Monday, November 11, 2013

TAKE TWO: KENNY LOGGINS


Kenny Loggins was a very popular and prolific artist in his day as he went from rock stardom throughout the seventies as part of a group and solo act to becoming known as "The King of The Movie Soundtrack" in the eighties.

Loggins first began his music career as part of a soft-rock duo with Jim Messina who had played with the bands, Poco and Buffalo Springfield. The team came together by accident as Messina had originally come on board to just produce the first album by the newly-signed Kenny Loggins on Columbia Records but he had contributed so much more with co-writing and vocals that the album was released as "Kenny Loggins With Jim Messina Sittin' In" in 1972. Although not a big commercial hit but the two received plenty of buzz while hitting the road touring college campuses. Due to this potential opportunity, Clive Davis (president of the label at the time) talked them in to becoming an act together.

Loggins & Messina would go on to record a total of six albums together which would sell a total of sixteen million copies as well as write songs for other artists, most notably for Anne Murray who reached the top ten on the pop chart in 1973 with their song, "Danny's Song". By 1976, Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina mutually agreed to end their musical partnership and pursue solo careers.

The official first solo album by Kenny Loggins was "Celebrate Me Home" in 1977. The album was not a major success and the title track didn't burn up the charts however the song would later become a popular holiday classic (and one of my favorite songs). The follow-up release, "Nightwatch" in 1978 would be Loggins' breakthrough as a solo artist. The first single, "Whenever I Call You Friend", a duet with Stevie Nicks (who was just at the beginning of mega-stardom as part of Fleetwood Mac) reached number five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The album is also noted for the first recording of "What A Fool Believes" which was co-written with Michael McDonald who would later make it a top-ten smash with his band, The Doobie Brothers. Many more hits followed for Loggins, particularly with songs he provided for motion pictures such as "I'm Alright" ("Caddyshack"), "Danger Zone" ("Top Gun") and the title track from the hit film, "Footloose".

By the 1990's Kenny Loggins wasn't getting as much radio play but he has remained quite actively involved in music. He has just recently became a member of a country band, Blue Sky Riders and they have released their debut album, "Finally Home" earlier this year.

It was hard to just pick two of my favorites but these are the songs that are timeless and can still be heard today:

"Whenever I Call You Friend" - Kenny Loggins featuring Stevie Nicks (1978)

"This Is It" - Kenny Loggins (1979)

As a bonus, here is Loggins & Messina performing live on "The Midnight Special" one of their biggest hits, "Your Mama Don't Dance":

TAKE TWO: TEDDY PENDERGRASS

Back in the '70's, if you wanted to create a sexy mood, all you had to do was turn down the lights, pop open a bottle of wine and...