May 28, 1980: Stealing Home

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(Pictured: Mount St. Helens erupting, with Washington’s Mount Hood in the background, 1980.)

May 28, 1980, was a Wednesday. Headlines this morning include yesterday’s presidential primaries in Idaho, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Nevada, in which the big winners were Ronald Reagan and President Jimmy Carter. Carter now seems likely to hold off a challenge from Senator Ted Kennedy. Former president Gerald Ford endorsed Reagan yesterday, but ruled out the possibility of being Reagan’s running mate. He also pressed Illinois GOP Congressman John Anderson to abandon his independent campaign for the presidency, fearing it might throw the November election into the House of Representatives, where Carter would win.

Today, Iran’s parliament meets for the first time since the Islamic Revolution. Legislators and the Ayatollah Khomeini are apparently in no hurry to consider the fate of the 53 Americans currently being held hostage there. A special prosecutor is ready to clear White House Chief of Staff Hamilton Jordan of allegations that he used cocaine on a visit to New York’s Studio 54 last year. Washington state continues to cope with the aftermath of the eruption of the Mount St. Helens volcano earlier this month. More earthquakes were felt today as search-and-recovery efforts continue. Sixty-eight people are still missing in the area. It’s graduation day at West Point, where the first female cadets, 62 of them, receive their commissions from the United States Military Academy as second lieutenants. The Associated Press reports that 73 percent of American workers between the ages of 25 and 44 have little or no confidence that the Social Security system will have funds enough to pay them benefits at retirement. The ninth annual meeting of the International Trombone Association opens in Nashville.

Michigan and Notre Dame announce that their hockey teams will leave the Western Collegiate Hockey Association after the 1980-81 season to join the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. In the majors, the New York Yankees continue to own the best record in baseball despite a 6-3 loss to the last-place Detroit Tigers. Jack Morris gets the win; Ron Guidry takes the loss. American League West leader Kansas City loses 6-2 to Oakland. The A’s score four runs in the first inning, including two steals of home. The National League’s best record belongs to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are idle today. This afternoon in the NL, the game between the Chicago Cubs and Montreal Expos is suspended due to lightning, which knocks out the public address system at Wrigley Field. The game is tied 3-3 in the 10th inning and will be resumed on August 8.

Popular movies in theaters include The Empire Strikes Back, The Shining, Fame, Coal Miner’s Daughter, The Long Riders, and Friday the 13th. At a U2 show in Bristol, England, Bono, Adam Clayton, and the Edge enthusiastically jump into the crowd and accidentally unplug their instruments and microphones, leaving drummer Larry Mullen to carry on by himself for a bit. Toto, just off a Memorial Day gig at the Iowa Jam in Des Moines with Molly Hatchet, the Babys, and Off Broadway, moves on to Milwaukee. Ted Nugent, the Scorpions, and Def Leppard continue their tour in Seattle. The Osmonds play in the Philippines, and Christopher Cross plays the Bottom Line in New York City. At K-EARTH in Los Angeles, “Biggest Part of Me” by Ambrosia is the new #1 song. “Cars” by Gary Numan is #2, and last week’s top song, “Funkytown” by Lipps Inc., is #3. Three songs are new in the Top 10: “Coming Up” by Paul McCartney, “All Night Thing” by the Invisible Man’s Band, and “Let’s Get Serious” by Jermaine Jackson. The latter makes the biggest move of the week, up 13 spots. Also making strong moves up: “Shining Star” by the Manhattans and Bette Midler’s “The Rose.” Among the new songs on the Top 30 are “Let Me Love You Tonight” by Pure Prairie League and “Magic” by Olivia Newton-John.

Perspective From the Present: For a few hours on one night during the Republican National Convention later in the summer, it looked as if Ford would become Reagan’s running mate after all, but he did not. The Invisible Man’s Band was made up of members of the Burke family, who had recorded under the name of the Five Stairsteps and hit big with “Ooh Child” in 1970. “All Night Thing” would get to #45 on the Hot 100. And on this day I was settling in on the album-rock night shift at WXXQ in Freeport, Illinois, where I’d started working only a week or two before.

