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Tuesday, January 07, 2014

January 7, 1948

Welcome to the very first Tuesday Timeline entry of 2014! Though, you'd never really know it, as the Tuesday Timeline often goes back in time to a specific date in history that influenced the world of pop culture (and quite possibly the way that we look at the world). Sometimes we go back just a couple of years, while other times we go back in time a couple of centuries!

Fear not. This time around, we're sticking with twentieth century history.

And, on this date – January 7 – a lot happened in the world. Would you like to see what took place on this date years and years ago?
Well, we'll get to our feature presentation in a moment. For now, the previews.

1608 – The city of Jamestown, Virginia is destroyed by fire

1782 – The Bank of North America – the first American commercial bank – opens

1785 – Jean-Pierre Blanchard and John Jeffries travel from Dover, England to Calais, France in a gas balloon

1797 – The modern Italian flag is first used

1894 – William Kennedy Dickson receives a patent for motion picture film

1904 – The new distress signal “CQD” is established – only for it to be replaced two years later by the much easier to use “SOS” signal

1911 – Actress Butterfly McQueen (d. 1995), best known as Prissy from “Gone With The Wind” is born in Tampa, Florida

1912 – Cartoonist Charles Addams (d. 1988), creator of the Addams Family, is born in Westfield, New Jersey

1927 – The first transatlantic telephone service is established connecting New York and London, England

1931 – Guy Menzies flies the first non-stop flight from Australia to New Zealand in just under twelve hours

1935 – Benito Mussolini and Pierre Laval sign the Franco-Italian Agreement

1942 – The siege of the Bataan Peninsula begins

1954 – The Georgetown-IBM Experiment takes place at IBM headquarters which becomes the first instance of a machine translation system being demonstrated

1959 – The United States recognizes the new Cuban government of Fidel Castro

1960 – The Polaris missile is test launched

1973 – Ten people are killed and thirteen more injured at a Howard Johnson's Hotel in New Orleans by Mark Essex, who later is killed in a standoff with police

1980 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter authorizes $1.5 billion dollar loans to be given out to the struggling Chrysler Corporation

1986 – Children's illustrator P.D. Eastman (b. 1909), best known for illustrating many Dr. Seuss' “Beginner Books” series, passes away at the age of 76

1989 – Following the death of Japanese emperor Hirohito, Prince Akihito is sworn in as the country's new emperor

1990 – Safety reasons prevent tourists from entering the Leaning Tower of Pisa

1991 – A coup d'etat is attempted by the former leader of the Tonton Macoute in Haiti, Roger Lafontant, but ends in his arrest

1992 – Puppeteer/voice artist Richard Hunt (b. 1951), who voiced many Muppet characters dies of AIDS related complications at just 40 years old

2002 – Actor Avery Schreiber (b. 1935) passes away at the age of 66

2012 – Eleven people are killed in a tragic hot air balloon accident near Carterton, New Zealand

Yeah...I decided to add a little bit of impact to the Tuesday Timeline this year by adding in a little Impact font.

There's also a few celebrities and famous faces celebrating birthdays today, so let's wish the following people a happy birthday! Geoffrey Bayldon, William Peter Blatty, Terry Moore, Ducky Schofield, Lou Graham, Jann Wenner, Anne Schedeen, Juan Gabriel, Erin Gray, Helen Worth, Sammo Hung, Jodi Long, David Caruso, Katie Couric, Linda Koslowski, Kathy Valentine (Go-Go's), David Marciano, Hallie Todd, Nicolas Cage, “Five for Fighting”, Guy Hebert, David Yost, Doug E. Doug, Jeremy Renner, John Rich, Dustin Diamond, Natalie Gulbis, Lyndsy Fonseca, Camryn Grimes, and Max Morrow.

So, are you ready for today's Tuesday Timeline feature? Well, here's today's date!

We're going back in time sixty-six years to January 7, 1948!

And, I hope you're ready to cut loose, footloose, and kick off your Sunday shoes, because I promise you that if you like your soft rock with a little bit of hard knocks, this Tuesday Timeline is the place for you. The only thing that I have a hard time believing is that our blog subject for today is turning sixty-six years old today! I mean, if you look at any recent pictures of him, you'd probably not believe it yourself. Oh, look, I just happen to have a recent picture of him right here.

Now, I ask you. Does Kenny Loggins look 66 years old? I don't think so.

And, yet, if one were to examine his birth certificate (which I should state for the record that I DO NOT have), you'd see that he was born in Everett, Washington on January 7, 1948 under his birth name of Kenneth Clark Loggins.

So, in celebration of the life and longevity of Kenny's stellar musical career, I thought that I'd make this Tuesday Timeline a collection of his greatest hits. And, believe me, he's had quite a lot of them, whether it be as a solo artist, as a part of the 1970s group “Loggins and Messina”, or everything else in between.

So, I hope you've got some time to kill, because it's time to start the show! And, what better way to begin than with some of his earliest hits?

Released: November 1971
Peak Position on the Billboard Charts: #84

Okay, so maybe it wasn't the biggest start for the duo of Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina. But it was the start of what would become a five-year partnership between the two musicians. The two met in 1970 while Jim Messina was working as an independent record producer for Columbia Records, and Kenny Loggins was signed to ABC-Dunhill Records. Both men certainly had musical talents on their own. After all, Messina was once a member of the rock bands Poco and Buffalo Springfield, and Loggins had been performing in a series of bands after graduating from high school. But when the duo first met, Messina was more interested in helping Loggins get his career off the ground, even letting Loggins record some demos in his own living room.  The end result was that Messina had contributed much more than he initially intended.  So much that when the album was released in 1971, it was released under the title "Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina Sittin' In".  So while this was the first single, it didn't chart very high.  But that would change...

