Friday, January 17, 2014

Music Friday Flashback: Class of ’74 Gold Ring Stars in Starbuck’s ‘Moonlight Feels Right’

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today we flash back to the summer of ’76, when Starbuck was topping the charts with “Moonlight Feels Right,” a classic tune that stars a University of Mississippi class ring and includes one of the finest marimba solos ever performed in a pop song.


In this song about a starlit rendezvous on the Chesapeake Bay between a Southern belle and regular guy from Baltimore, lead vocalist Bruce Blackman sets the scene and delivers our jewelry reference: “You say you came to Baltimore from Ole Miss / Class of seven-four gold ring.”

“Moonlight Feels Right” was Starbuck’s debut single and a huge hit, reaching #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 list. What most people don’t know is that the song and the band were thisclose to obscurity.

Founding band members Blackman and Bo Wagner revealed to the AP in November of 1976 that they traveled more than 8,000 miles in their cars, visiting 200 stations and working on a budget of a scant $5,700 ($700 from the record company and $5,000 of their own money) in a relentless, but fruitless, effort to get radio deejays to play the song. The musicians had to give up after 4½ weeks when the money ran out and Blackman’s car was repossessed because he couldn’t keep up the payments.

Luckily, a single Birmingham deejay put the song on his play list and it quickly sold 18,000 copies in one week. The money generated by the Birmingham sales gave Blackman and Wagner the funds to go to San Francisco, where they presented the song to disc jockeys there. “Moonlight Feels Right” was on its way, wrote the AP.

Please check out the video at the end of this post. It features a summer 2013 reunion of the original band and includes Wagner performing what is widely considered to be the top marimba solo in pop music history. Wagner’s solo starts at the 2:10 mark. The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along.

“Moonlight Feels Right”
Written by Bruce Blackman. Performed by Starbuck.

The wind blew some luck in my direction
I caught it in my hands today
I finally made a tricky French connection
You winked and gave me your o.k.
I'll take you on a trip beside the ocean
And drop the top at Chesapeake Bay
Ain't nothing like the sky to dose a potion
The moon'll send you on your way

Moonlight feels right, moonlight feels right

We'll lay back and observe the constellations
And watch the moon smilin' bright
I'll play the radio on southern stations
Cause southern belles are hell at night
You say you came to Baltimore from Ole Miss
Class of seven-four gold ring
The eastern moon looks ready for a wet kiss
To make the tide rise again

Moonlight feels right, moonlight feels right

We'll see the sun come up on Sunday morning
And watch it fade the moon away
I guess you know I'm giving you a warning
Cause me and moon are itching to play
I'll take you on a trip beside the ocean
And drop the top at Chesapeake Bay
Ain't nothin' like the sky to dose a potion
The moon'll send you on your way

Moonlight feels right, moonlight feels right

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Actress Jamie Chung Shows Off Mesmerizing Halo-Style, Split-Shank Engagement Ring From Actor Bryan Greenberg

As Once Upon a Time star Jamie Chung made her way into the InStyle and Warner Bros. Golden Globes afterparty on Sunday night, all eyes were drawn to her mesmerizing new engagement ring. Actor Bryan Greenberg popped the question over the holidays in Chung’s hometown of San Francisco and the attractive couple celebrated with a New Year’s vacation to Turks and Caicos.


The paparazzi got its first glimpse of Chung’s ring last Thursday when the beaming couple was spotted shopping in Los Angeles, but the Golden Globe afterparty allowed for a much better view of the impressive sparkler.

The 4-to-5 carat round center diamond is encircled by a halo of smaller diamonds and set on a gorgeous pavé split-shank band.


Chung, who says she's an "actress by day and inspiring blogger by night," has a visually impressive blog called It's the 30-year-old's creative outlet to share her journeys on and off the set. She writes about fashion, food and whatever is inspiring her at the moment. The site is loaded with photos of Chung modeling her favorite items.


Chung and 35-year-old fiancé Greenberg, who is famous for his role as Ben Epstein in HBO’s How to Make It in America, first started dating in 2012, but didn’t go public with their romance until April of 2013.

Now the couple is reportedly working together on a new movie called A Year and Change. Greenberg stars as Owen, a down-and-out vending machine proprietor, who decides to make wholesale changes in his life after falling off a roof at a New Year’s Eve house party, according to The movie is slated for a 2015 release.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Game-Show Contestant Accepts Surprise Marriage Proposal and Wins the Big Showcase on ‘The Price Is Right’

Friday will be remembered as “The Best Day Ever” by Morgan Welge of Elk Grove, Calif. Not only did she win $35,957 worth of prizes on The Price Is Right, but she also accepted a surprise on-stage marriage proposal in front of an ecstatic studio audience, a stunned Drew Carey and five million CBS viewers.


Welge, a 25-year-old English teacher, had just spun a “90” on the Big Wheel — qualifying her for the final Showcase — when boyfriend, Nicholas Parker, joined her on the stage with a diamond engagement ring in hand.


“Baby, I just want to say you already make me feel like the most lucky man in the world,” Nicholas said as he went down on one knee. “I would be honored if you would have me as your husband.”


