May 20, 1989: Forever Your Girl

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(Pictured: young Gilda, circa 1970.)

May 20, 1989, is a Saturday. It’s the last day of National Osteoporosis Prevention Week. Pro-democracy protests continue in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square; Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping declares martial law, and Chinese authorities pull the plug on TV networks covering the protests. Former Saturday Night Live star Gilda Radner dies of ovarian cancer at age 42. Steve Martin hosts the season finale of SNL that night with musical guest Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers; the show pays tribute to Gilda by showing “Dancing in the Dark,” a 1977 dance sketch with Martin. Michael Jordan hits two free throws with four seconds left to give the Chicago Bulls a 113-111 win over the New York Knicks, wrapping up the NBA’s Eastern Conference semifinals four games to two. Infielder Manny Trillo, who played 17 seasons for seven teams, appears in his final major-league game — the Cincinnati Reds release him a week later. In English soccer, Liverpool defeats Everton 3-2 in extra time to win the F.A. Cup. Kentucky Derby winner Sunday Silence wins the Preakness Stakes over rival Easy Goer by a nose. William E. Thomas catches a world-record-tying weakfish in Delaware Bay that weighs 19 pounds, two ounces.

On TV tonight: Cops, Star Trek: The Next Generation, the horror anthology Freddy’s Nightmares, and The Munsters Today. Stevie Nicks is the subject of a cover story in this week’s edition of the British music newspaper Record Mirror. Phish plays a high school gym in Northfield, Massachusetts; Nitzer Ebb plays Detroit; Big Country plays Scarborough, England; Cinderella plays Lexington, Kentucky; Pink Floyd plays Monza, Italy; and Stevie Ray Vaughan plays San Diego.

The new Billboard Hot 100 is topped by “Forever Your Girl” by Paula Abdul. Also in the Top 5: “Real Love” by Jody Watley at #2, last week’s #1, “I’ll Be There for You” by Bon Jovi at #3, Donny Osmond’s “Soldier of Love” at #4, and soap star Michael Damian’s cover of the David Essex hit “Rock On” at #5. The highest-debuting song within the 40 is Donna Summer’s “This Time I Know It’s for Real” at #28. Milli Vanilli’s “Baby Don’t Forget My Number” is new at #30. Debuting on the Hot 100 at #62 is a throwback—the Doobie Brothers’ “The Doctor,” which features original Doobies lead vocalist Tom Johnston and sounds like “China Grove” turned sideways. At a radio station in Iowa, a jock who would pay cash money for the privilege of playing one Doobie Brothers record instead of the Anne Murray, Andy Williams, and Barbra Streisand records he has to play all day begins to realize that just maybe what he’s doing with his life isn’t what he should be doing with his life.

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May 13, 1981: Prophecy and Transformation

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(Pictured: Agnetha Faltskog of ABBA, 1976.)

May 13, 1981 is a Wednesday. Some believers in Christian prophecy spend what they think is going to be their last day on Earth. Calculations based on the foundation of Israel on May 14, 1948, indicate to them that the Rapture will take place tomorrow. (It won’t.) In Rome, a crowd of thousands in St. Peter’s Square is shocked when Pope John Paul II is shot by Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca. The 19th International Symposium on Functional Equations closes in France. Seven people spot a UFO near Denison, Texas. High Point, North Carolina, institutes a new rule forbidding gay and lesbian couples, as well as unmarried heterosexual couples, from occupying public housing in the city.

Pop singer Joan Weber, who hit #1 in 1955 with “Let Me Go Lover,” dies in a New Jersey mental institution at age 45. Future Penthouse Pet of the Year Sunny Leone and future NFL linebacker Shaun Phillips are born. The Los Angeles Dodgers win their third in a row, 8-6 over Montreal; tomorrow, rookie pitching sensation Fernando Valenzuela will start against the Expos. His record is 9-and-0 with an earned-run average of 0.22 over 80 innings pitched. At the University of Wisconsin in Platteville, an aspiring DJ and his roommates spend more time watching baseball and barbecuing than studying, even though it’s finals week. At their local Eagle grocery store, fresh bratwurst is $1.58 a pound, a 52-ounce can of pork and beans is $1.09, and a 20-pound bag of charcoal is $3.09. In Doonesbury, Joanie and Rick continue to plan their wedding. On TV tonight: The Greatest American Hero, Diff’rent Strokes, and Real People. The Grateful Dead plays Providence, Rhode Island, U2 plays Santa Monica, California, Rush plays Syracuse, and King Crimson plays Paris. A Swedish magazine publishes a story about the early career of ABBA’s Agnetha Faltskog.

