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Trivia / Gordon Lightfoot

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  • Big Name Fan: Among the celebrities interviewed for the documentary film "If You Could Read My Mind" was Alec Baldwin.
  • Breakthrough Hit: "If You Could Read My Mind", although he'd already been recording for almost a decade when it hit.
  • Channel Hop: After gaining critical acclaim but not much success outside of Canada during his stint with United Artists Records, he left in 1970 and signed with Reprise Records, where he became a star.
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  • Covered Up: Gord's earlier songs especially have been covered by a wide variety of musicians, including Ian and Sylvia, Judy Collins, Elvis Presley, Neil Young, Peter, Paul and Mary, Gloria Estefan, and Bob Dylan.
  • Creator's Favorite Episode: He's very proud of "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald".
  • Money, Dear Boy: Lightfoot, in his own words, was "irate" about the label's plan to change the title of his album "Sit Down Young Stranger" (which was not selling) to "If You Could Read My Mind" after the latter single charted - even going so far as to fly out to LA to have the label explain themselves. They told him the name change was "the difference between x and 7x". Needless to say, the name was changed and he got his 7x.
  • Old Shame:
    • One of the most literal examples of Creator Backlash. When an album of his early pre-folk material was released in The '70s to capitalize on his newfound fame, Lightfoot had his personal assistant buy every copy he could find, then Lightfoot personally destroyed them with an ax.
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    • He also wasn't all that happy with his United Artists albums, electing to re-record a bunch of songs from them for Gord's Gold.
    • He also stopped performing certain songs in concert because he's not comfortable with them anymore, like "For Lovin' Me" (he's embarrassed by the song's male chauvinism) and "Black Day in July" (since it's a song by a Canadian commenting on race relations in the US, he thinks it comes across as an outsider being too preachy).
  • Sleeper Hit: The single released to promote Sit Down, Young Stranger was the album's only Cover Version, "Me & Bobby McGee". A DJ at KJR in Seattle listened to the album and decided to play "If You Could Read My Mind" on his show. It got such a huge response that Reprise rush-released it as the next single, becoming his Breakthrough Hit.
  • Write What You Know: Many of his most famous songs are autobiographical. "Early Mornin' Rain" was inspired by his homesickness when he left Ontario after high school to study music in Los Angeles (and would go to LAX to watch planes take off when he didn't have anything else to do). "If You Could Read My Mind" was about the breakup of his first marriage. "Sundown" was based on an incident when his then-lover, Cathy Smith,note  went out partying without him, and he was seething with jealousy.
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