The 13 Best Documentaries About Gordon Lightfoot

Aug 12, 2023 | Best Of, Celebrities, Music

Gordon Lightfoot is a Canadian folk singer-songwriter who has been captivating audiences for over 50 years. His music, spanning from lighthearted ballads to somber tunes, has made him an iconic figure in the world of folk music and popular culture. To this day, he continues to influence modern artists with his vast discography. There have been many documentaries created to celebrate the life and work of Gordon Lightfoot, highlighting his journey from a small-town Canadian boy to one of the most famous folk singers in history.


1. Gordon Lightfoot: The Last Troubadour

He was a one-of-a-kind artist who combined the powers of poetry and music to create soundscapes that were as timeless as the oceans. He sang of love, loss, and life in ways that stirred up emotion like few had before him, and he inspired generations with his words. His name was Gordon Lightfoot, and he will be remembered for centuries to come. From “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” to “Sundown,” and so many more, Gordon was a master storyteller who transcended genres with his songs.


2. W5: Gordon Lightfoot’s timeless impact on music

Lloyd Robertson of W5 interviews the legendary Canadian singer-songwriter, Gordon Lightfoot. The interview covers his long career of writing and performing iconic and beloved songs, the grueling touring schedule he has maintained over the years, and how growing up in Orillia, Ont. has impacted him musically. Lloyd delves into the stories behind Gordon’s music, the creative processes which fuel his writing, and how each song reflects different aspects of his life.


3. The Unbelievable Story Behind Gordon Lightfoot’s Biggest Hit! | Professor of Rock

As the sun was setting, Gordon Lightfoot found himself in turmoil. His beloved girlfriend had gone out that evening and he couldn’t help but think about who she might be with, and if her night was as wild as it sounded. Crazy with jealousy and inspired by a deep emotion, he wrote the iconic #1 hit song Sundown – a track that his audience has been playing ever since. Discover the untold story behind this classic hit and all of Gordon Lightfoot’s songs in Professor of Rock.


4. Gordon Lightfoot 1938-2023 R.I.P.

It’s with a heavy heart that I reflect on the passing of an iconic icon: Gordon Lightfoot. His songs will forever be etched in our memories – from his lighthearted “Early Morning Rain,” to his heartbreaking evocation of lost love in “If You Could Read My Mind.” Through his illustrious career, he reminded us how beautiful life can be even when joy and sorrow walk hand in hand. May he rest in peace.


5. Gordon Lightfoot’s vocal quality was deceptive. THIS performance shows us why.

We will never forget the legacy that Gordon left behind – his heart-wrenching musical stylings will continue to inspire future generations. Let’s pay tribute to his life-long commitment to music and take a moment to appreciate this live performance of ‘Sundown’. From the deep emotion in Lightfoot’s voice, it is clear that he was an incredibly passionate artist who loved what he did.


6. How Gordon Lightfoot Captivated RADIO With THIS Tragic & Haunting 70s Epic | Professor of Rock

The documentary about Gordon Lightfoot serves as a reminder of the tragedy that befell 29 men when their ship, the Edmund Fitzgerald, went down in 1976. Through Gordon’s masterful song, we are able to gain a deeper insight into this tragedy and how it affected the families of those lost at sea. Every single lyric is an ode to these fallen heroes and their families, and this documentary will help to commemorate them in an unforgettable way. By taking us on a journey through Gordon’s composition and its impact, we can gain a better understanding of the legacy left behind by this tragedy.


7. Our Lost 1987 Interview with Gordon Lightfoot

Steve Burgess is an acclaimed Vancouverite and media personality. He’s held numerous roles in radio, television, and documentary film making. His latest book “Flight Risk: A Tourist on Trial” from Harbour Publishing will be released in the spring of 2024; a gripping story about his mother’s murder that he explored in the Greystone Books publication, “Who Killed Mom?”. With decades of experience in the broadcasting and writing realms, Steve Burgess offers a unique insight into the stories he tells. He has won various awards for his work, including an impressive 6th best documentary at the Canadian Screen Awards.


8. Gordon Lightfoot – The Best Live Clips – 1960s and 1970s

This amazing compilation takes us through the incredible music career of Gordon Lightfoot. Spanning over a decade from 1968 to 1979, we get an in-depth look at his hits and some lesser known recordings. The visuals may not always be perfect, but the audio quality is top notch! Whether you’re a fan of Lightfoot or discovering him for the first time, this compilation of TV performances is sure to be a treat. Sit back and relax as the soothing melodies of one of Canada’s greatest singer-songwriters fill your ears! You won’t want to miss out on this musical journey!


9. RIP Gordon Lightfoot. Vocal ANALYSIS of “If You Could Read My Mind”

I’m sure by now, we’ve all heard of Gordon Lightfoot’s passing and the impact it has had on our world. But in order to truly appreciate his work, I decided to take a deeper look into his writing and how it affects us all today. One of my favorite songs is “If You Could Read My Mind,” and I wanted to offer you the chance to join me as we explore it further. From its poetic lyrics to its soulful melody, “If You Could Read My Mind” is truly a masterpiece in Lightfoot’s work.


10. What Makes This Song Great

In this episode of What Makes This Song Great?™, we take a deep dive into the talented and iconic Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot. We explore his 1970 classic “If You Could Read My Mind” and discover how its haunting lyrics and touching melody have resonated with generations of music fans around the world. Lightfoot’s multi-layered vocals and powerful guitar playing drives this timeless track, now deservedly enshrined in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Join us and explore why “If You Could Read My Mind” remains a musical masterpiece to this day.



It’s time to celebrate Canadian folk music icon Gordon Lightfoot with the release of his newest album, “A Painter Passing Through.” This compelling collection of songs captures Lightfoot at the peak of his artistry and provides an insight into the journey that has taken him from a celebrated artist to a legendary one. From the somber strains of “Waiting for You” to the uplifting “Song For a Winter’s Night,” this album will take you on an emotional journey that celebrates the very best of Lightfoot.


12. Canada Files Season 2 Ep. 13: Gordon Lightfoot

An impressive 82-year-old folk/pop artist, Gordon Lightfoot, has become an iconic figure in the music world. His songs have been celebrated by fans and fellow musicians alike. In a new documentary, he takes us on a journey of his life and career as a songwriter and performer. We get to hear stories about his influences, inspirations, and the process that goes into creating his new album. Lightfoot shares with us his journey, from his childhood in Ontario to becoming one of Canada’s most beloved artists.


13. Gordon Lightfoot: Full Extended Interview | House Of Strombo

George Stroumboulopoulos is proud to welcome Gordon Lightfoot, the iconic singer-songwriter from Canada, for a featured interview on The Strombo Show. This will mark one of the few times that he has ever been welcomed into someone’s home for an intimate conversation about his long and storied career. As fans have come to expect from the legendary artist, audiences will be treated to a candid and in-depth exploration into his life and work. Don’t miss it!

Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

David B