Kenny began honing his style in a succession of high school bands. In the late sixties, he embarked on a songwriting career, sending material to everyone from the Osmonds to the Grass Roots. In 1975, three of his tunes became million-sellers: "My Eyes Adored You," recorded by Frankie Valli; "Lady Marmalade," performed by Labelle; and "Get Dancin'," cut by Disco Tex and his Sex-O-Lettes.
Kenny sang on that last record, adding the falsetto that helped make it a major hit. After that, he became the voice of two studio groups, Firefly and the Eleventh Hour. In 1976, he "broke them up," and decided to become himself.
"It was a totally different feeling, because when I sang as Kenny Nolan, it was me. All I did was sing in my normal voice. I was so used to doing that high disco screaming that finally, when I sang 'I Like Dreamin',' it was a total departure.
"I do like dreaming. I dream songs, and actually get melodies and lyrics in my sleep. I then rush to my living room. While radio stations and the rest of the world are off in sleep, I turn on my cassette, and proceed to capture a dream."
Kenny wrote "I Like Dreamin'" on assignment for a major pop star. It was turned down, frustrating Kenny enough to make him want to sing the song himself. After being released, it sat around for six months, and looked like a total dud. Then a few stations in Louisiana started to play it, and slowly its popularity spread.
"I Like Dreamin'" broke onto the national charts in early November, 1976. For three months, it crept higher and higher, finally peaking in February 1977. In all, it spent more than six months on America's hit parade. A follow-up, "Love's Grown Deep," also made the national Top 20. As a result, Kenny was named the Number One New Pop Singles Artist of 1977, by Billboard magazine.
"'I Like Dreamin'' is a lot like all my songs," said Kenny, "love-related. Situations between a man and a woman -- something that anybody can relate to and understand."comments powered by Disqus
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