Moonlight Feels Right

Album: Moonlight Feels Right (1976)
Charted: 3

Songfacts®:

  • 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. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    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. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bob - Clearwater, FL

Comments: 44

  • D A from N. CarolinaIt is a great song to remind one of the pleasant times we were in then as opposed to now. I too was in the midst of my college years at the time I used to hear this selection. In that context, I enjoy it today as well.
  • Eric from VirginiaTo quote 70s Flashback from Staten Island, Ny, Ny
    "Might be the only song written about Maryland. Happy memories.", you could count the National Anthem as a song written about Maryland. Fort McHenry IS near Baltimore. Love Moonlight Feels right. I was 8 years old at the time. I used to live in Northern Cali at the time and my folks would drive to Reno to gamble. No Indian casinos back then. Reminds me of the days when they'd dump $5 in quarters on me and my sister so we could entertain ourselves in the arcade. Five minutes later, it seemed, we were broke and had to watch Saturday morning cartoons. Yup. They got up early to drive to Reno. We would sleep in sleeping bags in the bed of the truck (had a camper shell).
  • Art P from Pasadena Marylandwe Marylander's don't really know where we fit geographically because we've seen MD on charts part of Northeast, definitely agree with "mid-Atlantic', and southern state due to the Mason Dixon Line...we are known as The Old Line State from way back...one thing we know we love our colors of the flag, melting pot from all across the country due to plentiful jobs, our crabs and crabcakea, and our love of the Chesapeake Bay...paradise in the Mid-Atlantic. Great song to hear on Yacht Rock station.
  • Zero My Hero from Austin, TxAlthough I wasn’t there to hear Casey Kasem deliver the line about “the first rock song to feature a marimba,” it’s possible that he said first *hit* rock song, since Under My Thumb was never released as a single and never made Billboard’s Hot 100. (And if I remember correctly, that was the source for the weekly rankings.) He may have even said “first America’s Top 40 rock song to feature...” Who knows? Of course, if someone out there has audio of Kasem’s remark, I’d love to know.
  • Khan from Seattle Seriously, Darrell from Eugene? You're that narrow minded? I live on the Left Coast, too, and most of us are fairly openminded. I've lived in ten different states in the US, four of those in the South/East. While I don't care for the South, it's because of the heat and the humidity, not due to the people. Maryland was considered the South, although now...with DC in it's belly, it's forgotten those roots. Maryland, today, is NOT the south. It's...it's all it's own. Come on, Darrell, maybe you should move out of Oregon to someplace you'll be far more comfortable in, like, oh, Idaho.
  • Sabrina from Phoenix, ArizonaThis was a good song but I do remember watching a documentary about some talk about having the song banned because it supposedly contributed to the rise in teen pregnancy. Crazy, huh?
  • Smitty from EarthIf "Darrell from Eugene" is from the one in Oregon, he'll be delighted to know that inhabitants of the American south make as many jokes about the left coast as it makes about them.
  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenThere was a talk show host in Tulsa during the 80s who loved to use that amazing marimba solo as a bumper for his show.
  • Skippy Squirrel from VirginiaSong is actually about his love for an Ole Miss girl, as the songwriter was an avid Ole Miss fan. Trip to Baltimore added the Maryland references. Line to make the tide rise again likely is a sly reference to Alabama, an Ole Miss rival.
  • Jennifer from MarylandCandi, Maryland was among the 1st five SOUTHERN COLONIES founded by Lord Calvert in 1633 so it IS considered to be in the South as well as falling below the Mason Dixon line...just some geography for you.
  • Johnnyzhivago from Holmby Hills, CaI'm Russian and have lived, worked and partied in most of the European countries, lived in Bangkok for a year, London for three years, much time in L.A. and San Francisco, as well as Oregon and a brief visit to The American Deep South. The most beautiful, feminine, delicious women I've met were in the American South. Sadly wasn't there long enough to establish any connections so I can't say whether they are hell at night, but there was one particular lady in Roanoake Virginia who still haunts my dreams. I never knew her name and we only spoke briefly, but 20 years later not a week goes by I don't think of her. I like to think she's hell at night. As for the ladies of Eugene, well Daryll, I won't cast judgement as some of the less fortunate women of my own hometown still haven't taken up shaving and can't afford makeup. As I recall, your women were also very "natural" in the same way as women of the Soviet era. There's a certain charm associated with girls who look as though they've just wandered in after a hard day's labour out in the fields, helping the oxen to pull the plough.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyPer: http://www.oldiesmusic.com/news.htm
    Robert 'Bo' Wagner, co-founder of the Atlanta-based group, Starbuck and marimba player on their #3* hit, "Moonlight Feels Right" in 1976, died Tuesday (June 20th, 2017) in Santa Monica, California, the Dayton,Ohio native was 72...
    Bo started out as pre-teen drummer Bobby Wagner, performing in nightclubs with several big bands. He tap danced and drummed on the 'Mickey Mouse Club' Talent Roundup Days and was named an 'Honorary Mouseketeer'. He spent three years playing and dancing on the 'Lawrence Welk Show'. Bo had an uncredited small role in the 1962 movie version of 'Gypsy'. He toured with the 5th Dimension as their drummer and worked with the Lewis & Clarke Expedition with Michael Murphy and Boomer Castleman. He joined up with future Starbuck member Bruce Blackman in the Biloxi, Mississippi group, Eternty's Children in 1968. They had two minor chart hits that year but soon broke up and Bo continued to work as a percussionist, backing artists like Roger Williams and Liberace. In 1974, Bo, Bruce and former Eternity's Children member Johnny Walker started a group called Mississippi and got themselves a contract (but were made to change their name because it conflicted with an Australian group-- who later became the Little River Band). They came up with Starbuck after Burt Lancaster's role in the movie 'The Rain Maker'. Though the group charted four more times after "Moonlight", none of the songs got any higher than #38. Bo went on to become a natural health practitioner but kept the vibes alive over the years-- playing his last concert with Starbuck last summer...
    May he R.I.P.
    * "Moonlight Feels Right" entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart on April 11th, 1976 at #90; fifteen weeks later it would peak at #3 {for 2 weeks} and it spent 22 weeks on the Top 100.
  • Joe from Little RockReading the other comments I can see this song had a lot of effect on a lot of people, largely in the same way no looked it up because, like others I can't get it out of my head I remember the night Starbuck appeared the first time on Midnight Special. I actually keep looking for them to do so for weeks before they did. It is unreal...I was only 10 years old when this song came out and knew that it was erotically charged, but really had no idea what was going on. But I knew it was describing something I would deal with one day myself.
  • Tony from San DiegoHey Merrilee I'll sing it for ya.
  • Candi from Maryland - UsaQuoting Darrell - Eugene - Who would want to listen to a song with frequent mentions of the American South?

