Gordon Meredith Lightfoot Jr., CC, O.Ont, LL.D (hon.) (born November 17, 1938) is a Canadian folk singer, composer, lyricist and poet.
Lightfoot was born November 17, 1938 to Jessica Lightfoot and Gordon Meredith Lightfoot in Orillia, Ontario, Canada. As a youth, he sang in the choir of St. Paul's United Church under the direction of choir-master Ray Williams. During this time as a "boy soprano" Lightfoot made several appearances on local radio and local operetta and oratorios as well as Kiwanis music festivals. Lightfoot remarked in 2005 that it was choir master Williams who "taught him how to sing with emotion and how to have confidence in his voice". As a teenager, Lightfoot studied piano and taught himself drums and percussion instruments.
Lightfoot moved to California, where he studied jazz composition and orchestration at Hollywood's Westlake College of Music in 1957-58. He returned to Canada and through 1958 to '61 he was performing with The Swinging Eight a group that appeared on CBC TV's Country Hoedown as well as performing with the Gino Silvi Singers. He also began performing in the coffee houses of the Toronto...