Things Every Songwriter Should Know
  ...from the Pros Who've Done it.

Written By: Kenny Loggins

There’s a magic that comes with being aware you’re “onto something” while you’re onto it. It fills you with a strange sense of purpose that seems to invigorate the project and deepen the vision, even when you feel like all you’ve got is fireflies to follow, just the hint of heat and light out ahead, teasing you on, leading you somewhere you can barely see in the distance, as if towards an ancient city shrouded in fog, just waiting for you to come discover it.

Great moments are rare.

Here it was, another one of those moments that we, as artists, long for, wait years for, usually very impatiently, and hope to capture at least once in our lives. I can honestly say, looking back, I believe I’ve been incredibly lucky to have experienced this rush 3 or 4 times in my career, but few times as consciously as this moment.

Loggins and Messina was one of those moments, certainly, but I was young and not really as aware of what was happening or what was in store. Making “Celebrate Me Home” was one, big time. A big leap from the Country inspired sound of L&M. Speaking of “leaps,” writing and recording “Leap of Faith” years later was another major “magic moment,” possibly my biggest one ever, as it was accompanied with a major spiritual awakening and an amazing love affair.

Enter Gary Burr.

Back when I was making the CD, “How about Now,” (2007) I met a very talented Nashville singer/songwriter named Gary Burr, and we set about writing some songs together, most of them based on my journal entries from the first few years of my recent divorce. In many ways that was a painful process, I might add, yet Gary and I spent as much time laughing as we did writing. And the songs were good, some of them damn good. But the best part was that when we sang together, we sounded like brothers. A rare occurrence, especially for me. The last time I experienced that kind of blend was with Jimmy Messina in 1971.

Start a new band??  Am I crazy or what?

Well, some time passes and I found myself thinkin’ to myself, “Self…Ya know if this was 20 years ago, that kind of mixture of fun, great songs and natural vocal blend would have spawned a band!” Of course, that’s crazy talk at my age. I mean, I’ve made my own “brand,” my career is doing fine, thank you God, and why mess with a good thing?

But something pushes you when you make art for a living, something beyond logic.  So, just like that, I called Gary and asked him if he’d like to form a band. He, of course, thought I’d lost my mind, but agreed with something like, “Why Kenny, that’s a dandy idea…” We shot the shit for a few minutes, and then we hung up the phone. I suspect he never expected to hear from me again. But I’m funny that way, and the feeling, the inspiration to do something NEW wouldn’t let me go. I would check in with Gary every couple of months, just to let him know I was the proverbial dog with a bone, and was still thinking about this imaginary “band.”

One more piece to the puzzle…Hello Georgia.

Then one day, while on a 15 mile bike ride, after the endorphins kicked in, I suddenly “realized” we needed a third member! 3 part harmony. Never done that! And it should be a female voice. A singer/songwriter of some high credibility, but preferably, as yet an undiscovered talent.

I called Gary.  “You know any great chick-singer/songwriters?” “Hell yeah,” he replied, “My girlfriend, Georgia Middleman. She’s the best I’ve ever worked with.”  It should be added here that Gary is no slouch himself, Gary was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005, having penned 13 #1 songs to date!  He went on to say “Georgia just wrote Keith Urban’s #2 record in the country right now.”  That felt like one hell of a start, so I agreed to fly out to Nashville for “a meeting.”

Why fight something that feels this good?

And what a meeting! Within our first three hours together, the three of us wrote our first song, called “I Get It,” and were singing with a 3-part blend that comes once in a lifetime. I was as high as a 21 yr old (who shall remain nameless) having discovered rock-n-roll for the very first time, like a kid I knew who once hitch-hiked his way to Monterey in the summer of 1966, only to have the course of his life changed forever. So we wrote this really cool song, and started seriously considering the “band thing,” which as I said before, at this stage of my life feels a lot like Mickey Rooney saying to Judy Garland, “Hey kids…Let’s put on a show!!” It’s crazy talk. It’s a million to one long shot. But it sure is fun!

Have you had any magic moments like this?  Have you started a new group late in your career.  Please share in the comments below.

