Kenny Nolan

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Kenny Nolan
Born (1949-09-30) September 30, 1949 (age 73)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
GenresPop, adult contemporary, soft rock
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, musician
Instrument(s)Vocals, keyboards, guitar, piano
Years active1971–present
Labels20th Century, Casablanca

Kenny Nolan (born September 30, 1949) is an American singer-songwriter from Los Angeles.

He is best remembered for the 1976–77 song "I Like Dreamin'", which he wrote and performed; it reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 4 on the Easy Listening chart.[1] He wrote Swing Your Daddy, which became a 1975 summer hit for Jim Gilstrap, reaching No.4 in the UK charts and No.10 on the American Billboard Black Music chart of that year.

Nolan also co-wrote several hits with Bob Crewe, including Frankie Valli's "My Eyes Adored You" and Labelle's "Lady Marmalade" (both 1974).[2]

Life and career[edit]

At the age of 13 he won a scholarship to the University of Southern California for Musical composition, but dropped out after six months, bored with the conventional regimen. Four years later, a scholarship to Chouinard went the same way, and Nolan decided to send songs in to any musician he thought might be suitable. It brought him to the attention of both veteran songwriter Bob Crewe and entrepreneur Wes Farrell, both of whom harnessed the then youngster's talent.

As house producer at Farrell's Chelsea record label, Nolan wrote and/or produced a string of successful singles for the label, including Jim Gilstrap's "Swing Your Daddy" and "Take Your Daddy for a Ride"; Dee Clark's "Ride a Wild Horse"; and Linda Carr's "High Wire". With Crewe, meanwhile, he co-wrote some of the era's biggest successes. They included Disco-Tex and the Sex-O-Lettes' "Get Dancin'", Labelle's "Lady Marmalade", and Frankie Valli's "My Eyes Adored You". He wrote the song "Flirtin'" for the 1971 The Donny Osmond Album, as well as the final top 40 hit for Tavares in 1982, entitled "A Penny for Your Thoughts".

Nolan also had ambition to perform – he supplied the falsetto that dominated "Get Dancin'" – and, after a short tenure with Firefly, he moved onto the studio group The Eleventh Hour. Produced by Crewe, the band scored two minor hits in the United States with "So Good" (1974) and the album, Hollywood Hot (1976).

In 1976, Nolan decided to record his own version of a song he had been commissioned to write by another. "I Like Dreamin'" was released by the Eleventh Hour's label, 20th Century, and in early November it finally entered the U.S. chart, to begin a three-month crawl to its peak at No. 3.

Nolan followed it the spring after with the top 20 hit "Love's Grown Deep", taken from his self-titled album; he was named Number One New Pop Singles Artist of 1977 by Billboard magazine. "My Eyes Get Blurry" was the next single, from Nolan's second album, 1978's A Song Between Us. Night Miracles followed two years later, bringing a new single, "Us and Love (We Go Together)", to the mid-reaches of the chart in early 1980, but it failed to give Nolan any further major success.

He continued to record, however, signing to MCA and releasing Head to Toe in 1982. That album produced two singles, "Love Song" and "Soft Rock Hard Love", but further commercial success as a recording artist eluded him. However, he continued to write songs that became hits for other artists, including "Shoot 'Em Up Movies", which became a top ten R&B hit for soul/boogie band the Deele in 1988.

In the 1990s he wrote "Masterpiece" which became a crossover hit for another soul band, Atlantic Starr.



Year Single Peak chart positions Album
1976 "I Like Dreamin'" 3 4 16 3 1 Kenny Nolan
1977 "Love's Grown Deep" 20 3 20 1
"My Eyes Get Blurry" 97 42 A Song Between Us
1980 "Us and Love (We Go Together)" 44 36 Night Miracles
1982 "Love Song" Head to Toe
"Soft Rock Hard Love"


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–2001. Record Research. p. 183.
  2. ^ Murrells, Joseph (December 31, 1984). Million selling records from the 1900s to the 1980s: an illustrated directory. Batsford. p. 392. ISBN 978-0-7134-3843-7. Retrieved August 14, 2011.
  3. ^ [Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955–2002]
  4. ^ "Adult Contemporary Chart". Billboard.
  5. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 219. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  6. ^ "Results – RPM – Library and Archives Canada – Top Singles". RPM. Archived from the original on October 19, 2012. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
  7. ^ "Results – RPM – Library and Archives Canada – Adult Contemporary". RPM. Archived from the original on October 19, 2012. Retrieved September 24, 2010.