- He begins work as a choral
performer and dancer on CBC's Country Hoedown, and would continue working
there for more than two years.
- Became interested in folk
music through listening to Bob Gibson and in particular, the Weavers At Carnegie
- Around this time he switched
from the 4-string tenor guitar to the conventional 6 and 12-string guitars.
Within a year he was proficient enough to perform professionally.
- As a member of the Two Tones, Lightfoot undertakes a series of recording
sessions in Toronto. (Read More...)
- Plays drums for a revue
called Up Tempo '61 in Jack Zaza's band. (Zaza would later play on Circle
Of Steel.) He plays under the pseudonym Charles Sullivan.
- The first Mariposa Folk
Festival is held. The Two Tones are not invited because they are deemed
to be too commercial!
- Lightfoot makes his US debut
at La Cave in Cleveland, sharing the bill with Jose Feliciano.
- The Two Tones perform on CBC's Talent Caravan and While We're Young.
- The Two Tones make their first recording Lessons In Love and Sweet Polly
for Art Snider on Quality Records.
- In January he records a live album at Toronto's
Village Corner as a member of the folk duo, the Two Tones, with partner
Terry Whelan. (Read More...)
- Lightfoot travels to Nashville and recorded
12 songs for Art Snider's Chateau label. Session players overseen by Chet
Atkins, included Hargus Robbins (who later played on Summer Side Of Life)
and Floyd Cramer.
- Remember Me (I'm The One) reaches the top 10 on the Canadian charts.
- Lightfoot as a solo appears on Hi-Time on CFTO-TV hosted by Bobby Curtola.
- The Two Tones are disbanded.
- Appeared in Orillia in January
at a teen dance at the Pavalon Club with a Toronto singing group called
- Lightfoot quits Country Hoedown in mid-season.
- In April Lightfoot marries Brita in Sweden and moves to London's Gloucester
- Hosted 8 one-hour summer
replacement shows in England for the BBC called "Country And Western."
- Lightfoot becomes influenced by Dylan.
Although he'd written 75 songs prior to that time, they didn't contain an
"identity." His writing now begins to flourish. (Read More...)
- He writes Early Morning Rain on a hot summer
- In April, Lightfoot performs at Massey Hall as part of Oscar Brand's Canadian
- Lightfoot makes his solo debut at Mariposa, now relocated to Toronto. Lightfoot
was accompanied on guitar by David Rea.
- Ian & Sylvia come to Steele's Tavern
in Toronto to hear Lightfoot and come away very impressed. They eventually
record some Lightfoot songs which leads to Lightfoot being signed by the
influential Albert Grossman management agency from New York.
- Lightfoot appears on CBC's Music Hop hosted by Alex Trebek. The show's
backing band for Lightfoot on the program included Red Shea and John Stocfish.
- Lightfoot appears on Let's Sing Out with
Judy Collins and the Clancy Brothers.
- Peter, Paul and Mary's recording of For
Lovin' Me reaches the US top 20.
- Lightfoot plays the Toronto Teacher's College.
The significance of this show was that it marked the first time he had done
an entire show of his own material.
- In December,
he records the tracks for his debut album for United Artists in New York's
Columbia Studio on 30th Street, where Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, Miles
Davis, Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday among many others have recorded.
- Lightfoot was spotted playing at Steele's by Bernie Fiedler which led to
bookings at the Riverboat.
- Appears at the prestigious Newport Folk
Festival and is there when Dylan goes "electric". (Read More...)
- Lightfoot makes the 18 hour train trip to
Moosenee in northern Ontario on the shore of James Bay and the journey inspires
Steel Rail Blues.
- When Lightfoot was signed to WB's in 1965
a party was held for him at Steele's Tavern
- sandwiches courtesy of WB's, beer courtesy of Steele's.
- He lived for a time in Detroit near Wayne
State University at Joni and Chuck Mitchell's apartment and performed at
area clubs like Chess Mate.
- In September Lightfoot makes an appearance
on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
- Marty Robbins' recording of Ribbon Of Darkness
spends 7 months on the C&W charts, reaching #1, and wins the ASCAP writer-publisher
- Red Shea and John Stockfish are recruited
as Lightfoot's touring and recording band. (Read More...)
- In November he makes his New York debut
at the Town Hall.
- On November 13, the Yarmouth Castle catches
fire and sinks off of Miami.
- In January, Lightfoot! is released by United
- In February he draws 3,500 to Varsity Stadium
- In February he completes a nine city tour
of the British Isles with Ian & Sylvia, beginning at the De Montfort
Hall in Leicester and finishing up at the Fairfield Hall in London.
-Lightfoot tapes an Easter Seals TV special at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre
sharing the bill with none other than Bing Crosby.
- In May he completes a successful run at
Toronto's Riverboat coffeehouse. (Read More...)
- Lightfoot is commissioned by the CBC to
write a song about the building of the Canadian railway for Canada's centennial.
The result is of course, Canadian Railroad Trilogy.
- On New Year's day, Lightfoot
debuts the Trilogy across the country on the CBC-TV special, 100 Years Young.
- The Way I Feel is recorded at Studio A in Nashville.
- In January, he completes
a month-long engagement at the Riverboat.
- In March, Lightfoot plays
two sold-out concerts at Massey Hall.
- In the spring, The Way I
Feel is released.
- In August, Orillia celebrates its first Gordon Lightfoot day.
- A Lightfoot special is aired
on CBC on March 18.
- In March, two more sold-out
performances at Massey Hall.
- Did She Mention My Name
- Lightfoot makes a "writng"
trip to England where he composes poetry and the songs that will comprise
his next album.
- In May, he makes his first
San Francisco appearance at the SF State College Folk Festival.
- Lightfoot does a spring
tour of Ontario.
- Lightfoot plays a week engagement
at the Cellar Door in Washington DC.
- Lightfoot does 9 concerts
with Peter, Paul and Mary at venues such as the Hollywood Bowl.
- Lightfoot records Back Here
On Earth in Nashville in September.
- Appears at the Troubadour
in LA and the Fillmore in San Francisco.
- Back Here On Earth is released.
- Lightfoot appears at a sold-out
concert at the University Of Toronto.
- Appears for a second time
at New York's Town Hall, this time as the headlining act. (Read More...)
- Early Morning Productions are formed to
manage Lightfoot's affairs, with Al Mair hired as general manager.
- Four Massey Hall concerts are recorded in
March and are released later in the year as Sunday Concert.
- Lightfoot records in Nashville in April
but no tracks are ever released from these sessions. These became known
as the "33rd Of August" sessions, after the Mickey Newbury song that was
recorded during them.
- Appears as a solo act for the first time
on a British stage with an appearance at London's Royal Festival Hall. (Read More...)
- In November, Lightfoot signs with Warner
Brothers Records to record on their Reprise label, signalling the end of
the 60's and his United Artists years.