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|Kenny Loggins at Nashville's Wildhorse Saloon on April 20, 2007
Pictures by David Hofer Sr.
Kenny Loggins has been many things to many people over the past three decades -- “a moving target” as he’s put it.
In his time, Loggins has been a guitar-slinger with a psychedelic rock band, a hot young songwriter with a publishing
deal, half of a legendary country-rock duo, a massively successful and accomplished solo artist, a sonic pioneer in the
smooth jazz genre, a reigning soundtrack superstar, a rocker, a seeker, as well as an enduring recording artist and
live performer whose most recent works have spoken deeply to both young audiences and decidedly adult and worldly
concerns. At the heart of it all, there remains a brilliant singer-songwriter and guitarist with a lifelong passion for
exploring the endless power of the song to communicate.
By any standard, Loggins’ commercial impact has been extraordinary; twelve of his albums have gone platinum and
beyond. In a world of one hit wonders and fifteen minute sensations, Loggins has enjoyed hit songs in four straight
decades -- a remarkable testament to his exceptional craftsmanship and stamina. Yet the true measure of this man
cannot be weighed in platinum and gold. Through it all, Kenny Loggins has earned the faith of those who’ve followed
him along the way. To this day, Loggins continues to write and record at the height of his powers as a singer and a
songwriter. This is something that Loggins proves every time he takes the stage to sing his soulful songs straight from
Kenny Loggins was born in Everett, Washington, and moved to the Los Angeles area as a young boy. After a short
and, in retrospect, rather surprising stint as a guitarist for The Electric Prunes, Loggins scored a job as a $100-a-week
staff songwriter and penned four songs on the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s 1970 album Uncle Charlie and His Dog Teddy,
among them the classic "House at Pooh Corner." Around this same time, Loggins caught the attention of former
Buffalo Springfield producer and Poco member Jim Messina, then working as staff producer at CBS. Originally,
Loggins set out to record his solo debut with Messina behind the boards as his producer. As work progressed,
Messina’s involvement increased and the album subsequently emerged in 1972 as Kenny Loggins with Jim Messina
Sittin’ In – a gem that featured Loggins’ future standards “Danny’s Song” and “House At Pooh Corner” and quickly
established this accidental duo as one of significant recording and touring acts of the 70s.
When Loggins & Messina split up in 1976, Loggins wasted no time in achieving solo stardom with such million-selling
solo albums as Celebrate Me Home, Nightwatch (which included the hit "Whenever I Call You Friend" with Stevie
Nicks), Keep The Fire (“This Is It,”) and 1982’s High Adventure (“Don’t Fight It” with Steve Perry and “Heart To Heart”).
These albums saw Loggins expanding his musical range, impressively exploring new textures of jazz, rock and pop with
ambitious production. Loggins’ reputation as one of music’s outstanding vocalists was becoming well established, and
in 1980 he won the Best Male Pop Vocal Grammy for “This Is It.” As a songwriter too, Loggins continued to grow, a fact
evidenced by his many inspired collaborations such as co-writing the 1979 Grammy-winning Song of The Year “What
A Fool Believes” with his long-time friend Michael McDonald of the Doobie Brothers.
In the 80s, Loggins became more famous than ever as the king of the movie theme songs, thanks to massive smashes
like "I'm Alright" (from Caddyshack), "Footloose" (from Footloose), "Danger Zone" (from Top Gun), and "Nobody's
Fool" (from Caddyshack II). Loggins also continued to record albums that were introspective and deeply personal,
including 1985’s Vox Humana, 1988’s Back to Avalon, 1991’s Leap of Faith (featuring “Conviction of the Heart,” a song
Al Gore called “the unofficial anthem of the environmental movement”), The Unimaginable Life (1997) and 2003’s It’s
About Time. During this same period, Loggins continued to take on new challenges like recording a Christmas album
(1998’s December) and two successful and acclaimed CDs for children: 1994’s radiant Return To Pooh Corner and its
worthy follow-up, More Songs From Pooh Corner.
In 2005, Kenny Loggins reunited with his former partner Jim Messina to great surprise and considerable acclaim. As
much personally as musically, the Sittin’ In Again tour allowed Loggins to rediscover an old friendship. That done,
Loggins finds himself doing again what he has always done -- writing and playing his songs, digging deep and looking
toward the next step.
|Kenny Loggins live at the Wildhorse Saloon in 2008