Marimba player sighting?

An anonymous tipster tells me that the Bo Wagner who sells natural health services to the stars is the same Bo Wagner who played the jaw-dropping marimba solo on Starbuck’s Moonlight Feels Right.

Evidence supporting this claim: Someone claiming to be Bo Wagner tells the full story on this site.

Evidence against: Why couldn’t I find any other reference to the good doctor being the marimba player from Starbuck, and why does the Starbuck bio page say his whereabouts are unknown? Especially when the person writing on the site above says he’s in touch with Bruce, the guy who posted the Starbuck bio page?

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29 Responses to Marimba player sighting?

  1. Bo Wagner says:

    Hi,
    In response to the above question “is Dr Bo Wagner the same Bo Wagner, marimba player with Starbuck”, the answer is yes. I am Bo Wagner and feel free to email me if you want. My time with Starbuck was a special time in my career but only a small part of my career. I started in show business when I was five on TV 5 days a week on a variety show in the early 1095′s tap dancing, singing, drumming and doing comedy skits. I started touring when I was seven playing night clubs,did lots of TV shows, sitcoms, several movies, was a featured dancer and drummer on the original Mickey Mouse Club, joined the Lawrence Welk show when I was 12 and was on there for years (you can see performances from that show when I was 13 on youtube right now), started my own show revue in Las Vegas when I was 13, was a studio musician in LA for many years and played on many many albums, a lot of the albums were for producer Gary Paxton, toured with the 5th dimension as their drummer, was am member of the group Lewis and Clarke expedition with Michael Martin Murphy and Boomer Castleman, was a member of Eternity’s Children, was supporting act and drummer for Liberace for several years, and while I was with Starbuck I was a studio musician in Atlanta and recorded with a lot of the popular groups at that time. When I left Starbuck I opened a Healthful store, resturant and clinic and performing arts studio teaching dance, all musical intruments, acting and modeling in Atlanta. I choreographed for many of the national parks (six flags, Disney World etc), Miss America contestants and was a faculty member of the national dance organizations, Dance Olympus, Dance America, Dance Masters, Dance Educators etc and toured for the next 15 years teaching and chorographing for dance schools,and dance companies and recorded, arranged, produced and played on dozens of albums for dance companies and schools for Statler Records and Stepping Tone Records in all styles of music. Plus I created graded dance technique systems that dance schools worldwide still use today. I maarried a ballet dancer and have four beautiful children who have been internationally very successful in their own right in tennis, soccer and dance. I have been in the health care industry all during this time too to some degree. I have always been a health nut and did it on the side for many years when I was young (received my first degree in 1968) and went full guns in it 28 years ago. I have a number of Doctorates and Ph.Ds in this field and have had my LA Clinic and business since the early ninety’s. I grew up in LA and been involed in the entertainment industry all my life. All my contacts are here. I have always considered myself an LA guy. My business is mostly the entertainment industry, actors recording artist, pro athletes and olympians. Long before I stopped entertaining myself, I was the doctor on the set. I have had a following there for years. I have not been hidden whatsoever. I also formulate and manufacture my own vitamin supplements, pet line and for other companies too. I have a vitamin line in partnership with Jenny McCarthy servicing the autism communities and other chronic illnesses (which she writes about me in her books) and a Beauty Care Line with Lucy Lui. All my products are sold worldwide. I have many internet sites for my different lines.The dance tours, my school, my dance records, my books, my dance and health videos have been very prevalent all this time plus the celebrities are always talking about me on the major talk shows and I have been written up in many of your major magazines including People, Allure and In Stlye. So I have been very much in the public eye. Plus I am a professor at and Dean of the University of Natural Medicine and do many speaking engagements at natural health and medical conventions yearly. All this time Bruce and I have been in contact with each other and he knows most of what I am doing. Plus I am in contact with several of the other members too. So how and why they say my whereabouts are unknown I have no clue. It makes no sense and means they must be living in a cave because the rest of the world certaining knows where I am and what I am doing. I have mentioned this to Bruce several times as far back as the early 2000′s and he says he will update it but it never gets it done. Frankly I care but I don’t care. Starbuck and the music we produced is very special to me. I feel we did some good work and I am very proud of my playing and solos with the band and would love to have the facts set straight. There are a lot of inaccuracies in the stories and bios of both Eternity;s Children and Starbuck. Sloan Hayes wrote the most accurrant info I’ve seen regarding Starbuck. The bottom line is when I left Starbuck I moved on and have been blessed with many other chapters of my vast career since. Starbuck was 35 years ago which is really ancient history to me. It is special and I hope people don’t forget us or our work but I have done so many other wonderful things since and have a lot more yet to do I really never think about Starbuck. I just happen to run across your comment above and your beautiful comment about my solo on Moonlight and felt compelled to answer your question. Forgive me for the long story but my story is long. The problem is that Starbuck was the other members biggest moment and they are still living in that glory and still live in the same area and are much more incontact with each other. I left and have been very busy as I have mentioned and not had the time to be so much intouch with them. They are all great musicians, I love them all and wish them still all the best, but the gist of the this story is that the two Bo Wagners are one in the same and if you could read the old articles written about us my past entertainment history is well documented in those articles and on the TV shows we did. I am well, living in LA and still kicking. In fact Bruce has called me several times throughout all these years about getting back together for Unplugged, Where They Are Now and Behind the Scenes shows. They have all wanted us. I’m game but for some reason it hasn’t come together. So if my whereabouts are unknown how in the world has all of this communication happen. Beats me. I am not sure who you are or who is asking this question, but if you want to ask anymore question or just chat, please email me. Lately I have gotten a lot of fan mail from Starbuck fans and it has been very nice and I have answered everyone. Mostly it has been other mallet players asking how I played that solo etc. Really nice to be remember after all these years and fun to share my approach to playing. I do want to thank you for your very nice comments on my solo. I truly do appreciate it. You were very kind. Thanks again Bo Wagner

