Interesting Questions, Facts and Information
- There are a total of 80 general entries. We are selecting 30 for display.
Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
Did She Mention My Name?. Another song about missing your home and loved ones.
|Once the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald was discovered, there was a big controversy about a plan to raise the ship's bell as part of a memorial. Where is the bell now?||Gordon Lightfoot
Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, Whitefish Point, Michigan. The original was replaced with a replica engraved with crew members' names. Each year at a memorial service, the ships bell is rung "29 times, for each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald", and once more for all those who have lost their lives on the Great Lakes.
|You've all heard arguably Lightfoot's most famous song, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" about the sinking of an iron ore carrier on Lake Superior in November 1975. But just WHO was Edmund Fitzgerald?||Gordon Lightfoot
President, Northwestern Mutual Life Assurance. Northwestern Mutual owned the "Big Fitz", Oglebay-Norton leased her, Bethlehem Steel was a major customer, and Ford has nothing to do with this question, but sounds important!
Brita. The marriage lasted two years.
Orillia. Muskoka is a popular summer resort area. Mariposa was the name of a Folk-festival at which Lightfoot sometimes performed. Omemee is the "town in North Ontario" Neil Young sang about in "Helpless".
|"The Way I Feel", Gordon Lightfoot's second album, gave Gord's fans one of the greatest hits of his career. Renowned Canadian author, Pierre Berton, told Gord the song said more than the books he authored, "The National Dream" and "The Last Spike".
What is the name of this Lightfoot classic?||Gordon Lightfoot - Facts & Music Pt. I
Canadian Railroad Trilogy. Canadian Railroad Trilogy is an original song written and recorded by Gordon Lightfoot describing the building history of the Canadian Pacific Railway. It appeared on his 1967 album, "The Way I Feel", but was heard before the album came out or received any airplay, because the song was commissioned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for a special broadcast on January 1st, 1967, Canada's Centennial year. In 2004, "Canadian Idol" featured the song being performed by the contest's final six contestants while Gord was in attendance. It has also been covered by artists John Cougar Mellencamp, George Hamilton IV, and many others. It remains, to this day, one of Gord's most memorable and loved ballads.
|Gordon's first album includes a song called "Pride of Man", written by folk singer, Hamilton Camp. Though Gord's version was more faithful to Camp's style, another band of the era had more success with it.
What is the name of this band?
(It WAS a band and not a delivery company!) ||Gordon Lightfoot - Facts & Music Pt. I
Quicksilver Messenger Service. "Pride of Man", a song about prophecy and mankind's spiritual downfall, was released in 1966 on Gord's first album, "Lightfoot", and was also released on Quicksilver Messenger Service's 1968 self-titled album. A psychedelic rock group from the San Francisco area, Quicksilver had a bigger hit with it than Lightfoot did, but it's Lightfoot's version that the writer, Hamilton Camp, liked much better because it maintained the folk tempo he played with and had written the song for. Despite being 44 years old, the song still carries a powerful and prophetic message about the "Pride of Man."
|Before embarking on his solo career, Gordon Lightfoot teamed up with his friend, Terry Whelan, and recorded an album.
What was the musical name they gave themselves?
(there were only Gord and Terry as musicians)||Gordon Lightfoot - Facts & Music Pt. I
The Two Tones. According to the group names given and the hint below the question, it should have been easy to guess The Two Tones, as "there were only Gord (Lightfoot) and Terry (Whelan) as musicians" suggests! The name of the album was "Two Tones at the Village Corner" and it was recorded live, January 20, 1962, at the Village Corner in Toronto, a kind of cafe style gathering place for young musicians of the day and their fans. It had an array of 12 songs, all which were written by artists other than Gord. By no means was it a huge seller, but it received a lot of local airplay in Gord and Terry's hometowns and helped Gord propel himself into an extremely successful solo career.
|In 1968, Gordon Lightfoot recorded a protest song called "Black Day in July", which not only was banned from airplay in the United States, but also angered the U.S. Government who ordered the ban.