At WLS in Chicago, the top four singles on the survey to be released Saturday will be unchanged from the previous week: “Morning Train” by Sheena Easton, “You Better You Bet” by the Who, “Kiss on My List” by Hall and Oates, and “Too Much Time on My Hands” by Styx. (The top five albums will be similarly unchanged, with AC/DC’s Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap leading the way; their Back in Black will hold at #8. ) The hottest singles on the new chart are “Bette Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes, blasting from #23 to #7, “Living Inside Myself” by Gino Vannelli, jumping from #29 to #18, and “For You” by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, rising from #33 to #25. The latter, yet another Springsteen cover, is emblematic of how WLS has transformed itself this year, playing a greater variety of rock songs in morning drive and at night and softer stuff during the day.

May 8, 1988: Anything for You

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(Pictured: Gloria Estefan, onstage circa 1988.)

May 8, 1988, is a Sunday. Today is Mother’s Day. A jury in Seattle, Washington, finds Stella Nickel guilty on two counts of murder for putting cyanide in her husband’s Excedrin capsules. She’s the first person convicted under federal anti-tampering laws passed after the still-unsolved 1982 Tylenol poisonings in Chicago. Wisconsin is hit by 24 tornadoes today, setting a single-day record that will stand until 2005. Eastern Iowa is hit by 22, including an F3 tornado in Clinton County that does $25 million in damage. At Iowa State University in Ames, the annual pre-finals Veishea celebration weekend has been violent; early this morning, students attending a campus bonfire started throwing rocks and bottles at police. Forty-five people were arrested and eight cops hospitalized. It’s the biggest riot at ISU since the Vietnam War. In Hinsdale, Illinois, a fire at a major Illinois Bell switching center knocks out phone service in the Chicago area. Up to a half-million people will be affected over the next few weeks, and Illinois Bell will be strongly criticized for its slow response to the outages. Future porn star Violet Monroe is born. Science-fiction author Robert A. Heinlein dies at age 80. The New York Times best-seller list for fiction is topped by Robert Ludlum’s The Icarus Agenda, Love in a Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Rock Star by Jackie Collins. The nonfiction list is led by Love, Medicine, and Miracles by Dr. Bernie Siegel, Michael Jackson’s autobiography Moonwalk, and A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking.

This past Friday night, following a National Hockey League playoff game between the New Jersey Devils and Boston Bruins, Devils coach Jim Schoenfeld got into a loud altercation with referee Don Koharski that was captured by TV cameras. The NHL suspended Schoenfeld, but Devils management got a court order permitting him to coach today. Just before today’s game, Koharski and his two fellow officials announce they will not work the game. After an hour-long delay, replacement referees are found. The Devils win the game 3-1 to tie their conference final series at two games each. In the NBA, the Chicago Bulls beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 107-101 to win their first-round playoff series three games to two. Michael Jordan of the Bulls leads all scorers with 39 points. His total of 226 points in the series sets an NBA record. In baseball, the Oakland Athletics have the best record in the majors, 23-and-7, after beating the Cleveland Indians 5-1 today. The New York Mets are the class of the National League at 21-and-7 after beating Cincinnati 5-1.

At the movies this weekend, the box-office leader is the police drama Colors starring Sean Penn and Robert Duvall, followed by Beetlejuice. The top new movie is Shakedown, another police drama, starring Peter Weller and Sam Elliott. Tonight’s CBS-TV lineup includes 60 Minutes, Murder She Wrote, and The Caine Mutiny Court Martial, a remake of the 1954 Humphrey Bogart movie, starring Jeff Daniels and Brad Davis. On ABC, it’s The Wonderful World of Disney, Remembering Marilyn, a special about Marilyn Monroe, and the first part of the made-for-TV movie The Bourne Identity. The FOX lineup includes 21 Jump Street, America’s Most Wanted, Married With Children, It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, and The Tracey Ullman Show. NBC wins the night, however, with the first part of the science-fiction miniseries Something Is Out There. Pink Floyd plays Sullivan Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts, and Robert Plant plays Ottawa, Ontario. In Santa Cruz, California, Carlos Santana plays a benefit show for Salvadoran children. Depeche Mode plays Salt Lake City.

