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Views and opinions: Long before ‘Footloose,’ ‘Mama’ wouldn’t dance

BITTERSWEET, Ky. — As you may have noticed, often I turn to the past to find noteworthy musical experiences to share, and this week I have something to share thanks in part to many sources that are available online.


While perusing several digital music resources, I discovered a wonderful treat from a duo who got their start somewhat accidentally in 1971. Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina – aka Loggins and Messina – began not as a duet but rather as a new singer.

Loggins was performing with his established producer; Messina was well known from his stints with Poco and Buffalo Springfield. In working on Loggins’ first album, Messina contributed so much to the collection that the release was deemed a duet and the rest, as they say, is history.

These guys went together like bacon and eggs. Their vocal blend was off the charts and their style was mostly rock with a folk/country influence. I was a big fan then and I’m still a big fan. And while Kenny Loggins went on to become quite the solo performer, it was his time with Messina I like the best.

In getting back to my original thought, I discovered a complete live performance of these two recorded in 2005 known as the “Sittin’ In Concert” online. The two move through nearly two hours of songs that made them famous; some acoustically and others led with the fantastic guitar playing of Messina.

By the way, until I saw this, I had forgotten what an accomplished guitar player Loggins is, as well.

For those of you old enough to remember this pair, you’ll recognize them best by the big hit “Your Mama Don’t Dance (and Your Daddy Don’t Rock and Roll).” That’s a fun song, but I really love their long version of a song called “Angry Eyes” and “Watching the River Run,” just to name two of my favorites.

Really, these guys could have sung the ingredients on a cereal box and would have made it sound great.

The two still perform separately today, with the exception of a benefit concert they performed last month. Loggins also records and performs as part of the country group Blue Sky Riders.

But this treasure of a concert I discovered online reminds me that the Loggins and Messina music I fell in love with so long ago is still is some of my favorite music of all time.


Bluegrass Johnson comes from a long line of country music performers and enjoys a passion for the rhythm and melody. From the hills of Kentucky, he will offer his opinions on a variety of new country music each week. Readers with questions or comments may write to Johnson in care of this publication.