What incident prompted Gord to write and record the song?||Gordon Lightfoot - Facts & Music Pt. I
1967 Detroit riots. Gord wrote the song during the time of the Tet Offensive in Vietnam which occurred during the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, but the song was about the Detroit 1967 Riot, also known as the Detroit 1967 Rebellion. There were many famous artists doing Vietnam protest songs, such as Buffalo Springfield ("For What It's Worth") and The Youngbloods ("Get Together"), but Gord was the only one to write and record a song directly addressing the riots. The reasons behind the riots incensed Gord to the point where he felt compelled to 'say something' about it through his music and included the song on his album "Did She Mention My Name?". The riot began July 23, 1967, when police in Detroit decided to 'shut down' a party at an unlicensed bar on the corner of 12th street and Clairemont in the city of Detroit. Strangely enough, the party was being held to welcome back two black soldiers who had served in Vietnam. The U.S. Government ordered a ban on playing the song on US radio stations and even tried blocking the sale of the record. It even incurred a
severe 'scolding' to the Canadian Government and Lightfoot himself from then president, Lyndon Johnson. It did nothing though to deter Canadian radio stations from playing it regularly. The riot resulted in the deaths of 43 people, with another 467 injured, 7,200+ arrests, and the burning of over 2,000 buildings.
Sunday Concert. Gord felt he was being mistreated by United Artists and wanted out of his five record contract. They refused. So he quickly put his musically skilled mind to work and honored the contract. Although he did not want to do a live album, it was the quickest way to get away from United Artists so he made "Sunday Concert" in 1969, having completed his five record deal in approximately 3 and 1/2 years.
Lightfoot!. Gord was with the Albert Grossman management team when he released "Lightfoot!", a record which consolidated his undoubted promise. The album was released by United Artists and paved the way for him to a contract to make four more albums for UA over the next three years.
|Gordon Lightfoot's first recorded songs were released on vinyl 45rpm in July 1962. What was the name of the song that reached number three on Toronto's CHUM-AM and top 20 on Montreal's CKGM-AM?
(don't 'forget' this is the song!)||Gordon Lightfoot - Facts & Music Pt. I
(Remember Me) I'm The One. Before Gord's professional career started, he was already well known in his hometown of Orillia as he sang periodically on the local radio station from the age of five. Gord was nine when he made his first actual recording which the principal played on the school's intercom system. He made his first appearance at Old Massey Hall in Toronto at the age of twelve, a venue that he plays in yearly right up until 2009. Then in July 1962, at the age of 21, he made his first professional recordings, which were "(Remember Me) I'm the One" and "It's Too Late, He Wins."
|Gordon Lightfoot's middle initial is M.
What name does the 'M' stand for?
(this name is shared with a t.v. star from the sitcom "Family Ties" as well as a late movie and t.v. star who appeared several times in the original t.v. series "Batman")||Gordon Lightfoot - Facts & Music Pt. I
Meredith. The name was passed from Gord's father, also named Gordon Meredith Lightfoot, and is the name he gave to one of his daughters as well.
Orillia, Ontario. Orillia, a town of approximately 31,000, is situated in South Central Ontario, Canada, and is approximately 135 kms. north of the city of Toronto and is where I began my musical career at a young age. Other notables from Orillia include poet and humorist, Stephen Leacock, famous pianist Glenn Gould, and Group of Seven famous painter, Franklin Carmichael. It is also the home of the Mariposa Folk Festival, which I have been attending for almost 50 years.
|In 1976, Gord recorded a song about a ship that sank in Lake Superior, taking the lives of all 29 sailors aboard. It turned out to be Lightfoot's all-time best selling single as well as his all time best selling album.
What's the name of this haunting musical ballad? ||Gordon Lightfoot - Facts & Music Pt. II
The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. On November 10th, 1975, the ore carrier, "S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald", sank in Lake Superior, taking all 29 sailors to their death. In spite of its macabre subject matter, the song hit number two on the Billboard pop charts. Lightfoot credits the song, which was written as his own tribute to the ship and the men who lost their lives, with being his "most significant musical contribution". Even 34 years later, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald", remains a powerful and emotionally stirring ballad and Lightfoot has played at every concert since the song came out in 1976.
|Gordon Lightfoot credits another very successful musician with being his largest musical influence.
Which wiry-haired singer-songwriter of Jewish ancestry does Gord credit as being his number one 'musical peer'?
(this artist doesn't use his real surname)
||Gordon Lightfoot - Facts & Music Pt. II
Bob Dylan. Gord has rubbed elbows with many great artists throughout his career, and credits many with being driving forces that motivated him in his musical career. Some of those he names are; John Denver, Jim Croce, Eric Clapton, and of course, Bob Dylan being his favourite musical personality. Dylan once said, "Gordon Lightfoot, every time I hear a song of his, it's like I wish it would last forever". One of Gord's proudest moments in his musical career was when Bob Dylan appeared at the 1986 Juno Awards to present him with the award of induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
|One of Gord's dreams was to star in a Hollywood movie production. The dream came true in 1982 when he co-starred alongside Bruce Dern and Michael Gwynne, who are starring as the last two living renegades from Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch.
