I had something totally fun and Christmasy to write about today but I just heard Dan Fogelberg died over the weekend and believe he deserves a few words.
I know exactly what you are thinking: "Who?"
Here are a few lines from the Associated Press story on his passing,
"Dan Fogelberg, the singer and songwriter whose hits Leader of the Band and Same Old Lang Syne helped define the soft-rock era, died Sunday at his home in Maine after battling prostate cancer. He was 56.
His death was announced Sunday in a statement by Anna Loynes of the Solters & Digney public relations agency, and was also posted on the singer's Web site.
'Dan left us this morning at 6:00 a.m. He fought a brave battle with cancer and died peacefully at home in Maine with his wife Jean at his side,' it read. 'His strength, dignity and grace in the face of the daunting challenges of this disease were an inspiration to all who knew him.'
Fogelberg was found in 2004 to have advanced prostate cancer. In a statement then, he thanked fans for their support: It is truly overwhelming and humbling to realize how many lives my music has touched so deeply all these years. ... I thank you from the very depths of my heart.'
Fogelberg's music was powerful in its simplicity. He didn't rely on the volume of his voice to convey his emotions; instead, they came through in the soft, tender delivery and his poignant lyrics. Songs like Same Old Lang Syne - in which a man reminisces after meeting an old girlfriend by chance during the holidays - became classics not only because of his performance, but for the engaging storyline, as well.
Fogelberg's heydey was in the 1970s and early 80s, when he scored several platinum and multiplatinum records fueled by such hits as The Power of Gold and Leader of the Band, a touching tribute he wrote to his father, a bandleader. Fogelberg put out his first album in 1972."
All of the songs mentioned in the piece are worth seeking out if you don't know them and he had several uniformly excellent albums such as Souvenirs, Phoenix, The Innocent Age and my favorite, Twin Sons Of Different Mothers, his collaboration with Tim Weisberg.
I think maybe the wedding favorite, Longer doomed Fogelberg to soft rock hell in many listener's minds but he was an extraordinarily talented musician and songwriter who deserves a better legacy.
Sometimes this time of year you might get lucky and catch Dan's holiday classic, Same Old Lang Syne on the radio and I defy you to turn it off before you see how the story ends. It gets me every time. And today you got lucky to catch it on this blog. You are so having a better Monday than he is.