UNDER THE MOON OF LOVE by Michael Mackey, Host of Long Island Morning Edition

Jun 23, 2016

Inspired by the light of a strawberry full moon on the first summer night of 2016, this week's WPPB TBT celebrates the sweet sound of a simmering old romance.

While driving on 27 eastbound early Monday evening (6/20/2016) from Manorville to our home in Southampton, Long Island there appeared in the southern sky a red tinted astronomical phenomenon - a full moon emerging on the summer solstice; the first such lunar event in the U.S. since 1986. According to multiple media sources, the official arrival of summer and the so called "Strawberry Moon" (a name given by ancient Algonquin tribes to a full June moon because it coincides with strawberry season) will not again occur on the same calendar date until June 21, 2062; when baby boomers will likely be gazing at the moonlit sky from heaven above or from a satanic hot spot way, way below it. Also meaning that 46 years from now our children's grand or great-grandchildren should cast aside for a moment whatever new gadget is consuming them and look up at the sky. Where for a few minutes something their parents...and possibly grand-parents...have never witnessed before is happening.

A lunar related event in music passed by early in my generation's presence on this planet. And it too would shine but briefly. Released in May of 1958, The Danleers' debut single - One Summer Night - would rise into the top ten of CASH BOX Magazine Best Sellers within two synodic months, skying as high as #4 on The Billboard Black Singles music chart. Shaped by their Brooklyn R & B roots, The Danleers produced a sound featuring sweet, soulful doo-wop harmony; delivering a melodic blend of lyrical romance with tender street cred. 

Since their first record became a million seller, The Danleers seemed destined for stardom. After performing in Alan Freed's Labor Day extravaganza at the Brooklyn Fox Theater, the group joined a touring road show, performing across America with pop music stars such as Frankie Avalon, Bobby Darin, Eddie Cochran, Connie Francis, Dion and The Belmonts, Buddy Holly, Clyde McPhatter, and The Coasters. Alas, The Danleers never recorded a successful follow up to their summer of '58 smash, so by the early sixties the group  essentially dissolved. 

While The Danleers might be termed a classic one hit wonder, the song that launched their moment of fame shines on timelessly. For even in the jaded and loud 21st century, are there not summer nights when a couple wanders under the moon of love, holding on tight, staying close, tenderly kissing lips, whispering no one could ever take your place? And doesn't The Danleers' ode to lunar influenced romance and the simmering promise of passion still speak to the blissful memory of your special One Summer Night?