The Billboard Roll Call: The Eagles with Joe Walsh

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The Billboard Roll Call is a listing of regional artists who charted a song on the Billboard Top 40 from 1955-2009. The introduction has additional information.

Wichita-born Joe Walsh (second from left) played on the Eagles' classic recordings from the mid-1970s to early 1980s.

The Eagles were already one of the top bands to emerge from the Southern California scene in the mid-1970s when Joe Walsh replaced Bernie Leadon.

Walsh, who was born in Wichita, Kan., had been a member of the James Gang and had co-written Funk #49, a staple on FM radio. He also had a Top 20 hit with Rocky Mountain Way in 1973.

I remember reading articles in Rolling Stone and other magazines questioning whether Walsh would be a good fit. Leadon was the band’s multi-instrumentalist and contributed to much of the band’s country and bluegrass sound of their early records.

With Walsh contributing a rockier edge, the Eagles reached their commercial and creative peak with the albums Hotel California and The Long Run. On the Billboard Hot 100, they charted nine songs, equal to the number they charted before Walsh joined the band.

During this period with Wash, the Eagles had three No. 1 songs: New Kid in Town, Hotel California and Heartache Tonight.

Walsh continues to work steadily. He performed with Paul McCartney at the Grammy Awards in February. He will tour with the Eagles in April and May, and and an album of new songs has been tentatively scheduled for a May release.

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