On this week’s Billboard Hot 100, “Wishing Well” by Terence Trent D’Arby is the new #1 song. “Anything for You” by Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine is #2, ahead of “Angel” by Aerosmith at #3. Last week’s #1, “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” by Whitney Houston, is #4 this week. “Shattered Dreams” by Johnny Hates Jazz makes a strong move from #15 to #8. “One More Try” by George Michael jumps from #22 to #14. The highest-debuting song in the Top 40 this week is “Circle in the Sand” by Belinda Carlisle at #30. The highest debut on the Hot 100 is Michael Jackson’s “Dirty Diana” at #53.

Perspective From the Present: The Mrs. and I were living in Davenport, Iowa, although we would move to a small suburb north of there in about a month. I did not usually work my radio job on Sundays, so I wouldn’t have been on the air when tornadoes hit eastern Iowa. I probably wished I was, though.

 

May 3, 1979: Minute by Minute

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(Pictured: Woody and Keef, 1979.)

May 3, 1979, is a Thursday. It’s Election Day in Britain. The Conservative Party wins a majority in the House of Commons, which will make Margaret Thatcher prime minister. The Dallas/Fort Worth area is hit by severe thunderstorms; 37 people are injured and damage will be estimated at $5 million. Twenty-five tornadoes rumble across northeast Texas, southeast Oklahoma, and southwest Arkansas. President Jimmy Carter nominates John Macy to be the head of the new Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was created by executive order in March, and speaks to the National Council of the League of Women Voters. Carter also attends a news briefing on public land preservation in Alaska and is made an honorary member of an Alaskan Native American tribe. The East Room ceremony is also attended by the Secretary of the Interior and Theodore Roosevelt IV, environmentalist and great-grandson of the 26th president. Magazine editor Charles Angoff, who worked at H. L. Mencken’s American Mercury, The Nation, and The American Spectator, dies at age 76. Future screenwriter Emily V. Gordon is born.

Movies on TV tonight include The Castaways on Gilligan’s Island, the second reunion movie for the sitcom cast, and Ike: The War Years, about General Dwight Eisenhower, who is played by Robert Duvall. This morning, Duvall was a guest on Good Morning America, talking about the movie. Also on TV tonight: Mork and Mindy and the last episode of Highcliffe Manor, a sitcom parody of Gothic horror movies starring Shelley Fabares, canceled after only three episodes. Jazz trumpeter Clark Terry performs at Buffalo State University and Yes plays Calgary, Alberta. Van Halen plays Kalamazoo, Michigan, and the Grateful Dead plays Charlotte, North Carolina. The Moody Blues play Hollywood, Florida, and the Jacksons perform in St. Petersburg. Journey plays the University of Oregon in Eugene, and Chuck Mangione performs at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago. The New Barbarians, a band featuring Keith Richards and Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones, plays Cincinnati. A couple of weeks earlier, the New Barbarians played two charity shows in Ottawa, Ontario, to fulfill Richards’ probation for a heroin posession charge last year. They were joined by the rest of the Rolling Stones. “This is Keith’s thing,” Charlie Watts said that night. “We just all thought that it would be a good idea to come.”

At WLS in Chicago, depending how you count them, as much as half of the station’s Top 45 singles list is made up of disco records. “Knock on Wood” by Amii Stewart is the new #1. “What a Fool Believes” by the Doobie Brothers moves up to #2, just ahead of Frank Mills’ instrumental “Music Box Dancer.” Last week’s #1, “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor, is #4. Only one song is new in the Top 10: “Heart of Glass” by Blondie at #7. The biggest mover on the chart is “Blow Away” by George Harrison, leaping from #37 to #24. Cher’s “Take Me Home” is up 11 spots to #23. The top album of the week is Minute by Minute by the Doobie Brothers, in its fourth week at #1. The debut album by Dire Straits is #2 again this week, and there’s little movement among the rest of the Top 10, which includes Supertramp’s Breakfast in America, Pieces of Eight by Styx, and Cheap Trick at Budokan.