    • Bobby Jackson says:

      Hey,Bo Wagner, I want to know about the time in the 1960s when you might have played in a band around Jackson, Mississippi, and if you played in a band with the drummer Tommy Aldridge, and if that band went out to Texas. Can you verify any of this? Thanks, from a fellow drummer.

    • Danny Syvret says:

      Do you know where to find / have the manuscript for that marimba solo? I have been racking my brain trying to find the sheet music for it. I have also been listening to it but do not have a strong enough ear to pick up on the notes when you are playing those 16th note triplets!
      Sincerely another mallet player,
      Danny

    • C.D. Norman says:

      I’d like to make a clarification: When Starbuck hit the big time, it was widely reported that Bo Wagner was one of the original members of the Mickey Mouse Club. He may have made a guest appearance on the show, but he was NOT a Mouseketeer. His claim that he “was a featured dancer and drummer on the original Mickey Mouse Club” is a stretch. I’m not even sure that he even made a guest appearance. He WAS a member of Lawrence Welk’s JUNIOR Orchestra, where he worked with former Mouseketeers Cubby O’Brien and Bobby Burgess. I think Bo may be a bit of a fabulist.

    • Dan says:

      How long did it take you to master the Miramba Instrument? “Moonlight Feels Right” will always be one of my favorite songs.

  2. bdure says:

    Thanks for the reply!

    I didn’t mention it in this post, but I played marimba in college. I was a music major (philosophy, too) who took up percussion and did a senior recital. That was a while ago, so I’m sure in not in the form to play the Chopin adaptation I played at the recital.

    I love the solo because it’s obviously a virtuoso performance, but unlike many other flashy solos, it suits the tone of the song. I’ve always pictured the couple in the song dancing to the music or just hanging out while it plays. The song creates an atmosphere, and the solo fits perfectly.

    If you’re taking questions on how you played the solo, here’s one: Were you using four mallets? My percussion teacher insisted that I should always hold four mallets even if the part didn’t call for it. Drove me crazy.

    In my actual professional life, I cover Olympic sports (among others), so best of luck to everyone you work with.

    • Bo Wagner says:

      Hey That’s great you are a marimba player too. Makes your nice comment even more meaningful. Always nice to converse with a fellow musician, especially a mallet player.

      Yes I used four mallets recording Moonlight. That’s the way I way taught too. Sometimes I would just use two mallets when I played just so I could be comfortable both ways, but most of the time it was 4.

