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. It was so successful and inspiring that they took their show on the road once again in 2009.
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 – Eyes published with permission of Bettie Grace Miner.