If You Could Read My Mind


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Elvis Presley Made It ‘rain’ But Frank Sinatra Could Not

Stars On 54 – If You Could Read My Mind (Official Music Video)

Contemporary and friend Bob Dylan, who presented Lightfoot with his career Canadian Juno Award, summed up Lightfoot’s obsessively crafted songs, saying that when he heard one, he wanted “it to last forever.” Dylan has covered many Lightfoot songs, including “Early Morning Rain.” The love ballad “If You Could Read My Mind” was covered by disparate voices including Viola Wills, Johnny Cash, Barbra Streisand, Olivia Newton-John, Neil Young and Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass .

The young Lightfoot almost crashed his car in joy when he heard Elvis Presley’s cover of “Early Morning Rain.”

“I wasn’t even aware he had done the song,” Lightfoot says. One legend who didn’t perform a Lightfoot song: Frank Sinatra who threw down the song sheets for “If You Could Read My Mind” in the studio, saying, “I can’t sing this.”

“I always thought that was very funny,” Lightfoot says.

Rights Infringement Legal Action

In 1987, Lightfoot filed a lawsuit against Michael Masser, the composer of Whitney Houston‘s hit “The Greatest Love of All“, alleging plagiarism of 24 bars of “If You Could Read My Mind” the transitional section that begins “I decided long ago never to walk in anyone’s shadow” of the Masser song has the same melody as “I never thought I could act this way and I got to say that I just don’t get it I don’t know where we went wrong but the feeling’s gone and I just can’t get it back” of Lightfoot’s song. Lightfoot has stated that he dropped the lawsuit when he felt it was having a negative effect on the singer Houston because the lawsuit was about the writer and not her. He also said that he did not want people to think that he had stolen his melody from Masser. The case was settled out of court, and Masser issued a public apology.

“If You Could Read My Mind” on

The house music collective Stars on 54âconsisting of Amber, Jocelyn Enriquez, and Ultra Natéârecorded a version of the song for the 1998 film 54, reaching No. 3 on Australia’s ARIA Singles Chart and Canada’s RPM Singles Chart, as well as No. 6 in New Zealand and No. 10 in Spain. Australian music channel Max included this version of “If You Could Read My Mind” in its list of 1000 Greatest Songs of All Time in 2012.

The Drinking And Partying Became An Issue

A gregarious host, Lightfoot’s house parties were legendary, with Joni Mitchell and Dylan pulling out their guitars for late night jam sessions. But as his global fame took off, Lightfoot’s drinking spun out of control. By the time he appeared in his first movie with Bruce Dern, 1982’s “Harry Tracy, Desperado,” it had gone too far.

“I was at the height of my drinking and I look terrible,” Lightfoot says in the documentary. He was warned by his record company to give it up.

“It was time to pack it in.” he says in the documentary about that time in his life. “I don’t know how I made it through.”

Lightfoot quit cold turkey and threw his energy into pursuits such as canoeing and sailing the Great Lakes.

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He Started Off Square Dancing On Tv

“If You Could Read My Mind” charts Lightfoot’s early days as an angel-voiced choir boy in small-town Orillia, Ontario, before he headed to the big city Toronto to find his singing fortunes. Lightfoot quit his banking job for his first professional gig with The Singin Swingin Eight on the Canadian TV show “Country Hoedown,” which required a nightly square dance.

“I got myself a payday that lasted 2½ years,” Lightfoot tells USA TODAY, giving himself high marks for the background vocals. “but I was not a dancer.”

The Beatles And The British Invasion

Viola Wills
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“They were doing things nobody was doing. Their chords were outrageous, just outrageous, and their harmonies made it all valid. You could only do that with other musicians. Even if you’re playing your own chords you had to have other people playing with you. That was obvious. And it started me thinking about other people.”

Bob Dylan reflecting on how the Beatles influenced his decision to record with an electric backing band

Beginning in 1964 and lasting until roughly 1966, a wave of British groups, including , , , , , and amongst others, dominated the U.S. music charts. These groups were all heavily influenced by American , , and musical genres they had been introduced to via homegrown British rock ‘n’ roll singers, imported American , and the music of the craze. These UK groups, known collectively as the , reintroduced American youth culture to the broad potential of rock and as a creative medium and to the wealth of musical culture to be found within the United States.

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Other Notable Cover Versions

Many artists have covered “If You Could Read My Mind”. Barbra Streisand recorded the song on her Stoney End LP of 1971. Olivia Newton-John covered the song on her debut 1971 album If Not For You. Among the most notable versions is the 1980 cover by Viola Wills, which peaked at No. 2 for five weeks on the dance/disco charts with a dance version of the song and at No. 80 in Australia.Duane Steele reached No. 32 on the Canadian country charts with his version in 1998.Johnny Cash recorded a version of the song that was included in the posthumously released album American V: A Hundred Highways . Diana Krall covered the song as a duet on her Wallflower album in 2015. Filipina actress and singer, Rica Peralejo covered the song from the soundtrack album, Pangarap Na Bituin in 2007.

Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind

Sitting inside his Toronto mansion, Canada’s premiere singer/songwriter talks about how much he hates his song ‘For Lovin’ Me,’ a performance of which he’s watching on TV as his third wife, Kim laughs in the background. ‘I was *married*,’ he says, concerned decades later about just what his first wife Brita thought of those lyrics. Writer/directors Martha Kehoe and Joan Tosoni follow their subject down memory lane to chart an extraordinary career in Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind.

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If You Could Read My Mind Gordon Lightfoot

I discovered Gordon Lightfoot a little late. Paul Gambuccini used to present a weekly US chart show on BBC Radio One back in the 1970s and 80s with all the top tunes from the Billboard Hot 100. Long before Spotify and other streaming services made the charts around the world remarkably similar, songs youd never heard before would pop up on his show.

Once day in the 1970s, Paul Gambuccini played Gordon Lightfoots The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald. There was a lot of hard-edged punk around at the time, jostling for chart success with the stark, emotionless soundscapes of early electronic music.

So what sounded like an old-time folk song stood out.

I later discovered that The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald wasnt an old-time folk song at all. Gordon Lightfoot had written it just a short time previously about a 1975 accident which resulted in the sinking of a bulk carrier in Lake Superior with the loss of all 29 hands.

But it was an intriguing song which led me to explore his work a little more.

I think the publishers were probably stretching both the terms popular and of the time a little, but there were a number of great songs in there, one of which happened to be another Gordon Lightfoot song, If I Could Read Your Mind.

I loved the melody for this song. Even allowing for amateurish attempts to make the piano sound halfway decent, it was a very moving piece of music.

But Gordon Lightfoot also knew it was time to make a break

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Viola Wills – If You Could Read My Mind (Official Video)
If you could read my mind loveWhat a tale my thoughts could tellJust like an old time movieAbout a ghost from a wishing wellIn a castle dark or a fortress strongWith chains upon my feetYou know that ghost is meAnd I will never be set freeAs long as I'm a ghost you can seeIf I could read your mind loveWhat a tale your thoughts could tellJust like a paperback novelThe kind the drugstore sellsWhen you reach the part where the heartaches comeCome the hero would be meHeroes often failAnd you won't read that book againBecause the ending's just to hard to takeI walk away like a movie starWho gets burned in a three way scriptEnter number two, a movie queenTo play the scene of bringing all the good things out in meBut for now love let's be realI never knew I feel this wayAnd I've got to say that I just don't get itI don't know where we went wrongBut the feeling's gone and I just can't get it backIf you could read my mind loveWhat a tale my thoughts could tellJust like an old time movie about a ghost from a wishing wellIn a castle dark or a fortress strongWith chains upon my feetThe story always endsAnd if you read between the linesYou'll know that I'm just trying to understandThe feeling that you leftI never knew I feel this wayAnd I've got to say that I just don't get itI don't know where we went wrongBut the feeling's goneAnd I just can't get it back

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Gordon Lightfoot: Talking About Drake

The documentary features interviews from many notable voices in the music industry including Lightfoot peers Ian and Sylvia Tyson, Randy Bachman, and Steve Earle famous fans Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee from Rush, Alec Baldwin, Anne Murray and Sarah McLachlan as well as behind the scenes stories from members of his longtime band.

Following Lightfoot’s evolution from Christian choirboy to troubled troubadour to international star and beloved Canadian icon, Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind is an intimate and emotional examination of the artist’s profound relationship to his music and his Canadian roots.

Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind is now streaming on CBC Gem.

It will air on CBC Television on March 22.

Lightfoot Had A Complicated Romantic Life

The three-times-married Lightfoot has evolved to the point that he can’t listen to 1967’s “For Lovin’ Me,” an early hit with dismissive lyrics.

“It was an embarrassment to my wife at the time,” he says now of first wife, Brita Olaisson .

At the peak of his fame, Lightfoot had an infamously mercurial affair with singer Cathy Smith, who heavily influenced his moody hit “Sundown,” filled with suspicion and infidelity.

“It was one of those relationships where a feeling of danger comes in,” Lightfoot says in the documentary. Years later, Smith spent 15 months in prison after injecting John Belushi with a powerful mixture of cocaine and heroin that killed the comedian in 1982.

Smith is featured in archival footage speaking coldly about Lightfoot: “I took off the edges what I could use, and left behind the rest, and he couldn’t hurt me,” she said.

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Lightfoot Nailed ‘edmund Fitzgerald’ In One Take And Keeps Rolling

The singer was immediately inspired by the tragic Edmund Fitzgerald, the heavily laden ship that sank in a Lake Superior hurricane in November 1975. In the studio weeks later, he started playing “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” with his band and recorded a raw version in the first take. The ballad went on to be a major hit a year after the disaster and an enduring tribute to the 29 dead crew members.

Lightfoot, 81, has endured and will continue to perform with his band when the pandemic allows.

“I notice I’m slowing down,” he says. “But we’ve got lots of toe-tappers in our show, and I’ve got a really great orchestra and we love to play. Because we’re good at it.”

If You Could Read My Mind

Cameron Carpenter
“If You Could Read My Mind”
Side A of the Canadian single
If You Could Read My Mind

If You Could Read My Mind” is a song by Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot. Lightfoot wrote the lyrics while he was reflecting on his own divorce. It reached No. 1 on the Canadian Singles Chart on commercial release in 1970 and charted in several other countries on international release in 1971.

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