Beginning in the mid-1960s, singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot became one of Canada's most celebrated entertainers, as well as one of the most successful figures on its vast folk music scene. Blessed...
("Carefree Highway" "Sundown" "Don Quixote" "I'll Prove My Love" "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" "Rainy Day People" "Baby Step Back" "Shadows" "If You Could Read My Mind" "Early Morning Rain" "Make Way For the Lady" "Song For a Winter's Night" "Canadian
Rocker Neil Young has followed Beyonce's pre-Christmas (13) example and released a new album online without any fanfare. The Canadian star released his new covers album A Letter Home, which features versions of songs by Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson and Gordon Lightfoot, on Friday (18Apr14).
Announcing the sudden release on his website, Young describes A Letter Home as "an unheard collection of rediscovered songs from the past recorded on ancient electro-mechanical technology".
The album was reportedly recorded at Jack White's Third Man Records base in Nashville, Tennessee last year (13), but neither Young nor White confirmed online rumours about the project.
Beyonce pulled a similar stunt at the end of 2013, releasing her self-titled new album by simply alerting fans of its existence via social media.
Former teen idol Bobby Vee is set to release his first new album in over three decades as he continues to battle Alzheimer's disease. The 1960s pop star was forced to quit performing live in 2011 after he was diagnosed with the degenerative condition, which robs sufferers of their memory, but Vee has not stopped making music - and his latest efforts, The Adobe Sessions, will hit retailers next week (begs03Feb14).
The project, which was recorded as a loose jam session with his family at their Arizona home, features covers of the 70 year old's favourite tracks by Gordon Lightfoot, Townes Van Zandt and Ricky Nelson - a great feat considering Vee's health crisis frequently leaves him tongue-tied.
He tells the Associated Press, "It's not getting any better, I can tell you that. But I'm doing the best I can."
The Adobe Sessions also includes Vee's version of his old pal Bob Dylan's track, The Man in Me, a tribute to the folk icon who got his start in Vee's band The Shadows in 1959.
The Take Good Care of My Baby hitmaker has not released an album since 1975's greatest hits compilation, The Very Best of Bobby Vee.
Legendary musician Neil Young and rocker Jack White have reportedly teamed up to record a new covers album. Online rumours suggest Young and White united for a cover of late folk singer Bert Jansch's Needle of Death at the former White Stripes star's studio in Nashville, Tennessee in April, 2013, and decided to keep working together.
There is no official release date for the project, which will reportedly feature renditions of tracks by folk legends Phil Ochs, Bob Dylan, Tim Hardin and Gordon Lightfoot.
The Bushes gathered together Hollywood celebrities and musicians Monday at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts for a musical tribute honoring the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. At the second Concert for America (the first took place 13 days after the attacks), opera tenor Placido Domingo joined Latin pop star Enrique Iglesias and country singer Alan Jackson in a musical performance, while actors Angela Bassett and James Earl Jones gave dramatic readings. The show will air on NBC Wednesday.
Let's hope this the last time we have to write about this, now that it's official: The Russian Space Agency sent a letter to NASA Monday stating 'N Sync member Lance Bass will not be visiting their international space station anytime soon. Last week, the agency kicked Bass off the flight crew for his failure to raise the $20 million fee in time, but Bass' sponsors hoped to continue the negotiations. Not anymore. "The letter speaks for itself," NASA spokeswoman Debra Rahn told the Associated Press. "They've officially withdrawn Mr. Bass from the flight."
After establishing a nonprofit summer camp to help girls develop self-esteem in California, supermodel Tyra Banks plans on opening one in South Florida. Called T-Zone, the weeklong, all-expenses-paid camp for girls ages 13 to 15 helps the teenagers deal with body image, self-doubt and pressures from boys. Banks wants to open camps all over the country. "I want to take it national as soon as possible," Banks told Sun-Sentinel. "But I want quality control. I want it to be like McDonald's or Coca-Cola. It's the same everywhere."
Actor Brad Renfro has dropped out of the film Freddy vs. Jason, the ultimate horror showdown between to two infamous killers--Nightmare on Elm Street's Freddy Krueger and Friday the 13th's Jason Voorhees. Renfro will be replaced by Jason Ritter (Swimfan), son of actor John Ritter.
Director Charles Herman-Wurmfeld (Kissing Jessica Stein) will direct Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde. The sequel to the 2001 summer sleeper hit Legally Blonde continues the adventures of Harvard Law School grad Elle Woods as she heads to Washington to take on the politicians.
Get ready for more Mr. French and Mrs. Beasley. The WB has remade the sappy '60s show Family Affair, where cute twins Jody and Buffy Davis, along with their teenage sister Sissy, descend upon their Uncle Bill (Gary Cole), a devout bachelor and his stuffy butler, Mr. French (Tim Curry). The one-hour series pilot airs Thursday at 8 p.m. What's next? The Courtship of Eddie's Father?
