Singer/songwriter Daniel Grayling Fogelberg (1951-2007) was born on this day in Peoria, Illinois, the son of a big bandleader. His grandfather gave young Dan an old Hawaiian acoustic guitar when he was 11, and young Dan taught himself how to play.
"I developed pretty strong hands because of that guitar," remembered Fogelberg, who was also an accomplished pianist.
Inspired by the Beatles and Chuck Berry, Fogelberg released Home Free in 1972, which celebrated the soft-rock genre. With songs such as To the Morning and Stars, crafted with beauty and simplicity, Fogelberg's music touched the heart profoundly.
"The acoustic ballads, which some people know me best for, really came out of Gordon Lightfoot, Paul Simon, and Joni Mitchell, but especially Gordon," Fogelberg explained. "His melodic sense was unforgettable, staggering."
In 1974, Fogelberg released the powerful Souvenirs, his first of seven consecutive platinum albums. He called The Innocent Age (1981) a "tough, tough project." The record featured elegant melodies and some of his best songs, including Same Old Lang Syne, Run For The Roses, and Leader Of The Band, a moving tribute to his father.
His three-year battle with prostate cancer called attention to the disease. "Education and awareness are key," he said, becoming an advocate for early detection screenings.
He said in reflection, "You've just got to follow your heart and do your best work... For better or worse, I have followed my heart. There is no doubt in my mind that everything I've done is exactly what I have intended to do."
More MUSIC Quotations | Song: Run For the Roses
Celebrate the good memories.