“Every day it seems your life is up and down.” – Midnight Star
Sometimes I just want to write about nothing. I want to leave the serious topics of life and death and faith and failure behind. I just want to write about something that makes me feel good. There are times when I need a mental break from aging parents and frustrations with friends and family, and times I need to leave rough days at work in the rearview mirror.
You know what makes me feel good? Midnight Star. Providing groove, rhythm, and smooth vibes since 1976, it’s tough to be in a bad mood when this group is laying out an infectious groove.
This band/small tribe of R&B funk from Kentucky burst onto the 80’s dance scene in 1983-84 with “Freak-A-Zoid” and “No Parking (On the Dance Floor).” The band originally consisted of Reginald Calloway, Belinda Lipscomb, Melvin Gentry, Kenneth Gant, Jeff Cooper, Bill Simmons and Bo Watson. Seven original members became eight when they added Reggie’s brother Vincent (remember the 1990 one-hit wonder “I Wanna Be Rich” by Calloway? Yep, same brothers). A few years later they added drummer Bobby Lovelace to make nine members, which makes for some fascinating 80’s wardrobe awesomeness and choreography in their music videos.
Next to Kool and the Gang, this was easily my second favorite large group ensemble of the 80’s. I think I was definitely influenced by my dad’s basketball teams he coached during this time period. I was living in Seminole, Oklahoma from 1980 until 1984 and I know that many of my dad’s players at Seminole Junior College were big into Kool & the Gang and Midnight Star.
I can remember being on car rides with the team (usually in a vintage late 70’s/early 80’s college-owned station wagon) listening to these groups, and you could hear them in the locker room and in the basketball gym and in the weight room as the beats blared from a nearby boombox.
(Of course the official ball-boys are going to hold the state championship trophy during the post game celebration! Shout out Brandon Buss.)
For a pre-teen and official SJC ball-boy, these players were my friends and my early heroes. I’ve written about them on here before, but these SJC teams won four straight Oklahoma state junior college championships the four years we lived in Seminole and were national runners-up in 1983. Guys like future NBA player Anthony Bowie, William “Chili” Childs, Win Case, Adam Frank, Ray Alford, and Archie Marshall just to name a few were superstars to me. They were larger than life basketball studs who just didn’t lose, and if these guys liked Midnight Star, then I was surely following in those footsteps.
“Like searchin’, tryin’ to find the rainbow. No one’s ever found it, yet it’s told to be.”
As a mild-mannered banker by day, how could I not choose this Midnight Star song for the post? Though “Operator” will always be my favorite Star song, this one is not to be taken lightly.
I challenge you to clear your mind, relax, but you don’t have to sit still while listening to today’s song or watching the video. It makes my head bob just a little bit. It makes me tap my foot. My muscles relax but my shoulders start to shift from side to side. The wardrobe makes me smile. The kids with the spray paint. The gold glitter! My ears thank me, and if you have any soul in you then your ears will thank you too.
“I’ve got the Midas touch. Everything I touch turns to gold, oh, sugar”
From their 1986 album “Headlines,” here is their fourth top 10 R&B hit – “Midas Touch”
Ah what the heck. “This is an emergency!” When am I ever going to feature Midnight Star again. So let’s groove a little more with their #1 hit and a video that has to be an 80’s nominee for best group wardrobe for a video. Here is “Operator”…
Thanks for reading, and by the way gold was up to a seven year high at over $1,642 an ounce on Friday. Oh, and pay your bills on time. There’s your friendly banker advice for the day.