Kenny Loggins scored his first “solo” top 40 hit this day in 1978. Although it wasn’t all that solo. “Whenever I Call You Friend”, his duet with Stevie Nicks hit the charts and eventually would make it into the top 5 in the U.S. and Canada.
Loggins had previously been known for his work with Jim Messina. That project started out with just Loggins and Messina working as producer, but by the time the first record was made, Messina had done so much of the writing, guitar work and studio wizardry (plus he was already known from his time in Buffalo Springfield) his name was added into the ergo-group name. That pair lasted for 4 years, at the time being the most successful pair of male singers between Simon and Garfunkel and hall and Oates.
In ’78 Loggins started out on his own with the Night Watch album. the album had the song “What A Fool Believes” on it, co-written by Michael McDonald and made into a hit with the Doobie Brothers later. This hit was co-written by Melissa Manchester who also recorded her own version saying “I don’t feel I have a satisfactory version.” The public disagreed obviously. Happily for Loggins, just as fate helped him with Jim Messina coming into play on his early records, he’d had the chance to tour opening for Fleetwood Mac in ’77-78, making a huge audience for him and introducing him to Stevie. Although it was the first hit she’d had outside of the confines of Fleetwood Mac, it apparently wasn’t a major milestone for her – she fails to even mention the song in the biography Gold Dust Woman. Nicks of course would also go on to have help John Stewart with his debut hit, “Gold”. Later she had hits with Tom Petty and Don Henley and be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice (once with Fleetwood Mac and once for her own work), Loggins would have four more top 10 hits in the States – all from movies… “I’m Alright”, “Footloose”, “Danger Zone” and “Nobody’s Fool”.