What was the name of the movie Gordon Lightfoot starred in as a lawman? ||Gordon Lightfoot - Facts & Music Pt. II
Harry Tracy, Desperado. The movie is based on real-life outlaw, Harry Tracy (Bruce Dern), who despite being cast as a likeable bank robber, was actually one of the meanest murderers in Butch Cassidy's gang who were well known as "The Wild Bunch". Lightfoot stars as U.S. Marshall, Morrie Nathan, who leads his posses on what became the largest manhunt in North American history. The movie 'whitewashed' the real Harry Tracy, who'd probably have shot his own mother for the right amount of $$. Truth be known, Tracy didn't die in a shootout with Nathan Morrie, but actually took his own life once he realized he couldn't escape. Despite some cameos in documentaries and making some music videos, this turned out to be the first, and last, hurrah in Gord's 'acting career'. The movie was a box office flop.
|Gordon Lightfoot was building a successful career with an ever growing throng of loyal fans that thrived on the the anti-war sentiment of the times. But Gord was also quickly becoming known for his ability to pen soul soothing love ballads as well.
Which song, from his album "The Way I Feel", tells us, "I would be happy just to hold the hands I love, On this winter night with you"? ||Gordon Lightfoot - Facts & Music Pt. II
Song For A Winter's Night. Gord was quickly gathering fans of all age groups with his ever growing repertoire of songs that covered everything from the political upheavals of the times to songs about those who were in love and everything in between. "Song For A Winter's Night" reflects the mood of one who is lonely for the companionship of a loved one, and depending on the mood you're experiencing while listening to it, can bring a smile to one's lips, or a tear to one's eye. Gord never did reveal who he had in mind when writing the song, although it was rumoured it was for his wife, Brita, who he'd married in 1963.
|In the first quiz I submitted on Gordon Lightfoot, I spoke about his powerful protest song, "Black Day in July". His debut album, "Lightfoot", also included a protest song called "Pride of Man", which was written by his friend and fellow musician, Hamilton Camp, late in 1962.
What critical situation in 1962 was the song "Pride of Man" protesting?||Gordon Lightfoot - Facts & Music Pt. II
The Cuban Missile Crisis. The Cuban Missile Crisis, also known as The Missiles of October, is still considered to be "the most dangerous two weeks in mankind's history". John F. Kennedy squared off against his Russian counterpart, Nikita Kruschev, and demanded that the Soviets remove nuclear missiles and launchers they were preparing in Cuba, or prepare for all-out war. Although the situation was diffused in thirteen days in October, 1962, the song "Pride of Man" still held its powerful prophetic message nearly four years later, so Gord decided to include it on his debut album as a 'reminder' for the masses as to how close we came to self-destruction.
|Gord released this song in 1966, but it was first recorded by Ian and Sylvia Tyson over a year before Gordon recorded it on "Lightfoot". It is his most often covered song by other artists. The song contains the line "You can't jump a jet plane, like you can a freight train".
What's the title of this song?
||Gordon Lightfoot - Facts & Music Pt. II
Early Morning Rain. As a single, Peter, Paul, and Mary took "Early Morning Rain" to number 91 on the pop charts in 1965, and George Hamilton IV took it to number nine on the U.S. Country charts in 1966. Several well known artists included it on albums they released. Recording this well known tune were Peter, Paul, and Mary, Judy Collins, and Ian and Sylvia Tyson in 1965, Chad and Jeremy in 1966, Bob Dylan in 1970, Elvis Presley did it both in 1972 and 1977, Jerry Lee Lewis in 1973, and Eva Cassidy in 2002. Gord himself re-released it in 1975 on his first "Gord's Gold" compilation and the double album went to number 34, yet, as strange as this seems, the highest "Early Morning Rain" ever reach on any charts was as part of Bob Dylan's album, "Self Portrait", where it shared number four with the rest of the songs from that album. Even stranger, "Self Portrait" is ranked number three on Guterman and O'Donnell's "Worst Rock & Roll Records of All Time."
|If you walked into a music store and asked an employee to see Gordon Lightfoot's musical selections, which genre section would you likely be steered toward?
