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Remembering a true icon

Words such as “legend” and “icon” are bandied about to the degree that they have almost lost significance. But as Canadians from coast to coast passionately remember Gordon Lightfoot, who passed on Monday, there is no other word. A true cultural icon.

Photo: Wikipedia

Proof perhaps that the Toronto Star on Tuesday not only featured a large photograph of the singer-songwriter above the fold on the front page, but that the next two pages were entirely dedicated to the Orillia-born troubadour. Do not recall even a prime minister, even of the stature of Pierre Trudeau, receiving such coverage upon his death.

The appeal of Lightfoot was his genuine appreciation for his country. For its history, for important events that had taken place. His ballads had heartfelt appeal for many, the lyrics real, and melodies memorable. It was truly difficult to purchase tickets for his annual three nights of performing at the venerable Massey Hall. It was telling that when the pearl of Toronto’s performance palaces reopened after extensive renovations, it was Lightfoot who was the first to perform at the classic Shuter Street concert hall.

The same went for the ...

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