The stunned Welge nodded “Yes” and the studio audience went berserk. The couple embraced and all the host could say was, “Wow… wow… wow. That was amazing. Way to go, Morgan. Congratulations.”


But there was more to come.

In the final Showcase round, the contestant who guesses the retail value of the prizes without going over is the winner.

Welge bid $26,400 on a package that included pearl jewelry, a trip to Bora Bora and a Jeep Patriot SUV. The actual retail price of the package was $28,607, a difference of only $2,207.

“You are on your way to Bora Bora!” Carey said as Felix Mendelssohn’s famous “Wedding March” played in the background. “Unstoppable today. How do you top a day like that.”


Welge ran over to the part of the set where her new Jeep was displayed and jumped into the arms of her new fiancé. Then she showed off her engagement ring to one of The Price Is Right models, who was obviously impressed.


Carey summarized this very special day on his top-rated Emmy Award-winning show: “She comes on The Price Is Right, wins a pricing game, gets a big number on the wheel, gets engaged and wins the showcase. An unforgettable day for Morgan.”


After the taping, Welge clung to her fiancé as she told the show’s producers how she felt at that very moment. “I can’t believe this just happened,” she said. “I’m just so blown away. I am so happy. I’m shocked. I got a new car. I got everything. It’s just so amazing. Thank you so much.”

See highlights from the show in the video below...

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Frigid ‘Polar Vortex’ Helps Solve Mystery of a Lost Wedding Ring Just in Time for Couple’s 40th Anniversary

The “polar vortex” that delivered a dangerous blast of icy conditions and record-cold temperatures to much of the U.S. last week is being credited with helping to solve the five-year-old mystery of a lost wedding ring.


In Willowbrook, Ill., homeowners Tara Catogge and husband Ian Comes were battling frozen pipes and trying to noodle out why no water was flowing to their second-floor bathroom when Comes decided to clean out the U-shaped trap below the sink.


Amazingly, embedded in the gunk and “looking disgusting,” according to Comes, was a ring. No, this wasn’t just an ordinary ring. After they cleaned it up, they could see it was a diamond-and-sapphire wedding ring.


"It looked old and important to somebody, so that's when we started the search," Catogge told Chicago’s WGN.

Their investigation led them to the previous homeowners, Louise and Randy Hearne, who are now living in Colorado. Catogge was able to get a surprised Randy Hearne on the line.

“I asked [Randy] if Louise ever lost a diamond ring,” Catogge told WGN. “He said, ‘Oh, my God. Yes.’ And I asked if it has sapphires. He just kept gasping almost.”


Catogge learned that the previous homeowners lost the precious wedding ring five years earlier and had searched for it in vain. Louise and Randy assumed that it had been lost at a family gathering and was gone forever. Now they’re thrilled to get it back.


The ring was delivered to the Hearnes on Saturday and is now back where it belongs — proudly displayed on Louise’s finger just in time for the couple’s 40th anniversary celebration. Catogge included a heartfelt note with the package: "Louise, Hooray for ice storms! I am overjoyed at finding your ring and being able to return it to you. I trust the two of you will not be separated again..."

"I mean these things happen in the movies,” Catogge said. "It's almost a cliché that you find a ring in the drain in the bathroom.”

In the end, Catogge and Comes will always remember the “polar vortex” a little differently than their flash-frozen neighbors.

“We have nothing but the fondest feelings about this horrible ice storm. It's a happy New Year, indeed," she said.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Jennifer Lawrence Nearly Loses Diamond Bracelet on the Red Carpet of Sunday’s Golden Globes

Nearly a year removed from her famous flop while heading to the stage to accept her Best Actress award at the 2013 Oscars, Jennifer Lawrence endured another faux pas on the red carpet of Sunday’s Golden Globes when a diamond bracelet slipped off during an E! interview with Ryan Seacrest.


The red-hot actress, who took home the Best Supporting Actress award last night for American Hustle, was telling Seacrest about her white Dior dress when one of her bracelets became unhinged, slipped off her wrist and landed on the interview platform.


The noble Seacrest kneeled down to retrieve the bracelet and quipped, “Don’t lose the jewels!”


Acting goofy, the 23-year-old took the bracelet from Seacrest and then made the motion of throwing it over her shoulder, as if she were tossing a bouquet. Then she half-jokingly said, “I need to find someone with a headset to put it on for me.”


The inside story about last year's Oscar slip finally came to light recently in Lawrence’s interview with W Magazine. On her way to the stage to accept her award for Silver Linings Playbook, she was thinking, “cakewalk, cakewalk, cakewalk.” Actually, the actress was supposed to be thinking “kick, walk, kick, walk,” which is how her stylist told her to manage the long dress she was wearing. She was supposed to kick the dress out while she walked. Otherwise, she risked getting the fabric stuck under her feet.

“I totally forgot because I was thinking about cake! And that’s why I fell,” she revealed.


For the Golden Globes, she wore a strapless white dress that was accented with a black band at the waist and the hips. In addition to the multiple diamond bracelets, she sported deep red lipstick and wore jade teardrop earrings by Neil Lane.


Earlier in the evening, the fun-loving Lawrence photobombed Taylor Swift’s live interview with Ryan Seacrest. In mid-interview, she invaded the interview stage with a maniacal look on her face.