      You know sometimes things just happen right. Moonlight was created in the studio. We had never played it. So we laid down a rhythm tract and a scratch vocal and new we wanted to use mariba for the solo. So I decided to play around with it to get a feel for it and did a one time improvished cold practice run through. When I got done I said. “let’s try one” and they said, “your done”. I said, “I was just practicing now I’m ready” and they said, “we recorded it and it was perfect. Your done”. I didn’t even know they were recording and had no preceived thoughts on what I was going to play, but I listen back to it and said, “your right . I don’t know if I could improve on it”. And I never touch the solo again. Everything else on the song was re-recorded but not the solo. It was just one of those cool moments.

      Thanks again.

      • Hi Bo–
        There is an incredible re-mix of Moonlight Feels Right on YouTube! (see link below)– I’ve been a fan ever since I heard the song on my transistor radio when I was 10! I am a musician as well–

        hope you check out my page–

        http://www.myspace.com/nelsontunes

      • C.D. Norman says:

        The story of Bo’s solo being recorded while he was practicing is alarmingly similar to the story of Eli Fontaine’s sax solo that opens Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Goin’ On.” Just sayin….

  3. Harry says:

    Hello Bo,

    Thanks to you and Bruce, we can enjoy one of the greatest feel-good songs of the 70′s, “Moonlight Feels Right”, certainly one of my all-time favorites. Thank you so much for the memories of a magical era.

    Harry

    http://harry.cckerala.com

  4. Kelly Z. says:

    Ever since I was a young teenager I would listen to that marimba solo and be amazed and be in awe. Here I am 49 years old and I have watched that Youtube video of Mr. Bo playing that solo over and over and I am simply blown away. Nothing has ever come close in pop music. I was a singer in many bands years ago. I so appreciate your talent!

  5. Robert B. says:

    Hi Bo,

    There was a Bobby Wagner that was from Dayton Ohio and attended Franklin elementary school.I also think I remember that yo had to change your name to Bo because of the actor Robert Wagner. Are you that person or am I just imagining things?

  6. Jim Wagy says:

    Bo! great to see you are very successful. What a great bio! You are truly a real winner at whatever you put your hands to, but man that marimba solo was kick butt fo sho!!

    Do you know if there are any written transcriptions available of that beautiful one take performance you did??? Someone has had to transcribe it for a jury solo or something?? I’d love to work it up just because it is the single best marimba performance in pop music history!!!!!

    I’m gonna be picking up some of your health products too. I’m gonna try the whole line!

    Blessings to you!!!
    Jim

  7. Hi Bo. I am an old Atlanta Trumpet player that did several sessions with you in the 70′s. There was a kids dance record session out at Song Bird studios and Bob Lewis and I were the brass “section”. OK here is the $64,000 question. On one of those sessions I ended a tune on a fire breathing, heart stopping, screaming “best note I ever recorded” Double D. If I were to look for those recordings where would I look? Thanks and I am so glad you are answering questions here:)

  8. cleo metz says:

    Hello Bo-I never imagined I’d find you,don’t we love the internet?I was a guest at your wedding many years ago in Biloxi,Ms. at St.Michael’s Catholic Church.Are you and Brenda still married.I was a friend of hers from the Vapors Club,and my mother had a wedding stationary business and ya’ll ordered your invitations from her,this is TMI I’m sure but just wanted you to know I’m not some crazy person,well maybe a little crazy.If you and Brenda are still together give her my love and I hope she remembers Cleo!!!Best Wishes,Cleo Metz

  9. jim says:

    Hi Bo,
    Just loved your solo in moonlight feels right. They play that tuune every day on my local staion 102.3FM here in Charlottesville, Va. The tune is very uplifting and makes me feel good in these rough times. I’m 60 now and long for the the era of the 60′s and 70′s. The music of today stinks. I rad you bio aboe and you are an amazing guy, so talented a guy one could look up to.

  10. cheryl says:

    I ran across this site, after googling you, and must say that I love your solo in Moonlight Feels Right. It was my favorite song as a teenager, and I always pictured a really cool, beach going couple…the marimba added a sophistication to the lyrics. Anyway, I too was a marimba player, and this song brings back some really good memories. I must say, you are an incredible and talented guy.

