CHRONOLGY


1970's


*1970*
- The stage musical, Love And Maple Syrup, based on Lightfoot's song, is premiered in New York in January. (Read More...)
- He plays a benefit at the Virginia country home of Edward Kennedy.
- Turns down invitation to play at Expo '70 in Osaka, Japan.
- In March, Lightfoot performs at the first Earth Day concert in Ann Arbor. (Read More...)
- In May his first Warner/Reprise album, Sit Down Young Stranger is  released.
- In June, Lightfoot is presented with the Order Of Canada in a ceremony in Ottawa.
- In the summer he embarks on a promotional tour of radio stations in Detroit, Windsor and Chicago to promote the new album. (Read More...)
- Me And Bobby McGee is released as the first single with piano added to the album cut, which displeased Lightfoot.
- On a radio appearance with Skip Weshner in LA, Lightfoot discusses his serious consideration of an album of covers as his followup to Sit Down Young Stranger. (Read More...)
- Facial Hair Tracker. Lightfoot added a moustache for short period early in 1970, returning to cleanly shaven for most of the year.

*1971*

- In February, Lightfoot enters the US charts for the first time when If You Could Read My Mind reaches #5 on the singles chart.  The album, now renamed after the single, reaches US #12 and turns gold.
- In March, Lightfoot completes another triumphant Massey Hall stand. (Read More...)
- In April, Lightfoot is inducted into the Orillia Hall Of Fame.

- In June, Summer Side Of Life is released.
- In July, Talking In Your Sleep peaks at US #64, while Summer Side Of Life reaches #38 on the US album charts.
- The United Artists compilation, Classic Lightfoot, makes US #178 on the album chart.
- In September, Summer Side Of Life peaks at US #98 on the singles chart.
- Lightfoot caps another successful year with an appearance at Carnegie Hall.
- Facial Hair Tracker. Lightfoot grew a beard late in 1971 which helped define his look through most of the 70's.

*1972*
- In February, he plays to two sold out concerts at New York's Philharmonic Hall.
- Terry Clements replaces Red Shea on lead guitar.
- Lightfoot is asked to perform If You Could Read My Mind at the Grammies, but backs out when the producers tell him to cut the song to two minutes.
- On stage at Massey Hall in March, Lightfoot feels a numbness on one side of his face.  It is diagnosed backstage as Bell's Palsy.  He completes his Massey committment, but he is then forced to cancel some shows and take several months off to recover.
- Don Quixote is released to excellent reviews. (Read More...)
- Lightfoot's Canadian dates include the Place Des Arts in Montreal. (Read More...)
- In May, Don Quixote peaks at #42 on the album charts.
- In June, Lightfoot tours the UK, including a stop at the Royal Albert Hall in London. (Read More...)
- In July, Beautiful reaches #58 on the single charts.
- In August, Lightfoot records Old Dan's Records in Toronto.
- Lightfoot attends Mariposa Folk Festival in Toronto and gives an impromptu performance under a tree that attracts many passerbys.  Dylan is also in attendance and returns to Lightfoot's to pay a social visit.
- In October, Old Dan's Records is released, the first time Lightfoot has released two albums of new material in one year since 1968.
- In December, Old Dan's Records peaks at #95 on the album charts.

*1973*
- The Pony Man is released as a children's book.
- In March, Lightfoot sets a record when he sells out Massey Hall for five consecutive nights.
- Lightfoot and his wife, Brita, are divorced.
- He spends 5 weeks in northern Quebec on 500 mile canoe trip during the summer.
- In October, Lightfoot records the Sundown album at Eastern Sound in Toronto.

*1974*

- In January, Sundown is released.
- In March, he writes the song that will be the title cut for his next album almost a year from then, Cold On The Shoulder.
- In March, Lightfoot records all of the Massey Hall shows for a live album.  Because of a broken fingernail that could be heard on the tapes, the project is scrapped.
- Lightfoot's guitars and sound equipment are stolen in Saginaw, MI forcing him to cancel a concert in Ann Arbor.
- In June, Sundown holds down the #1 album position for three weeks.
- In June, Sundown reaches #1 on the single charts.
- In August, the UA compilation The Very Best Of Gordon Lightfoot peaks at #155 on the album charts.
- In November, Carefree Highway reaches #10 on the single charts.
- Facial Hair Tracker. Lightfoot shaved his beard for a short time in 1974, but regrew it before the year was out.