    Since when is Maryland "the American South"? Sounds like Darrell flunked geography.
  • Thebigkc from Hollywood***** Quoting Darrell - Eugene - 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. *****

    AND NOW MY TAKE ON THE SONG: I played, enjoyed and actually understood the song while running a radio station in California. Unlike Darrell, I judge by content, and avoid making prejudicial comments about music, regions of the United States, and people. I do hope that the people close to you aren't subject to your hateful comments.

    I'll always remember the song, as it made me smile.

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn August 28th 1976, Starbuck performed "Moonlight Feels Right" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time of this appearance on 'Bandstand' the song as at #34 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart and had been on the chart for 20 weeks; thirty-four days earlier on July 25th, 1976 it peaked at #3 {for 2 weeks}...
    {See 2nd post below}.
  • Merrilee from CalifornuaThis is one of the sexiest songs ever! When I saw them on tv that year all I could think of was jumping Bruce's bones! (Oops, can I say that on here??) The words, the music, the solos?... all fit so perfectly for the song's mood. I loved it then and I am still a sucker for that song today! Wish they'd write songs like that today.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn July 23rd 1976, Starbuck performed "Moonlight Feels Right" on the NBC-TV program 'The Midnight Special'...
    Three months earlier on April 11th, 1976 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #90; and on July 25th, 1976 it peaked at #3 (for 2 weeks) and spent 22 weeks on the Top 100...
    And on the same 'Special' show they performed "I Got To Know", it reached #43 later in 1976...
    The Atlanta, GA septet had three other Top 100 records; "Lucky Man" (#73 in 1976), "Everybody Be Dancin'" (#38 in 1977), and "Searching For A Thrill" (#58 in 1978).
  • David from Birmingham, AlHere's the true story behind this great song: http://www.chattanoogaradiotv.com/general/a-summer-song-moonlight-feels-right/
  • 70s Flashback from Staten Island, Ny, NyMight be the only song written about Maryland. Happy memories.
  • Lou from Omaha, NeHaven'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.. :)
  • P H from Rockwall, TxThe 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!
  • Dean from Hoover, AlUh @Darrell of Eugene - You haven't been to the South, have you?
  • Fernando from Juarez, MexicoI 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.
  • Simon from Atlanta, GaGreat 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.
  • Meocyber from Alma, CoTotally 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.
  • Darrell from Frederick, Md, MdWow! 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!!!!
  • Musicollector from Calgary, CanadaWay 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!

    Harry
    http://harry.cckerala.com
    Listen to Oldies
  • John from Beltsville, MdKiller 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'.
  • Zoran from Oldham, United KingdomIn 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").
  • Lefteris from Nea Smyrni, GreeceThis 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"
  • Floyd from Norfolk, Vasuch 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
  • Kenny from Los Angeles, CaI thought it was a Xylophone, too. Thank you Songfacts
  • Don from Indianapolis, InI absolutely LOVE this song...one 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.
  • Shane Scott from North Little Rock, ArGreat 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?
  • Kelly from Edmonton, CanadaI 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.
  • N from Staten Island, NyAnother 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
    STARBUCK 1976 MOONLIGHT FEELS RIGHT
  • Darrell from EugeneWho 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.
  • David from Pittsburgh, PaThey don't play this song enough today. I really liked it.
  • Jennifer from Los Angeles, CaI 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.
  • Maureen from Crewe, EnglandI love this song..why was it never a hit in the UK
  • Zoloft from Milton, WvToo bad the rock and roll xylophone didn't catch on. This is a classic song.
  • Dale from Memphis, TnCould 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!
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