Daily Archives: August 7, 2011

Throwback: Midnight Star-Curious

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Midnight Star came together as a band in 1976 while the members were attending Kentucky State University. Reggie Calloway, Belinda Lipscomb, Melvin Gentry, Kenneth Gant, Bill Simmons, Bo Watson, Bobby Lovelace, Jeff Cooper, Kenneth Gant and Calloway’s younger brother Vincent would eventually round out the nine-piece unit. Dick Griffey, the late founder of SOLAR records, signed them after witnessing their performance at a New York City showcase. Their music started to chart by their second album, Standing Together, that emerged in 1981. “Tuff” and “I’ve Been Watching You” solicited minor attention but helped the band learn how to please public taste. “Hot Spot” and “Victory” from the 1982 Victory collection was another step in the direction of them becoming commercialized Black popular culture figures. No Parking On The Dance Floor completed their marketplace mission in 1983 by offering hits in the form of “Electricity,” “Freak- A-Zoid,” “Wet My Whistle,” “No Parking On The Dance Floor” and “Slow Jam.” Success continued for the band with 1984’s Planetary Invasion. “Operator” was their only Top 40 hit and “Curious” was a big party song that helped the album reach Gold status. Headlines was their fifth release and the last time the Calloway brothers would record with the group. “Midas Touch” and the title track made this project go Gold as well. The Calloway brothers wrote hit songs for Teddy Pendergrass, Klymaxx, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Natalie Cole and Gerald Levert before working as duo under the name Calloway. “I Wanna Be Rich” was their biggest song as artists followed by “All The Way,” “Sir Lancelot” and “Let’s Get Smooth.” They also introduced Babyface to the executives at SOLAR and produced his group The Deele and Babyface was a co-writer of Midnight Star’s “Slow Jam.” With the Calloway brothers gone Midnight Star’s output did not slow down but “Don’t Rock The Boat” and “Snake In The Grass” from their 1988 self-titled album and “Do It (One More Time)” from the 1990 set Work It Out proved to be their last hit singles. The band released their last album in 2002 and continue to tour.