#MusicMonday – June 15, 2020

Whenever I call you friend, I believe I’ve come to understand, everywhere we are you and I were meant to be forever and ever.

Today’s Music Monday, moreso than most, has a personally nostalgic connection. All the concert-inspired Music Monday selections, full Chicago albums, and dance recital/class memories have nothing on today’s song choice.

One year ago today, on June 15, 2019, my husband and I said our “I do’s,” and entered into The Married Life.

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I mean, it had to be made official on paper, but that first kiss meant we were married.

The song choice we made actually happened about a year earlier, when we were in the car on the way to the movies, coincidentally with two of the people who were in the wedding (not the two in the photo).  We were listening to Kenny Loggins, and my husband said to me, “how about this song for our wedding song?”  We had just seen Kenny Loggins a few weeks earlier, and well, we were still in the Kenny Loggins groove of things.  I was happy with the choice, and it became “our song.”

Anyway, that song…

“Whenever I Call You Friend” is a 1978 single by Kenny Loggins, accompanied by Fleetwood Mac vocalist Stevie Nicks.  The song appears on Loggins’ 1978 album Nightwatch, and was written by Loggins and singer Melissa Manchester.  Nicks is credited on the album track for her vocals, but not on the single, effectively making this Loggins’ first (and not last) major solo hit.

The story about the song goes that Loggins and Manchester kept meeting by chance at televised award shows and were paired up to present awards together.  On one of those occasions, Loggins asked Manchester to write a song with him, with the result being this song.

Melissa Manchester would go on to record her own version of this song in 1979 with singer Arnold McCuller, who has performed as a touring backup singer for James Taylor, Phil Collins, Beck, Bonnie Raitt, and Todd Rungren.  However, the two people responsible for the creation of this song…have never recorded it together.

The song is featured on all three of Loggins’ compilation albums – Love Songs of Kenny Loggins (1993), Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow (1997), and The Essential Kenny Loggins (2002).  Manchester did not include it on her 2012 retrospective Playlist: The Very Best of Melissa Manchester, citing that she does not have a “satisfactory” version of the song.

As for chart success, Manchester’s version was well-received, and even cited as “far more supple, elegant song” than the Loggins-Nicks duet” (Charles Donovan, AllMusic), but it was Loggins’ first major hit.  The song reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 (#9 on the Adult Contemporary Chart) in the fall of 1978, with an end of the year ranking of #83 on the Hot 100.  It is a standard for Loggins’ concerts (though slightly strange when one of his band members – a man – performs the Stevie Nicks parts).  Heck, it even has a music video…

The guy with the short hair and mustache is none other than Tris Imboden, who was part of Loggins’ band as his drummer from 1977 until 1989.  You know where he wound up next, I talked about it last week.  Watching him do backing vocals is definitely different!

Speaking of beautiful sights, Kenny Loggins has some gorgeous hair in this video.

So, as for that first dance…

…I still don’t know what this was.  It was largely improvised and pretty much became “Everyone on the dance floor.  No seriously, I’m waving you on, please come dance with us!”  I danced for twenty-two years, I can certainly choreograph a little bit (I’m a great improvisational dancer), but I really didn’t plan to actually do anything special during this.  Once it hit the chorus, we started doing this and jokingly tried to get back into slow dancing.  My husband started laughing, and that was when we tried to get everyone out there.

It didn’t work when he tried, but when I did, my best friend (God bless her beautiful soul), Amie, came running out.  I turned around and she was the first person to come out.  My husband and wife bridesmaid and groomsman, Heather and Ken, came out after her (she started filming it, but the video cuts off at that exact moment), and then James’s sister Jackie and her kids joined us (I believe the kids all came out at that exact moment).

We were on the floor singing and dancing in a group, and a bunch of relatives eventually joined in.  I remember at one point seeing my cousin watching and enjoying the moment, so I waved her on, and she came running over and hugged me. That’s how the wedding started, and if it was any indication of how the night would go, this was a great start.  We had no clue what that first year would bring, but on June 15, 2019, we were in the moment, and enjoying that first day as husband and wife.

It has been quite a year – marked by first trips (my first trip to Las Vegas, his first trip to Disney World), the first anniversary having our two adopted dogs, and even the purchase of our first home.  Unfortunately, my best friend – our friend – and wonderful Matron of Honor, Amie, passed away suddenly two months ago.  She was our biggest fan, and the wedding and all its planning was so exciting for her.  I’m glad she got to be part of every moment.  Wherever she is, she is so excited that today is our anniversary.  I’m sure she’s crying those freakin’ tears of happiness she constantly shed whenever I talked about anything during the planning.

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We gave them something to clap about. I LOVE the look on Amie’s face in this photo. I’m pretty sure James just said something worth smiling about. (June 15, 2019)

What a day.  What a year – some of it good, some of it…not so good.  2020 has been a wild ride so far, but maybe – just maybe – it will get better?

I’ll just focus on the best thing that happened on June 15th.  The day I got to call my fiancee my husband and friend – the one I want to go through this crazy journey with, both today, tomorrow, and everyday thereafter.

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I have pictures – and my custom wall art – to remind me of that.

Have a great Monday, and enjoy the music!

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