Let the music play on
Midnight Star :The rise of the Kentucky band and why the Calloway Brothers left the Band
Midnight star was formed by Reggie Calloway and Bill Simmons while studying at the Kentucky State University, they then invited fellow students, Belinda Lipscomb, Melvin Gentry, Kenneth Grant And Bo Watson to complete the band, Reggie later invited his brother Vincent who was still a high school student to join the band. After getting the group together they all left the university campus to move to Reggie and Vincent's Mum's house (Gloria Lawson) who allowed them all into her house on one condition that they would keep the house clean and she also allowed them to make use of the garage as a makeshift Studio to rehearse .
Midnight Star ( image: metrolyrics)
In Cincinnati they practiced so well that they started playing locally at gigs and they were getting noticed for being a good band, later the band would start going on tours and Gloria Lawson who managed her own small business decided to come with them and be their manager and in the process she took care of everything which included the financial management of the band .
Midnight star's growing popularity caught the attention of Solar records boss Dick Griffey who then signed them up to his label because they fitted into what he wanted, a complete band which consisted of producer, musicians and songwriters, Midnight Star released three albums with moderate success on the charts and some did not even get on the charts, unlike some labels that would have kicked some acts after three unsuccessful albums, Dick believed in the band and kept them on his roster, with the group's future on the line Reggie (band leader/producer) turned to legendary producer Quincy Jones for advice and Quincy said to him ''Reggie there is no democracy in music, there's only a few ways that a song can go and only one to end and it is the producer's job to get it to that point .
Dick Griffey (image: youtube.com)
Reggie now went to the drawing board with the band members to change the style of music the Band was playing, they also added a new member Bobby Lovelace who had just left Mantra, a musical band to be the new drummer for midnight star, along the line they started writing new songs for a new album. To get this new style of music they started visiting clubs to see what people were dancing to, they found out that people were loving electro pop/funk and they fused this with their first single they were working on titled Freak a zoid, they also took the song to the club after they had recorded it and people loved it when they played it. When the label heard of the response they quickly released Freak a zoid that raced up the charts to No 2 and pushed the No parking on the dance floor to double platinum.
Quincy Jones ( image: thefamous people)
With the band now having a double platinum album they hit the road playing arenas, halls and bigger venues which were always packed, the band returned after the successful tour and set to work on their fifth album (Planetary Invasion ) which included their most successful chart performance "Operator" this track went straight to Number one, the album did not reach the platinum but it went gold, for midnight star everything was looking great, until the band realised that what they were getting financially was not commensurate with their inputs, proceeds from ticket sales and royalties from records were not reflecting in their lifestyle, but the problem was how they were going to confront Miss Gloria Lawson (Reggie and Vincent Calloway's mum) who also had another of her sons Greg join in managing the group, with all these, there seemed to be a conflict of interest where you have a parent managing her children and their friends, one day while the Calloway's were away the other band members went into Miss Gloria Lawson's office and checked all the books (financial records) and what they discovered made them to come to a conclusion that they needed to change management, all other members except Reggie and Vincent voted for a change and they succeeded, this angered the brothers and they decided to leave midnight star for good and they went on to be producers.
Midnight star went on to release a couple of albums after Planetary Invasion but these albums were not that successful, the band then went into hiatus in 1992 and reunited in 2000 to release the album 15th Avenue two years later, since then the group has toured sporadically.