Influenced By Gordon Lightfoot

Compiled by Wayne Francis

When Lightfoot signed with Linus Entertainment, they asked me to provide some quotes by contemporaries to use in their promotion of Harmony. Here is a sampling of some of those quotes, most notable among them several by the most highly regarded and most often imitated songwriter of all time - Bob Dylan. Dylan has covered I'm Not Supposed To Care and Early Morning Rain and in 2012 performed Shadows live in concert:

"Lightfoot became a mentor for a long time. I think he probably still is to this day." - Bob Dylan

“I can't think of any Gordon Lightfoot song I don't like. Everytime I hear a song of his, it's like I wish it would last forever. " - Bob Dylan

"Favouite Lightfoot songs? Shadows, Sundown, If You Could Read My Mind. I can't think of any I don't like!" - Bob Dylan

"Gordon Lightfoot has created some of the most beautiful and lasting music of our time. He is Bob Dylan's favorite singer/songwriter - high praise from the best of us, applauded by the rest of us." - Kris Kristofferson

"I don't think anybody before or since has had the impact on Canadian culture, through popular music or folk music, that Gordon Lightfoot has had." - Ian Tyson

"So if you think you hear a little, let me correct that, a lot of Gordon Lightfoot in these (my) songs, congratulations you're correct, he was the greatness my mediocrity tried to imitate. Gordon was my guide though the musical woods. It's one of the unique and pretty cool parts about being successful, inspiring others, which is exactly what Gordon did for me" - Jimmy Buffett

"To this day, it's one of my goals in life. It's on my bucket list to see Gordon Lightfoot. I love him. I would just like to go and meet him backstage and say: 'Thank you. You've given many, many hours of joy in my life.  And you've been an inspiration to me' and just to let him know how much I care for what he did and you know how much it meant to me. 'She's Always a Woman', was influenced by Gordon Lightfoot. I wanted to write a song that I thought a guy like Gordon Lightfoot would sing." - Billy Joel

"Canadian Railroad Trilogy is an extremely fine piece of songwriting. " - Johnny Cash

"Gordon Lightfoot looms pretty large in my life as a writer and an artist in general. I never travel anywhere without at least two of his records with me." - Ron Sexsmith

"Lightfoot's voice is such a part of the fabric of Canada, I know it almost as well as I know my own voice." - David Foster

"When my first album came out in 1986 my manager called and said that we're really big in Canada. I thought it all had to do with that great singer-songwriter tradition up there and when you have that discussion, it all comes back to one guy, Gordon Lightfoot, it all has to come back to Gordon Lightfoot." - Steve Earle

"I always knew Gordon Lightfoot was a really great songwriter, but his stuff even sounds better and better all the time. It's just so really good to me. It's just like that's what should be in a dictionary, you know, next to a really good contempory folk song, is a Gordon Lightfoot song." - John Prine

"I was a Gordon Lightfoot fan before he ever had a song out. You just knew he was pure talent and he was going to be successful. Gordon has written and recorded some of the greatest music ever." - Ronnie Hawkins

“What a song—that’s my favourite on the record.”  - Neil Young, referencing “If You Could Read My Mind” on his A Letter Home album

“Gordon had a real loyal following all over the place, including over in Europe. When he’d play in L.A., they would come out in droves. It was a ritual that, whenever he’d do his tour, all these people would come and see him. They loved him. A very talented guy.”  - Robbie Robertson

"He's a great, great songwriter and a great man. I love everything about him and he's eccentric on top of that. I don't know him real well, but I feel like I do. He did a show at my high school, in fact, I was walking to the show and a Cadillac pulled up, window rolled down and it was the man himself who said, 'How do we get to the Ancaster High School?' I said, 'Follow me.' And it was a beautiful show. It was ever so simple. It was in the gym."  - Daniel Lanois