How “Afternoon Delight” Became The Summer Hit Of '76

By | July 21, 2022

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An unexpected group that give an all-timer. rateyourmusic

“Afternoon Delight,” the 1976 #1 hit about a late-afternoon appetizer menu or sex while the sun’s up, splits along generational lines. To the more seasoned crowd, it’s the one-hit wonder of Starland Vocal Band, which became the song of the summer in July of ‘76. To a younger generation, it will forever remain a quintessential moment in Will Ferrel’s “Anchorman,” “Beooooooooowwwwwww!” As Ron Burgundy famously said, "If you don't think this song is the greatest song ever, I will fight you.” Here’s the history of “Afternoon Delight.”

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Unfortunately, the "Afternoon Delights" did not last for these two couples. youtube

Power Couple

The husband-wife duo of Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert gained traction first as songwriters, penning another classic for John Denver in “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” That allowed them to sign on with RCA records while performing in D.C under the name Bill and Taffy along with “Fat City.” While living in the nation’s capital, an unexpected mix of football and food, Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May'' gave birth to “Afternoon Delight”.

As Danoff remembered:

“At Clyde’s (a D.C restaurant) in ’74. It was after lunch, and from 3 to 6 they had these table tents out that said “afternoon delights.” It was a little menu of like four items. I thought it would be a neat title for a song.

It took me a couple of months to get the song right. I was watching a Redskins game on TV and I came up with the lick on my 12-string. A song I really liked at the time was Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May,” the long acoustic version. That triggered it. Then I started putting the lyrics together: “Gonna find my baby/Gonna hold her tight/Gonna grab some afternoon delight.” Not a bad idea!”

His then-wife, Nivert saw the hit coming a mile away. “You could always find Bill with his guitar. There were a thousand things going through his head. He used the guitar like some people doodle with a pencil and paper. I would hear parts of “Afternoon Delight,” and I thought it was really good.” Rather savvily, Taffy told audiences, “Bill came home and we had our own Afternoon Delight. We wrote the song instead of having a cigarette." As inspirations go, afternoon sex only slightly outrates watching TV and a food menu.