If you haven’t already, check out:

The Story Behind the Hit Bless The Beasts and the Children – click here
How an unlikely background cue became a giant hit – click here
Craft will save your ass – click here

Did you learn anything from this post? If so, please share it with one other person who could use it. Use the links for Facebook and Twitter below. Thanks!

Also, if you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to weekly article updates and we’ll send you The Songwriter’s Master Contact List totally free.

Video by Barry DeVorzon – Follow us on Twitter

Here’s a fun story about how I started Valiant Records, which became a very successful independent record company responsible for hit songs including Rhythm of the Rain by The Cascades, as well as Cherish, Never My Love, Windy, and Along Comes Mary by The Association. Click the video below to see how it all began.

Enjoy and please feel free to share your thoughts and comments below.

Can’t see the video?  Click Here.

Did you enjoy this story? If so, please share it with one other person you think might enjoy it also. Use the links for Facebook and Twitter below. Thanks!

Be sure to check out our Top 5 articles and our Top 3 videos from the right panel on our blog homepage.

If you haven’t already, check out:

The Story of How The Theme from S.W.A.T. Came to be – click here
7 Tips on How to Record a Demo That Gets Results – click here
7 Places you Should be Sending Your Songs to – click here

Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly article updates. Join us and we’ll send you The Songwriter’s Master Contact List totally free!

Video by Barry DeVorzon – Follow us on Twitter

We wanted to share another entertaining story of how Barry’s classic, Bless the Beasts and the Children, became a hit and ultimately was nominated for an Academy Award.  Another example of how many things have to fall in place for a song to become a hit.  Click the play button below to hear how it happened from Barry himself.  Enjoy and please feel free to share your thoughts and comments.

Can’t see the video?  Click Here.

Did you enjoy this story?  If so, please share it with one other person you think might enjoy it as well. Use the links for Facebook and Twitter below. Thanks!

Be sure to check out our Top 5 articles and our Top 3 videos from the right panel on our blog homepage.

If you haven’t already, check out:

How an Unlikely Background Cue Became a Giant Hit – click here
The Keys to Standing Out in  a Transforming Music Business – click here
Craft Will Save Your Ass – click here

Don’t forget to subscribe to weekly article updates and we’ll send you The Songwriter’s Master Contact List totally free.

Video by Barry DeVorzon – Follow us on Twitter

We wanted to share another entertaining story of how a background cue from the soundtrack of the motion picture Bless the Beasts and the Children became the most important hit of Barry DeVorzon’s career – Nadia’s Theme/Theme from The Young and the Restless. Click the play button below to hear how it happened from Barry himself.  Enjoy and please feel free to share your thoughts and comments.

Did you enjoy this story?  If so, please share it with one other person you think might enjoy it as well. Use the links for Facebook and Twitter below. Thanks!

Be sure to check out our Top 5 articles and our Top 3 videos from the right panel on our blog homepage.

If you haven’t already, check out:

The 5 Ways to Connect to Inspiration – click here
How do you Know When you’ve Written a Great Song? – click here
The story of how I got my first hit – click here

Don’t forget to subscribe to weekly article updates and we’ll send you The Songwriter’s Master Contact List totally free.

Video by Barry DeVorzon – Follow us on Twitter

Here’s another story that goes back a few years when songwriting and the music business were very different, but I think you’ll enjoy it.  Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments.

Click Here to hear to listen to the song on Youtube.

Did you enjoy this story? If so, please share it with one other person you think might enjoy it also. Use the links for Facebook and Twitter below. Thanks!

Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly article updates. Join us and we’ll send you The Songwriter’s Master Contact List totally free!

Video by Barry DeVorzon – Follow us on Twitter

Here’s another story I hope you’ll find interesting and inspiring on how the Theme from S.W.A.T. came to be.  Enjoy and please feel free to share your thoughts and comments.

Did you enjoy this story? If so, please share it with one other person you think might enjoy it also. Use the links for Facebook and Twitter below. Thanks!

Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly article updates. Join us and we’ll send you The Songwriter’s Master Contact List totally free!