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May 21, 1985: A Recall

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(Pictured: adoring fans reach out and touch Billy Ocean, 1985)

May 21, 1985, was a Tuesday. By presidential proclamation, it is National Maritime Day, honoring the American merchant marine. It is also National Medical Transcriptionist Week. At the White House, Ronald Reagan meets with the president of Honduras. The Associated Press reports that the gross national product is expanding at the slowest rate since the 1981-82 recession. Hundreds of members of the Church of Scientology, including John Travolta, picket the federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon, to protest a $39 million fraud judgment against the church. In Orange, California, Patti Frustaci gives birth to the first set of septuplets ever born in the United States. (One is stillborn; three more will die.) Also born: future big-league pitcher Andrew Miller and Mutya Buena, future member of the Sugababes and collaborator with Amy Winehouse. Also dying: 10 people in Newton Falls, Ohio, killed by a tornado.

Ford Motor Company issues a recall on the 1985 Mercury Grand Marquis, the 1985 Mercury Capri, and the 1982 Ford Escort. The World Series of Poker wraps up in Las Vegas; Bill Smith wins $700,000 at the final table. A European patent is granted for an annular clamping member, which is used to attach a gear or pulley to a shaft, and the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals throws out a Georgia law making sodomy a crime. On TV tonight, there’s the sitcom Hail to the Chief, about the first female president, played by Patty Duke. The made-for-TV movie Do You Remember Love? stars Joanne Woodward as a woman with Alzheimer’s disease, and an episode of the PBS documentary series Frontline looks at the challenges facing America’s growing senior-citizen population. The top-grossing theatrical movie of the week is Code of Silence starring Chuck Norris. Also in theaters: Beverly Hills Cop, Mask, Desperately Seeking Susan, Witness, Amadeus, The Care Bears Movie, and The Killing Fields.

The Eagles’ 1974 album On the Border is released on CD for the first time. Madonna plays St. Paul with the Beastie Boys opening. Three Dog Night plays Kansas City. Eric Clapton plays Toronto. Stephen Stills plays Davis, California. Phil Collins plays Hampton, Virginia. “Everything She Wants” by Wham is the new #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, bumping “Don’t You Forget About Me” by Simple Minds to #2. “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears and “Axel F” by Harold Faltermeyer are at #3 and #4, up six spots each from last week. Two new songs move into the Top 10: “Suddenly” by Billy Ocean at #8 and “Things Can Only Get Better” by Howard Jones at #10. They replace “We Are the World” by USA for Africa (now at #14) and “Rhythm of the Night” by DeBarge (now at #17). New in the Top 40: “A View to a Kill” by Duran Duran (#36), “Oh Girl” by Boy Meets Girl (#39), and “Lucky in Love” by Mick Jagger (#40).

In a small college town in Illinois, which is emptying out as the students leave for the summer, the young program director of the local Top 40 station is hearing almost all of these records several times a day, but he doesn’t mind. For the first time since graduating from college, he’s got the kind of job he really wants, and it feels like the sky’s the limit.

May 13, 1964: In From the Cold

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(Pictured: Barbra Streisand with President Kennedy, 1963.)

May 13, 1964, is a Wednesday. After weeks of negotiations, senators reach a tentative agreement on a new version of a comprehensive civil rights bill. The current bill, which has been under debate in Congress since March, is being filibustered in the Senate. In a phone call captured by his White House taping system, President Johnson discusses the act with Senate Republican leader Everett Dirksen of Illinois today. Johnson says, “We don’t want this to be a Democratic bill, we want it to be an American bill.” Last night in New York City, Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater spoke to a crowd of 18,000 at Madison Square Garden. He accused the Johnson Administration of fomenting racial unrest, and he criticized the idea that integration could be accomplished through legislation: “You cannot pass a law that will make me like you, or you like me.” In Teaneck, New Jersey, the school board votes in favor of busing all of the district’s sixth-grade students to a single school starting in the fall, making Teaneck the first school in America to voluntarily desegregate, as opposed to doing so by court order. Cambridge, Maryland, which was torn by race riots last summer, has been under martial law and patrolled by National Guardsmen ever since. On Monday, a crowd protesting an appearance by Alabama governor and presidential candidate George Wallace was tear-gassed. Today, about 100 people hold a silent protest, and they are confronted by Guardsmen with rifles and fixed bayonets.

At the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, NASA runs another test on the Apollo space vehicle, which will eventually be used to send astronauts to the moon. In Las Vegas, Lt. Raynor Hebert takes off in an F-105 jet from Nellis Air Force Base. Due to a technical problem, Hebert’s plane can’t gain altitude. He realizes that if he bails out, the plane will probably crash into an elementary school, where 800 students are in class. So he keeps the plane aloft until it has passed the school, after which it crashes into a residential neighborhood. Hebert dies in the crash along with four people on the ground. Future comedian and talk-show host Stephen Colbert and future actor and TV producer Tom Verica are born. John Le Carre’s The Spy Who Came in From the Cold leads the New York Times Best Sellers list for fiction this week; the nonfiction list is led by the UPI/American Heritage book Four Days, about the assassination of President Kennedy last November, and by Jim Bishop’s A Day in the Life of President Kennedy. Kennedy’s own Profiles in Courage is also on the Best Sellers list.

