Here’s hoping you and your loved ones have a very Merry Christmas during this most interesting and challenging of years. Thank you for sticking with me this month as I shared some uncommon Christmas songs that I’ve always loved. Today, on the 25th day of December, we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. What better way to do that than to listen to “The First Christmas Morning” as recorded by the great Dan Fogelberg. The title track from Dan’s 1999 holiday recording, it definitely takes me back to his amazing “The Innocent Age” album from 1981 , which includes his perennial Christmas hit “Same Old Lang Syne”.
Born in Peoria, Illinois, Fogelberg was the son of a classically trained pianist, which is very apparent if you are familiar with his work. Meanwhile his father was the Band Director at Bradley University in Peoria, which would later become the subject of the single “Leader of the Band”, which was a tribute to his father.
Self trained on both guitar and piano (with his mother’s help), Dan joined several bands while in his teens, recording songs he’d written. Playing solo acoustic gigs in the area, he was eventually discovered by Irving Azoff, who kicked off his own career with the promotion of a new band – REO Speedwagon. In 1972, Dan released his debut solo album, “Home Free”, while opening for Van Morrison. 1974’s “Souvenirs” and it’s hit single “Part of the Plan” became Dan’s first taste of stardom.
Fogelberg’s hit singles include “The Power of Gold” (with Tim Weisberg), “Longer”, “Heart Hotels”, “Same Old Lang Syne”, “Hard to Say”, “Leader of the Band”, “Run for the Roses”, “Missing You”, and “Rhythm of the Rain”.
With four multi-platinum albums (“Home Free”, “Souvenirs”, “Nether Lands”, and “The Innocent Age”), among his 14 studio albums, his body of work is extensive, creative, and always interesting to listen to.
Regarding Dan Fogelberg, one legend of country music put it this way (per Wikipedia):
“There are songs that people say are the soundtrack of your life, you remember who you were, who you were dating, when this song is on. And then there are songs that aren’t meant to peg a moment in time, but what they did is inspire the next two or three years of your life or a turn in the road. In college, I would take out my Dan Fogelberg records, and would read a passage (of lyrics) from Fogelberg’s work, and go about my day. That was an artist who changed my life, who made me change where I wanted to go and the music I wanted to play, and thus, led me here.”[Garth Brooks
To check out other artist’s take on the work of Dan Fogelberg, stream “A Tribute to Dan Fogelberg”, which includes performances from Garth Brooks, Joe Walsh & the Eagles, Vince Gill, Donna Summer, Michael McDonald, and Zac Brown Band to name a few.
Dan Fogelberg has been nominated for one Grammy, and is a member of the Colorado Music Hall of Fame. The singer/songwriter succumbed to prostate cancer in mid-December of 2007, his ashes scattered in the Atlantic Ocean off the cost of Maine.
His final studio album release was 2009’s “Love in Time”. His final single was “Diamonds to Dust” that same year.
If you’d like to listen to the playlist as it’s created this month, preview the tracks and then log into Spotify to listen!
Other Moteventurous Christmas Songs from this artist:
- SAME OLD LANG SYNE
- AT CHRISTMAS TIME
- I SAW THREE SHIPS
- WHAT CHILD IS THIS?
- CHRIST THE KING
Again, thank you for checking out the blog. Be sure to follow us for more interesting facts in the new year.
Thank you, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!