“Edmund Fitzgerald” Singer Not Dead

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Gordon Lightfoot is not dead. Canada.com com reported the he Cannuck singer-songwriter wrote had died, and news of his alleged demise spread like wildfire via the Twitter machines.

Lightfoot wrote 1976’s “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” an epic ballad about a real-life 1975 shipwreck on Lake Superior, which claimed the lives of 29 sailors, the vessel’s entire crew.

The Fitzgerald didn’t wreck on Cleveland’s lake, but it was operated by the Oglebay Norton Company, which was based in Cleveland. Contrary to the song’s account, it wasn’t headed for Cleveland when it suddenly sank. A Coast Guard patrol from the city responded to the ship’s distress call, but they arrived too late to help the ship, which went down so quickly it couldn’t deploy lifeboats. In the wreck, 13 Ohioans perished, many of them from Northeast Ohio.

The song also inspired Great Lakes Brewing’s Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, which goes down like a smooth java, but kicks like a mule. So head to the bar and raise one anyway. —D.X. Ferris

Ed. note: If you're a '70s-era singer-songwriters who isn't dead yet but may be dying soon, don't expect us to write about you until we see your dead body.

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