A tour bus for Eminem's Anger Management Tour caught fire Sunday on a highway in Michigan, when friction from a flat tire ignited the vehicle. AP reports only the bus driver was on board the bus, which was reserved for Eminem's managers, when the fire started and was not injured. Eminem finished his tour Sunday night at the Palace in Auburn Hills, Mich.
Canadian folk singer Gordon Lightfoot, known for his '70s hits such as "If You Could Read My Mind" and "Sundown," was recovering in the intensive care unit Monday in Toronto after suffering from internal bleeding in his abdomen. He is stable but doctors told Reuters his condition is serious and will have to be closely monitored over the next few days.
The Magdalene Sisters, British director Peter Mullan's pointed depiction of an abusive Catholic convent, won the Golden Lion for best picture Sunday at the Venice Film Festival. Earlier this week, the Vatican denounced the film, which depicts young women being imprisoned and tormented in convents for often-preposterous reasons, including having been raped. According to The Associated Press, Mullan told audiences, "As regards the film, it's not just about the Catholic Church and how they oppressed young women in Ireland. It's about all faiths, all fundamentalist faiths, that believe they have the right to oppress young women." Other winners included actress Julianne Moore, who took home best actress for Far From Heaven, and Stefano Accorsi, who won best actor for A Journey Called Love. Andrej Konchalovsky's House of Fools, a drama about a psychiatric institution on the Chechen/Russian border whose inmates are left to cope on their own after the staff flee from the war, won the Jury Grand Prix.
Jerry Lewis collapsed backstage at a London theater shortly before he was due to take part in a benefit show and was taken to an undisclosed London hospital, the BBC reports. The 76-year-old comedian has been plagued with health problems since the 1980s, including prostate cancer, pulmonary fibrosis and spinal meningitis. In an interview with the UK's Daily Mirror published Monday, Lewis was quoted as saying that the pain had been so agonizing that he had contemplated suicide. "In April it got so bad that it forced me to get a gun and seriously think about putting it in my mouth," he said.
Patty Duke remained hospitalized Friday and was listed in fair condition at the Kootenai Medical Center's Intensive Care Unit in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho, after suffering a concussion and skull fracture when a horse she was spraying with fly repellent apparently knocked her down, the AP reports. Her husband, Michael Pearce, said he heard a thump and a cry from his wife after he left her in the barn to spray the 2-year-old filly. Duke won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1963 for The Miracle Worker.
The AP reports an Oregon couple who purchased the childhood home of former Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain last month for $42,500 has put it up for auction on eBay with an opening bid of $200,000. The couple says they had no idea it was Cobain's house when they bought it. Cobain lived with his father and stepmother in the turn-of the-century home, valued at $52,660 in 2000, from age 11 to 15. As of Sunday there had been no bids. There's still time to submit yours--the auction ends Sept. 15.
Director James Cameron debuted part of Ghosts of the Abyss Friday at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival in Goleta, Calif., the AP reports. Ghosts, an underwater documentary on the sunken Titanic, was shot in 3-D using a lightweight camera designed by Cameron, his brother Mike and cinematographer Vince Pace.
Hip-hop sensation Lil' Kim will be making her big-screen debut in the urban Western indie Guns and Roses, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Directed by Higher Ed's Jean Claude LaMarre, the film, set in the 1800s, follows the journey of five female outlaws who are fighting to avenge the murder of one of their own. It also stars singer Bobby Brown, LisaRaye, Monica Calhoun, Marie Matiko and Louis Mandylor.
Madonna's Maverick Films is developing a TV movie with VH1 called How to be the Perfect Latino Popstar, a Pygmalion story set in the world of Latin music, Variety reports. Maverick partners Madonna and Guy Oseary will executive produce the movie, based on a script by Laura Angelica Simone.
Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot was being treated in a Hamilton, Ontario, hospital Sunday for an undisclosed ailment, the AP reports. Lightfoot was rushed to a hospital in Orillia, 50 miles north of Toronto, on Saturday night shortly before he was set to perform at a concert promoting his latest album, A Painter Passing Through. He was later airlifted to Hamilton. Lightfoot, 63, and his wife have asked that no more information be given out at this time.
