Loggins & Messina
A decade before Kenny Loggins set the '80s on fire with a string of killer soundtrack anthems, he was just another beardo soft rocker making his way in denim-clad L.A. Originally a pro songwriter (the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band recorded several of his tunes), Loggins hooked up with Jim Messina in 1970. At first, Messina -- who wasn't looking for a new project after stints in Buffalo Springfield and Poco had both ended badly -- only wanted to help his young, talented friend secure a record contract. But their chemistry was so combustible that their casual collaboration quickly grew into a full-time band. As with the era's other classic duos (Seals & Croft, Batdorf & Rodney, England Dan & John Ford Coley), Loggins & Messina blended roots rock, folk and touches of Caribbean/Latin music into a smooth, radio-friendly pop product (later to be tagged "yacht rock"). Hits came fast and hard for the pair: "Vahevala," "Your Mama Don't Dance," "Thinking of You." There was no stopping Loggins, however. The songs he wrote were taken to the top of the charts by everybody from Anne Murray to the Doobies. In 1976 Kenny flew the coop, ready to become a pop star in his own right.