Perspective From the Present: This would have been the last week of classes before finals at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. I was finishing up Radio Production, Freshman Composition, English Literature, and Intermediate French, as well as a bowling class for physical education credit. I don’t remember a solitary thing about the Freshman Comp or English Lit courses, the names of the professors, the stuff I wrote or read, none of it. I’d had four years of high-school French without becoming especially fluent, and the Intermediate course was a struggle. By May I would have been phoning it in, if I was still bothering to attend at all. I ended up with a C, which was a minor miracle.

I got a B in Radio Production.

(HERC’s Hideaway has a lot more detail on the singles and albums on the WLS survey this week, so go check it out.)

April 28, 1969: Outcasts and Sit-Ins

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(Pictured: Don Murray and Otis Young in The Outcasts, a western that aired on ABC in 1968 and 1969.)

April 28, 1969, is a Monday. Yesterday, voters in France rejected a referendum that would have modernized the country’s armed forces. Today, President Charles de Gaulle, who had backed the referendum, resigns from office. De Gaulle, who led the Free French during World War II, served briefly as president in 1945 and 1946, but his current term began in 1958. Among his official communications today, President Nixon sends a message to De Gaulle, and condolences to Bolivia following the death of that country’s president. He also asks Congress to create a commission to develop a plan for “meaningful self-government” in the District of Columbia. In a Rose Garden ceremony, Nixon presents the National Teacher of the Year Award to English teacher Barbara Goleman of Miami.

Around the country, college students stage a variety of protests. An armed group takes over the administration building at Voorhees College, a historically black institution in Denmark, South Carolina. The students’ list of demands includes the establishment of a black studies program, raises for non-academic staff members including cooks and janitors, and a rule that no student should be compelled to attend classes. The standoff will end tomorrow with the arrest of approximately 25 protesters, although only seven will be charged. At St. Louis University, members of the Association of Black Collegians peacefully occupy a campus building for about 12 hours. Although school policy is to disperse such protests by force, university president Paul Reinert chooses to negotiate. He says the school will address the students’ concerns, including investigating the harassment of black students, hiring more black maintenance personnel and security officers, and establishing an office of black student affairs. At Memphis State University, more than 100 students, both black and white, are arrested after a sit-in at the university president’s office. The president had refused student requests to invite controversial New York Congressman Adam Clayton Powell to speak on campus.

Michigan representative Gerald Ford gives a speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, where he tells the following joke: “You know what an atheist is, don’t you? It’s a guy who doesn’t care how the game between Notre Dame and Southern Methodist comes out.” In today’s Peanuts strip, Charlie Brown is confident about the outcome of a baseball game. In Santa Rosa, California, Redwood Empire Ice Arena opens with a show featuring Olympic figure skater Peggy Fleming, the Vince Guaraldi Trio, the cast of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and master of ceremonies Joe Garagiola. The arena is owned by Peanuts cartoonist Charles Schulz. Joe Burg, who played in 13 games for the National League’s Boston Doves (later the Braves) in 1910, dies at age 86. Eight games are played in the majors today. The Chicago Cubs beat Philadelphia 2-1 in 10 innings to run their record to 15-and-6, the best in major league baseball. In the American League, the Baltimore Orioles also have 15 wins, but their game tonight in Cleveland against Indians is postponed due to a forecast of rain. The Indians have dropped 10 in a row on the way to a 1-and-15 start.

Tonight, ABC-TV airs western series The Big Valley and The Outcasts. The latter is a post-Civil War drama starring Otis Young and Don Murray as a freed slave and a former Confederate soldier who form a partnership as bounty hunters. NBC airs a variety special called The Spring Thing, hosted by Noel Harrison and Bobbie Gentry and starring, among others, Goldie Hawn, Rod McKuen, Shirley Bassey, and Harpers Bizarre. Tonight’s CBS schedule includes an episode of The Carol Burnett Show.

The Who plays in Sunderland, England, and the Doors tape a performance in New York City. It will be part of a profile of the band to be broadcast June 25 on the public television series PBS Critique. At KDWB in Minneapolis, “Hawaii Five-O” by the Ventures shoots to #1 on the station’s new survey from #15 last week. “Hair” by the Cowsills falls from #1 to #2, and “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show” by Neil Diamond holds at #3. Also hot: “Will You Be Staying After Sunday” by Peppermint Rainbow, up to #4 from #14. “It’s Your Thing” by the Isley Brothers is also new in the Top 10 at #10, while “Do Your Thing” by Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band is at #12, up from #22. New songs among the Top 30 include “Pinball Wizard” by the Who and “Love (Can Make You Happy)” by Mercy.

