Gordon Lightfoot Dies: ‘If You Could Read My Mind’ & ‘Sundown’ Singer-Songwriter Was 84

The honey-voiced Canadian singer-songwriter behind huge US hits “If You Could Read My Mind,”; “Sundown” and “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” died today at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center in Toronto. He was 84 years old.

His longtime publicist Victoria Lord reported the news to Canadian media outlets, including the CBC, but did not give a cause of death. Respected in Canada, Lightfoot had been scheduled to play Los Angeles-area clubs several times during the past two years, but had postponed the dates at least twice.

Born in Orillia, Ontario, on November 17, 1938, Lightfoot had been a part of the Canadian folk scene for many years before hitting the international music charts in the late 1970s with “If You Can Read My Mind”, a gorgeous, ethereal cover of his acoustic track featuring guitars and soft yet reassuring vocals. The song hit No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, produced from their Reprise LP. sit young stranger, later reissued if you could Read My Mind, It peaked at number 12 on the Billboard 200.

He released three more Reprise albums – summer side of life (1971), don quixote (1972) and Old Dan’s Records (1972) – and the 1974 L.P. sunset. The album spent two weeks at the summit, and its title track became Lightfoot’s only No. 1 on the Hot 100.

Lightfoot wrote the song about his turbulent, extramarital and sometimes violent relationship with Kathy Smith, who years later admitted to injecting John Belushi with heroin and cocaine “speedballs”, which led to his death at age 33. died. Bluesy melody: “Sunset you better take care / If I feel you crawling around my back stairs.” Lightfoot’s sunset The LP also reached No. 1 in the US and Canada. Smith is credited as a backup vocalist on one track, “High and Dry”.

more to come…