No, that isn’t a picture of a Lionel Richie (in Prince’s clothing) look-alike contest in the 1980s. That is a picture of Midnight Star, a magical music group who gently caressed eyeballs with their glamour, filled ears with their musical talent and injected thirty gallons of sequins-covered YES into souls in the 1980s.
The original lineup of Midnight Star was made up of band leader Reggie Calloway, Belinda Lipscomb, Melvin Gentry, Bill Simmons, Kenneth Gant, Bo Watson, and Jeff Cooper. They all met at Kentucky State University in the mid-70s. Reggie’s brother Vincent, who didn’t go to KSU, later added his trombone skills to the group. It didn’t take long for Midnight Star to get a record deal, and in 1980, they shot their first bright shining star of an album (called The Beginning) into the universe. From 1980 to 1984, they put out a new album every single year.
In 1983, they got their first U.S. hit with Freak-A-Zoid, a disco electro-funk musical dream that takes you to another planet where painted-up aliens grind on each other while wearing leftover Labelle costumes. Warning: If you’ve got a drug test coming up, don’t watch this, because watching it will cause you to test positive for COKE.
Freak-A-Zoid was off of Midnight Star’s fourth album, No Parking On The Dance Floor, and so was this gem:
In 1984, Midnight Star finally became the GIANT STAHS OF MUSIC that they deserved to be when they released their biggest hit Operator. Operator peaked at #18 on the pop charts in the U.S. and was #1 on the R&B charts. The song is everything, and the video is everything and more from Midnight Star swirling out smooth moves to the coked up operators. We don’t really call operators anymore, and this fills me with sadness, because who can I call to sing, “Operator, this is an emergency” to? That incompetent good-for-nothing Siri won’t know what I’m talking about if I sang that to her.
Midnight Star shot out a few more albums before taking a long break in 1990 to work on other projects. They picked up where they left off in 2002 and still tour together. And may they continue to tour together forever and ever, because the world is a much better place with Midnight Star making middle-aged pussies pop by performing Operator at a county fair somewhere.
Pic: Electronic Rumors/RCA