Besides being covered by numerous other artists, it was nominated for the Grammy for the “Best Male Pop Performance.” Besides charting at the #5 slot for two weeks, it also was a #1 record on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart. It had similar success in Canada placing at #4 on the singles chart and at #2 as an adult contemporary recording.
From what I remember, most people I knew at the time liked the song. I was at home on summer break when it came out and remember my coworkers’ discussions comparing his style to his more famous cousin. The song was unprecedented for being nearly four minutes in length for an unknown artist’s first release. I always assumed that the “man from Tennessee” was a reference to Elvis.
Although this was Loggins only solo hit, he went back to songwriting for a number of other artists such as Kenny Rogers, Gary Morris, Alabama, Wynonna Judd, Don Williams, Anne Murray, Restless Heart, Toby Keith, David Allen Coe, and Reba McEntire.
Although I can’t be sure, it sounds like one of the guitars used on this cut used Nashville tuning which is called high-strung tuning. This is achieved by using the E, A, D, and G octave strings of a 12-string guitar set on a 6 string acoustic guitar instead of the standard set of guitar strings. The B and high E strings are the same as standard tuning.