Monday, November 2, 2009

Birthday greetings

Let's give a birthday shout-out today to J.D. Souther, 64, one of the lesser known yet very important figures in the southern California country rock scene of the 1970's.

Souther moved to Los Angeles in the late 1960's and met a young guitarist, Glenn Frey, who had moved to L.A. from Detroit. They bonded, given a common love of country music and R&B, and began working together. They ultimately roomed together and had Jackson Browne as their downstairs neighbor, thus forming a trio who would collaborate on numerous projects.

Souther had two less-than-spectacular stints with country rock groups, the first with Frey in Longbranch Pennywhistle and the second with Chris Hillman (Byrds) and Richie Furay (Poco) as part of the Souther Hillman Furay Band.

It was as a writer and solo performer where Souther achieved the greatest success. He co-wrote some of The Eagles best material, including "Best of My Love," "Heartache Tonight," "New Kid in Town," and "Victim of Love." His song, "How Long" appeared on The Eagles latest album, Long Road Out of Eden and was released as a single.

Souther also collaborated with Linda Rondstadt--he produced her Don't Cry Now album and wrote several songs for her, including "Faithless Love."

Ironically, Souther's biggest hit as a solo artist was with a song he did not write--his version of "You're Only Lonely," a Roy Orbison hit, reached number 7 on the Billboard charts.

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