It happened one night near summer's end. We were driving across some state somewhere. I don't remember where we had been or where we were going, which by the way is a pretty good rule of thumb for my entire life. I had been making good, some might say excessive, use of the seek button, and had settled for a moment on a station that was playing some older, classic-type country music.
A song came on that I didn't recognize, but couldn't turn away from. It was one of those songs you always seem to hear at night while driving and you wish it wouldn't end. I listened intently to the haunting lyrics and rich baritone, thinking I would eventually recognize the voice, but never did. So I made a mental note of a couple of lines intending to Google the lyrics later, but never did.
Fast forward to about a month ago. I was lying on the couch watching TV late one night, fighting sleep as I often do on weekends because sleep means Monday is one day closer. Around 1 or 2 in the morning I stopped on this infomercial for some songs of the seventies collection, hosted by two guys from that group that sang "A Horse With No Name."
To be honest, I'd always considered the seventies one of the weaker decades musically. But they were advertising some pretty good stuff -- Jim Croce, James Taylor, Paul Simon. I was proud of myself. I didn't call nor go online to order the entire collection. I like to think that shows maturity.
Then Sweet-Sister-Golden-Hair-Surprise they played it! The song I'd heard while traversing the countryside one night all those weeks ago. It was called, "If You Could Read My Mind."
And that's the story of how I discovered Gordon Lightfoot at 71.
He turns 72 today. Happy birthday, G-Light.
"Turnin' back the pages to the times I love best. I wonder if she'll ever do the same. Now the thing that I call livin' is just bein' satisfied with knowin' I got no one left to blame..."