Sunday, December 16, 2007

We Drank a Toast to Innocence

Category: News

Dan Fogelberg, the folk-rock singer-songwriter who rose to prominence in the 70s with a string of critically-acclaimed albums such as Souvenirs and Nether Lands and saw commercial success into the 80s thanks to hits like "Longer" and "Same Old Lang Syne," died Sunday (12/16) in his home in Maine after a long battle with advanced prostate cancer.

Fogelberg was born in Peroria, Illinois on August 13, 1951 and became popular in the 70s amid the "singer/songwriter" era. With albums like Captured Angel and Souvenirs (the latter produced by his longtime friend Joe Walsh), Fogelberg established himself as one of the most gifted of the genre. One song from Souvenirs, "Part of the Plan," was Fogelberg's first top 40 song.

He did not obtain widespread commercial success, however, until 1978's Twin Sons of Different Mothers with jazz flautist Tim Weisberg. The single from the album, "The Power of Gold," made Billboard magazine's top 30. His next album, Phoenix (named after the mythical bird, not the city), contained his biggest hit, "Longer."

His success continued with 1980's The Innocent Age, which featured four hits: "Same Old Lang Syne," "Hard to Say" (which featured Glenn Frey on backing vocals), his ode to his father, "The Leader of the Band," and "Run for the Roses." That song is featured prominently every May prior to the Kentucky Derby by various news outlets.

Fogelberg's success waned after The Innocent Age because of the rise of dance and "hair bands." His last charted single, "She Don't Look Back," barely made it out of the 90s on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1987. He continued to release albums, however, and maintained a loyal fan base.

In 2004, Fogelberg was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. He canceled his tour and began taking treatments. In 2005, he announced that the progress of the cancer had been slowed "to an almost negligible level" according to his post on his web site.

Dan Fogelberg was 56.

Fogelberg's web site

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