Perspective From the Present: “Love (Can Make You Happy)” is another record about which I’m  completely irrational. Mercy was from Florida, and their song came out on a local Tampa label sounding half-amateurish and all great.

 

April 22, 1977: Get Next to You

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(Pictured: the Captain and Tennille.)

April 22, 1977, is a Friday. In the morning papers, it’s reported that Social Security recipients will get a 5.9 percent increase effective July 1. Members of Congress and leaders of the postal unions criticize a proposal to cut mail service from six days a week to five. This morning, President Jimmy Carter holds a press conference. He is asked mostly about energy policy, and he suggests that if Congress doesn’t adopt his energy plan, he could use his presidential powers to mandate gas rationing. Shimon Peres becomes acting prime minister of Israel after Yitzhak Rabin steps down. Late last night and early this morning, people in Dover, Massachusetts, claim to have seen an unidentified creature with glowing eyes that will be nicknamed the Dover Demon.

Cleveland TV station WJW-TV becomes WJKW. On TV today, Dinah Shore welcomes Pearl Bailey, Mel Tillis, and Mel Torme and their children to Dinah! Sonny and Cher announce that they will end the current reincarnation of their variety show at the end of the current TV season. David Frost and Richard Nixon tape their final interview to be broadcast this summer. Future FC Barcelona soccer player Mark Van Bommel is born, and former major league pitcher Rube Yarrison, who pitched in 21 games for the Philadelphia Athletics and Brooklyn Dodgers over two seasons in the 1920s, dies. Movies in the theaters include Rocky, Airport 77, Slap Shot, Taxi Driver, and All the President’s Men.

The Grateful Dead plays Philadelphia, Boston plays Greensboro, North Carolina, Rush plays Binghamton, New York, Elvis Presley plays Detroit, AC/DC and Black Sabbath play Goteborg, Sweden, and Pink Floyd opens its “In the Flesh” tour with a show in Miami. At WLS in Chicago, “Rich Girl” by Hall and Oates tops the new survey that will come out tomorrow. “Don’t Give Up on Us” by David Soul makes a strong move from #7 to #2; “Southern Nights” by Glen Campbell moves from #9 to #3. New in the Top 10 is “When I Need You” by Leo Sayer, moving to #8 from #11. The biggest movers are “I Wanna Get Next to You” by Rose Royce, up 11 spots, and “Lido Shuffle” by Boz Scaggs and “Can’t Stop Dancin’” by the Captain and Tennille, up nine. The top two albums are unchanged for the sixth straight week: the soundtrack from A Star Is Born is #1 (for the ninth week overall), Hotel California by the Eagles is #2.

In Wisconsin, a high-school junior and his girlfriend (who very much likes the Captain and Tennille, to her boyfriend’s great chagrin) celebrate her birthday. Years later, he won’t be able to remember what they did that night, but it’s enough to guess.

April 15, 1990: Lead You Back

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(Pictured: Greta Garbo, 1931.)

April 15, 1990, is Easter Sunday. The nuclear-armed nations of India and Pakistan remain nose-to-nose over the disputed province of Kashmir. At Cape Canaveral, preparations continue for the April 24 launch of the space shuttle Discovery, which will deploy the Hubble Space Telescope. Eruptions continue at Mount Redoubt, a volcano in Alaska. This series of eruptions will be the second-costliest in American history behind Mt. St. Helens in 1980. The New York Times publishes data showing that the median price of a house in the United States was $95,400 in February. A world record for tallest sand sculpture (17 feet, 5 3/4 inches) is set in Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia.

Movie icon Greta Garbo dies at age 89, and U.S. Senator Spark Matsunaga of Hawaii dies at age 73; future Harry Potter actress Emma Watson is born. The top movies at the box office this weekend are Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Pretty Woman, The Hunt for Red October, and Ernest Goes to Jail. The Miss Universe pageant is held in Los Angeles; the winner is Miss Norway, Mona Grudt; Miss USA Carole Gist is first runnerup. Payne Stewart wins the MCI Heritage Golf Classic, but Greg Norman continues to lead the world golf rankings; Nick Faldo, who won the Masters last Sunday, is ranked second. All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum tops the paperback best-seller lists.

