Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Still On The Road Performing....Over 40 Years Later

There aren't many performers still on the road today who gave concerts at Vanderbilt while we were there. But renowned Canadian singer/songwriter Gordon Lightfoot is one.

His "50 Years on the Carefree Highway Tour" was in Nashville last night (June 17) and he performed two sets on stage (over two hours of music) at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Just over 40 years ago, he came to Memorial Gym on campus during our senior year to entertain us. He performed at a time when he was just approaching his peak of popularity on the record charts.

That included "If You Could Read My Mind" that rose to Number #5  in 1970.....


Lightfoot turns 75 in November.  Staying on the road these many years hasn't been easy, surviving an attack of Bell's Palsy on his face in 1972, then in the early 2000s, a stroke and an ruptured abdominal aortic aneursym that required four surgeries, a tracheotomy and a six-week coma. Having been present at his latest Nashville concert, I can attest Lightfoot still gives a remarkable performance both vocally and in his musicianship playing the guitar. This folk/rock legend also keeps up quite a concert schedule as you can see from this link at his web site....


As you might expect two of Gordon Lightfoot's biggest hits literally stopped the show with standing ovations last night. One was "Carefree Highway" from 1974. Here's an earlier performance courtesy of YouTube ...


The other song that brought the audience to its feet at the Schermerhorn was my favorite Gordon Lightfoot recording despite its rather dark and sad subject matter (a maritime disaster). Here's "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" (1976) again from YouTube....


One of the great things about the music of our time together was what a great mix it remains of folk, hard rock, pop, soul music, you name it. So while you can't really dance to it, I nominate the songs of Gordon Lightfoot for consideration of our Centennial Class 40th Reunion CD.

What are your suggestions? Leave them on the Class Facebook page.

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