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‘Heart Hotels’ by Dan Fogelberg – Classic Hit or Miss

Happy Birthday – to the late Dan Fogelberg. Dan would have been 62.

After graduating from Woodruff High School in 1969, Fogelberg studied theater arts and painting at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, while playing in local campus venues with the folk-rock band, “The Ship”. He began performing as a solo acoustic player in area coffeehouses, including the Red Herring Coffeehouse, where he made his first solo recordings as part of a folk festival recording in 1971. He was discovered that year by Irving Azoff. Fogelberg and Azoff—who started his music-management career promoting another Champaign-Urbana act, REO Speedwagon—moved to California to seek their fortunes. Azoff sent Fogelberg to Nashville to hone his skills, where he became a session musician and recorded his first album, with producer Norbert Putnam. In 1972, Fogelberg released his debut album Home Free to lukewarm response. He performed as an opening act for Van Morrison. Fogelberg’s second effort was much more successful—the 1974 Joe Walsh–produced album Souvenirs and its song “Part of the Plan” became Fogelberg’s first hit.

After Souvenirs, Fogelberg released a string of gold and platinum albums, including Captured Angel (1975) and Nether Lands (1977), and found commercial success with songs such as “The Power of Gold.” His 1978 Twin Sons of Different Mothers was the first of two collaborations with jazz flutist Tim Weisberg. 1979′s Phoenix reached the Top 10, with “Longer” becoming a #2 pop hit (and wedding standard) in 1980. The track peaked at #59 in the UK Singles Chart – his sole entry in that listing. The album reached #42 in the UK Albums Chart, likewise Fogelberg’s only entry there. This was followed by a Top 20 hit “Heart Hotels.”

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