Children Of The Night

Album: Repeat Offender (1989)
Charted: 54 13

Songfacts®:

  • Richard Marx wrote this song after learning about the Children Of The Night foundation, which works to help victims of sex trafficking and to save children forced into prostitution. Privately funded, it was started by the sociologist Dr. Lois Lee, who took action after seeing kids on the streets of Hollywood who had been left behind. The foundation was established in 1979, and in the '80s garnered lots of media attention for their work. In 1985, Lee was the subject of the CBS Movie of the Week Children Of The Night, and in 1987 she was profiled on 60 Minutes, which is where Marx learned of her work.

    In a Songfacts interview with Marx, he told the story: "I was in a hotel room on tour, and I was watching 60 Minutes. There was a piece on this woman, Dr. Lois Lee, who created the Children Of The Night foundation, and I was just riveted by the story. The next day, I had my manager reach out to Dr. Lee. We got on the phone, and I said, 'I want to help. I also think that there is a song here. But I can't remotely write this without really researching it.'

    So, when I got off the road, she connected me with three or four of the kids that had been sheltered by the foundation, and had been on the streets - had been prostitutes, drug addicts, in rehab - and had their lives together. I spent a couple of days just hanging out with these kids, and they were very generous with telling me what their lives had been like. So, I wrote the lyric based upon the conversations I had with these kids. And immediately, I knew the only right thing to do was to make all of the proceeds from the song go to the foundation. Luckily, the song was a pretty big hit, and the money generated from it built a whole new shelter in Los Angeles, and I continue to support them to this day."
  • Proceeds from this song helped fund the Children Of The Night home, opened in Van Nuys, California in 1992. The home provides schooling in addition to shelter and other services for kids age 11-17 who were forced into prostitution. Dr. Lois Lee, founder of the foundation, told Songfacts: "Thousands of children have Richard Marx imbedded in their hearts and their memories because of his generous gift that helped build the Children Of The Night home where over 3,000 children to date have lived. Many of the children still talk about Richard and their experience in the studio singing with him on the 'Children Of The Night' song. Just the mention of Richard Marx brings tears of sentiment to our eyes."

    More information is available at the Children Of The Night website.
  • This was part of Marx' second album, Repeat Offender, and an outlier for him because he rarely does social commentary in his songs. His first album, released in 1987, took off thanks to hits like "Don't Mean Nothing" and "Hold On To The Nights." He felt a lot of pressure to follow it up with something even better, and was in the process of writing songs for it when he saw the 60 Minutes story that led to this one. It wasn't deemed hit material, but the first four songs from the album were all hits, so "Children Of The Night" was released as the fifth single, and it also did very well.
  • Kids who were helped by the Children Of The Night organization sang on the choir in this song. Backup singers included Kevin Cronin of REO Speedwagon, Don Shelton, Gene Miller, Terry Williams, Larry Gatlin, as well as Marx' new bride, Cynthia Rhodes, and his mother, Ruth. His father, Dick Marx, did the horn arrangement. The rest of the personnel is:

    Keyboards – Michael Omartian
    Saxophone – Tom Scott (solo), Larry Williams, Marc Russo
    Trumpet – Gary Grant, Jerry Hey

Comments: 1

  • Don from Los AngelesWhat the article doesn't tell you is how Children of the Night received $850,000 from backpage.com (a site that pled guilty to child sex trafficking) for working WITH backpage.com; this according to the Washington Post. Meanwhile, the "charity" tried to put another charity out of business by beating up its members and aiming guns at them, including a 17-year-old actress who came to help based upon their founder/executive director, Dr. Lois Lee's fake call for help in the middle of the night, pretending to be a 16-year-old runaway. And then there was the 14-year-old girl who was sodomized inside their "shelter". They also partnered with Danni's Hard (core porn) Drive to do a fundraiser, advertising with naked woman on their logo. LAPD shut them down. Then there was their "Founders Hero of the Hearts Award" that they gave to Hugh Hefner, for helping to rescue teenage girls "from the ravages of prostitution" and pornography. Meanwhile, three years prior, Hefner, in his eighties, was having sex with twin playmates, age 19. He promoted them as his girlfriends. And from their $2 million annual budget, Lee takes a hefty $300,000. No comment from Marx about any of this, even after learning all but about Hefner and Backpage, as it was before all of that.
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