Sunday, July 25, 2010

Midnight Star

Midnight Star is an R&B\funk group from Frankfort, Kentucky. They were formed in 1976 at Kentucky State University by trumpeter Reggie Calloway, singer Belinda Lipscomb, guitarist\singer Melvin Gentry, bassist Kenneth Gant, multi-instrumentalist Bo Watson, and guitarist\keyboardist Jeff Cooper.

They later added Reggie's younger brother, Vincent, who played the trombone. They were signed to MCA Records.
In 1980, Midnight Star released their debut album, "The Beginning" which didn't chart on the Billboard 200, but the single, "Make it Last" managed to peak at #85 on Billboard's Hot Soul Singles chart in April of 1980, staying on the chart for 4 weeks.
A year later in 1981, the group released their sophomore album, "Standing Together" on Solar Records which peaked at #54 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart.

The first single from the album, "I've Been Watching You" peaked at #36 on Billboard's Hot Soul Singles chart in July of 1981, staying on the chart for 11 weeks. The follow-up single, "Tuff" peaked at #60 on Billboard's Hot Soul Singles chart in November of 1981, staying on the chart for 9 weeks.
In 1982, Midnight Star released their third album, "Victory" which peaked at #58 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart.

The first single from the album, "Hot Spot" peaked at #35 on Billboard's Black Singles chart in July of 1982, staying on the chart for 12 weeks. The title song peaked at #83 on Billboard's Black Singles chart in November of 1982, staying on the chart for only 4 weeks.

In 1983, Midnight Star released their fourth album, "No Parking on the Dance Floor" which peaked at #27 on the Billboard 200 and #2 on the R&B albums chart for 10 weeks. The album was successful and even certified double-Platinum.
The first single, "Freak-a-Zoid" peaked at #66 on the Billboard Hot 100, #44 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart, and #2 on Billboard's Black Singles chart in June of 1983, staying on the chart for 20 weeks.
The second single, "Wet My Whistle" peaked at #61 on the Billboard Hot 100, #15 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart, and #8 on Billboard's Black Singles chart in November of 1983, staying on the chart for 18 weeks.

The last single, the title song peaked at #81 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #43 on Billboard's Black Singles chart in February of 1984, staying on the chart for 13 weeks.
In 1984, the group released their fifth album, "Planetary Invasion" which peaked at #32 on the Billboard 200 and #7 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart.
Midnight Star's biggest hit to date, "Operator" peaked at #18 on the Billboard Hot 100, #15 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart, and topped the R&B charts in November of 1984, staying on the chart for 17 weeks.

The second single, "Scientific Love" peaked at #80 on the Billboard Hot 100, #19 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart, and #16 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart in February of 1985, staying on the chart for 12 weeks.

The third single, "Body Snatchers" peaked at #31 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart in June of 1985, staying on the chart for 10 weeks.


Another single, "Curious" was released and received moderate airplay, but it's unknown how or if the song ever charted.
In 1986, Midnight Star released their sixth album, "Headlines" which peaked at #58 on the Billboard 200 and #7 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart. It was their last album to be certified Gold.

The title song managed to peak at #11 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart, #34 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart, and #3 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart in May of 1986, staying on the chart for 18 weeks.


The second single, "Midas Touch" peaked at #7 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart in August of 1986, staying on the chart for 18 weeks. The song also fared well in the United Kingdom.


Also, the single, "Engine No 9" peaked at #11 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart in December of 1986, staying on the chart for 15 weeks. "Headlines" became the last album for the Calloway brothers.

Reggie left Midnight Star after irreconcilable differences with other members. Vincent left the group shortly after his brother left.
In 1988, Midnight Star released their seventh self-titled album which peaked at #96 on the Billboard 200 and #14 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart. It was their first album after the Calloway brothers left the group.
They managed to score a dance hit with the single, "Don't Rock the Boat" which topped Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart. The song also peaked at #3 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart in September of 1988, staying on the chart for 19 weeks.
The follow-up single, "Snake in the Grass" peaked at #50 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart and  #10 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart in December of 1988, staying on the chart for 14 weeks.

Meanwhile, the Calloway brothers formed the group, Calloway. They released their debut album in 1989, scoring a hit with their song, "I Wanna Be Rich." (There will be a blog entry on Calloway after this one).

The last single from the album, "Love Song" peaked at #55 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles in July of 1989, staying on the chart for only 8 weeks.
In 1990, Midnight Star released their eighth album, "Work It Out" which failed to chart at all on the Billboard album charts.

The first single from the album, "Do It (One More Time)" peaked at #12 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 14 weeks.

The last single released from the album, "Luv-U-Up" peaked at #58 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart in September of 1990, staying on the chart for 7 weeks.

After the flop of "Work It Out," Midnight Star went on a long hiatus, but they never broke up.
In 2000, Midnight Star reunited with many of the original members and in 2002, they released their latest album, "12th Avenue. "

Ever since, the group has been touring sporadically with a recent lineup consisting of Belinda Lipscomb, Kenneth Gant, Melvin Gentry, Bo Watson, Bobby Lovelace, and sometimes Bill Simmons. As for the Calloway brothers, they still continue to work in the music biz as music producers.

To see the music video for "Midas Touch," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hkp9f_CjEL4

To see the music video for "No Parking on the Dance Floor," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gomCkCbKHA4

To see the music video for "Freak-a-Zoid," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8OL7I3hpYA

To see the music video for "Operator," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lz7nSkFhBP0

To see a fan-made video for "Curious," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joX3E3m7XtI

To see the music video for "Rock the Boat," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJp-UOJOrpI


[updated on 05\07\12]

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