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Starland Vocal Band

Starland Vocal Band dominated American airwaves during the Bicentennial summer of 1976 with their quintessential soft rock chart-topper "Afternoon Delight." The group emerged from the Washington, D.C., folk scene of the late '60s, its roots dating back to the formation of the acoustic duo Fat City, comprised of future husband and wife Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert. Together the couple wrote a song titled "I Guess He'd Rather Be in Colorado," which was recorded by John Denver and Mary Travers; with Denver, they also penned the smash "Take Me Home, Country Roads." In 1969 Fat City recorded their debut LP, Reincarnation; after 1971's Welcome to Fat City the duo began working as simply Bill & Taffy, regularly opening for Denver on tour.

On Bill & Taffy's second album, 1974's Aces, the duo enlisted 18-year-old singer and pianist Jon Carroll; the couple was so impressed by Carroll's performance they decided to form a new group, adding the youngster as well as vocalist Margot Chapman to become the Starland Vocal Band. They soon signed to Denver's Windsong label and in 1976 issued their self-titled debut LP, with the lead single "Afternoon Delight" quickly reaching the top of the charts on its way to helping earn them five Grammy nominations. (They won two, including Best New Artist.) "Afternoon Delight" was so enormously popular that the group even landed its own short-lived CBS variety series, The Starland Vocal Band Show, which featured a then-unknown David Letterman.

The second Starland Vocal Band album, Rear View Mirror, followed in 1977, but failed to match the success of its predecessor; Late Nite Radio, issued a year later, also fared poorly by comparison, and after scoring one last minor chart entry with the single "Loving You with My Eyes," the group disbanded in the wake of its fourth and final LP, 1980's 4 x 4. The Danoffs divorced in the wake of Starland Vocal Band's demise; Carroll and Chapman, who had also married at the peak of the group's success, later split up as well. All four members of the group later went on to mount solo careers, though never again recapturing the success of "Afternoon Delight." ~ Jason Ankeny

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