FreeWheelin' Music Safari

Today in Music – Dec 5, 1947 – Happy Birthday, Jim Messina!

Jim Messina So after Buffalo Springfield shattered in 1968 three of the members of the band, Richie Furary, Rusty Young and the fellow whose celebrating his 66th birthday today,(Dec 5th), Jim Messina went on, picked up the pieces and formed one of my wife and my favorite bands Poco. In 1970 after Poco’s first three albums Jim chose to leave the band. At the time, Jim felt that Richie Furay exhibited too much control over the group’s sound. Based the recommendation of Peter Cetera of Chicago, Messina selected guitarist/singer Paul Cotton, a one-time member of the Illinois Speed Press to be his replacement and Jim returned to studio production   Messina joined Columbia Records, as an independent producer. The first artist he was set to produce was Kenny Loggins……

Messina was first introduced to the idea of producing Kenny Loggins in the summer of 1970 while still performing on the road with Poco. Loggins first met with Messina in December 1970 at Messina’s home, where the two recorded a number of Loggins’ compositions in Messina’s living room. Loggins, at the time, was a songwriter for ABC Dunhill and not a performing artist. The songs he presented for his album leaned more toward being a folk artist, a style Messina felt might anchor Loggins in a past trend as opposed to being a part of a future trend.   In the course of deciding how to produce Loggins’ first solo album, Messina met with Clive Davis, then president of Columbia Records. The inexperienced Loggins had no agent, no manager, no business manager, and no prior experience as a performing artist; Messina felt Loggins needed some kind of an edge.   Messina proposed to Davis that he be allowed to sit in with Loggins’ on his first solo album in the same way that jazz artists had done in the past. Loggins also needed more upbeat and diverse material to help him gain appeal as a pop music artist. After reluctantly agreeing, Clive pursued the “Sitting In” concept through to the end.   With music trends moving away from folk, Messina presented Loggins with a number of songs that spilled over from his days with Poco and Buffalo Springfield. He felt Loggins could do both country rock and R&B styles extremely well, especially after hearing Kenny perform “Danny’s Song.” Full Biography 

Loggins and messinaMessina’s “sittin’ in” was a good career move for him and led to major success as a duo!! Now I was all set to play a YouTube video of a reunion show of Poco and a performance of the  group singing a Messina tune “You Better Think Twice”, a song that has always been a favorite of mine, but the video kept freezing at the same point every time I played it. So how about we go “into the night” with a 2011 performance of a Loggins and Messina song “Angry Eyes”: by Jim and his band. And Jim, I hope birthday 66 was a good one!!