The sixth annual Grammy awards were presented last night at ceremonies in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York, and were not televised. Henry Mancini won Record of the Year and Song of the Year for “Days of Wine and Roses.” Album of the Year was The Barbra Streisand Album. The Swingle Singers were named Best New Artist. Pop Grammys were won by Jack Jones, Peter Paul and Mary, and Al Hirt, among others. The Best Rock ‘n’ Roll Recording Grammy went to Nino Tempo and April Stevens for “Deep Purple.” At the Granada Theater in Harrow, England, tonight’s concert bill stars the Kinks, the Hollies, and the Dave Clark Five. In Bromley, England, the Yardbirds perform. Chuck Berry headlines the Globe Theater in Stockton, England, with Carl Perkins, the Animals, the Swinging Blue Jeans, and other acts. At KIMN in Denver, the Beatles rule the station’s new survey with the double-A-sided “Love Me Do” and “P.S. I Love You” at #1 and “Do You Want to Know a Secret” at #2. Three songs are new in the Top 10: “Love Me With All Your Heart” by the Ray Charles Singers, “Little Children” by Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, and “People” by Barbra Streisand. The #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, “Hello Dolly” by Louis Armstrong, is not on the KIMN chart.

Perspective From the Present: The rewritten civil rights bill was formally introduced in Congress later in May, passed in June, and signed into law as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in July. The Ray Charles breaking into the Top 10 in Denver in this week was not the soul singer; it was Perry Como’s longtime musical director. “Love Me With All Your Heart” became an MOR classic, and another one of those records I heard before I noticed it. And I’m pretty sure a copy of Four Days is somewhere in my office.

May 7, 1992: Red Hot

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(Pictured: the cast of Basic Instinct, Sharon Stone, Michael Douglas, and Jeanne Tripplehorn, photographed on May 7, 1992.)

May 7, 1992, is a Thursday. Funeral services are pending for actress and femme fatale Marlene Dietrich, who died yesterday in Paris at age 90. Today, a freak snowstorm strikes the Carolinas and East Tennessee, dropping three to five feet of snow in some mountainous areas. State legislatures in Michigan and New Jersey ratify the 27th Amendment to the Constitution, thereby making it the law of the land. The amendment forbids Congressional pay raises to take effect until after the election following their passage. It was originally proposed as one of 12 amendments in 1789 but was ratified by only six states at the time. It lay mostly dormant until 1983, when a Texas college student began writing legislators suggesting that the amendment could still be ratified. Also today, the space shuttle Endeavour takes off on its maiden voyage, on a mission to capture and redeploy a communications satellite.

Eight teams are still alive as the NBA playoffs continue. Portland beats Phoenix and the Chicago Bulls beat the New York Knicks in games tonight. Utah plays Seattle and Boston plays Cleveland tomorrow. The NHL Stanley Cup playoffs are also down to the final eight. Boston beats Montreal and the New York Rangers beat Pittsburgh tonight. Tomorrow, Vancouver plays Edmonton and Chicago plays Detroit. Eleven games are played in the majors today. The Pittsburgh Pirates still have the best record in baseball, 19-and-8, even after a 4-2 loss at home to Atlanta; Braves pitcher Tom Glavine runs his record to 5-and-1 with the win. The Toronto Blue Jays have the American League’s best record, 21-and-9; tonight, Dave Winfield’s ninth-inning grand slam gives the Jays an 8-7 win over Seattle.

John Grisham’s The Pelican Brief leads the New York Times Best Sellers List for fiction; Gloria Steinem’s Revolution From Within is #1 on the nonfiction list. For the past three weeks, the same three movies have swapped positions atop the box-office rankings: Basic Instinct, White Men Can’t Jump, and Beethoven. This weekend’s lackluster slate of new openings, including Crisscross with Goldie Hawn and Wild Orchid 2, won’t dislodge them. On TV tonight, NBC airs The Cosby Show, A Different World, Cheers, Wings, and L.A. Law. On Fox, it’s The Simpsons, In Living Color, and Beverly Hills 90210. CBS presents the reality show Top Cops and a repeat of the 1989 theatrical movie Sea of Love starring Al Pacino and Ellen Barkin. ABC follows an episode of Columbo with the news show Prime Time Live.

