Kenneth Clark "Kenny" Loggins (born January 7, 1948) is an American singer and songwriter. He is known for soft rock music beginning during the 1970s, and later for writing and performing for movie soundtracks in the 1980s. Originally a part of the duo Loggins and Messina, he became a solo artist and has written songs for other artists.
Early life[edit source | edit]Edit
Loggins (born in Everett, Washington) is the youngest of three brothers. His mother was Lina (née Massie), a homemaker, and his father, Robert George Loggins, was a salesman. They lived in Detroit and Seattle before settling in Alhambra, California. Loggins attended San Gabriel High School, graduating in 1966. He formed a band called the Second Helping that released three singles during 1968 and 1969 on Viva Records. Greg Shaw described the efforts as "excellent punky folk-pop records" that were written by Loggins who was likely to be the bandleader and singer as well; Shaw included "Let Me In" on both Highs in the Mid-Sixties, Volume 2 and thePebbles, Volume 9 CD. Loggins had a short gig playing guitar for the "The New Improved" Electric Prunes in 1969 before writing four songs for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, which were included in their Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy album. During his early twenties, he was part of the band Gator Creek with Mike Deasy. An early version of "Danny's Song" (later recorded by Loggins and Messina) was included in a record on Mercury Records.
Loggins and Messina[edit source | edit]Edit
Jim Messina, formerly of Poco and Buffalo Springfield, was working as an independent record producer for Columbia Records in 1970 when he was introduced to Kenny Loggins, then a little-known singer/songwriter who was signed to ABC-Dunhill.
The two recorded a number of Loggins's compositions in Messina's home living room. When Columbia signed Loggins to a six-album contract (with the assistance of Messina), recording began in earnest for Loggins's debut album, with Messina as producer. Messina originally intended to lend his name to the Loggins project only to help introduce the unknown Loggins to Messina's well-established Buffalo Springfield and Poco audiences. But by the time the album was completed, Messina had contributed so much to the album - in terms of songwriting, arrangement, instrumentation, and vocals - that an "accidental" duo was born. Thus, the full name of their first album was Kenny Loggins with Jim Messina Sittin' In. The album's first single release, the Caribbean-flavored "Vahevala" (or "Vahevella"), found top 3 success on WCFL on 18 May 1972.
Although the album went unnoticed by radio upon release, it eventually found success by autumn 1972, particularly on college campuses where the pair toured heavily. Loggins's and Messina's harmonies meshed so well that what was begun as a one-off album became an entity unto itself. Audiences regarded the pair as a genuine duo rather than as a solo act with a well-known producer. Instead of continuing to produce Loggins as a sole performer, they decided to record as a duo – Loggins & Messina.
"When our first album, 'Sittin' In', came out, we started receiving a lot of excitement about the music and good sales," Messina recalled in 2005. "We had a choice. It was either I now go on and continue to produce him and we do the solo career or we stay together and let this work. For me, I did not desire to go back out on the road. I had had enough of that, and I wanted to produce records. But Clive Davis (then president of the record company) intervened and said, 'You know, I think you'd be making a mistake if you guys didn't take this opportunity. Things like this only happen once in a lifetime. It may merit you sleeping on it overnight and making a decision that will be in your best interest.' He was absolutely correct. Kenny made the decision as well. It delayed his solo career, but it gave him an opportunity, I think, to have one."
Over the next four years they produced five more albums of original material in the studio, plus one album of covers of other artists' material, and two live albums. They sold 16 million records and were the most successful duo of the early 1970s, surpassed later in the decade only by Hall & Oates. Their work was covered by other artists, such as Lynn Anderson, who recorded "Listen to a Country Song," which was released in 1972 and reaching No. 3 on the charts, and, perhaps most notably, Anne Murray, who reached the U.S. top ten with "Danny's Song" in early 1973 and again with "A Love Song" the following year. A greatest-hits album, The Best of Friends, would be released a year after the duo had separated. The later studio albums often found both Loggins and Messina more as two solo artists sharing the same record than as a genuine partnership. As both Loggins and Messina noted in 2005, their collaboration eventually became more a competition - a frequent, almost-inevitable dynamic of show business duos.
The pair had by early 1976 quietly but amicably parted to pursue solo careers, following the release of Native Sons.
Solo career[edit source | edit]Edit
During 1977, Loggins produced his first solo album, Celebrate Me Home, which included the successful song "I Believe In Love," sung originally by Barbra Streisand in A Star Is Born. Nightwatch, a popular album released during 1978, included the hit song "Whenever I Call You Friend," a duet with Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac, co-written with Melissa Manchester. (Melissa recorded a ballad version with Arnold McCuller for her 1979 album Melissa Manchester). He followed it in 1979 with Keep the Fire.
With Michael McDonald[edit source | edit]Edit
Loggins also wrote the song "What a Fool Believes" with Michael McDonald. Each man recorded his own version of the song, with McDonald's recording his version as a member of The Doobie Brothers. Loggins's version was released first, but the Doobie Brothers' version achieved greater success, scoring No. 1 on the popular music charts and earning Loggins and McDonald the 1980 Grammy for Song of the Year."
During 1979, Loggins and McDonald wrote "This Is It" for Loggins' ailing father who had to choose between life and death. The song earned Loggins the Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. NBCused the song as theme music for its coverage of the NCAA men's basketball tournament in 1980 and 1981.
