September 26, 1989: The Clincher

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(Pictured: Milli Vanilli. Are they really singing in this picture? Let me answer that question with a question: who cares?)

September 26, 1989, was a Tuesday. The morning newspapers headline stories about forthcoming elections in Nicaragua, in which the Sandinista government of Daniel Ortega will try to hang on to power, and about Barbara Bush’s visit to the first school in the nation named for her husband, George Bush Elementary in Midland, Texas. The First Lady learned that the school’s kindergartners have named their classroom’s pet pig after the president, and their hermit crab after vice-president Dan Quayle. Today, the human Quayle arrives in the Philippines for an official visit, hours after Communist rebels kill two Americans at a military base. The Dalai Lama, on a visit to New York, meets with a group of six scholars representing four different branches of Judaism.

“Compatibility of Cervical Spine Braces with MR Imaging: A Study of Nine Nonferrous Devices” by David Clayman, Marcia Murakami, and Frederick Vines, is accepted for publication by the American Journal of Neuroradiology and will be published in the March/April 1990 issue. The Chicago Cubs clinch their second National League Eastern Division championship in five years with a 3-2 win over Montreal. In today’s Calvin and Hobbes strip, Rosalyn the babysitter asks to be paid in advance, and in Dilbert, Dogbert gives dating advice. The new TV season continues with the premiere of Living Dolls on ABC. It’s a spinoff from Who’s the Boss and airs immediately after its parent show, followed by Roseanne. Among the stars of Living Dolls are unknowns Halle Berry and Leah Remini; amid terrible reviews, the show will survive for only 12 episodes. Also on ABC tonight, the Jackie Mason/Lynn Redgrave sitcom Chicken Soup. On CBS tonight: Rescue: 911; on NBC: Matlock.

Paul McCartney plays Drammen, Norway. It’s the first show of his 1989-1990 world tour, which will continue (with a few breaks) through next July. Deborah Harry continues her “Def, Dumb, and Blonde” tour at Toad’s Place in New Haven, Connecticut. Tesla plays Rockford, Illinois. After the Rolling Stones played at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC, the previous two nights (and turned down an invitation to visit the White House), Bill Wyman and Ron Wood are spotted in a DC club with Republican party chairman Lee Atwater. At WMJQ in Buffalo, New York, the hair-metal ballad “Heaven” by Warrant will hit #1 on the station survey due out tomorrow, taking out “Girl I’m Gonna Miss You” by Milli Vanilli. Young MC’s “Bust a Move” is at #2, and the hottest record on the survey, “Miss You Much” by Janet Jackson, moves to #3 from #11. Also new in the Top 10: “Listen to Your Heart” by Roxette and “Partyman” by Prince. Debut songs include “Love Shack” by the B52s and “Don’t Know Much” by Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville.

Perspective From the Present: The Cubs’ pennant-clincher was news enough for me on this day, although the memory of it isn’t nearly so vivid as the 1984 clincher. The Cubs would go on to lose the National League championship series to the San Francisco Giants four games to one; the Giants would lose the famous earthquake-interrupted World Series to the Oakland Athletics. I was working as a beautiful-music DJ in the fall of 1989, so I wasn’t playing any of the big hits of the week, although “Don’t Know Much” would have fit. Nevertheless, it was hard to escape Milli Vanilli, and I admit I rather liked “Girl I’m Gonna Miss You,” long before we knew that Rob and Fab were fraudulent. But the two songs on the air then I’d most like to hear right now are “The Way to Your Heart,” by the Belgian duo Soulsister, on which they create a potent earworm over a backing track Motown’s Funk Brothers would have admired, and Poco’s “Call It Love,” a comeback/throwback that the Eagles would have admired.

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One thought on “September 26, 1989: The Clincher

  1. This was a week before I joined you at the beautiful music fun factory. My previous stop, WJTW/Joliet, had both the Soulsister and Poco records in rotation, and I’d also like to hear them more often than the never we currently receive.

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