Beginning in the mid-1960s, singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot became one of Canada's most celebrated entertainers, as well as one of the most successful figures on its vast folk music scene. Blessed with a warm, distinctive baritone voice and a talent for lyrics that addressed both personal and global issues in memorably poetic terms, Lightfoot became a sensation in his native country before exploding on the U.S. charts with "If You Could Read My Mind" in 1970. He would enjoy exceptional chart success throughout North America throughout the decade with hits like "Sundown," "Rainy Day People" and "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" before his star began to fade in the United States. Lightfoot remained a national treasure in his native country, which he toured regularly into the new millennium despite several major health setbacks. He was also greatly revered by other artists, including Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Harry Belafonte and John Mellencamp, all of who recorded his material on their own albums. Still active and recording new material in his seventh decade, Gordon Lightfoot was among Canada's greatest musical treasures, as well as a beloved songwriter around the globe.<p>Born Nov. 17, 1938 in Orillia, a waterfront city in Ontario, Canada, Gordon Meredith Lightfoot, Jr. began performing at an early age with the encouragement of his mother, who recognized his latent talents. Singing in church and school at the age of five led to youth competitions and vocal lessons, which preceded his win at a Toronto Kiwanis Festival at the prestigious Massey Hall in 1951. Lightfoot soon added drums, piano and guitar to his growing list of musical talents, and sang with a local folk group before heading to California in 1958. There, he studied jazz composition and orchestration at the Westlake College of Music while supporting himself by singing on demo recordings and writing commercial jingles. Lightfoot returned to Canada in 1960, where he became a member of the Swinging Eight, which gained weekly exposure on the television series "Country Hoedown" (CBC, 1956-1965). After releasing a pair of singles in 1962, he teamed with Terry Whelan as the Two-Tones, which spawned an album and live performances at various folk festivals. Lightfoot quit the group in 1963 to head for England, where he hosted a BBC television series, "The Country and Western Show." While there, he also began penning introspective folk songs in the vein of Bob Dylan, which caught the attention of popular Canadian folk duo Ian & Sylvia. Their recording of his "Early Mornin' Rain" and "For Lovin' Me" led to follow-up renditions and covers of other songs by Peter, Paul and Mary, Marty Robbins, Judy Collins and the Kingston Trio.<p>Albert Grossman, who managed Dylan and Ian & Sylvia, soon signed Lightfoot to a management deal, which was soon followed by a recording contract with United Artists. His first solo album, titled <i>Lightfoot!</i> (1966), featured well-received versions of "Early Mornin' Rain" and "For Lovin' Me," which helped to mint him as a star on the rise in his native country. By 1969, he was one of Canada's most popular musical performers, thanks to a slew of Top 40 singles, including a 1965 version of Dylan's "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues," which reached No. 3. He also proved a popular concert draw throughout North America and abroad, though chart success in America proved elusive until 1970, when the expiration of his contract with United Artists led to a new deal with the Reprise label. His first record under their aegis, 1970's <i>Sit Down Young Stranger</i>, spawned the wistful single "If You Could Read My Mind," which rose to No. 5 on the <i>Billboard</i> pop singles chart while also earning a Grammy nomination for Best Vocal Performance, Male. The album was quickly retitled <i>If You Could Read My Mind</i>, which helped to send it into the Top 10. A string of moderately well-received albums charted at the lower end of the albums chart before Lightfoot was forced to curtail his career for a short period of time following a 1972 diagnosis of Bell's Palsy.<p>He returned to recording in 1974 with <i>Sundown</i>, which spawned a No. 1 hit with the quietly menacing title track, as well as a Top 10 single with "Carefree Highway." The album also found Lightfoot introducing more electric instruments into his largely acoustic arrangements, a trend which would continue with 1976's <i>Summertime Dream</i>, which featured his twice-Grammy-nominated, No. 2 single "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," a haunting ballad based on a recent shipwreck in the Great Lakes that killed all aboard that he - and most fans and critics - would consider his best work. During this period, Lightfoot also released <i>Gord's Gold</i> (1975), a collection of new versions of songs from his United Artists period. His final Top 40 hit came with 1978's "The Circle is Small (I Can See it in Your Eyes)," after which he concentrated largely on his Canadian fan base while contributing time to various charitable causes. Lightfoot also dabbled briefly with acting, appearing in the Canadian features "Harry Tracy" (1982) and "Desperado" (1982), before his induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1986.<p>Lightfoot continued to record albums throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, scoring occasional Adult Contemporary hits in his native country. He returned to his folk-acoustic sound for 1993's <i>Waiting for You</i> and <i>A Painter Passing Through</i> (1998), both of which received some of his highest critical praise in years. The momentum generated by these releases was cut short in 2002 when Lightfoot suffered an abdominal aortic aneurysm that left him in a coma for six weeks. Four surgical operations were eventually required before his recovery in 2003, after which he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada, his country's highest order. He soon returned to recording with 2004's <i>Harmony</i> and touring at the conclusion of the year. However, he experienced another health setback in 2006 after suffering a minor stroke onstage that immobilized two fingers on his right hand.<p>In typical fashion, Lightfoot was back on the road in less than 10 days after the incident, using a second guitarist to complete the more difficult passages in songs until he had fully regained the use of his hand in 2007. That same year, Lightfoot was one of four Canadian musicians, including Joni Mitchell and Anne Murray, to be honored with a postage stamp bearing their names and likenesses. In 2010, word spread throughout the globe via Twitter that Lightfoot had died. News outlets soon picked up the item, including a Winnipeg radio station that received a call from a bemused Lightfoot, who had phoned them to refute the rumors. Two years later, he released <i>All Live</i> (2012), a collection of live recordings from his numerous appearances at Massey Hall. That same year, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. <p><i>By Paul Gaita</i>