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Maynard Collins.
Toronto, ON: Deneau, 1988.
247pp., cloth, $24.95.
ISBN 0-88879-139-9. CIP.

Subject Headings:
Lightfoot, Gordon, 1939-

Grades 10 and up / Ages 15 and up

Reviewed by Jean Farqueharson.

Volume 17 Number 5
1989 September

Maynard Collins, a well-known writer in the entertainment field, was the ideal choice to write a biography of Canada's most successful composer, balladeer, and singer. Collins, who has a solid understanding of the world of entertainment and popular music, and who knows many of the people involved, tells how Lightfoot worked his way to the top.

Although this is not an official biography, it is well balanced and objective. Having researched many written sources as well as interviewing friends and acquaintances of Lightfoot, Collins has shown both sides of the picture. He includes anecdotes and contributions from Lightfoot himself, including several personal photographs.

A shy native of conservative Orillia, Gordon Lightfoot was determined to be a musician from a very early age. He owes his success to hard work, perfectionism, and his drive to succeed in any endeavour that involved music. His friendships centred around the world of music and his life on the road. His rocky personal life, involving alcoholism, violence, and a succession of infidelities, resulted in failure at marriage and parenthood. He has recently overcome his alcoholism and his life has stabilized.

Gordon Lightfoot worked hard to succeed as number one in his field, not only in Canada but in the U.S. This book will appeal to anyone interested in the music industry or who is curious about a small-town Canadian who made it to the top.

Jean Farquharson, Paris, ON.
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