Daniel Grayling Fogelberg (August 13, 1951 – December 16, 2007) was an American musician, songwriter, composer, and multi-instrumentalist. He is known for his 1980s songs, including “Longer” (1979), “Same Old Lang Syne” (1980), and “Leader of the Band” (1982). Dan Fogelberg was born in Peoria, Illinois. He was the youngest of three sons born to Margaret (née Irvine), a classically trained pianist, and Lawrence Peter Fogelberg, a high school band director who spent most of his career at Peoria’s Woodruff High School and Pekin High School.Dan’s mother was a Scottish immigrant, and his father was of Swedish descent. His father would later be the inspiration for the song “Leader of the Band“. Dan often related his memory of his father allowing him to “conduct” the school band when he was only four years old. At the time, Fogelberg senior was band director at Bradley University in Peoria.
Using a Mel Bay course book, Dan taught himself to play a Hawaiian slide guitar that his grandfather gave him. He also learned to play the piano. At age 14, he joined a band, The Clan, which covered The Beatles. His second band was another cover band, The Coachmen, who, in 1967, released two singles written by Fogelberg. They were cut at Golden Voice Recording studio in South Pekin, Illinois, and released on Ledger Record’s label: “Maybe Time Will Let Me Forget” and “Don’t Want to Lose Her”.