The Great Hall Performance foundation will welcome Jim Messina on Saturday night, March 16, at 8:00 p.m.
Few musical artists' résumés list membership in a band inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. Fewer, still, can lay claim to being a founding member of the seminal band credited with creating country rock. Only Jim Messina’s can include all the above, in addition to being one half of the most successful duo of the 1970s.
As half of Loggins & Messina, co-founder of Poco, and key contributor to Buffalo Springfield, Jim Messina has left an indelible footprint on popular music. Rusty Young and Messina formed Poco following the demise of Buffalo Springfield in 1968. The band, which included future Eagles stars Randy Meisner and Timothy B. Schmidt, created timeless hits such as “Crazy Love,” “Call It Love,” and “Heart of the Night.” Joining forces with Kenny Loggins in 1971, the duo released nine albums, selling more than 14 million records that featured hits Jim penned or co-wrote, such as “Your Mama Don’t Dance,” “My Music” and “Thinking Of You.”
Jim began learning guitar at the age of five, and as he got older, was attracted in particular to the guitar parts and sounds in early Elvis Presley and Ricky Nelson records. His California roots led him to early 60s surf music - he was fascinated by the guitar sounds of early surf-rock groups like Dick Dale and the DelTones, and the Champs.
When Jim was only 17, he was asked by a local DJ to assemble a band and produce albums for two new artists with whom the man was working. Unsure just what producing even meant, Jim knew that he knew music, and he readily accepted the offer. Though both albums made beelines for oblivion, the studio’s engineer was impressed with Jim and asked him to stay on as his assistant and protégé. Over the next few years, Jim became a knowledgeable and skilled recording, mixing, and mastering engineer, as well as a musician and producer.
Jim returned to production after Poco disbanded, and was asked by Columbia Records to work with newcomer Kenny Loggins. Jim produced and played on the duo's first album, "Sittin’ In" (1971), cementing a partnership that would last through the 70s and beyond. Following the breakup of Loggins & Messina, Jim took a few years off for rest and self-exploration, and then began recording again as a solo performer. His solo acoustic performances led to his forming a new band with which to tour, and to play the best of his own material - as well as that of some of the illustrious company he’d kept over the years. Now with seven solo albums to his credit – most recently "In the Groove" (2017) – Jim says he’s enjoying discovering who he is, where he’s been and where he’s going.
“We are thrilled by the support and response of our sponsors,” said Co-President of the Great Hall Performance Foundation Michael Greis. “Thanks to our sponsors and our loyal season-ticket holders, we are able to bring these terrific acts to Needham at a reasonable price."
The goal of the Needham Bank Great Hall Concert Series is to provide great professional concerts close to home, while promoting the preservation of a cherished Needham landmark, driving economic growth in Needham, and elevating the stature and awareness of the Needham High School music program. Students are involved in all facets of concert series planning, production and performance; Needham High School musicians open for the featured performers. For tickets, visit www.greathallperformance.org.