The sketch comedy series In Living Color premieres on Fox. Also on Fox tonight, The Outsiders, a series based on the S. E. Hinton novel, the 21 Jump Street spinoff Booker starring Richard Grieco, and The Simpsons. NBC airs an episode of The Magical World of Disney. In the first-ever Sunday night baseball game broadcast on ESPN, the Montreal Expos beat the New York Mets 3 to 1. On MTV, 120 Minutes features videos by Depeche Mode, the Cure, and Stone Roses. On the radio, The Dr. Demento Show features music and comedy bits about television, but the top song on the weekly Funny Five is, once again, “Fish Heads” by Barnes and Barnes.

Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan play in suburban Detroit. Madonna’s Blonde Ambition tour continues its opening stand in Tokyo. Paul McCartney plays Miami, and Fleetwood Mac plays Sydney, Australia. Janet Jackson plays Houston. On the current Billboard Hot 100, the new #1 song is “I’ll Be Your Everything” by Tommy Page, taking out Taylor Dayne’s “Love Will Lead You Back,” which falls to #5. Also among the Top 5: “Don’t Wanna Fall in Love” by Jane Child, “All Around the World” by Lisa Stansfield, and “Nothing Compares 2 U” by Sinead O’Connor. The lone new song in the Top 10 is “I Wanna Be Rich” by Calloway, moving to #6 from #11. The highest-debuting song of the week within the Top 40 is “All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You” by Heart, which comes in at #26 from #41. Madonna’s “Vogue” makes its Hot 100 debut at #39.

The new jock at a tiny radio station in small-town Iowa has to go back to work tomorrow. He’s been there about three weeks. It’s a job he needed more than he wanted, although it will eventually have its satisfactions.

April 9, 1976: Winners and Losers

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(Pictured: Helen Reddy, circa 1976.)

April 9, 1976, is a Friday. Frisch’s Big Boy Restaurants in the greater Cincinnati area invite you in for fish fillets tonight with fries, salad, and a roll for $1.60. It’s the second day of the major-league baseball season, but only two games were played yesterday; 16 teams open their seasons today, including the Chicago Cubs, who lose to the Cardinals 5-0 in St. Louis. On a trip to Texas, President Ford visits the Alamo in San Antonio during the morning and then goes to Dallas. He throws out the first pitch at the Texas Rangers’ season opener, staying only for the first inning. In the first pro sports event at the new Seattle Kingdome, Pele scores two goals as the New York Cosmos defeat the Seattle Sounders in pro soccer, 2-1. Folksinger Phil Ochs, most famous for “I Ain’t Marching Anymore,” hangs himself; he was 35. A strong earthquake kills eight people in Ecuador. In Nagoya, Japan, a 13-year-old boy takes a series of photos that seem to show a UFO. In Syracuse, New York, the Onondaga County Public Library unveils its new logo. In Madison, Wisconsin, the first edition of a new weekly newspaper, Isthmus, is laid out in the living room of one of its co-founders.

New movies in theaters include All the President’s Men starring Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford and Alfred Hitchcock’s Family Plot. On daytime TV, Foster Brooks ends a week co-hosting The Mike Douglas Show; guests today include Gloria Swanson, Frankie Valli, and Geraldo Rivera. The Merv Griffin Show welcomes Kaye Ballard, Jack Jones, comedian Charlie Callas and impressionist Marilyn Michaels. In prime time, the animated special The First Easter Rabbit, featuring the voices of Burl Ives and Robert Morse, airs on NBC, and so does The Rockford Files. CBS airs an episode of Sara, starring Brenda Vaccaro as a schoolteacher in an 1870 Colorado town. She will be nominated for an Emmy, but the show will end after 13 episodes.

Rush plays the Indianapolis Coliseum with special guests Ted Nugent and the Sutherland Brothers and Quiver. On separate bills, Genesis and Donovan play New York City. The Electric Light Orchestra and Journey play Huntsville, Alabama. Bruce Springsteen plays Colgate University in Hamilton, New York.

The Midnight Special airs on NBC following Johnny Carson. Host Helen Reddy welcomes Fleetwood Mac, who perform a blazing version of their new hit “Rhiannon.” Also on the show, Gary Wright, Barry Manilow, Queen, and Hamilton Joe Frank & Reynolds, who perform “Fallin’ in Love” with Reddy and their recent hit “Winners and Losers,” and then come back for a second spot doing “Every Day Without You.”

