It’s The 21st Night Of September

…and you know what that means!

Do you rememberThe 21st night of September?Love was changin’ the minds of pretendersWhile chasin’ the clouds away
Our hearts were ringin’In the key that our souls were singin’As we danced in the night, rememberHow the stars stole the night away, oh, yeah
Hey, hey, heyBa-dee-ya, say, do you remember?Ba-dee-ya, dancin’ in SeptemberBa-dee-ya, never was a cloudy day
Is “September” actually Earth, Wind and Fire’s best song? I think you could make the case, although I have to declare my non-calendar love for “That’s The Way of The World” (which was also a fantastic soundtrack album to a horrible movie) and “Reasons”, which always gives me the feels too.
I don’t know if I have ever heard an EWF song and was able to resist singing with it, whether in the car, in a radio studio, or in public places. How many bands can you say that about?
Speaking of “do you remember?”…
Do you remember how big they were in the 70s and ’80s? They had their own sub-label on CBS Records, called ARC. They had almost total artistic control over album art, touring, budgets…at a time of peak corporate record-label controlfreakism.
Their live shows often featured magicians (Doug Henning was one), acrobats and fireworks shows.
HERE is how big they were: in the ’80s, my prized possession, after my car,  was a Panasonic boombox. The TV ad for it featured the ‘box descending from the skies and opening up like an alien spaceship…to reveal (in the cassette slot, I think)…the band Earth, Wind and Fire jammin’ with their own individual Panasonic boomboxes.  C’mon, they were inside the radio!
By the way, if you ever wondered about the significance of “the 21st night of September”, especially given Maurice White’s fascination with zodiac signs and all that jazz, according to songwriter Allee Willis, it has none.
“It just sang better than the other dates”, she said in 2014.
Ba-dee-yuh, it sure does.

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