5 Things You May Not Have Known About Gordon Lightfoot
Today we celebrate the birthday of a real Canadian hero: singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot, he of “If You Could Read My Mind” and “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” fame. To commemorate the occasion, we’ve put together a list of five things that you may or may not know about Mr. Lightfoot, so give it a read, won’t you?
- His music career didn’t start with folk rock.
Before becoming the legendary singer-songwriter that he remains today, Lightfoot spent time as a soprano on the wedding circuit and was also part of a barbershop quartet, a church choir, and a dance band.
- He once co-starred in a western with Bruce Dern.
If this is the first you’ve heard about it, this sounds vaguely preposterous, we realize, but it’s true. In the early ‘80s, Lightfoot co-starred as a U.S. Marshal in Harry Tracy, a western produced by – of all people – Sid and Marty Krofft. In a CBC Radio interview at the time, Lightfoot said of the experience, “"It's a glorified game of cowboys and Indians, is what it is. It's like going back to your childhood.”
- He’s in the Canadian Railway Hall of Fame.
No, Lightfoot never worked for the railroad, but if you’re a fan, then you may be able to guess why he’s in there. Okay, fine, we’ll tell you: it’s because of his song “Canadian Railway Trilogy.”
- He appeared on Canadian Idol. (No, that’s not a joke and, yes, that really is a thing.)
Lightfoot appeared on the August 18, 2004 episode of the series, with his music being one of the designated themes of the episode. As a result, six finalists worked with Lightfoot individually, with the man himself helping them prepare for singing his songs.
- He was honored with a stamp.
In June 2007, Lightfoot was one of four Canadian recording artists honored with his visage on a stamp. The other three: Paul Anka, Joni Mitchell, and Anne Murray.