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Willie-O Cohen / Lightfoot / Tyson (43) RE: Cohen / Lightfoot / Tyson 20 Apr 09

They all sold out their venues, right? I wouldn't be too hard on Leonard. In the sixties Cohen was the one who couldn't really sing, while Lightfoot and Tyson were among the finest male folk voices ever. Now Cohen sounds like he always has, maybe better, but the other two have had severe reverses in technical vocal capability.

Go figure. I've been contemplating that irony for awhile.

But really, Cohen's songs have continued to be sung by every generation of (breathe it softly) pop singers, so ultimately he's got more mystique, and selling power, for the younger folks these days. Kinda like Tom Waits. Doesn't really take anything away from Tyson or Lightfoot--they are still acknowledged masters and icons within their field. Lightfoot sells out Massey Hall and the National Arts Centre in multi-night-shows every year. Even with his voice shot. As I write I look at a lucky token I have stuck on the wall--a ticket stub for a Lightfoot show at the NAC on March 26, 1971. Cost me $2.00. I can recall much of that show like it was this morning. He wrote some great songs after that date (Edmund Fitzgerald), but there's not much else of his later (mid-seventies on) material that's widely covered nowadays--or for that matter, of his earlier stuff, as far as commercial pop singers go.

I play "Early Morning Rain" about every solo gig I do. It's about my favourite song, and that's saying something. I like a lot of songs.

I admire them all, especially for still being on the go. Survivors all, who have contributed greatly to our musical legacy. Three winners in my book--no need to choose one.


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