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Moonlight Feels Right



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

This was written by Starbuck keyboardist/vocalist/producer Bruce Blackman. The group formed in Atlanta in 1974, around the talents of Blackman and marimba player Bo Wagner.
This was featured in the Farrelly Brothers 2003 comedy movie Stuck On You, starring Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear. (thanks, Leo - Roma, Italy, for above 2)
When this song was on Casey Kasem's American Top 40 radio show, it was promoted as the first Rock song ever to feature a marimba. (thanks, Bob - Clearwater, FL)
More Starbuck songs
More songs featuring unusual instruments
More songs used in movies

Comments (25):

Here's the true story behind this great song:
- David, Birmingham, AL
Might be the only song written about Maryland. Happy memories.
- 70s Flashback, staten island, ny, NY
Haven't heard this song for many MANY years until I was listening to American Top 40 from 1976. Now I find myself hearing this song playing over and over again in my head. I came here to watch the video and seeing the smirks on Bruce's face and the fine job Bo does on the Marimba, I can't stop thinking of this song. I listen to it on a daily basis, sometimes several times. For some reason it just struck a cord with me and I can't get it out of my head.... HELP.. :)
- Lou, Omaha, NE
The two most eloquent paeans to the mysterious, haunting sensuality of Maryland girls are this song and a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald in which he described a lost love from Anne Arundel County as having a most peculiar accent, wherein she referred to her home county as "In Ihrunnel" or something like that (forgive me, Scott: I can't put my hands on your book at the moment to get the spelling just right.) And to Darrell, Eugene: I like "Afternoon Delight," too, but disagree about it being "far better." Both were excellent, in my (song)book. Implicit in your comment, also, is that the "Starland Vocal Band" was a Southern group. Like the Holy Roman Empire being "neither 'Holy' nor 'Roman,'" Starland was neither "far better" nor "Southern." They were from Washington, DC, which can hardly be considered a Southern city despite the accident of geography that placed it between Maryland and Virginia. And as someone who has lived or spent much time in MA, IN, RI, MD, DC, WA, CA, MT, WY, FL, CO, NV, ME, NS, Korea, UT, TX, and your beautiful and diversely cosmopolitan state of OR, I would say to you that it must be boring to have such a provincial, narrow-minded, intolerant frame of reference. Check out the South (beyond Klamath Falls, that is) and you might be surprised at what you'll find...that is, if the nicotine-addicted, alcoholic, fat, lazy rednecks don't ID you as "that" Darrell and cut you up for feral hog bait!
- P H, Rockwall, TX
Uh @Darrell of Eugene - You haven't been to the South, have you?
- Dean, Hoover, AL
I think the first rock/pop song to feature a marimba was Under My Thumb, by the Rolling Stones. I remember because I was a kid and, since I am from Mexico, I actually owned and played the marimba along with the Stones record my elder sister bought. When Moonlight came on the radio 10 years later, I tried but just couldn't play it, it was to hard.
- Fernando, Juarez, Mexico
Great song.The whole song is about sex and drugs. A "tricky French connection" is him scoring some cocaine. "Dropping the top at Chesapeake Bay" is him unzipping his pants. The "moon" is a euphemism for his penis, and the "tide rising again" is an erection. I hate that today's artists don't put imagination into their craft.
- Simon, Atlanta, GA
Totally excellent song. I connect it with joining the US Navy that summer. Initially I liked the lead vocals and cool lyrics. next, I thought it was the vibrphone, not the miramba. perfect instrument for the song mood. Lastly, that was a tough syntheizer solo. Like you guys noted just a perfect Summer song.
- meocyber, alma, CO
Wow! What a great song and I thought it was a Xylaphone too! I was a little kids when this was a hit back in 1976, however I heard it again on a trip going through northern Arizona when leaving the Grand Canyon in 1991-92. I new think of that beautiful scenery when I hear this song. Plus I like the references to the Chesapeake Bay as I am a Maryland native!!!!
- Darrell, Frederick, MD, MD
Way too many songs from the 60s and 70s that I consider masterpieces. This is one such feel-good song. Thank goodness for digital technology as I can repeat classics such as this endlessly! I just LOVE it! Loved it then, love it now! What fabulous memories! Wish I could go back!

Listen to Oldies
- Musicollector, Calgary, Canada
Killer marimba solo and a really good synth solo too. My sister had this on one of those K-Tel albums back when it was a hit. When I hear it today I am instantly transported back to Summer of 76'.
- John, Beltsville, MD
In England in 1976 we had a hot, hot summer and drought - believe it world,though Hollywood thinks it's all fog. Anyway, I fell in love with my first real girlfriend (just 16) and she, after 3 months, after saying she loved me said she met a lad and wants to go out with him and me at the same time! I was heartbroken and I finished it. She knew I still loved her though. This song I heard all the time on BBC Radio1 all summer long 'till I went in the navy and it reminds me of her every time I hear it. Gosh, how sad is that? (Sad in the UK really means "How pathetic is that").
- Zoran, Oldham, United Kingdom
This is considered a classic radio tune in my native Hellas as well... although it could be hardly considered as "the first Rock song ever to feature a marimba", at least not since 1966 and The Rolling Stones classic "Under My Thumb"
- Lefteris, Nea Smyrni, Greece
such a sweet song remember this song when I had a boat on the Chesapeake Bay,incredable peaceful anchorages.Such special memories with a special lady on the bay. Such a wonderful lovesong, brings back such wonderful memories, would love to have a beautiful lady to enjoy the songs again
- floyd, norfolk, VA
I thought it was a Xylophone, too. Thank you Songfacts
- Kenny, Los Angeles, CA
I absolutely LOVE this of my all-time favorites, esspecially when they sing the line about "a class of '74 gold ring." That is the year I graduated from high school.
- Don, Indianapolis, IN
Great song of my generation. If you were a southerner, and young adult male in 1976, then you certainly connect with the phrase "southern belles are hell at night".

I don't know why any non-southerner would connect with it?
- Shane Scott, North Little Rock, AR
I love this song! I don't understand why it wasn't a bigger hit in Canada either. And I disagree: Moonlight Feels Right was a MUCH better song than Afternoon Delight, which was such a bubblegum song. I have great memories about this song because I was pregnant with my third and last child when this song came out.
- Kelly, Edmonton, Canada
Another one of those great 1970s 'summer' songs. Whenever I hear it I'm taken back for a few minutes to the simple college days summer of 1976.

It's on CD, but for you vinyl collectors here's the original release info:
Label: PRIVATE STOCK Catalog# PS2013
- N, Staten Island, NY
Who would want to listen to a song with frequent mentions of the American South? Southerners have ugly accents and are usually fat, lazy alcoholics with nicotine addictions. Plus, this song is terrible. "Afternoon Delight" by the Starland Vocal Band is somewhat similar but far better.
- Darrell, Eugene
They don't play this song enough today. I really liked it.
- David, Pittsburgh, PA
I disliked this when it was first released (1976), but heard it on the radio 1990 and just HAD to have it. This was durring the time vinyl records were being phased out for cds and it was often difficult to get a copy of more obscure songs. The 45rmp "oldies" sections were gone and not everything had made it to cds yet. I had to wait a few years before I finally found a this on cd.
- Jennifer, Los Angeles, CA
I love this song..why was it never a hit in the UK
- maureen, crewe, England
Too bad the rock and roll xylophone didn't catch on. This is a classic song.
- Zoloft, Milton, WV
Could be the only hit in Rock history with a
marimba (I always thought it was its close cousin the xylophone)solo in the middle of it!
- Dale, Memphis, TN
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