Thursday, July 3, 2008


Ah, The Starland Vocal Band. Has any band better captured the zenith of the pop music charts and the nadir of civilization at the same time? Has any song better encapsulated the very moment social activism gave way to personal indulgence like their hit Afternoon Delight?. Has any group's name better expressed the phrase "Soon to have an animated cameo on The New Scooby Doo Movies"?

As it turns out, The Starland Vocal Band did indeed score a television appearance as hosts of their very own variety show (for those who think reality television represents the very worst in television programming, you clearly were not alive when "variety" meant everything was written by Bruce Vilanch, every joke was targeted towards your polyester and wood bead necklace-clad parents, Bob Hope dressed as Darth Vader and Paul Lynde, Pinky Tuscadero, Tim Conway and Florence Henderson starred in a rousing musical salute to, well, music) The band's show--which ran the summer of 1977, long after they had cemented their reputation as a one-hit wonder but sadly before Son of Sam could kill us all--was hosted by a then unknown Good Times comedy writer named David Letterman and featured stand-up comic Jeff Altman, who went on to host his own unforgettable variety show, Pink Lady and Jeff (seen here in an NBC midseason promo).

"Afternoon Delight," by the way, hit the top of the pop charts exactly one week after the Bicentennial. Anyone know what ditty it overtook to score that coveted perch?

"Silly Love Songs" by Paul McCartney.

Let's just say thank God we had our nation's 200th anniversary to get us through the summer of '76.

And as befitting a Fourth of July Post, yet another history lesson from Schoolhouse Rock:

6 comments:

Chip Gorman said...

Some people say we'd had enough of "Silly Love Songs", but I say, darn it, it just wasn't so! I could've listened to it all that summer. Wait, I guess I did.

mintzworks said...

This schoolhouse rock episode got me through my Constitution exam and History class.

And anyone our age can still likely sing it, and still does, to remember that damn preamble..."We the peopllllleee, in order to form a more per-fect union..."

DrBear said...

Oh, and don't forget that SVB Show also included Washington comedian Mark Russell, best known for a long series of PBS monologues. Think SOMEBODY at CBS figured the band needed help to carry a show?

yellojkt said...

Pretty sure I saw all four episodes of Pink Lady and Jeff. Another high-concept show ahead of its time. Imagine the ratings of a show featuring J-Pop stars singing phonetic English could get today on G4.

Tony said...

The song "Afternoon Delight" makes me feel dirty.

The strip also reminded me that I first read Sally Forth in 1981 on a trip to Disneyworld.

Standard Deviations said...

You shut your mouth, Silly Love Songs is awesome.