Midnight Star

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For the "Weird Al" Yankovic song, see Midnight Star (song). For the video game, see Midnight Star (video game).
Midnight Star
Origin Frankfort, Kentucky, United States
Genres Electro-funk, soul, disco
Years active 1976–1990, 2000–present
Labels Solar, RCA
Members Belinda Lipscomb
Melvin Gentry
Kenneth Gant
Bobby Lovelace
Bo Watson
Bill Simmons
Past members Reginald Calloway
Vincent Calloway
Jeff Cooper

Midnight Star is an American group that had a string of hits in the 1980s.

Band history[edit]

The group was formed in 1976 at Kentucky State University by trumpeter Reggie Calloway, vocalist Belinda Lipscomb, guitarist/drummer/vocalist Melvin Gentry, bassist Kenneth Gant, multi-instrumentalist Bill Simmons, keyboard player/vocalist Bo Watson and guitarist/keyboardist Jeff Cooper, as a self-contained group. They would later add non-KSU student trombonist Vincent Calloway (Reginald's younger brother). A 1978 New York City showcase inspired SOLAR Records chief Dick Griffey to sign the group. They released their debut album The Beginning (1980) with some guest studio musicians. In 1981 their second album, released on Solar Records, Standing Together, reached position #54 on the U.S. R&B chart. In 1982 they released a third album, Victory.

Utilizing elected band leader Reggie Calloway's production skills, it did not take long for Midnight Star to hit the U.S. R&B chart with early singles like "Hot Spot" and "I've Been Watching You". Drummer Bobby Lovelace joined the group in late 1982, freeing Gentry to sing and play guitar exclusively. Their fourth album, No Parking on the Dance Floor, was released in 1983, and it took them to the top of the charts with the first single, "Freak-A-Zoid", which went to number two. Other singles from the album included "Wet My Whistle", and the title track. These singles, along with the hit album tracks "Slow Jam" (co-written by Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds) and "Electricity" propelled the album to double platinum status. Their next album, Planetary Invasion, was almost as big, selling platinum again and making the pop Top 20 and the number one spot on the R&B chart with its first single, "Operator". This song remains the band's only Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 hit to date.

In 1986 they released their sixth album, Headlines, which was their third album to sell at least gold. It was to be their last with the Calloway brothers. Due to irreconcilable differences with the other members, Reggie was out of the group and Vincent left shortly thereafter. They achieved their biggest success in the UK with "Midas Touch", which made #8, and "Headlines", a #16 hit earlier the same year.[1] Without the Calloways (who would go on to form the group Calloway and release an album that spawned the hit single "I Wanna Be Rich" in 1989), Midnight Star recorded two more albums, the self-titled Midnight Star and Work It Out. These two albums proved not as successful as their previous three release, but did bear fruit with Top Ten R&B singles such as: "Don't Rock The Boat" and "Snake In The Grass". The group went on a long hiatus, though they never officially broke up.

The group reunited in 2000 with many of the original members (including all of the singers) and released the album 15th Avenue two years later. Since then, the group has toured sporadically, most recently with a lineup that includes Belinda Lipscomb, Kenneth Gant, Melvin Gentry, Bo Watson, and Bobby Lovelace, with Bill Simmons sometimes joining as well.

Outside work[edit]

Outside of Midnight Star, a few band members have contributed to other projects. Bo Watson co-wrote a few songs for singer Toni Braxton. He co-wrote the Babyface duet "Give U My Heart" and "Love Shoulda Brought You Home" from the Boomerang soundtrack[2] as well as the song "Spending My Time With You" on Braxton's self-titled debut. Watson also helped write other songs such as "Turn Down the Lights" for Shanice, "Rock Steady" for The Whispers and "Meeting in the Ladies' Room" for Klymaxx.

Reggie and Vincent Calloway went on to produce such acts as Teddy Pendergrass, The Deele and LeVert- the latter with whom they would have their biggest success with the song "Casanova".

Belinda Lipscomb appears on Reflection Eternal's 2010 album Revolutions Per Minute on the album track "Long Hot Summer" as well as the second single "In This World".[3] Lipscomb would also contribute additional background vocals on "Toyz N Da Hood" from Snoop Dogg's 2011 album Doggumentary.[4][5]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
Record label
US
[6]
US
R&B

[6]
NLD
[7]
NZ
[8]
UK
[9]
1980 The Beginning SOLAR
1981 Standing Together 54
1982 Victory 205 58
1983 No Parking on the Dance Floor 27 2 30
  • US: 2× Platinum [10]
1984 Planetary Invasion 32 7 44 85
1986 Headlines 56 7 69 39 42
1988 Midnight Star 96 14
1990 Work It Out 41
2002 15th Avenue Reel Star
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Compilation albums[edit]

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions Album
US
[6]
US
R&B

[6]
US
Dan

[6]
NLD
[7]
NZ
[8]
UK
[9]
1980 "Make It Last" 85 The Beginning
"You're the Star"
1981 "I've Been Watching You" —– 36 Standing Together
"Tuff" 60
1982 "Can't Give You Up"
"Hot Spot" 108 35 Victory
"Victory" 83
1983 "Freak-A-Zoid" 66 2 44 3 No Parking on the Dance Floor
"Wet My Whistle" 61 8 15 60
1984 "No Parking (On the Dance Floor)" 81 43 44
"Night Rider"
"Operator" 18 1 15 66 Planetary Invasion
1985 "Scientific Love" 80 16 19
"Curious" 92
"Body Snatchers" 31
1986 "Headlines" 69 3 34 16 Headlines
"Midas Touch" 42 7 29 8
"Engine No. 9" 11 81 64
1987 "Stay Here by My Side"
"Do the Prep" Penitentiary III
1988 "Don't Rock the Boat" (feat. Ecstasy of Whodini) 3 36 Midnight Star
"Snake in the Grass" 10
1989 "Love Song" 55
1990 "Do It (One More Time)" 12 Work It Out
"Luv-U-Up" 58
"Red Roses"
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 363. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ "Various – Boomerang: Original Soundtrack Album". discogs.com. Discogs. Retrieved 2014-12-21. 
  3. ^ "Talib Kweli + Hi-Tek Are Reflection Eternal – Revolutions Per Minute". discogs.com. Discogs. Retrieved 2014-12-21. 
  4. ^ Snoop Dogg- Doggumentary (CD liner notes). Doggystyle/Priority Records. 509999 07952 2 0
  5. ^ "Snoop Dogg – Doggumentary". discogs.com. Discogs. Retrieved 2014-12-21. 
  6. ^ a b c d e "US Charts > Midnight Star". Billboard. Retrieved 2014-08-19. 
  7. ^ a b "NLD Charts > Midnight Star". MegaCharts. Retrieved 2014-08-19. 
  8. ^ a b "NZ Charts > Midnight Star". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2014-08-19. 
  9. ^ a b "UK Charts > Midnight Star". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2014-08-19. 
  10. ^ a b c "US Certifications > Midnight Star". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2014-08-19. 

External links[edit]