(Despite Gord's nearly six decades in the business, he still doesn't consider his music to be this genre, but Gord IS part of this 'good' group!)||Gordon Lightfoot - Facts & Music Pt. II
folk. "Lightfoot" was considered Gordon's only true 'folk' album. Even Gord doesn't feel his music should be categorized as folk, and in the early 1980s he commented that the folk label caused his music to be passed over by many radio stations because they had him "pegged as a folk artist". Despite the complete uniqueness of his musical style, it's the genre that his music has been identified with since his first solo album release over four decades ago.
|The acoustic bass guitarist playing on Gord's album "Lightfoot", Bill Lee, is actually the father of a fellow who is famous for his work in the Hollywood movie industry.
Who is the famous son of Bill Lee, the man who played acoustic bass on the album "Lightfoot"?
(regarding the famous son, all I can tell you is that "He Got Game!")||Gordon Lightfoot - Facts & Music Pt. II
Spike Lee. Wow! Interesting fact huh? Bill Lee, the father of Shelton Jackson Lee, a.k.a. "Spike", was a renowned jazz musician of his time. How he hooked up with Gord isn't really known, but we know Gord demanded that his band musicians delivered quality and skill in their work. Some of Bill Lee's other credits include working on the soundtrack music for his son's movies, "Do The Right Thing", and "Mo' Better Blues", as well as recording albums such as "Birdhouse" under a duet called Will Lee and Bill Lee.
|Speaking of songs about trains, Gordon's first solo album, "Lightfoot", included a song that included song lines about travelling on a train back to the one he loves, which he couldn't do because he tells us in the song that "I gambled my ticket away."
What's the title of this sad story song? ||Gordon Lightfoot - Facts & Music Pt. II
Steel Rail Blues. Lightfoot sometimes displayed a style of restlessness in his writing where he was either trying to get back home or return to a loved one, or to escape them in a similar fashion. This style, only one of many, gives Gord's writing a universal appeal, which is why so many of his fans can relate to him on a personal level. So "Steel Rail Blues" is pretty much self explanatory to those who have long known that steel rails is a common term for railroad tracks.
|We'll start with a toughy! Gordon Lightfoot's song about the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway, "Canadian Railroad Trilogy", was commissioned by the CBC for use on their t.v. special about Canada's 100th birthday.
His never released song, "Land With No Name", was also commissioned by another large Canadian company for a t.v. documentary called "Sea to Sea".
What's the name of the large coast to coast Canadian enterprise that commissioned his song?
(hmmmm..it's like these freight companies were competing for Gord's music as well as clients) ||Gordon Lightfoot - Facts & Music Pt. II
Canadian National Railway. The hint should have given it away with the words "freight" and the introductory info gave you the words "coast to coast". BC Rail is strictly in British Columbia and the west, Ontario Northland is in Ontario only, and Via concentrates on passenger traffic. Gord has written over 70 songs that were originally intended for recording, but for one reason or another, never did get onto an album or CD. Some of them although, including "Land With No Name", have been performed live. So the CPR commissioned "Canadian Railroad Trilogy" and the CNR commissioned "Land With No Name". Lightfoot has always had a 'love affair' with train travel and has several songs that tell stories of trains and their travellers.
|Gordon Lightfoot was never one to shy away from addressing world issues, such as racial inequality and human injustices, through his music. In 1971, he came out with a song that expressed the fear, uncertainty, and sadness experienced by young men going off to (and returning from) Vietnam. What song is about soldiers' psychological and emotional turmoil? (The song and album title are the same and speak of a happier time in a young man's life).||Gordon Lightfoot - Facts & Music Pt. III
Summer Side of Life. "Summer Side of Life", released in 1971, came on the heels of his highly successful "Sit Down Young Stranger" from 1970. Gord, never too shy to use his songs to address worldly issues, was true to his humanist form on "Summer Side of Life" by using it to delve deeply into the intense sorrow and emotional pain suffered by Vietnam vets and all who knew and loved them. Although the song's roots are rarely discussed, he has approached the subject in a couple of personal interviews, as well as in a published autobiography about his first 25 years in the recording industry. With that album's success, even Gord knew that it would be difficult to top and this album barely broke the Billboard Top 11 chart, coming in at number 98.
Personal note: In February of 2001, I received a phone call from Gordon Lightfoot himself, after I had written a heartfelt letter to him about how his music, mostly the song "Summer Side Of Life", had so powerfully affected my life. In the two hour conversation, he revealed to me the meaning of the song and its purpose. He said that the song was about one of the worst times in North America's history (Vietnam War). Interestingly, it wasn't far off from what I had thought it to be about, but it was very different from what most people thought Gord's song was pertaining to.
Gord's Gold Volume 2. "Gord's Gold Volume 2" came out in 1988, going gold in the U.S. (500,000 in sales) and platinum in Canada (100,000 in sales). Unlike his other sets and hit collections that were released, "Gord's Gold" and "Gord's Gold Volume 2" contained songs that were all re-recorded by him.
