See Gordon Lightfoot – Old Dan’s Records 1972, which is so far the most popular album of Lightfoot’s we have carried here on The Daily Walk with Love and has a more down-home, country sound, and also see our Gordon Lightfoot – In Concert 1972, the best concert of Lightfoot’s I have heard. We aim to please.
Let’s start with a real treat for Gordon Lightfoot fans: watch 16×9 – Folk Hero: Story of Gordon Lightfoot, YouTube — 12:53; or watch GORDON LIGHTFOOT – EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW, YouTube — 31:55 (which is considerably older). It’s good to not just read about a folk hero but to hear real interviews with “Gordo,” as I’ve heard him called, (though I don’t know how he feels about this nickname).
One day in 1971 I happened to purchase a Gordon Lightfoot LP album on vinyl. I immediately fell in love with his music and bought everything of his I could find. I was never disappointed. I’d been listening to music from the radio since about 1967, when I was ten, but 1971 (when I was a freshman in high school), is when the “music bug” really hit home. My friend John Beane and I listened to Gordon Lightfoot and Simon and Garfunkel over and over while we played chess and various wargames. In terms of Lightfoot’s career, I think that after his stroke, in recent years the quality of his compositions has declined just a little, but I listened to a performance of his from 2013 and he is singing just as well as he ever did! I especially recommend the albums “Sundown” and if you like pure, beautiful folk music at its finest, buy the 2CD United Artists Years set. This is one of the very finest folk albums I have ever heard. My very favorite song of Gordon Lightfoot’s is “Pride of Man,” which I consider to be very prophetic music. Pay attention to the lyrics, direct from the Bible, where it warns, “oh thou that dwell on many waters, rich in treasure, wide in fame, bow unto a god of gold, thy pride of might shall be thy shame.” Ron Paul warned you, America.
By Valerie Magee – Gordon Lightfoot was born on November 17, 1938 in Orillia, Ontario, Canada. His parents recognized and encouraged his interest in music; his first appearance at Massey Hall in Toronto, now a revered standard in his tour schedule, was just before he turned 13, as the winner of a competition for boys with unchanged voices.
After a background in barbershop quartets, and as a member of a duo, Lightfoot struck out on his own in the early 60s. He had written perhaps 75 songs, when he was caught up in the country music scene and folk revival of the time; Bob Dylan’s music and a song by Merle Travis, Dark As A Dungeon, combined with his sensitivity, inventiveness and beautiful voice, resulted in his unique songwriting and singing style. In less than two years, between late ’61 and some time in 1963, his sound and his life changed forever. For more about this early period in Lightfoot’s career, read the articles “Early Lightfoot” and “The 1960s“.
Read more about Gordon Lightfoot’s life from his website here. Vanity Fair has a poignant and recent piece, a kind of retrospective on Lightfoot’s life and perspective, called Gordon Lightfoot Talks Sadness, Regret, and Maritime Disasters you might enjoy, although you’ll have to subscribe. Also see Gordon Lightfoot’s Facebook page, where you can also view quite a few of his personal photos, a real treat! I mentioned that I feel that Lightfoot’s early music speaks personally to me best, so I want to give you the download link to the mp3 album for The United Artists Collection (2CD, $20.99), which in my opinion is the best readily available collection of his early music. (Actually the audio CD is only $10.03, I guess you could “rip” the music yourself, right?) It is poetic, moving, sometimes sad, and really among the very best folk music I’ve ever heard.
Visit the general Gordon Lightfoot Amazon.com page to see digital downloads of mp3 albums by him, which are high quality, digital rights free mp3’s. There are a lot of albums to choose from, and you really can’t go wrong. If you’d like, purchase Old Dan’s Records for mp3 download at Amazon for $9.49. Right here on The Daily Walk with Miracles you might enjoy Folk Music of the prophet Gordon Lightfoot (September 6, 2017) and Gordon Lightfoot Greatest Hits (December 2, 2016).
You may also enjoy (on YouTube), Gordon Lightfoot Soundstage 1979 Complete — 58:11, which is a live television performance brought to us by McDonald’s.
The YouTube discussion of the album “Sundown” by “whiteray1” says that it “went to No. 1 on the Billboard 200. “Sundown” was released as single b/w “Too Late For Prayin;” and went to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. “Carefree Highway” was released as a single b/w “Seven Island Suite” and went to No. 10 on the Hot 100.” Wikipedia says of the Lightfoot album “Sundown” that Lightfoot’s achievement was especially noteable in that his no. 1 ranking was on the pop charts, not just the folk charts, and that “the album marked the pinnacle of Lightfoot’s acoustic folk-country blend before he embarked on an increasing use of electronic instruments, although he did include some electric guitar, notably on the title track.” You can read a review of “Sundown” from “Rolling Stone” magazine here.
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