I've always known who Kenny Loggins was; his name's been in my head for what seems to be my whole life, but I never really gave him much thought. Maybe it's the plainness of the name--Kenny Loggins just doesn't seem to have a beat that you can dance to.

Some years later, I had a daughter. She is as of this writing three-and-a-half. So one day I'm crashed out in front of the television watching this Star Trek: The Next Generation episode with throat symbiotes, and the phone rings. On the other end it's my mother asking me, do I remember exactly who Kenny Loggins is. I tell her, the name sounds familiar, but beyond that, no, I don't remember him at all. I don't give him much thought after that.

Later, I'm crashed out on the couch again, and this Kenny Loggins fellow appears on Dharma and Greg when I least expect it, and he's playing Danny's Song. Well, that was it. Seems that my mother had phoned asking me if I'd remembered Kenny Loggins, because of Danny's Song, and she associated it with me, and my new parenthood.

Like just about any parent, I've got one or two Disney tapes lying around the house, for Alia. She's a big Pooh fan. We bought her The Tigger Movie, and she adores it. Tigger's even better than Pooh-bear in her eyes. During the credits, this song comes on, and I swear, Loggins appears everywhere, all of a sudden! His voice hasn't really changed since Footloose (the song he's probably most often associated with), but his music is wonderful, folky, melodic, beautiful. The simple lyrics of the few songs I know truly make me wonder why angst-ridden pain lyrics ever sell.

According to his website, http://www.kennyloggins.com, he's had quite the career for himself, but a small amount of solely his work. There are plenty of soundtracks and compilations, some of the Loggins and Messina stuff. It seems that Loggins enjoys to create children's music and "music for families to enjoy together." And really, he's quite good at that sort of thing, if Return to Pooh Corner is any indication.

He was born January 7, 1948 in Everett, Washington, what I can gather is that Loggins went directly into music at an early age, about twenty. In 1970, he met Jim Messina, and they soon started touring together. Apparently, they were good at it, too, grabbing two platinum albums and five gold albums before parting ways in 1976. (This is the period during which incredible songs like Danny's Song were recorded.)

Over the years, Loggins has had platinum albums, gold albums, Grammy nominations, a platinum selling "Best Of" album. He's done this without the help of MTV, an establishment he cares little for. He's done this without blathering aimlessly about the meaningless miasma that is life, he's done it without the gratuitous use of the word "fuck". He's sold well and been successful through writing songs that mean something.

Kenny Loggins lives with his wife, Julia, and his children, Crosby, Cody, Bella, Lukas and Hana, in southern California.

Important albums to take a look at:

Some years ago I became good friends with a woman who was an aspiring singer and songwriter. She performed with bands in bars and clubs in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Usually she was better than the bands who backed her, but built quite a following. As time went by, the bars would be packed with people who loved hearing her voice.

Barbara belonged to an internet based group for singers and songwriters looking for their big break. She was hoping against hope to one day sign a recording contract, but knew the chances were slim.

The internet group became somewhat close knit, and several of the people who frequented the group's chat forums took to talking privately outside the group. One of the men from the group seemed especially interested in Barbara's career and told her he would like to see her perform. He was in California but planned to come to Massachusetts that summer. He told her he was going to record an album on Martha's Vineyard, but to call him if she was interested in getting together while he was there.

He gave her a phone number, but after their internet chat that afternoon she realized she did not know his real name, only the name he used in the group. When she called the number, a woman answered. She was some kind of receptionist and answered by giving the name of a recording studio in Los Angeles. Not knowing what to do, she told him she was trying to reach someone but only knew his online user name. The woman laughed and said she was expecting her call and would transfer her to the party in question. Barbara stopped her and asked if she could possibly tell her the name of the person she was calling.

"Kenny. Don't feel bad. He never tells anyone his name online."

Barbara decided to wait until "Kenny" came to the phone. When he did, he told her he was very glad she called and that he would have a couple of weeks before he began recording on Martha's Vineyard and that would be the best time to get together. Barbara paused and asked, "Okay, who are you, really?" She was now openly suspicious of these circumstances. The man gave her the number for a recording studio and the receptionist knew immediately why she was calling. She suspected some kind of internet scam or hoax. She knew of many situations where people pretended to be someone they were not. She became more suspicious after he answered her question.

"Kenny Loggins. I'm sorry I didn't tell you who I was, but I like to keep a low profile talking to people on the internet."

Barbara laughed nervously and told him she wasn't sure whether to believe him or not. When he reiterated his desire to meet her for lunch and see her perform, she thought about hanging up. This had to be some kind of sick joke. Instead, she decided to accept the offer, thinking she would meet this joker and unmask him.

She went to the restaurant at the appointed time and waited fifteen minutes. He was running late and called her cell phone to ler her know. When he did arrive, he walked through the door to the restaurant, came over to her table and apologized again for being so late. He was, in fact, Kenny Loggins. He was going to be recording a follow up to his classic Return to Pooh Corner on Martha's Vineyard. Barbara could not understand why he would take time away from this project to meet her. She suspected for a moment he might be the kind of guy who arranged to meet women over the internet and took advantage of his status to woo them and take them back to his hotel room. Instead, she was treated to lunch by a man who offered her sound advice on the music industry and was genuinely interested in seeing her sing. He asked when she was scheduled to perform next. When she told him, he offered to change his schedule to make sure he could attend.

She asked him why he was so interested. This boggled her mind and she needed answers. Kenny Loggins told her he had always been interested in new talent trying to break through in the industry and that the internet had finally provided him with a tool through which he could anonymously offer advice and become friends with talented people who had never gotten their big break. He told her he tried to help people and doing so meant more to him than recording albums or performing live. For the rest of the afternoon, Barbara found herself enchanted by this polite gentleman who genuinely cared about people and wanted to make a difference. He seemed more like someone who considered his fame to be a gift that cost him anonymity rather than a star with a big ego. It was not the kind of thing she expected from someone who was a big name in the music industry.

He saw her perform as scheduled and afterwards gave her the names and telephone numbers of people he knew in the area who might take an interest in her aspirations. He told her to tell them he recommended she contact them. Barbara never did. She felt somehow strange about doing so and continued as she had for years, performing live and hoping to be noticed for her own talents and abilities. To call a record producer or talent scout and drop Kenny Loggins' name felt wrong. Instead she decided to always remember her meeting with Kenny as a memorable lunch and a night when she sang just for him.


I hope I remembered all the details of this true story correctly.
It has been more than seven years since Barbara told me the tale
and my memory has more holes than a golf course.

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