Dan Fogelberg

The CBC is reporting that singer-songwriter Dan Fogelberg has died at age 56.

They call him an “easy rock” singer, but I don’t think that pejorative term does justice to his style — Fogelberg wrote the kind of songs that don’t really get written any more, “folk-pop story songs” of the sort that his peers Ian Thomas and Harry Chapin were also famous for. Perhaps Bruce Guthro is the closest modern analog (Fogelberg’s hit Same Old Lang Syne, minus the synth, could very well be a Guthro song; he should cover it).

Radio doesn’t have time for 5 minute long songs any more, and so artists like Dan Fogelberg no longer have a popular niche. His music may sound over-produced and be written off as “easy listening” these days, but his hits are important parts of the 1970s and 1980s American songbook, and I think they’ll stand the test of time.

The beer was empty and our tongues were tired,
And running out of things to say.
She gave a kiss to me as I got out,
And I watched her drive away.
Just for a moment I was back at school,
And felt that old familiar pain.
And as I turned to make my way back home,
The snow turned into rain.