Released:  October 1972
Peak Position on the Billboard Charts:  #4

Arguably one of Loggins and Messina's biggest hits, the song peaked at #4 at the tail end of 1972.  It was also one of the first singles that really defined Loggins and Messina as a duo, as the album that the song was released on had the duo's full name of "Loggins and Messina".  And one thing that I will say about the album is that both Loggins and Messina shared songwriting credits.  Of the eleven songs on the album, Loggins wrote four, Messina wrote four, and the other three were collaborative efforts.  But, I think that some of you of another generation might better recall the version that the heavy metal band "Poison" released in 1989.

Now, Loggins and Messina remained together as a duo until 1976, when they parted ways to embark on solo careers (theirs was probably one of the most amicable splits in rock history).  And when Kenny Loggins emerged as a solo artist, the hits just kept coming and coming!

WHENEVER I CALL YOU FRIEND (duet with Stevie Nicks)
Released:  July 1978
Peak Position on the Billboard Charts:  #5

This particular single was the second solo release by Kenny Loggins, but in all actuality, several other established musicians took part in the creation of this single, which peaked at #5 in 1978.  Obviously, "Fleetwood Mac" vocalist Stevie Nicks was a huge part of this song, as she performed as his duet partner.  But I bet you didn't know that the song was originally co-written by Melissa "You Should Hear How She Talks About You" Manchester.  In fact, Melissa even recorded her own version of this song with Arnold McCuller for her own 1979 album!

And, here's some more trivia!  Apparently, Kenny Loggins must have dabbled in French at some point, because three years after this version was recorded, he re-recorded this duet with French singer Jeane Manson in 1981, with Manson recording Stevie Nicks' lines in French, and with Manson and Loggins singing the chorus in French!  C'est magnifique, non?

Released:  September 1979
Peak Position on the Billboard Charts:  #11

Interesting story about this song.  The song features Doobie Brothers singer Michael McDonald on backing vocals who helped Loggins co-write this single.  I have often wondered if this was meant as a gesture of gratitude, as Loggins helped co-write the Doobie Brothers hit "What A Fool Believes", which topped the charts earlier in 1979.  At any rate, I think that it's probably my second favourite Kenny Loggins song (my favourite one is still coming up).

It's also a song in which Loggins had intended it to be about one thing, but following a visit with his ailing father in the hospital, he made it about something entirely different.  Certainly the melody might make some feel that it should be a love song, and it was initially intended to be.  Loggins had already composed the melody, but had yet to pen appropriate lyrics.  But after visiting his father in the hospital, he decided that instead of a song celebrating love, it would instead be a song about life and its challenges.  It was a gamble that paid off, even though the song just missed the Top 10.

Released:  July 1980
Peak Position on the Billboard Charts:  #7

Confession time:  Caddyshack is one of my all-time favourite films from the 1980s.  I could watch it all day and all night!  So, naturally, I have a soft spot for this song which appeared in the film's soundtrack.  It's not my favourite song of Loggins, but certainly ranks within my Top 5 list.

I also have a couple of more pieces of trivia regarding this song as well.  First, this song is probably one of the most performed songs that Loggins performs at live concerts.

And secondly, there was a reality show that aired on VH1 years ago (I think it was called "Rock The Cradle" or something like that), which had the sons and daughters of established musical stars competing in a singing competition.  Kenny's son Crosby Loggins performed this song on that show, and he ended up being the big winner!

Released:  January 1984
Peak Position on the Billboard Charts:  #1

I don't know what it was about Kenny Loggins and film soundtracks that produced so much magic, but whatever the case, Kenny certainly struck gold with this particular single from the 1984 film "Footloose".  It remains his one and only #1 hit on the Billboard charts.

(And, it happens to be my favourite Kenny Loggins song ever.  I dare you to listen to it and NOT want to get up and dance!)

I suppose in that sense, it was effective - as the movie is all about a town that has banned dancing of all kinds!

The film made a star out of Kevin Bacon, and the soundtrack made a star out of Kenny Loggins.  And in 2011, country music artist Blake Shelton re-recorded the single for the 2011 remake of the film "Footloose".  But, I gotta say.  I prefer Loggins' version.  And, I can't stand the 2011 remake of "Footloose".  Give me Bacon or give me nothing, I say.

Released:  May 1986
Peak Position on the Billboard Charts:  #2

The final song we'll be looking at comes from yet another '80s film soundtrack.  This time, the song comes from the 1986 film "Top Gun", which featured Tom Cruise, Anthony Edwards, and Kelly McGillis.  And, certainly Kenny Loggins sang his heart out on this powerful song.

But would you believe that Loggins almost never recorded this song in the first place?  Believe it or not, this song was originally intended to be released by Toto.

No, not Dorothy's dog, Toto.  I mean, "I miss the rains down in Africa" Toto.

Ultimately, Toto had to turn down the song, as their lawyers clashed with the producers of "Top Gun".

Next, Bryan Adams was approached to sing this song, plus have "Only The Strong Survive" appear on the soundtrack, but Adams refused, saying that he didn't want to be attached to a project that glorified war.  So, Adams didn't get to sing the song either, and "Only The Strong Survive" was instead used for the 1991 film "Problem Child 2".  Yeah, THERE'S an upgrade.

REO Speedwagon was also asked to record the song, but also turned it down!

I wonder how frustrated the producers were by the time Kenny Loggins agreed to sing this song!  But you know what?  I can't imagine anybody else singing this song.  Can you?

So, that wraps up our look back on Kenny Loggins and some of his greatest hits.  Hey, the man's turning 66 today!  It's the least I can do!

Happy birthday, Kenny!

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