Rhino Factoids: Gordon Lightfoot Gets a Star
18 years ago this month, Gordon Lightfoot – a music legend in any country, yes, but a true icon in his native Canada – was part of the inaugural group of celebrities to be honored with a star on the Canadian Walk of Fame in Toronto.
Gordon Meredith Lightfoot, Jr. had his first public performance when he was in fourth grade, singing “Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral” over his school’s P.A. system during Parents’ Day, and if he ever looked back after that point, it wasn’t for very long. Lightfoot sang in the choir at St. Paul’s United Church in Orillia, Ontario, performed in local operettas and oratorios, sang at Massey Hall in Toronto when he was only 12, learned to play folk guitar, and ultimately moved to California in 1958, where he attended Hollywood’s Westlake College of Music for two years. After he returned to Toronto in 1960, things really started to take off for him, and by 1962 he’d found success with indie singles “(Remember Me) I’m the One” and “Negotiations.” The rest is, as they say in Canada, history.
Okay, yeah, you’re right: they do say that in America, too. Sorry, we just got caught up in our love of Canada.
In June 1998, Lightfoot was one of the initial inductees onto the Canadian Walk of Fame, along with Bryan Adams, Pierre Berton, John Candy, Glenn Gould, Norman Jewison, Karen Kain, Rich Little, Anne Murray, Bobby Orr, Christopher Plummer, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Barbara Ann Scott, and Jacques Villeneuve. It’s a testament to his Canadian-ness that he was picked in the first round of inductees, but that can hardly be a surprise to anyone at this point: he’s the go-to name whenever anyone’s making a Canadian-content joke. But make no mistake: Lightfoot is a musical legend…and that’s no joke!