Jack Tempchin is rightly recognized as an architect of the Southern California Sound, thanks to compositions like The Eagles “Peaceful Easy Feeling” and “Already Gone”—monster hits that have helped make EAGLES Their Greatest Hits: 1971-1975
the Recording Industry Association of America’s Best-Selling U.S. Album of the 20th Century. Other major songs in his catalog include Johnny Rivers’ big hit “Slow Dancing (Swayin’ to the Music)” and Glenn Frey
’s “You Belong to the City” and “Smuggler’s Blues.”
Tempchin has collaborated with such top roots, rock and R&B composers as Tom Waits, J.D. Souther
, Chris Hillman, Bobby Whitlock, Jim Lauderdale and Beth Nielsen Chapman, and the many artists who have also covered him include George Jones, Tom Waits, Buck Owens, Emmylou Harris, Glen Campbell, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Johnny Duncan, Desert Rose Band, Taj Mahal, Randy Meisner, Sammy Kershaw, Kate Wolf, Tom Rush, Little Texas, The Paladins, New Riders Of the Purple Sage, Olivia Newton-John, Wilson-Phillips, Brett Dennen, Rob Thomas
, Trisha Yearwood, Tanya Tucker, Richie Havens and Jim James of My Morning Jacket.
Born in Ohio, Tempchin moved to San Diego when he was only nine months old. He attended San Diego State University, and managed its club The Backdoor—and also began playing at local coffeehouses. After moving to Los Angeles, he became a regular at The Troubadour and made friends with other singer-songwriters like late-1960s duo Longbranch Pennywhistle’s J.D. Souther and Glenn Frey, with future Eagle Frey bringing Tempchin’s “Peaceful Easy Feeling” to that band’s 1972 album debut.
In the mid-‘70s, Tempchin was in the band The Funky Kings in 1976 with artists Jules Shear and Richard Stekol. They signed with Arista Records, and after Johnny Rivers heard their recording of “Slow Dancing (Swayin’ to the Music),” he covered it for a Top 10 hit in 1977, with Johnny Duncan taking it Top 10 country. After the group disbanded, Tempchin released a self-titled album in 1978, then began co-writing with Frey in the ‘80s during The Eagles’ 14-year hiatus. Their hit compositions included Frey’s hits” Party Town,” “True Love,” “Sexy Girl,” “I Found Somebody,” “Soul Searchin’,” “Livin’ Right,” and “The One You Love.” They also wrote Frey’s hits “Smuggler’s Blues” and “You Belong to the City” for the Miami Vice
TV show soundtrack, with the latter reaching No. 1 (both songs were sampled in the ‘90s, by Coolio and Jay-Z respectively). Frey’s “Part of Me, Part of You,” which they also co-wrote, was the key theme from the Thelma & Louise
Tempchin returned to his solo career in the 1990s, recording and touring regularly and opening for the likes of Ringo Starr, Jackson Browne
, Dave Mason, Poco, Dolly Parton
, Karla Bonoff, Chicago, Christopher Cross, Kenny Loggins, Timothy B. Schmit, Barry McGuire, Tom Rush, Al Kooper and Emmylou Harris. In 2012, in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the release of the Eagles’ single, the mayor of San Diego proclaimed “Peaceful Easy Feeling Day,” with Tempchin performing. In 2013, he put out a “Peaceful Easy Feeling Cabernet Sauvignon” and a “Peaceful Easy Feeling Chardonnay” in association with three-time California State Winery of the Year Award winner South Coast Winery.
Tempchin’s lyrics have been featured at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2014, his manuscripts for both “Peaceful Easy Feeling” and “Already Gone,” along with his original Stella guitar, were displayed at the The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, where he was interviewed and performed for its exhibit “The Sounds Of Laurel Canyon 1965-1977.” In 2018, he and Jason Mraz headed the list of inductees honored at the San Diego Music Hall of Fame’s first annual induction gala.