  11. Mike says:

    I saw them at Solomon’s Deli in Tuscaloosa in the late 70s (it was a club). The first night, I went because I had nothing else to do. The next night I went back dragging some of my fraternity brothers with me. I was (am) a musician, and back then something of a snob about it. I was into bands like Kansas, ELP, Yes, etc. and thought everything else was trash. They were laughing that I was raving about a “pop” band. I just kept saying “You gotta see this marimba player – he’s unbelievable.:”

    Main thing I remember about the show is how versatile Bo was – he was tearing up the marimba, but then, as a transition between a couple of songs (Rock and Roll Rocket, if I remember correctly), he played a drum solo (may have been a duet – don’t remember much about the main drummer).

    when I had walked in the first night, the first thing I noticed about the stage was that there was this big bass drum laying on its side in front of the marimba. “what in the world….?” Well, sometime in the show, Bo jumped up on it and did a tap dance on it. Incredible. I don’t remember how it was set up to keep him from going through the head, but it was a show stopper.

    Those two shows made me open my mind about various types of music. I went out and bought their albums the next day, especially Rock and Roll Rocket (I had asked the guitar player the name of the song in the bathroom while they were on break – nice guy).

    Other than those things, my memory is kind of fuzzy about the shows – as Bo said, it’s almost 35 years ago and it’s ancient history…but then again, I’m a history buff – lol

    Thanks for the update, Bo – I’ve often wondered whatever happened to the most amazing (and entertaining) percussionist I’ve ever seen.

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  13. donnie brown says:

    Bo.Donnie brown I read the Starbuck page about your whereabouts and all I had to do was enter your name on the internet.I hope you remember my brother Jerry and me.We had a band called the Candy Shoestring.We met you several times and played a show with you at B.J.’s in Jackson.Glad to hear you are doing great.I am amazed you were into health products all these years.I am still playing bass.They actually honored my brother and me with a stone on Greenville’s walk of fame.I agree that you are one of the best musician’s I have ever met.It also seems to me you played with Tommy Aldridge and maybe Jack Truitt in Jackson,Ms.for a little while.Anyway just wanted to say hi and if you want to hear me look up Eden Brent”something Cool”and Willie Foster “Live at Airport Grocery”.

  14. Karen Zak says:

    Hi Bo, so glad you posted this letting us know you are yes, very much alive and well! Tonight we went and picked up a marimba for my son for middle school Band and on the way home all I could think about was your famous song playing in my head. So when I got home I googled away until I rediscovered it all over again and then of course, wondered where are these amazing musicians at?! So when I read about your whereabouts being “unknown” it just didn’t seem plausible to me, that someone as talented as you obviously are would just become lost. Mr. Blackman needs to change that on the web site, my gosh! You have had and it sounds like you are continuing to have a vibrant and very productive life. This is comforting to know! Thank you for updating us and filling in the questions. “Moonlight Feels Right” will always be one of my favorites – absolute CLASSic. I hope to inspire my budding talented child with this song as well.

  15. Allen Scott says:

    Bo, just the other day I showed Moonlight Feels Right to a group of friends. They were blown away by your Marimba solo…you are the best there ever was on that instrument! Awesome!

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  18. Steve Gibson says:

    Bo, glad to hear you are doing well and to learn about your multi career path successes. I have to pass along the marimba solo on Moonlight with Starbuck is the best I’ve ever heard !
    My best wishes for your endeavors ;…Thanks for the expo on your whereabouts, it was most interesting.

  19. Pingback: Starbuck: Moonlight Feels Right (1976) | atuneadayblogdotcom

  20. bdure says:

    Via the last pingback — Starbuck reunited for a show at Chastain Park in Atlanta. Dr. Bo has gone digital, and he sounds great on that solo:

  21. Anne-Caroline Taylor says:

    Hi Bo, I was a student of your wife Carol’s at Roswell School of Ballet. Somebody posted Moonlight on Facebook tonight and it made me want to search for “Miss Storm” and it led me to here. How is “Miss Storm” doing? Please tell her hello from Mary Margaret and Anne-Caroline Brown. I hope she remembers us!

    Anne-Caroline (Brown) Taylor

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