“I always thought my music had to be flawless,” Garth Brooks told the Boston Globe in 1991. “One of my biggest influences was [Dan] Fogelberg, and if you ever listen to his stuff, it’s particularly flawless – all the harmonies are perfect.”
Dan Fogelberg’s legacy was, without a doubt, bolstered by Brooks’ endorsement, but the singer-songwriter best known for such mellow pop hits as “Hard to Say,” “Longer” and “Leader of the Band,” as well as harder-edged rockers including “Part of the Plan,” “Phoenix” and “As the Raven Flies,” had long been an influence on country music, having emerged from California’s country-rock scene in the Seventies, which gave rise to the Flying Burrito Brothers, the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt and more. Fogelberg was just 56 years old when he died after a battle with prostate cancer, at his Deer Isle, Maine, home, on
Although it took almost a decade to come to fruition, the singer’s widow, Jean Fogelberg, organized a CD tribute to her late husband, with Brooks the first to be contacted and the first to commit to the project. Acclaimed producer-musician Norbert Putnam, whose work with Fogelberg includes his 1972 debut LP, Home Free, recorded in
Also on the horizon is Part of the Plan, an original musical written by Kate Atkinson and Karen Harris. Named after Fogelberg’s first hit single, which was itself produced by Joe Walsh, the production was presented on stage in
“He was beautiful, an angel,” friend and fellow artist Jackson Browne told Rolling Stone of Fogelberg shortly after his death. “People either don’t know it or don’t remember it, but he had the highest harmonies. He sang above Don Henley and J.D. Souther on those tracks. My favorite song of his [‘Same Old Lang Syne’] was about running into an old lover in a supermarket on New Years — I shouldn’t admit it, but it made me cry. It encapsulated the passing of time and the revisiting of former hopes and dreams. He was a really emotional songwriter and a beautiful singer.”
A Tribute to Dan Fogelberg is available now.