Perspective From the Present: I was equipment manager of the high school baseball team, and we had a scrimmage on that Friday after school. That night, a couple of friends and I went to the local drive-in theater for what I recall as some terrible movies (although I don’t remember what they were), killing time until midnight. The Key Club at my high school was putting on a marathon basketball game that weekend, in which teams signed up to play for an hour at a time from Friday afternoon through Sunday night. I was on a team scheduled to play at midnight and again at 5AM, so the night of April 9 and 10, 1976, marked the first time I ever stayed up all night. Spring break (known to us then as Easter vacation) started on Monday the 12th. On the Tuesday the 13th, I passed my behind-the-wheel test and got my driver’s license; on Wednesday the 14th, the local radio station said they’d hire me for the summer—although they didn’t follow through on that.

An eventful few days, for sure.

April 6, 1982: Freeze-Frame

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(Pictured: the Go-Gos, approaching peak 80-tude.)

April 6, 1982, is a Tuesday. By presidential proclamation issued today, it’s Parliamentary Emphasis Month. British prime minister Margaret Thatcher says she will not resign over her handling of the seizure of the Falkland Islands by Argentina last Friday. A blizzard that blasted the Midwest yesterday rolls east, with heavy snow followed by record cold. Many areas report thundersnow, with cloud-to-ground lightning in the midst of whiteout conditions. Baseball season openers are cancelled from Chicago to New York. One game that is not postponed today is the first-ever regular season Minnesota Twins game in the new Metrodome; the Twins lose to Seattle 11 to 7. The space shuttle Columbia, bolted to a 747, is flown back to the Kennedy Space Center from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico; next Monday, it will be launched on its maiden flight into space. A couple in Somersworth, New Hampshire, opens a trunk that had been stored in a dark basement for at least 20 years; inside they find the mummified bodies of four newborn infants wrapped in newspapers dated 1949 to 1952. The case will never be solved. Former Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas, the first sitting justice forced to resign (in 1969), died yesterday at age 71. Future pro hockey player Travis Moen is born.

The ABC-TV lineup tonight includes Happy Days, Joanie Loves Chachi, Three’s Company, Too Close for Comfort, and Hart to Hart. CBS has an episode of the adventure series Q.E.D., starring Sam Waterston and set in pre-World War I England, and the theatrical movie Love and Bullets. NBC counters with two animated Easter specials, a repeat of a Steve Martin special, and the premiere of a new variety show called The Shape of Things. The show, which is aimed at a female audience and intends to take a feminist point of view, features the Chippendales dancers as regulars and will last only three episodes amid complaints about its content. Chariots of Fire, which won Best Picture at the Oscars last week, continues to pack ’em in at theaters, as does On Golden Pond, with Best Actor Henry Fonda. The biggest star of the moment, however, is Richard Pryor: Some Kind of Hero was the top-grossing new film of the past weekend, while Richard Pryor Live on the Sunset Strip remained in the top 10. The #1 film overall this past week was Porky’s. No new movies will open on the coming weekend, which is Easter.

The Grateful Dead plays Philadelphia, Ozzy Osbourne plays Providence, Rickie Lee Jones plays Cleveland, Mike Oldfield plays Dunedin, New Zealand, Tommy Tutone plays Minneapolis, and Rush plays Baton Rouge, Louisiana. At WLS in Chicago, the #1 song on the station’s survey dated April 3, 1982, is “I Love Rock & Roll” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, for a fourth week; the Go Go’s Beauty and the Beat album is #1 for an eighth week.  Both the Go Gos and the J. Geils Band have two records in the station’s top 10: “We Got the Beat” and “Our Lips Are Sealed” are at #2 and #6; “Centerfold” and “Freeze Frame” are at #3 and #9. “Freeze Frame” made one of the week’s biggest moves, blasting from #20 to #9, but “Titles” from Chariots of Fire made the biggest, from #45 to #19. Other major moves this week are made by “867-5309/Jenny” by Tommy Tutone” (#26 to #11), and “Don’t Talk to Strangers” by Rick Springfield (#35 to #23).

