Categorized | Music News

Robert Wagner

Posted on 18 July 2017 by Brian Walsh

Robert “Bo” Wagner, co-founder of the Atlanta-based group, Starbuck and marimba player on their #3 hit, “Moonlight Feels Right” in 1976, died Tuesday (June 20) in Santa Monica, California. The Dayton,Ohio native was 72. Bo started out as pre-teen drummer Bobby Wagner, performing in nightclubs with several big bands. He tap danced and drummed on the “Mickey Mouse Club” Talent Roundup Days and was named an “Honorary Mouseketeer”. He spent three years playing and dancing on the “Lawrence Welk Show”. Bo had an uncredited small role in the 1962 movie version of “Gypsy”. He toured with the 5th Dimension as their drummer and worked with the Lewis & Clarke Expedition with Michael Murphy and Boomer Castleman. He joined up with future Starbuck member Bruce Blackman in the Biloxi, Mississippi group, Eternty’s Children in 1968. They had two minor chart hits that year but soon broke up and Bo continued to work as a percussionist, backing artists like Roger Williams and Liberace. In 1974, Bo, Bruce and former Eternity’s Children member Johnny Walker started a group called Mississippi and got themselves a contract (but were made to change their name because it conflicted with an Australian group– who later became the Little River Band). They came up with Starbuck after Burt Lancaster’s role in the movie “The Rain Maker”. Though the group charted four more times after “Moonlight”, none of the songs got any higher than #38. Bo went on to become a natural health practitioner but kept the vibes alive over the years– playing his last concert with Starbuck last summer.

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July 28, 2017, 8:41 am
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