June 11, 2014

My brother Mark and I discovered Gordon Lightfoot back in the early ’70s following the release of his big hit Sundown. After that, along with The Beach Boys and Pink Floyd, Gord (we always called him that, as if he were an old familiar friend) got quite a bit of play on the 8-track player we had hooked up inside the glove compartment of my 1969 Pontiac Tempest. While his music seemed (at least to me) more fitting for the fall and winter seasons, on our late-night drives back home from trips up to Boston’s North Shore and our favorite sea wall in Nahant, Mass. we’d often pop Gord’s Cold On The Shoulder or Summertime Dream into the player and we’d just listen in silence as the miles home passed by. As ocean lovers, we were especially attracted to any songs Gord did about the sea, and as Newfies by heritage I think we always felt a kinship with Gord as a fellow Canadian songwriter.

Even though Mark’s taste in music changed after he joined the Army in 1977, I still collected Gord’s music for several years after that, up until his fine 1980 release Dream Street Rose. After that, Gord and I kind of went our separate ways – he was exploring more adult contemporary themes in releases like Shadows and East of Midnight, and I had moved out on my own and had gotten into an eclectic mix of Fleetwood Mac, The Ramones, Scott Joplin, and all kinds of blues and jazz.

But even at that I never totally lost track of Gord – we briefly re-connected in the early ’80s when I used the words from the chorus of “The Circle Is Small“, a fave tune from his 1978 release Endless Wire to break up with a girlfriend at the time who I knew was cheating on me.

I can see it in your eyes and feel it in the way you kiss my lips
I can hear it in your voice whenever we are talking like this
I can see what you believe in when his name is mentioned and I die
I can watch the way you walk, the way you talk, the way you close your eyes

Gord was also present when Tracey and I asked one of my softball team mates to play his ballad “Beautiful” at our wedding, and a couple of years after that, (now the late ’80s), I actually got to see Gord live in concert in Rhode Island with my old departed Goodboys friend “Doc” Frechette (a big Gord fan in his own right). But after that, that was about it for a long, long time.

I’m not sure how and when Gord and I we re-connected, actually. I do know it was the result of some very late-night perusing through all kinds of YouTube videos and coming upon “Daylight Katy“, another fave tune from Endless Wire. There was just something about his voice and that moody melody that got me thinking about Mark and how much we loved Gord’s music during the years we hung around together, so I began to build a Gord collection to go along with my surf, Sandals, Beach Boys, Tropical Breezes, and Exotica collections.

And it feels good. And it’s not just dusty and for sentimental reasons, since my collection includes several releases before and after those “formative years” of familiar albums and tunes. Just for the record, here are the releases that presently comprise my Gord collection:

Don Quixote (1972)
Old Dan’s Records (1972)
Sundown (1974)
Cold on the Shoulder (1975)
Summertime Dream (1976)
Endless Wire (1978)
Dream Street Rose (1980)
Shadows (1982)
Salute (1983)
East of Midnight (1986)

The releases prior to Sundown lean more towards the folk side of things; those after Dream Street Rose more towards a full, adult contemporary sound, but it’s all Gord so it’s all good. And that’s not all he has done by any means – there are earlier albums and later releases worth checking into somewhere down the line. Put the collection on shuffle, and its amazing to hear the wide variety of tunes, subject matter, and arrangements he has been able to do over the years without it sounding the least bit repetitive. If you like good music, you might want to consider your own stroll through Gord’s catalogue.

Thanks, Gord, for the tunes and the memories – the music of your life is also, to a certain extent, the music of mine as well.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 23:00 | Comments Off on Rediscovering Gord
No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Search The Site

Recent Items


September 2021
April 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006



4 Goodboys Only

Site Info