Sundown. Coming out in 1974, "Sundown" also sold over one million copies as a single on 45rpm, and both the album and the single hit number one on the U.S. Billboard charts, the first time and only time in Gord's career that his music reached that 'untouchable' position. The song "Sundown" isn't about sunsets. It's about a 'mysterious' woman who had seemingly broken his heart and yet, he was unable to move away from the emotional pain that the tumultuous relationship had caused him. It was widely rumored to be about Cathy Evelyn Smith, the "groupie" who was later charged with contributing to the death of John Belushi and who Gord had a torrid affair with for many months in the early '70s. The song was the perfect example of the personal and psychologically emotional bond he was increasingly developing with his loyal fans.
|One of Gordon Lightfoot's albums was actually re-released in Czechoslovakia with the moniker "Hubda a Slova". What is the English translation of the title "Hubda a Slova"? (Hint: wearing a shawl might help stop this).||Gordon Lightfoot - Facts & Music Pt. III
Cold on the Shoulder. Wearing a shawl could help keep the rain off and it definitely would help keep the cold off one's shoulders. "Cold on the Shoulder" hit number ten on the Billboard charts in 1975, went gold in Canada, and was one of Gord's top international sales successes. Yet, Lightfoot himself was critical of his own performance on the album and was actually surprised and even a little confused to its success at home and abroad. It had done well enough in Europe that the record producers decided to test it in the market of Czechoslovakia, which was then considered a "Cold War" country. It had minimal success, but it served its purpose of getting Gord further renowned on the difficult to break into international musical stage.
|"When it's midnight on the meadow, and the cats are in the shed.
And the river tells a story at the window by my bed.
If you listen very closely, be as quiet as you can.
In the yard you'll hear him, it is ___."
These lyrics are from a Lightfoot song that reads like a children's bedtime story. Who is Gordon singing about that will complete this rhyming refrain?||Gordon Lightfoot - Facts & Music Pt. III
The Pony Man. "The Pony Man" was another song from Gord's hugely successful album "Sit Down Young Stranger" ("If You Could Read My Mind"). It's a dreamy song about a fellow who brings a string of ponies to town for the children to gallop down the roads, fly across the fields, and "go sailing off into the midnight sky". It's a melodic ballad that ventures into the fantastical world of childhood, where treasure-seeking, laughter, and rivers of soda take the children inside the moon to "a land of magic that the grownups do not know". The album was Gord's first gold record in the U.S. (500,000 or more sold) and hit a lofty number twelve on the Billboard charts in 1970, and went gold in both Canada and Australia.
|Gordon Lightfoot released two albums in 1972. Both went platinum in Canada and received high praises for their "acoustic perfection". The title of one of the records might remind some of their grandfather or uncle sitting around and listening to their 78s. What's the title of the second album Gord released in 1972? ||Gordon Lightfoot - Facts & Music Pt. III
Old Dan's Records. "Old Dan's Records" only reached #95 on the Billboard charts, but there aren't many Canadian artists who can say they had two albums make Billboard's Top 100 in the same year ("Don Quixote" was the other and it reached #42). The title song tells a story of family and friends gathering together for a good old-fashioned country-style hoedown with the music being supplied by "Old Dan's" 78rpm record collection. Fans and critics of Lightfoot's music admitted that the album changed their preconceptions, in a positive way, that Gord was only a single genre artist.
|Gordon Lightfoot turned this tale of a fictitious, chivalrous dreamer who immerses himself in the fantasy world of the books he reads into a song of life and adventure. The song's introduction goes:
"Through the woodland, through the valley,
Comes a horseman, wild and free,
Tilting at the windmills passing,
Who can this brave young horseman be?"
Which of Lightfoot's many ballads do these words come from? (Ask the people of La Mancha, Spain if you don't know).||Gordon Lightfoot - Facts & Music Pt. III
Don Quixote. "Don Quixote" (widely recognised as "The Man of La Mancha") is the ballad of an adventurous and romantic character who dreams of saving the poor and destitute from the world around him. "The Ingenious Hidalgo 'Don Quixote' of La Mancha" was written by Miguel de Cervantes in two volumes, one in 1605 and one in 1615. Gord wrote the song because of his love for the book. The 1972 record of the same name went platinum in Canada (sales of 100,000 or more), and despite its critically acclaimed "acoustic perfection", reached only position number 42 on the U.S. Billboard charts.