By Steve Gillespie / Managing Editor
The Meridian Star
Not every musical artist has enough hits to carry an entire show.
Kenny Loggins does.
He has a dozen platinum-plus albums to his credit and 15 top 40 hits. Loggins performs Sunday at 6 p.m. at the MSU Riley Center in downtown Meridian.
In a telephone interview with Loggins this week, Mississippi's musical heritage was discussed among other things.
"Anyone who's ever been influenced by Elvis Presley has to tie it back to Mississippi," Loggins said. "Anybody who has been influenced with rock 'n' roll, blues, folk, or country, they're dealing with that part of the world."
Loggins' influences are as broad as his talent. He's just about done it all in a career that started in the late '60s with a short stint in the psychedelic rock band The Electric Prunes.
After that, as a staff songwriter making $100 a week, he penned four of the songs released on The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's 1970 album "Uncle Charlie and His Dog Teddy."
One of those songs was "House At Pooh Corner." Asked if the audience would hear that song Sunday, Loggins said: "Yes, always do Pooh."
Loggins said the book, "The House at Pooh Corner," written by A.A. Milne, and published in 1928, has special significance for him.
"That was the first book I ever read myself," Loggins said. Eventually, like so many young people, he said he felt as though he was living in the last chapter of that book as he prepared to go out into the world. He could relate to Christopher Robin, who tries to explain to Pooh that he is going away.
"I knew something big was going to happen," Loggins said.
He said his show Sunday will be a "hits show, along with some deeper cuts."
Audience members can expect "Danny's Song," "Footloose," and anything else they came to hear.
Along with recording his own version of "House At Pooh Corner," "Danny's Song" appeared on the first Loggins and Messina album.
In the studio for what was to be his debut album, Loggins and his producer, Jim Messina, teamed up. The result was the 1972 album "Sittin' In," and the country-rock duo would continue putting songs on Billboard's Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts until their split in 1976.
Loggins' solo career produced million-seller albums such as "Celebrate Me Home," and "Nightwatch," that included the hit "Whenever I Call You Friend," recorded with Stevie Nicks. He co-wrote the 1979 Grammy-winning Song of the Year, "What A Fool Believes," with Michael McDonald of the Doobie Brothers, and his album "Keep The Fire" included the song "This Is It." That song earned Loggins the 1980 Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal. The songs "Don't Fight It," recorded with Journey front man Steve Perry, and "Heart To Heart," were on the 1982 album "High Adventure."
It also was in the '80s that Loggins became the King of Movie Theme Songs: "I'm Alright" from "Caddyshack"; "Footloose" from "Footloose"; "Danger Zone" from "Top Gun"; "Nobody's Fool" from "Caddyshack II."
The albums continue for Loggins. He has recorded a Christmas album and revisited his roots in the songwriting business with two CDs for children "Return To Pooh Corner," and "More Songs From Pooh Corner."
In 2005 and in 2009 Loggins and Messina teamed up again for tours.
And Loggins is back in a band — not psychedelic rock — a country/pop group called Blue Sky Riders.
He makes sure it's understood this is not Kenny Loggins and Blue Sky Riders. "This is very much a trio," he said. "We write and sing everything together."
And, since he and co-members Georgia Middleman and Gary Burr are all "over 30," as Loggins puts it, they enjoy bucking the odds a little bit with their new sounds.
"We're getting great reviews, and it's a great rush of adrenaline when we perform together," Loggins said. "That's my passion right now."
For more about Blue Sky Riders visit the website blueskyridersband.com.