The DVD is not currently available … But we can make you a high-quality CD!
Dancin’ in St. Thomas Moonlight
The full-circle story of the song Dancin’ in the Moonlight …
and how it spawned this concert under the stars to benefit a Caribbean orphanage
Friday — February 26th, 2010 — St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
Orleans performs at the Reichold Center for the Performing Arts
This one-of-a-kind show was captured simply on one HD camera and a hard disc recorder by our intrepid Production Manager and Front of House mixer, Michael Malfesi — no fixes, no overdubs, no remixes!
But how did we get here?
For that answer, we really have to go back to the beginning … 1969.
At that time in Ithaca, NY, there lived a band known as Boffalongo. Like many bands, it went through several incarnations. Co-founder Larry Hoppen was there for each one, start to finish.
Later arrival and Ithaca-native Sherman Kelly had written a magical song entitled Dancin’ in the Moonlight, following a trip to St. Thomas. Boffalongo — now Sherman, Larry, bassist David “Doc” “DR” Robinson and drummer Peter Giansante — headed into a studio in New York City to add this final, crowning piece to Boff’s 2nd album.
The studio owner was a guy by the name of Jim Tunick. He will return and figure prominently later on in this story.
Incidentally, this studio was also the site where Wells Kelly (Sherman’s brother and original Orleans drummer) first introduced Larry to John Hall. In an impromptu jam, John and Larry broke into double guitar harmony on The Age of Aquarius! Shapes of things to come! (But that’s another story, and I digress)
Fast-forward — Larry and Doc have a parting of the ways in the spring of ’71. The new and final lineup for Boffalongo consists of Larry, Sherman, brother Wells Kelly, Milton Jay (replacing Doc on bass) and Bob Leinbach (later Orleans alumnus). This entourage invades St. Thomas for the summer of 1971, collectively running a bar then-named The Grass Shack and playing there six nights a week.
Fast-forward again — Back in Ithaca, Wells quits Boffalongo in December to join John Hall in Woodstock, NY, as John attempts to put his own band together. This effectively ends Boffalongo. Two months later, Wells and John invite Larry to join them in Woodstock, and Orleans is born in February of 1972.
Meanwhile, Sherman, Doc and several other Ithaca types migrate to France, where they produce one album under the name of …. King Harvest. This group has the 1973 hit record of Dancin’ in the Moonlight … and Doc Robinson is the lead singer!
Now we REALLY fast-forward. It’s the summer of 2006. The place is Stowe, Vermont. Orleans has an outdoor gig at the beautiful Von Trapp Lodge property (the family about which the musical The Sound of Music was written). As it turns out, Jim Tunick, now a full-time resident of St. Thomas, has a summer home in Stowe and, seeing that Orleans will be there, contacts Larry for a reunion.
We all learn that Jim has become the preeminent provider of Property and Casualty Insurance in the US Virgin Islands. He’s a real DUDE in his community … active in the Rotary and well-respected by all … not to mention hugely successful. On top of all that, he’s just (as always) a great guy with a super-big heart. The reunion leads to discussions and, in early 2007, Orleans heads to St. Thomas to play the first Dancin’ in the Moonlight concert, sponsored by Jim and the Rotary Club and to benefit the Nana Baby Home orphanage. On the beach, under the stars, everyone has a blast, money is raised … what’s not to like?
A few years pass and the subject of a return engagement is well-received by Jim. This time he arranges to hold the event at the beautiful Reichold Center for the Performing Arts.
As an added twist of fate, Jim has been in touch with Doc Robinson and connects Doc and Larry again. For the first time in over 35 years, the former bandmates get face-to-face … and it’s all good!
This leads to amazing synchronicity of Doc being on St. Thomas in February, 2010 … the time of this second Dancin’ in the Moonlight show.
After 4 decades apart, Doc and Larry reunite on the stage of the Reichold as Doc sings lead on the song he had a major role in making world-famous.
The musicians are inspired … the joy is palpable … the crowd goes nuts! Love is everywhere! 🙂
There was a very LIMITED EDITION run of this DVD/CD set. DVDs are long since gone but …
We have perfected the art of producing high-quality CDRs from the original WAV audio files, complete with the original artwork. If not for the CD stick-on label, it would be hard to tell the difference between these and mass-manufactured CDs. How ’bout you let us make one for you?
Don’t want a physical CD? Digital downloads and streaming are available.
And, unless you live in St. Thomas and know Jim Tunick, there is NOWHERE else you can get this.