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Old 10-20-2005, 07:25 AM   #1
Auburn Annie
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If you could read his mind...


By STEPHANIE BOUCHARD, News Assistant

Copyright 2005 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.


Gordon Lightfoot has spent practically all his life singing. His first performance, in 1943, was at age 5 at the United Church Sunday School in Orillia, Canada.

The man who would go on to write and sing hits like "If You Could Read My Mind, "Sundown," "Early Morning Rain," "Beautiful" and "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" began his music career by singing "I'm a Little Teapot."

After being out of commission due to an abdominal aneurysm suffered in September 2002, Lightfoot, who will be 67 next month, is touring again. He appears at Merrill Auditorium in Portland on Friday night.

When he was 8 years old something his mother said following a performance with his sister changed his life. "'Bing (Crosby) makes a living at this,' my mother said," says Lightfoot on the phone at his home in Toronto. "I (realized) the possibility of making a living as a singer at that moment."

Lightfoot has had and continues to have a successful career. He has near-god-like status in Canada. He continually sells out there, and for his musical contributions he has received the highest honors his native country can give him, including the country's highest official honor, the Governor General's Award. He's received five Grammy Award nominations and 17 Juno Awards (the Canadian equivalent of the Grammy Award) and released his 20th album, "Harmony," in 2004.

The album was produced while he was in the hospital, recovering from surgeries related to his aneurysm.

After undergoing emergency surgery for the aneurysm, Lightfoot was in a coma for six weeks. He spent more than a year in and out of the hospital, undergoing two more surgeries.

For a man who is constantly on the go, being laid up in the hospital was challenging. "It made me wonder what projects I could do to keep the ball rolling," he says. What he came up with was a new album.

He had vocal and guitar tracks already recorded. While he was in the hospital, his band was in the studio, working with Lightfoot's recorded tracks. He'd get finished tracks to listen to on his CD player at the hospital.

Over the course of several months, shuttling the work-in-progress between the hospital and the studio, the final album was produced. "It's not the kind of album that'll sell zillions," Lightfoot acknowledges, but the achievement, given the circumstances, "was satisfying."

Even more satifsying is being back on the road, performing live. And while he performs some of his new songs, he doesn't tire of performing his time-tested songs, the songs people love to hear. "It's a new adventure every time they're performed," he says.

News Assistant Stephanie Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6455 or at: sbouchard@pressherald.com


GORDON LIGHTFOOT
WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday
WHERE: Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle St., Portland
HOW MUCH: Tickets are $37-$57.
TICKETS: Call PortTix at 842-0800.
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Old 10-20-2005, 05:48 PM   #2
Sheryl
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Thanks, Annie!
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