Loggins and Messina
FORMED: 1970, California
DISBANDED: July 1976
Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina were the most successful pop/rock duo of the
first half of the '70s. Loggins was a staff songwriter who had recently enjoyed
success with a group of songs recorded by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band when
he came to the attention of Messina, a record producer and former member
of Buffalo Springfield and Poco. Messina agreed to produce Loggins' first
album, but somewhere along the way it became a duo effort that was released
in 1972 under the title Kenny Loggins with Jim Messina Sittin' In. The album
was a gold-seller that stayed in the charts more than two years.
In the next four years, Loggins & Messina released a series of gold or
platinum albums, most of which hit the Top Ten. They were all played in a
buoyant country-rock style with an accomplished band. Loggins & Messina
(1972) featured the retro-rock hit "Your Mama Don't Dance." Full Sail (1973),
On Stage (a double live album, 1974), and Mother Lode (1974) all hit the
Top Ten. So Fine was an album of '50s cover songs. The pair's last new studio
album, Native Sons, came out at the start of 1976.
Loggins & Messina split for two solo careers by the end of that year,
their catalog completed by a greatest-hits album, Best of Friends, and a
live record, Finale. ~ William Ruhlmann, All Music Guide
BORN: January 7, 1948, Everett, WA
Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Kenny Loggins was born in Everett, WA,
and moved to Los Angeles in his teens. He got a job as a staff writer and
wrote four songs used on a Nitty Gritty Dirt Band album in 1970, among them
the hit "House at Pooh Corner." This brought him to the attention of former
Poco member Jim Messina, now a staff producer at CBS, who intended to produce
Loggins' debut album. The two ended up in a duo, however, and Loggins &
Messina made a series of successful albums during the '70s.
Loggins & Messina broke up in 1976, and Loggins went on to solo stardom
with such million-selling albums as Celebrate Me Home, Nightwatch (which
included the hit "Whenever I Call You Friend"), and Keep the Fire, all in
the cheerful, sensitive style he had displayed in Loggins & Messina.
Loggins also became known as the king of the movie soundtrack song, scoring
Top Ten hits with "I'm Alright" (from Caddyshack), "Footloose" (from Footloose),
"Danger Zone" (from Top Gun), and "Nobody's Fool" (from Caddyshack II). His
own albums sold less well (and came less frequently) throughout the '80s,
with later efforts like 1991's Leap of Faith, 1997's The Unimaginable Life
and 1998's December finding favor primarily in adult contemporary circles;
in 1994, he also issued a children's album, Return to Pooh Corner, and released
its sequel More Songs from Pooh Corner in early 2000. ~ William Ruhlmann,
All Music Guide
BORN: December 5, 1947, Maywood, CA
As a singer, writer, guitarist, producer and engineer, Jim Messina has performed
with such rock bands as Buffalo Springfield, Poco and Loggins & Messina,
performing everything from country to pop and rock.
Born in Texas, Jim Messina's life was divided between his mother's home in
Texas and his father's home in California. His father was a semi-professional
guitarist and greatly influenced his son's musical career. Messina began
playing the guitar at the age of five. As time progressed, he became interested
in the guitar parts on Elvis Presley and Ricky Nelson records. Living in
California, he eventually developed an interest in '60s surf tunes, including
hits by Dick Dale and the Deltones and the Champs. Messina's career began
at the age of 17 when a deejay heard him and asked him to produce two albums.
The albums were unsuccessful but launched Messina into a producing and engineering
career. He stayed with the deejay as his assistant, producing and recording
albums for new artists. With his new knowledge of producing, he eventually
became the second engineer at Hollywood's Sunset Sound. His work involved
producing albums for music legends such as the Doors, Lee Michaels, Herb
Alpert and the Tijuana Brass -- and, in the mid-'60s, Buffalo Springfield.
Messina produced Buffalo Springfield's second album, Buffalo Springfield
Again, and joined the group as its bass player. He also played and produced
on the group's final album, Last Time Around. In 1968, when the group disbanded,
three members of the band -- Messina, Richie Furay and Rusty Young -- formed
Poco, a band known for combining country and rock. Messina left the band
in the early '70s to again pursue a producing career.
His first producing job was a six-album contract with Columbia Records to
produce the albums of singer Kenny Loggins. Messina produced Loggins' debut
album, Sittin' In. Messina had already made a name for himself in the music
business and began touring with Loggins until he too made a name for himself.
The combination of Loggins and Messina released nine albums in seven years
with a sales figure of more than two million copies. Their style encompassed
folk, country-rock, jazz and classical, with hit songs like "Watching the
River Run," "Travelin' Blues," "Your Mama Don't Dance" and "Pathway to Glory,"
With a few years off for rest and relaxation, Jim Messina re-entered the
music industry, this time concentrating on a solo singing career. During
the '80s, he released three solo albums, Bustin' Surfboards, Superjammin'
and Pop Classic of the 7'0s. His revival included singing and touring again
with Poco on their 1989 reunion release, Legacy. Messina tours and performs
new songs on a regular basis; the recent album River North is all new material
but still features Messina's signature country-rock sound. ~ Kim Summers,
All Music Guide