Weezer plays Club Dump in Los Angeles and Lou Reed plays Denver. Bob Dylan plays Berkeley and Cher plays Wembley Stadium in London. Metallica plays Boise and Pearl Jam plays Bozeman, Montana. After a show in Japan, Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante quits the band and flies home to Los Angeles. The group will cancel or postpone tour dates until July, and Frusciante will remain out of the band until 1998. On the Billboard Hot 100, “Jump” by Kris Kross is in its second week at #1. The rest of the Top Five are “Save the Best for Last” by Vanessa Williams, “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton, “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen (popular again after being featured in the movie Wayne’s World), and “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)” by En Vogue. “Tears in Heaven” is in its third week at #1 on the adult contemporary chart. On the Billboard 200 album chart, Adrenalize by Def Leppard, which debuted at #1 three weeks ago, still holds the #1 spot. Other top albums include Human Touch by Bruce Springsteen, the Wayne’s World soundtrack, Blood Sugar Sex Magik by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nevermind by Nirvana, and Ropin’ the Wind by Garth Brooks.

Perspective From the Present: At some point in late May or early June of 1992 The Mrs. and I, who had been working as party DJs for a couple of years, got assigned to a high-school graduation party. We were not hip to what the Class of ’92 was into, and what they were into mostly was Kris Kross and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It was one of the first times we ever looked back across the Generation Gap from the far side of it.

May 2, 1982: Heat of the Moment

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(Pictured: Gato del Sol and jockey Eddie Delahoussaye, at left, cross the finish line at the Kentucky Derby on May 1, 1982.)

May 2, 1982, is a Sunday. Headlines on the Sunday papers include yesterday’s opening of the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee. President and Mrs. Reagan were among the dignitaries present. Today, British forces launch air attacks on the Falkland Islands, escalating Britain’s month-long war with Argentina. A British sub sinks the Argentinian ship General Belgrano, killing over 300 of its thousand-man crew. Exxon announces that it’s ending the Colony shale-oil project in Colorado, putting 2,000 people out of work. The closure will devastate the economy of Grand Junction, Colorado, and the surrounding area. Watergate figure G. Gordon Liddy speaks at Vassar College. Liddy once served as district attorney of Dutchess County, New York, where Vassar is located. Protesters march outside the venue, opposed to the college having paid Liddy $4,000 to speak.

Yesterday, Gato del Sol, a 21-1 shot before the race began, won the Kentucky Derby. Today, the NBA playoffs continue. The Los Angeles Lakers complete a sweep of their Western Conference semifinal series with a 112-107 win over Phoenix. Also in the West, the San Antonio Spurs take a 3-1 lead on Seattle with a 115-113 win. In the Eastern Conference, Boston and Philadelphia win today to take 3-1 leads on Washington and Milwaukee. It’s an off-day in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The New York Islanders and Vancouver Canucks lead their conference final series by margins of 3-0 and 2-1 respectively. In the majors, three of the four division leaders win their games today: the Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves, and St. Louis Cardinals. Only the California Angels are a loser. In Chicago, pitcher LaMarr Hoyt runs his record to 5-0 as the White Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 10-3. Darrell Waltrip wins today’s Winston 500 at Talladega, Alabama.

Future TV news anchor Poppy Harlow is born. Actor Helmut Dantine, who played supporting roles in Casablanca, To Be or Not to Be, and Mrs. Miniver, dies at age 63. Porky’s tops the box office for the seventh straight weekend. The top-grossing new movie is Partners, starring Ryan O’Neal and John Hurt as mismatched Los Angeles cops who go undercover in the city’s gay community. Other popular movies this weekend include The Sword and the Sorcerer, Chariots of Fire, On Golden Pond, and Victor/Victoria. On TV tonight, cable viewers get their first look at the Weather Channel, which launches at 8PM Eastern time. On broadcast TV, ABC premieres Counterattack: Crime in America. Hosted by actor George Kennedy, the show describes unsolved crimes around the country and encourages viewers to call an 800 number with tips, and offers crime-prevention advice. Also tonight: 60 Minutes, which will be the top-rated show for the week, and Mae West, a biographical movie starring Ann Jillian as West, which will be #3 in the ratings. Other shows airing tonight include CHIPS, The NBC Sunday Night Movie, Archie Bunker’s Place, One Day at a Time, Alice, Trapper John M.D., and The Jeffersons (which will also make the Nielsen Top 10 for the week).

