1979 Chris Thompson & Night – Hot Summer Nights/If You Remember Me
Chris Thompson was born in England, but grew up in New Zealand. He played in a few bands there and in Australia before moving back to the UK and pursuing a career as a musician. He joined Manfred Mann’s Earth Band in 1976 and sang the lead vocals on their biggest hit, Blinded By The Light.
Stevie Vann grew up in Zambia when it was still known as Northern Rhodesia and went to school with Robert “Mutt” Lange. By the time she turned 16, she was already singing on her own television show. She moved to South Africa and recorded a pair of albums. She and Mutt met up again, joined the band Hocus, and got married. They also moved to the UK in the early seventies, where Stevie grew her career as a studio singer. Mutt began producing records in 1976.
In 1978, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band recorded the album Watch. While the album did not produce any standout hits, one of the backup studio singers was Stevie Vaughn. The next year, Chris and Stevie left the band and formed Night.
They recorded their first album, which contained their 1979 single Hot Summer Nights. Stevie sang lead on the song, which reached #18 on the Hot 100. They sold enough copies of the record to qualify for a gold record.
The next single from the album featured vocals by Chris. If You Remember Me. The recording became the theme song for the 1979 film The Champ, a remake of the boxing film from 1931. The film starred Jon Voight and helped launch Ricky Schroeder’s career.
The release from the album initially listed Cold Wind Across My Heart as the A-side of the single, but nobody played it at all. The B-side contained the song If You Remember Me from their album, but only credited Chris Thompson rather than Night. Disk jockeys started playing that side of the record, and it eventually reached #17 on the Hot 100 in late 1979.
The group released a second album the next year, but it didn’t contain any breakout singles. They disbanded in 1982.
Chris returned to Manfred Mann’s Earth Band and continues to do studio work and works as a touring backup musician.
Stevie and Mutt divorced, and she pursued a solo career, returning to studio work as a singer. She toured with Elton John for two years in the early eighties and also worked with Mutt on several albums for Def Leppard.
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