Randy Meisner

Composer, bassist, and vocalist Randy Meisner – born on March 8, 1946, in Scottsbluff, Nebraska – was best known as a founding member of country-rock bands Poco and the Eagles before pursuing a solo career. Growing up on his parents’ farm, he became interested in music when seeing Elvis Presley appear on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1956. After taking guitar lessons, he joined his first band, The Drivin’ Dynamics, in 1961 and continued to play and write songs for them until 1966. Relocating to California, he joined garage rock group The Poor in 1966 and played with them until he joined pioneering country / rock group Poco in 1968. Randy Meisner played with Poco on the 1969 album Pickin’ Up the Pieces before leaving the band to join Rick Nelson’s Stone Canyon Band. After playing with the Stone Canyon Band, Randy Meisner joined Linda Ronstadt’s 1971 touring band where he met guitarist Glenn Frey, drummer Don Henley, and guitarist Bernie Leadon. After completing the tour with Ronstadt, the four members of her band continued their partnership and formed the Eagles, who became one of the best-selling bands of the 1970s. Beginning as a country / rock band in 1971, the Eagles gradually transformed into pop and rock hitmakers with the 1976 album Hotel California. When Randy Meisner began feeling the pressure of being in one of the most popular bands in the world, his relationship with the other band members began to fracture and he left the Eagles in 1977. He then pursued a solo career, releasing the Randy Meisner album in 1978. The album didn’t enter the Billboard 200, but it did reach number 7 on the Country Albums chart. His next solo album, One More Song (1980), was a commercial success and reached number 50 in the Billboard 200. The album’s success can be accredited to the hit single “Hearts on Fire,” which reached number 19 on the Hot 100. His third and final solo album, confusingly titled Randy Meisner, was released in 1982 but did not achieve significant commercial success although the single "Never Been in Love" reached number 28. After a brief experience in 1985 with Black Tie – an all-star band that included James Griffin (Bread) and Billy Swan – he collaborated and / or performed with artists such as Ringo Starr, Joe Walsh, Dan Fogelberg, Richie Furay, Richard Marx, Bob Welch, and James Taylor. Randy Meisner briefly reunited with Poco in 1989 and appeared with the Eagles at their 1998 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. Suffering from a chronic respiratory illness, Randy Meisner died on July 26, 2023, at the age of 77.

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