I love the music I grew up with. The music of the late 50’s and early 60’s will ALWAYS be my favorites. However, I didn’t stop listening to music as I grew older. I had favorite singers in the 70’s and 80’s also. By the 90’s, I was pretty much done adopting new artists, but I was always a sucker for singer/songwriters. Carole King, Neil Diamond, Jackson Browne and Billy Joel were artists that I bought albums sight unheard. I trusted their talent. But the “wordsmith” at the top of this list had to be Dan Fogelberg.
From the innocence and sincerity of his lyrics to the simplicity of his music, I enjoyed everything Dan recorded. His talent knew no bounds. He wrote the music and lyrics. He played the instruments. He produced the records. He even painted the artwork for the album cover. He had a loyal and faithful following and avoided Corporate greed until the mid-eighties when his label made him join the “MTV Generation”. It was that “square peg in a round hole” decision that began the decline of Dan’s commercial success.
When I started my career in radio, I called my show “The Innocent Age”. I stole that from Dan. His two-record album of the same name included the hits “Same Old Lang Syne”, “Hard To Say”, “Leader Of The Band”, and “Run For The Roses”. This album makes my All-Time Top Ten list. If you’ve never listened to ALL the songs, check it out, you’ll be amazed as I was.
I feel blessed that I was able to see Dan perform live. He opened for Jackson Browne at Blossom Music Center. He opened the show with an acoustic set, but the crowd grew restless and demanded the band, so he shrugged it off, and continued the show. As a fan, I felt cheated out of the intimacy he was trying to share with the audience. With an outdoor venue, intimacy usually does not prevail, but I cherish the memories of that concert. I’ll never grow tired of Dan’s music. Dan made my life better for knowing him through his music. I never met my father and I still weep when I hear Dan’s moving and loving tribute to his father, “Leader of the Band”.
Dan battled prostate cancer for almost three years before he succumbed on December 16, 2007, at the age of 56. He is survived by his wife, Jean. Donations in Dan’s memory at the ProstateCancerFoundation.org website have raised over $40,000! Jean Fogelberg has announced on Dan’s website that a CD will be released this fall containing 11 previously unreleased songs called “Love In Time”. Dan is gone, but his music lives on.
Listen for Dan’s interpretation of “Rhythm of the Rain” on TUNEDEX MEMORIES