Transcript 152: Sundown

NOTE: This is a pre-production transcript and may not match the final show precisely.


Hey, Cuz! Welcome to the next episode of How Good It Is, and today, we’re taking a look at one of Gordon Lightfoot’s bigger hits.


Hi there! I’m Claude Call. And since we’re talking Gordon Lightfoot today, how about a little Gordon-related trivia for ye? Here we go. What does Gordon Lightfoot have in common with these other Canadian musicians: Paul Anka, Joni Mitchell, and Anne Murray. Other than being Canadian, of course, they all have something kind of cool in common. What might that be? I’ll have that answer at the end of the show.

A few weeks ago I teamed up with Mike Messner, a fellow educator and the voice behind the podcast Carefree Highway Revisited, which centers around the music of Gordon Lightfoot. His is a more fan-oriented podcast, where in each episode he and a guest take an appreciative look at a different Gordon Lightfoot song. Mike got in touch with me to inquire about some cross-promotion, and so I listened to a few of his shows and liked what I heard, so I agreed to that and then suggested that we do a crossover episode. He was amenable to that idea and asked what song I’d like to discuss. Well, his is kind of a “deep cuts” show and mine is more about the hits, so I chose “Sundown,” because it’s one of my favorites. We got together through remote recording, since we’re on opposite coasts of the United States, and spent a little while talking about various aspects of “Sundown.” He’s already dropped his version of the show as his Episode number 15. So, having said all that, here’s me, talking with Mike Messner.

[SUNDOWN interview audio—sorry, no transcript of this part]


How about that? Carefree Highway Revisited can be found in whatever podcatcher you prefer.

Let’s answer the trivia question from earlier. Back on Page Two I asked you what Gordon Lightfoot has in common with Paul Anka, Joni Mitchell and Anne Murray other than the fact that they’re Canadian-born. Well, the answer is that they were all honored by being put on a stamp. In 2007 commemorative postage stamps were issued honoring Canadian recording artists, and the artists who got the honor of having the backs of their heads licked were Lightfoot, Anka, Mitchell and Murray. Interestingly enough, if they were Americans they would not have been eligible to be on a stamp because they’re still alive. Until 2011, a person had to be dead at least five years to appear on an American stamp, unless they were President at one time, in which case a stamp comes out the following year. Since 2011 the rule has been changed, but as far as I can tell only one living person has appeared on a US stamp. The stamp was a reproduction of a photo called “Migrant Mother,” which was taken in 1936, but one of the children in the photo—whose face you can’t see—was still alive when the stamp was issued.

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Thank you so much for listening, I’ll talk to you next time.