Sundown – Gordon Lightfoot

THIS DAY IN MUSIC………………………………….on May 31st of 1974 Gordon Lightfoot is awarded a Gold record for his LP “Sundown” on the strength of the title tune, which went to #1, and “Carefree Highway” which climbed to #10.The inspiration for the song “Sundown” came from Lightfoot worrying about his girlfriend, who was out at bars all day while he was at home writing songs. He recalled during a Reddit AMA: “I had this girlfriend one time, and I was at home working, at my desk, working at my songwriting which I had been doing all week since I was on a roll, and my girlfriend was somewhere drinking, drinking somewhere. So I was hoping that no one else would get their hands on her, because she was pretty good lookin’!” “As a matter of fact, it was written just around Sundown,” he added, “just as the sun was setting, behind the farm I had rented to use as a place to write the album.” Lightfoot most likely wrote this about the stormy relationship with his one time girlfriend Cathy Smith, who was later sentenced for delivering a lethal dose of heroin to John Belushi. “Sundown” reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and easy listening charts and #13 on the Hot Country singles chart, as well as No. 1 in Canada on RPM’s national singles chart. It was Lightfoot’s only single to reach #1 on the Hot 100. Lightfoot was very successful in the US even though “Sundown” was his only #1. In 1970 he reached #5 with “If You Could Read My Mind” and in 1976 he went to #2 with his superb and haunting ballad about the Great Lakes tragedy with “The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald”.