Ed Sanford and Johnny Townsend were both keyboard players from Alabama who played in a band called Heart (not that one) in Tuscaloosa. They met again in Los Angeles and formed a songwriting partnership, most notably “Peacemaker” with Kenny Loggins for Loggins and Messina. Their eponymous 1976 first album included “Smoke From A Distant Fire,” which was released as a single and reached #9 on the Hot 100 and the Cash Box Singles chart. Renaming their first album for the song, it climbed to #57 on the Billboard Hot 200 Albums chart. Subsequent releases failed to have the same impact, and they went back to being session musicians and songwriters.