Gordon Lightfoot has a special fondness for performing in front of a live audience.
"There's a wonderful responsibility that comes with live performance that you can't capture in a recording studio," Lightfoot said in a recent interview with the Herald.
Concerts also keep him grounded with his audience, he added.
For this 71-year-old Canadian singer-songwriter, concert tours are something he's done for more than 45 years, and he has no plans to retire.
His latest tour makes a stop Nov. 4 at Toyota Center in Kennewick, Wash.
Though most musicians will tell you it's difficult to tag one song as a favorite, Lightfoot admits he definitely has a strong connection to his 1976 No. 1 hit single Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.
The song is about the true story of an ore vessel that sank in Lake Superior in 1975.
"I stay in touch with some of the people who lost relatives on that ship," Lightfoot said. "It was a tragic event (that inspired the song) but the families seemed to be honored that I wrote it."
Lightfoot, one of the most successful Canadian singer/songwriters, fell in love with music and songwriting as a young teen growing up in Orillia, Ontario. He credits his songwriting influences to other songwriters from the 1960s, such as Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton and Phil Ochs.
Lightfoot worked various days jobs then spent his nights singing his own songs in smoky coffeehouses across Canada. He eventually emigrated to Los Angeles in 1958 to study orchestration for short time, then moved back to Toronto where he arranged and produced commercial jingles until 1960.
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