Moon Martin, a singer-songwriter, guitarist and power pop performer best known for his song “Bad Case of Loving You,” a 1979 hit for Robert Palmer, died on May 11, 2020. Neither the location nor cause of death was known. His death was confirmed by Tulsa World and Craig Leon, who produced several of his albums. Martin was 74 (though some reports say he was 69).
Born John David Martin on Oct. 31, 1945 – the nickname “Moon” came from his propensity to use the word in his song lyrics – Martin released a series of albums for Capitol Records, beginning in the late ’70s. The power pop artist earned a pair of modest chart hits in 1979, “Rolene” (#30) and “No Chance” (#50), both from his Escape From Domination album.
Martin was born in Altus, Okla. After attending the Univ. of Oklahoma, he went to Los Angeles, where his scant biographical materials indicated that he briefly performed with Linda Ronstadt’s band. Her longtime producer and manager, John Boylan, confirmed this to blogger Bob Lefsetz:
“At Linda’s suggestion, I hired him to be in her band for one Troubadour gig in 1971,” he wrote. “The rest of the band consisted of Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Michael Bowden (on bass), Byron Berline on occasional fiddle, and me on occasional acoustic guitar or Wurlitzer electric piano. I recorded three or four sets for a possible live album, using the old Wally Heider truck, but nothing came of it. We did release one track – a version of “Rescue Me,” and it shows Moon’s uncanny ability to add something fresh while still fitting in. He takes a very rock and roll approach to an R and B song and it works great.”
The song reached #30 on Billboards Hot 100 chart in 1979. Moon Martin also wrote the song “Bad Case of Loving You” that Robert Palmer had a big hit with that went to #14 on the Hot 100 charts also in 1979.
Come on operator gimme Rolene on my line
She knows what I need to ease a cravin’ in my spine
A cheerleaders smile
Your daddy might be judge
Sure know how to nudge
All right Rolene
Well, I’ve been livin’ so white and clean
Jack, it’s made me mean
I need Rolene’s smooth, round thigh
It’s like a rush to get me high
I give it my best shot
Honey, all I got
My name may not be Hud
But I’ll show you I’m no dud
All right Rolene
You know my baby’s love
Just like a sweet velvet glove
Honey, crack that whip
Ya make me bite my lip