Previous to her mainstream fame, Muldaur had recorded with the Even Dozen Jug Band, Jim Kweskin & The Jug Band, and with her former husband Geoff Muldaur. Maria was propelled into the limelight with her remarkable 1973 self-titled album and its hit single, “Midnight at the Oasis.”
Although the song written by film and TV composer David Nichtern is a classic, it took seven months to climb the charts. Reprise released the single in November 1973, but it did not peak at the #6 slot until June 1, 1974. The album, by the way, peaked at #3 and was certified gold during the same spring.
I remember the record well and I heard it for the first time the last time I lived in Eastern Kentucky. It was April 1974 and a friend and I were escorting two young college women to Greenbo Lake when the song came on the radio.
While some would be attracted to the song’s suggestive lyrics or Muldaur’s sultry vocals, I preferred the wonderful guitar work by Amos Garrett. I left Kentucky the last time on February 13, 1981 and it is fitting that I play a song from my original stay in the Commonwealth on this day as I leave a second time.