Moonlight: 1970s wasn’t all Disco; music scene had other monster hits
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula News
Published: September 18, 2013
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula Times
Just like the 1970s wasn’t all about the impacts Disco had on the music scene, the music scene wasn’t all about Disco.
But the music played under the mirrored ball will be much of the focus of Saturday’s Moonlight at the Ranch VII: “Disco Fever!” where guests will “Burn, Baby, Burn” on behalf of the Santa Paula Police & Fire Foundation and Chamber of Commerce. Tickets to Moonlight at the Ranch are only $60 and include tastings from dozens of fine restaurants, no host bars, raffles, Silent Auction, Disco-Dance-0ff and dancing to the music of Men on the Moon.
Daniel Moore of Santa Paula was not affiliated with Disco, but he remembers the music scene of the 1970s with great fondness - as he should - as a leading songwriter he was a major part of it! “In 1970, I, as ‘head of the choir,’ toured around the U.S. three times in eight weeks with ‘Joe Cocker, Mad Dogs and Englishmen,’” a tour that not only stopped in most of the major cities in the nation, but was also made into a movie.
Moore said, “It was an exciting time for music,” all genres of music including the sounds such as his, smash hits without ever been heard in a Disco that are still popular today. Moore said in 1973 “Shambala” by Three Dog Night and “My Maria” by B.W. Stevenson “put me on the music map as a songwriter. Then in 1975 Joe Cocker recorded several of my songs, followed by Bonnie Raitt recording my song ‘Sweet Forgiveness.’”
As many fans as there are of Moore’s string of hits, he’s a fan himself of the town he adopted as his home: Santa Paula.
Every songwriter, just like every tune, has a beginning, and the native of Walla Walla, Washington started playing music professionally in his second year at the university. His music became so popular he quit school, hopped a bus to Hollywood, found an agent in the Yellow Pages and was signed two weeks later for his first album of folk songs released in 1962.
Music has been Moore’s life ever since, and one of his most recent works is “Santa Paula Serenade,” the theme for the “Singular Santa Paula” online program. With top-flight musicians, Moore’s piece - like many of his other famous compositions - is energy infused with rich horns and a strong rhythm.
“I’ve lived and written music in Santa Paula for 17 years now and have made it ‘home’ for my wife and myself,” said Moore. “We’ve made friends here and appreciate being here, where we have the best weather in the country.”
Moore, who “never was big on Disco,” won’t be able to attend Moonlight, but as a strong supporter of his adopted hometown and its public safety, he wishes all to “have a wonderful celebration... and keep it real.”
“Everyone loves the music of Daniel Moore,” said Moonlight Chairman Fire Chief Rick Araiza. “And ‘My Maria’ and ‘Shambala’ are two of the most recognizable songs ever - you still hear all the different versions to this day! It’s an honor that Daniel is such a supporter of Santa Paula and its public safety.... We hope everyone can join in this wonderful celebration and ‘keep it real’” by attending Saturday’s Moonlight at the Ranch VII: “Disco Fever!” - a full night of entertainment from 5:30 to 11 p.m.
The celebration will start at Limoneira “Do the Hustle” Park, where guests will enjoy no host bars and hors d’oeuvres. At 6:15 p.m. there will be an exciting “Disco Dance-Off” where contestants will shake-shake-shake to be judged by audience applause.
At 7 p.m. guests will boogie down to the Courtyard AKA Club Claire de Lune for a Disco experience that includes “Munchies” AKA tastings from dozens of fine restaurants, bakeries and caterers. The boogie will start to roll at 8 p.m. with Men on the Moon. A Silent Auction and Raffles will round out the Disco evening!
You’ll love the nightlife at this annual party, Ventura County’s signature celebration. “Moonlight,” said Araiza, “is like no other event... no matter our theme, people have a great time they never forget!”
Many attendees will be rocking Disco-themed attire or attending as characters of the era, but come as you are most comfortable.
Visit and Like the Moonlight at the Ranch Facebook page and www.moonlightattheranch for more information and online reservations.
Tickets - only $60 each! - are available in Santa Paula at the Santa Paula Times (120 Davis St.), Chamber of Commerce (200 N. 10th St.), and The Best of VC Marketplace (926 Railroad Ave., inside the historic Agricultural Museum), and downtown Ventura at The Jerold Thomas Salon, 77 S. California Street. Charge by phone (MC/Visa): 805-525-1890.