On this day in music history: July 10, 1976 – “Afternoon Delight” by Starland Vocal Band hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks. Written by Bill Danoff, it is the biggest hit for the Washington D.C. based pop vocal quartet. The group consists of two couples led by husband and wife Bill and Kathy “Taffy” Danoff, who had previously sung background vocals and co-wrote (as “Fat City”) John Denver’s “Take Me Home Country Roads” in 1971. In early 1976, Starland Vocal Band are signed to Denver and producer Milt Okun’s newly established label Windsong Records (distributed by RCA). The song is inspired while Bill Danoff is eating at a restaurant called Clyde’s in Washington DC, when he sees a section of the menu called “afternoon delight”. Taking that for a title, Danoff goes home and write it later that day. The songs mildly provocative lyrics (with the title being a double entendre for mid afternoon sex), anchored by the groups immaculate four part harmonies, it becomes a solid hit in short order. Entering the Hot 100 at #87 on May 8, 1976, it climbs to the top of the chart nine weeks later. The single wins the group two Grammy Awards including Best New Artist of 1976. The success of “Afternoon Delight” leads to CBS giving the group their own mid-Summer variety series, “The Starland Vocal Band Show”. The series only runs six weeks before it’s canceled, but is noteworthy as it features a then unknown David Letterman as a series regular and writer on the show. “Afternoon Delight” is also featured in numerous films including “Good Will Hunting”, “Boogie Nights”, “Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy”, and on the TV series “Glee”. “Afternoon Delight” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
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