Kenny Loggins at Agua Caliente Casino Resort
Kenny Loggins is coming to the Show at Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage July 7.
Loggins has had a remarkable four-decade-plus career that has brought him from the top of the charts to the toast of the Grammys. He’s had smash hits on Hollywood’s favorite soundtracks, rocked worldwide stages, and found his way into children’s hearts while bringing his smooth, beautiful voice to platinum albums of a stunning variety of genres. His gift for crafting deeply emotional music is unparalleled, and it’s been a part of his life as long as he can remember.
Halfway through his three-year gig as a Wingate staffer, Loggins met the man who would help shape the early part of his career: Jim Messina. “I knew that Jimmy had worked with Buffalo Springfield and that was one of my favorite acts,” Loggins says of the producer and onetime Poco member. The two started to work on Loggins’ solo debut with Messina behind the boards, and Kenny fell in love with a track his producer had penned called “Same Old Wine.” Before he knew it, the pair of creative partners had morphed into a duo, and Loggins and Messina was born.
Their first album, Kenny Loggins With Jim MessinaSittin’ In, came out in 1971, featuring Loggins’ own version of “Pooh Corner” and the beautiful ballad “Danny’s Song,” which he’d written when his brother’s wife gave birth to the couple’s first child. “That was the beginning of his family,” Loggins remembers, “and many of those lyrics were taken right from a letter he wrote me.” The prolific recording and touring duo released a studio album every year from 1971 to 1976, wrapping with Native Sons. The time had come for Loggins to cast off on his own.
“When I recorded Celebrate Me Home, I was very excited, I was like an arrow pulled back in a bow,” Loggins says. His 1977 Phil Ramone-produced solo debut went platinum and included “I Believe in Love,” the song he’d written for Barbra Streisand to perform in the film A Star Is Born. The album came out just in time for Loggins to score a gig opening for Fleetwood Mac on the Rumours tour, and he went from playing large rooms to arenas overnight. He struck up a friendship with Stevie Nicks, who generously offered to sing one of his songs. Loggins found the right tune — “Whenever I Call You Friend” from his 1978 LP Nightwatch — which he credits as “the moment that launched my solo career.”
The hits just kept on coming. Loggins pulled up for a songwriting session at Michael McDonald’s house and heard the opening melody of “What a Fool Believes” coming out of the door. “He stopped playing but my imagination kept going. So I like to say we were writing before we met.” The pair won a Best Song Grammy — Loggins’ first — for the tune in 1979. The following year, the pair picked up a second Grammy for “This Is It,” off Loggins’ third consecutive platinum solo album, Keep the Fire. As the decade progressed, Loggins kept expanding his musical range, impressively exploring new textures of jazz, rock, and pop with ambitious production.