*1975*

- In February, Cold On The Shoulder is released.
- Red Shea rejoins the touring band for the year and Pee Wee Charles is added on pedal steel.
- In April, Cold On The Shoulder reaches #10 on the album charts.
- In April, a special section is devoted to Lightfoot in Billboard magazine.
- In May, Rainy Day People peaks at #26 on the single charts.
- In July, Lightfoot records tracks for Gord's Gold.
- In October, Gord's Gold is released.
- In October, he makes a brief tour of Europe with stops in Amsterdam, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt and finally at a sold out Royal Albert Hall in London.
- In November Lightfoot writes the material that will comprise next year's Summertime Dream album.
- On November 10, the Edmund Fitzgerald sinks in Lake Superior.
- Later in November, Lightfoot writes and records The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald over an intense three day period.
- In December, Lightfoot appears for two shows with Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue in Toronto.

*1976*

- In January, drummer Barry Keane joins the band.
- In January, Gord's Gold makes #34 on the album charts.
- In February, Lightfoot makes an appearance on Midnight Special.
- In March Lightfoot appears at The Sahara in Lake Tahoe for the first time. (Read More...)
- March once again finds Lightfoot selling out Massey Hall for an extended run. (Read More...)
- In May, Summertime Dream is released.

- In June, Lightfoot hosts a benefit at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto to aid the Canadian Olympic team.
- In June he appears at the prestigious Montreux festival in Switzerland. 
- Lightfoot commissions the building of his new sailboat, Golden Goose. (Read More...)
- In November, The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald hits #2 on the single charts, where it remains for two weeks (behind Rod Stewart's Tonight's The Night).

- Lightfoot is invited to perform with Bob Dylan, Neil Young and others at the Band's farewell concert on Thanksgiving weekend in San Francisco, immortalized in the Martin Scorcese film, The Last Waltz. Lightfoot was present for the show but decided not to perform because of not having time to rehearse.
- In December, Summertime Dream reaches #12 on the album charts and is certified platinum.

*1977*

- In February, Lightfoot attends the Grammies in Hollywood, where he is nominated for best male vocal and song of the year for The wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald.

- In March, Race Among The Ruins reaches #65 on the single charts.
- In June he is presented with an honorary law degree at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario.
- In October, Lightfoot along with James Taylor, Harry Chapin and John Denver play a benefit in Detroit to raise money for World Hunger Year. (Read More...)
- In November, Lightfoot marks his 20th year in the music business.  CHUM-FM in Toronto declare a "Gordon Lightfoot Day" and RPM magazine runs a special issue devoted to him. (Read More...)
- In December, Lightfoot makes a triumphant year end appearance at the cerebral palsy benefit at Carnegie Hall in New York.
- Facial Hair Tracker. Lightfoot shaved his beard in 1977 but kept the moustache.

*1978*
- In January, Endless Wire is released.
- In March, Endless Wire climbs to #20 on the album charts.
- In March, Lightfoot sells out Massey Hall for record nine nights.
- Lightfoot is offered the chance to sing on an animated film of Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings, but declines.
- In April, The Circle Is Small peaks at #33 on the single charts.
- Lightfoot embarks on a 600-mile Arctic canoeing expedition in the Northwest Territories.
- In August, Lightfoot sells out five concerts at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles.
- In October, Daylight Katy, not released as a single in the US, peaks at #41 in the UK.
- In November, Lightfoot climaxes a busy year of touring with shows in Anchorage, Alaska and Honolulu, Hawaii.

*1979*

- In April, Lightfoot does a benefit at Nassau County Coliseum in Long Island, NY, with Waylon Jennings, Dave Mason and Harry Chapin for local ballets and symphonies.
- In September, Lightfoot makes a rare TV appearance on PBS Soundstage.
- The unreleased song, Forgive Me Lord, is debuted in conert this year.  This song will take on cult status as it is recorded for at least two albums, but never released, yet Lightfoot continues to perform it well into the late 80's ... and beyond?
- Lightfoot provides the title song for the documentary, Ghosts Of Cape Horn.