Perspective From the Present: I’d been working full-time at KDTH for a couple of months, and if 1982 was the year the station started carrying broadcasts of my then-beloved Chicago Cubs, I probably spent some time running the board during games. They opened in Cincinnati and missed the blizzard. I expect it was cold in my one-bedroom apartment because it was that kind of place, but the rest of that week is gone down the memory hole.

March 27, 1973: Who Do We Think We Are?

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(Pictured: Cabaret stars Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey at the movie’s Paris premiere in September 1972.)

March 27, 1973, was a Tuesday. Newspapers headline the agreement between the United States and North Vietnam that will result in the release of the last prisoners of war from North Vietnam and withdrawal of American troops from South Vietnam later this week. But the Nixon Administration has also announced that military operations will continue in Cambodia until Communist forces agree to a cease-fire. Congressional Republicans are demanding that the White House provide more information about the Watergate break-in and operations against the McGovern campaign last year. In meetings today, President Nixon orders aide John Ehrlichman to conduct his own investigation of Watergate, since White House counsel John Dean hasn’t reported the results of the investigation he’s doing. In a conversation with Secretary of State William Rogers, the president places blame for Watergate on Attorney General John Mitchell and Deputy Chief of Staff Jeb Magruder. Among his public events today, Nixon meets with Lindy Boggs of Louisiana, who was elected to the House of Representatives one week ago to fill the seat previously held by her husband. Hale Boggs and Alaska congressman Nick Begich were aboard a plane that disappeared in Alaska last October; both men are presumed dead, although their bodies will never be found.

Playwright Noel Coward died yesterday at his estate in Jamaica; he was 73 years old. Tonight is Oscar night. Cabaret wins eight awards, including Best Actress for Liza Minnelli, Best Supporting Actor for Joel Grey, and Best Director for Bob Fosse. The Godfather wins three, including Best Picture. Marlon Brando is awarded Best Actor, but he is boycotting the ceremony in protest of treatment of American Indians and sends an actress named Sacheen Littlefeather to accept in his place. Dressed in Apache garb, she gives a brief speech declining the award on Brando’s behalf.

In sports, UCLA won its seventh straight NCAA men’s basketball championship last night, defeating Memphis State 87-66 in St. Louis. UCLA’s Bill Walton was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. It’s the first time the national championship game has been held on a Monday following semifinals on Saturday. In the NBA tonight, the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Los Angeles Lakers 85-84. Wilt Chamberlain of the Lakers plays 46 of the 48 minutes of the game but does not score a single point. Oscar Robertson scores 25 for the Bucks and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has 24. It’s the last regular season game for the Bucks, although the Lakers have one more tomorrow, the last day of the regular season. Both the Bucks and Lakers will end up with 60-22 records, but the Boston Celtics have the league’s best record with 68 wins and 14 losses. The American Basketball Association will also end its regular season tomorrow. The league’s top teams going into the playoffs are the Carolina Cougars, Kentucky Colonels, and Utah Stars.

The three TV networks air 16 game shows and 12 soap operas today, including second episodes of The $10,000 Pyramid and The Young and the Restless, both of which premiered yesterday on CBS. At KQV in Pittsburgh, “Neither One of Us” by Gladys Knight and the Pips takes a mighty leap from #9 to #1 on the station’s latest survey. Last week’s #1, “Killing Me Softly With His Song” by Roberta Flack falls to #2. “Love Train” by the O’Jays blasts to #6 from #20 the previous week. Three other songs are new in the Top 10: “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love” by the Spinners, “Danny’s Song” by Anne Murray, and “Call Me” by Al Green. The highest-debuting new song on the survey is “I’m Just a Singer in a Rock and Roll Band” by the Moody Blues at #16. New songs in the Hit Parade Bound section of the survey are Helen Reddy’s “Peaceful,” “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” by Stevie Wonder, and “Stuck in the Middle With You” by Stealers Wheel. Top albums include Elton John’s Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only the Piano Player, No Secrets by Carly Simon, Hot August Night by Neil Diamond, and Who Do We Think We Are by Deep Purple.

Perspective From the Present: At my other blog, I’m doing an intermittent series on 1973, trying to figure out why that year feels like an empty space in my growing-up. This post doesn’t explain much. I would have ridden the bus to school on this morning, heard about the Vietnam agreement and Sacheen Littlefeather on the news. But what I thought or felt or did on that day is gone down the memory hole.