Soundtracks[edit source | edit]Edit
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During the next decade, Loggins recorded so many successful songs for film soundtracks that he was referred to as, "King of the Movie Soundtrack".He began with "I'm Alright" (#7 in the U.S.), "Mr. Night", "Lead the Way" and "Make the Move" from Caddyshack. Hits followed with "Footloose" and "I'm Free (Heaven Helps the Man)" from Footloose; "Meet Me Halfway" from Over the Top; and "Danger Zone" and "Playing With the Boys" from Top Gun. Loggins also performed "Nobody's Fool" from the film Caddyshack II. He also performed as a member of USA for Africa on the famine-relief fundraising single "We Are the World" which led to an appearance performing his song "Footloose" at the Philadelphia leg of the July 13th 1985 Live Aid famine relief dual-venue charity concert and global television broadcast.
During the 1990s, Loggins continued his album career, including the popular 1994 children's album Return to Pooh Corner, which included the title single, a reworking of "House at Pooh Corner", written for his newborn son Luke.
During 1991, Loggins recorded and produced Leap of Faith, which included the single "Conviction of the Heart". Al Gore (Vice President 1993-2001) billed this song as "the unofficial anthem of the environmental movement". On Earth Day 1995, Loggins performed at The National Mall in Washington, D.C. before a live audience of 500,000.
During 1997, Loggins released the album "The Unimaginable Life" based on his book which was co-written by his wife Julia. Tracks include "Now That I Know Love", "The Art of Letting Go", and "One Chance at a Time". The album was produced by Loggins and Randy Jackson with background vocals by Skyler Jett, Lamont VanHook, and Howard Smith.
During 1998, Loggins recorded a version of the popular Sesame Street song "One Small Voice" for the ABC Television special, Elmopalooza, which was included as a track on the Grammy Award winningsoundtrack album.
Recent years[edit source | edit]EditLoggins with Boston Pops Orchestra and conductor Keith Lockhart, June 22, 2011
During recent years Loggins has continued to record and produce Adult Contemporary music and scored a No. 1 single on the Billboard AC chart during 1997 with "For The First Time" (his Oscar-nominated song from One Fine Day). His last film song was The Tigger Movie song "Your Heart Will Lead You Home", which he co-wrote with Richard and Robert Sherman. In 1999 he appeared as himself on Dharma & Greg in the episode "Tye-Dying the Knot", performing at Abby and Larry's wedding.
During 2005, JD Ryznar started web series Yacht Rock, in which Loggins appears played by Hunter Stair and shows Loggins' rise to fame. The show helped with the revival of Loggins' music.
During 2005, Loggins and Messina performed a successful nationwide tour that resulted in the CD and DVD Loggins and Messina Sittin' In Again. Their first tour since 1976, it was 2 hours in length and included an acoustic set in the middle of the show. Complete with a set change that turned the stage into an old gas station setting, the show had a large IMAG video screen that showed old footage of the band, as well as tribute footage of recently deceased former L&M bandmate John Clark.
On July 31, 2008, Loggins appeared on the TV program Don't Forget the Lyrics! and performed "I'm Alright" and "Footloose".
In 2009 Loggins issued a new children's album entitled All Join In but it was not released due to complications with his record company.
In 2009 Loggins and Messina successfully toured the USA and Canada, reviving their "Sittin' In Again tour".
In 2011 Loggins did a short tour in South East Asia including Manila, Philippines and Singapore. Loggins performed Friday, June 3, 2011 at the Arcada Theater in St Charles, IL. He stopped by the Eddie and Jobo Show in Chicago to talk about his music, his personal life and what kind of show you can expect from him.
Blue Sky Riders[edit source | edit]Edit
Personal life[edit source | edit]Edit
Loggins was married to Eva Ein from 1978 to 1990; they had three children together: Crosby, Cody, and Isabella. The oldest, Crosby Loggins, produced his first CD in 2007 entitled We All Go Home. During 2008, Crosby Loggins was voted the winner of the MTV reality show Rock the Cradle. Cody was born in 1983 and Isabella in 1988. As of 2009, daughter Bella was a music major in college.
When Loggins experienced health problems in 1982, he was referred to Julia Cooper, a colon therapist. They felt an immediate connection and both were unhappy in their relationships, but each was married to someone else; Loggins then had one child and his wife was pregnant with their second. Their relationship was limited to a close friendship for many years. Near the end of the 1980s, Loggins separated from his wife, Eva, at nearly the same time Julia left her husband, and they began a deeper relationship.
Loggins' divorce was made final in 1990; he and Cooper married in July, 1992. In 1994, they became involved with Equinox International, a multi-level marketing organization, and created a promotional video for the company, as did Ted Danson and Dave Parker. The couple had two children: Lukas, born in 1993, and Hana, born in 1997. After several years of marriage, they assembled material from the journals that each kept, which included poems, songs and letters. They authored a 1997 book entitled, The Unimaginable Life about their relationship. Its purpose was to offer an alternative to typical relationships where spouses feel that they cannot be completely honest. Later on, they faced possible bankruptcy.
The couple divorced in 2004. Loggins commented in 2009, “I got pretty blindsided by Julia’s decision to leave. She’s a very impulsive woman, and she found herself going through a midlife crisis. And she didn’t know what to make of it, and it changed her life.” Loggins has a home in the hills north of Santa Barbara, California and has lived there for several decades. He is known locally as a generous fundraiser for numerous charities. Kenny Loggins is a second cousin to singer-songwriter, Dave Loggins.
Discography[edit source | edit]EditMain article: Kenny Loggins discography
Of the seven albums released by Loggins & Messina from 1971–1976, two were platinum and five were gold.
Since going solo, Loggins has released 13 albums, three of which were certified gold (500,000 shipped), and four became platinum (1 million shipped).