Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Gordon Lightfoot: Beautiful

For the first post of 2013, I am fulfilling a request by my college buddy Greg Rector. He specifically asked for this song for our Wooden Music Wednesday feature as it is an acoustic number. He picked Gordon Lightfoot’s “Beautiful” in honor of his lovely wife Marsha as she remains as beautiful to him as she was the first time he saw her. I am more than happy to oblige.

From Lightfoot’s third album for Reprise, “Don Quixote,“ “Beautiful” was released as a single. It did quite well in his native Canada as a #1 single on the adult contemporary charts and peaked at #13 on the pop charts. Here in the US, it didn’t break the top 40 on the Hot 100 – only charting at #58 and didn’t fare too well on the AC charts by only making it to the 30 position.

“Don Quixote” was not one of his highest charting albums either in the US charting at #42 – while it was a #1 album in Canada. In the early seventies, radio was on its way to becoming homogenized – so depending on where you lived, you may or may not hear a particular song on the radio. That was case for me and this song.

I came to know it in 1981 as it was one of the favorite songs of my friend, coworker, and boss Ron Hill. I had never heard it before he played it for me. I was honored that in 1982, when Ron and his wife Jacqui were going to be married, they asked me to sing this song at their wedding. So with my red España acoustic guitar, I sang this at their wedding.

Although I played guitar at another wedding in 1978 in Logan, WV, with my brother and sister-in-law doing “Time in a Bottle,” this was the first wedding that I was the singer. I’ve since done about five or six other weddings including my own. Thanks Greg for bringing back the memories with this classic Lightfoot tune – that is not just in title alone, “Beautiful.”

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