02 May 2023

2 May 2023 - Gordon Lightfoot - Carefree Highway

I used to say that two celebrity deaths in my lifetime gave me kind of a gut punch - Fred Rogers and Steve Irwin, both for very different reasons I won't discuss here.   

I would have to put Canadian Music Hall of Famer Gordon Lightfoot's passing yesterday close to that as well.  He was arguably the greatest storyteller to ever carry a guitar, a prolifiic songwriter with the husky voice of an angel.  He was absolutelyl brilliant, and I am not exagerationg when I call him a Canadian treasure.  He was the pride of Orillia, Ontario 

The folk music generation has lost their voice with his passing.  Canada has lost a piece of itself with his passing.  His career was long - he performed at a teenager in the 1950. He was there when Bob Dylan (a mentor of his) went electric at the 1965 Newport Jazz Festival.  He was still touring in 2012.  

I had been saving this song for #MapleLeafMarch next year, but is served well at this time.  It was a top 10 hit for Lightfoot in the US and Canada in 1974, and immediately followed "Sundown" as a single release.  The title came to Gord first - he was driving on an Arizona highway (and almost left the title in the glove box of a rental car!), and the rest came months later.  

The beautifully written song is about a man who is driving and remembering a long-past relationship with a woman named Ann - who was real.  Ann was a woman Lightfoot had a relationship with several years before this song - and remembering the time pleasantly, and how she's doing, as you do.  

It remains one of my favorite Gordon Lightfoot songs. 

This version of the song is from a 2012 performance in Reno, Nevada.  Even well into his 70's, he had that audience enraptured.  

Ten years later, in a 2022 performance in Indiana, his voice had lost a little, but his stage presence, well into his 80s, was still there.

No comments:

Post a Comment