Song of the Day: Starbuck, “Moonlight Feels Right”

A real favorite of mine. Starbuck formed in Atlanta in 1974 around keyboardist/singer Bruce Blackman and marimba player Bo Wagner (RIP). “Moonlight Feels Right” went to #3 on the Hot 100 and the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart in 1976. While they never achieved the same level of success, they did have a couple of songs that cracked the Hot 100, including “Everybody Be Dancing,” which reached #38. This was recorded live at Chastain Park in Atlanta in July 2013.

Bruce Blackman recorded a new version of the song in 2014. I think it could have been a hit on new adult contemporary stations.

18 thoughts on “Song of the Day: Starbuck, “Moonlight Feels Right”

  1. JOHN ~

    When this song was getting played every hour on L.A. radio stations, I abbalouly loved it! But I didn’t know who did it. That changed on June 17, 1977, the night I graduated from high school and went to the Grad Nite celebration at Disneyland. Starbuck was one of the bands at Disneyland that night, and when they played this song I had one of those “Ah-Ha!” moments.

    The very next day, I went out and bought every single Starbuck album there was. Which at that point was just 2. Ha! But I also bought their third album when it came out later, and I have followed Bruce Blackman’s solo career. I think he’s a truly brilliant writer of Pop songs!

    For a couple years, I toyed with the idea of using these two versions of ‘Moonlight…’ against each other in BOTB. But I shied away from it, fearing a shutout, even though I also really dig the Bossa-Nova version. I knew I’d still have to vote for the original, and figured everyone else probably would, too.

    But then about 6-8 weeks ago, I got an idea of how I can use ‘Moonlight…’ in a themed BOTB contest. And I plan to run with that BOTB idea next June.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS

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    1. I look forward to it!

      Bruce Blackman seems like a genuinely nice guy. And yes, he’s one of the better songwriters around. He posts a lot of his songs to YouTube, and I know he reads the comments, because I got a response from him to one of mine.

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      1. JOHN ~
        Yes, I’ve left a couple comments for Bruce on YouTube videos he’s uploaded and he’s responded to me, also. You’re right, he seems like a genuinely nice guy.

        Those first two Starbuck albums are so nostalgic for me – taking me back to my happy, youthful years – and I got them on CD just as soon as they became available.

        I enjoy almost every Bruce Blackman song but, shockingly, he did one in his later solo period that I think I love even more than ‘Moonlight…’. It’s at YouTube and it’s titled ‘DOING NOTHING’. Brother, that is such an infectious and happy song. Have you ever seen my logo / motto “I need a cold Mojito!”? I got that right out of Bruce’s song ‘Doing Nothing’!

        In fact, another BOTB idea I’ve been toying with for a couple years now is using Blackman’s ‘Doing Nothing’ against Phil Keaggy’s ‘DOING NOTHING’. That would be an infectious Pop song versus an extremely hard-rockin’, guitar-driven Christian song. Could be an interesting Battle.

        And considering how you like doing these “Same Title, Different Songs” BOTB themes, feel free to run with the ‘Doing Nothing’ Battle, if it appeals to you at all. It’s my gift to you, if you want it. Otherwise, I’ll probably get around to it myself… one of these years. :^)

        ~ D-FensDogG
        STMcC Presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS

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        1. I think I’ll take you up on that. I haven’t thought about my battle on the 15th…

          Just listened to “Doing Nothing” several times, and it’s everything you say and more. It shows up on a couple of his albums, “Moonlight Feels Right 2014” and “Cowboys Cry Too,” at least in their current configurations.

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          1. Ahh, I’m glad you like the idea, JOHN. It’s all yourn, with my blessings.

            I have Bruce’s ‘Doing Nothing’ on the CDs ‘Moonlight Feels Right 2014’ and ‘The Official STARBUCK’. But I’d never heard of ‘Cowboys Cry Too’. That must be a pretty new release. And guess what I will be ordering online before this day is done!
            ;^)
            Thanks for the tip!!

            A few other songs you might like, if you’re not already familiar with them, are ‘Coldest Night Of The Year’ and ‘The Full Cleveland’. Those are both from ‘The Official STARBUCK’ album. And from ‘Moonlight Feels Right 2014’ is a song called ‘Jim’s Cafe’ that I also really, really love! There’s a very neat video for that song at YT, where he’s got singing girls and just a great old school vibe going on.

            ~ D-FensDogG
            STMcC Presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS

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            1. “Cowboys Cry Too” came out last year. I heard “Jim’s Cafe” yesterday, and it’s a fun song. Have you heard his version of Miss Toni Fisher’s “The Big Hurt”? Doesn’t have the phase-shifting (the “woosh” in the original) but you don’t miss it…

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              1. JOHN, I love Bruce’s version of ‘The Big Hurt’! I don’t think I’d even heard Toni Fisher’s original hit before. (I just listened to it at YT.) The version I was very familiar with, prior to hearing Bruce’s, was Wes Montgomery’s, which I also love.

                Now I’m seriously thinking about doing a ‘Big Hurt’ 3-Way in the future: Female (Fisher) vs. Male (Blackman) vs. Instrumental (Montgomery). I think that’d be a terrific Battle. So… I gave you a Battle, and you returned the favor by giving me one. Good stuffs, man!

                I checked into ‘Cowboys Cry Too’. I really like the song – heard it about a year ago at YT – but I see the “album” is really just a collection of 7 downloadable songs – 4 of which I already own on CD. But he DOES have a “real” album (CD) out that I didn’t know about: ‘Is That Your Yacht?’ (2017). I ordered that yesterday. I’d buy any CD that Bruce Blackman released; that’s how much I love his songs and his voice! Thanks for the heads-up, Brother!

                ~ Stephen
                DogGtor of Alcohology &
                King of Inebriation Nation

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                1. That’ll be a great battle, and a hard one for those of us who know and love all three versions. I’m surprised you haven’t heard the Fisher vresion. It was ahead of its time.

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    1. I think he put a bossa nova beat on it. I like it, maybe because I like bossa nova. it’s not as good as the original, but Bruce Blackman is working solo now that Bo Wagner (the marimba player) is gone (he died a couple of years ago), and I guess he had to adapt. Marimba players, especially ones as talented as Wagner, are really hard to come by.

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    1. That it is… thought it was OK when I was in college and it was on the radio, but I’ve really come to like it. The rest of Starbuck’s songs are good, too, but this was special.

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