Whenever I Call You Friend is the elegant duet between Kenny Loggins and Stevie Nicks. The song reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was Kenny’s biggest hit at the time.
Calling a Friend
Kenny Loggins just wrote What a Fool Believes with Michael McDonald. As he worked on Whenever I Call You Friend, he called Michael, his good friend and frequent collaborator. Kenny thought the song would be a perfect fit.
Calling Another Friend
But McDonald said “I don’t get it.” The answer shocked Kenny. He thought Whenever I Call You Friend had real potential. So he showed it to Grammy Award winner Melissa Manchester. And Melissa loved it, so they finished writing it together! When Melissa showed it to record executive Clive Davis, he “didn’t get it” either. Clive’s answer shocked Melissa, too.
Calling Yet Another Friend
Around that time, Kenny opened for Fleetwood Mac on their massive Rumors tour. Stevie Nicks struck up a friendship with Kenny. One day, Stevie made an offer, “If you need a chick singer, let me know.” Wow. Kenny took her up on it and Stevie and Kenny recorded Whenever I Call You Friend together.
Whenever I Call You Friend
The song appeared on Kenny’s 1978 album Nightwatch. As a single, the song went to #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #3 in Canada, becoming Kenny’s biggest hit at the time in the U.S. Co-writer Melissa Manchester also recorded her own version of the song. She recounts the joy it brings to her audiences to this day.
The success of Whenever I Call You Friend reminds us to trust our instincts. As Kenny puts it: “As songwriter, when you know you’ve got something good, don’t let it go. We’re too easily influenced by others. Trust your gut, If you can feel it, hang with it.”