Asia plays New York City. Talking Heads close a brief Japanese tour in Nagoya. Meat Loaf plays Edinburgh, Scotland, and Jethro Tull plays Rome. Bonnie Raitt plays Charlottesville, Virginia, with Leo Kottke opening. Bruce Springsteen plays the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, New Jersey. (Most of Springsteen’s shows this year will be either at the Stone Pony or at Big Man’s West in Red Bank.) On the Billboard Hot 100, “I Love Rock and Roll” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts is in its seventh week at #1. The instrumental theme from Chariots of Fire by Vangelis is #2, and “Ebony and Ivory” by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder is at #3. Only one song is new in the Top 10: “I’ve Never Been to Me” by Charlene. It makes the biggest move within the Top 40, going from #20 to #10. However, Asia’s “Heat of the Moment” debuts in the Top 40 at #20, and “Man on Your Mind” by the Little River Band is new at #28. Jett’s version of “Crimson and Clover” is the highest debut on the Hot 100 at #63.

Perspective From the Present: I was livin’ large in my one-bedroom furnished apartment in Dubuque, the first place I’d ever lived entirely by myself. Sometime that spring, shortly after I moved in, the local cable company expanded its offerings, although I don’t remember if the Weather Channel was among them. MTV was, and I followed the directions for hooking the cable to my receiver so I could get the music in stereo.

May 30, 1978: In Through the Out Door

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May 30, 1978, was a Tuesday. America returns to work after the Memorial Day weekend. President Carter gets his wakeup call at 5AM, then meets with Cabinet officers and greets West German president Helmut Schmidt, all before 9AM. He spends the rest of his day attending events surrounding a NATO summit in Washington. It’s primary election day in Arkansas, where state attorney general Bill Clinton wins the Democratic nomination for governor over four challengers, receiving nearly 60 percent of the vote. The Washington Bullets tie the NBA Finals at two games each with a 120-116 win over the Seattle Supersonics in overtime. Dennis Johnson of the Sonics leads all scorers with 33; Bob Dandridge leads Washington with 23. Because of a previously scheduled event at the Seattle Coliseum, the game is moved to the Kingdome, and it draws a record crowd of over 39,000. Top English soccer club Manchester United completes a two-game series in the United States, beating the North American Soccer League Tulsa Roughnecks 2-1. Two days earlier, Manchester United lost to the NASL’s defending champion, the Tampa Bay Rowdies, 2-1. Future major league utility man Rico Washington, who will appear in 14 games for the 2008 St. Louis Cardinals, is born. Pioneering movie art director Ben Carre, who designed the catacombs for the original Phantom of the Opera and the Mount Rushmore backdrop in North by Northwest, dies at age 94. In Wisconsin, Monroe High School holds graduation ceremonies.

On TV today, the lineup of game shows includes Card Sharks, Hollywood Squares, The $20,000 Pyramid, The Price Is Right, High Rollers, Family Feud, and Wheel of Fortune. Soaps include The Edge of Night, Ryan’s Hope, Search for Tomorrow, All My Children, The Young and the Restless, Days of Our Lives, The Doctors, The Guiding Light, Another World, and General Hospital. Tonight, CBS airs the NBA Finals. NBC presents two specials, Dan Haggerty Goes to the Circus and Country Night of Stars, which is hosted by Crystal Gayle and Eddy Arnold. ABC presents Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Three’s Company, Carter Country, and a Barbara Walters interview special. Her guests are Burt Reynolds, Muhammad Ali, and Michael Landon. Bruce Springsteen plays Boston Music Hall, the Stranglers play Stafford, England, and Alvin Lee plays Houston. Black Sabbath plays Coventry, England, with Van Halen opening. In Bremen, West Germany, David Bowie tapes a performance that will be broadcast on the TV program Musikladen later this year. Grace Slick of Jefferson Starship is profiled in the Washington Post Style section. In Stockholm, Sweden, Led Zeppelin goes into the studio to begin work on what will eventually be titled In Through the Out Door.

On the Billboard Hot 100, “With a Little Luck” by Paul McCartney and Wings holds at #1 for a second week. There’s not much movement among the Top 10; Andy Gibb’s “Shadow Dancing” makes the biggest move, from #6 to #4, and only one song is new among the Top 10: George Benson’s “On Broadway” at #10. The biggest mover within the Top 40 is “Baker Street” by Gerry Rafferty, moving from #26 to #19. Six new songs debut in the Top 40; the highest is “Bluer Than Blue” by Michael Johnson at #33. The highest debut on the Hot 100 is “Grease” by Frankie Valli at #69. At #99, “I Go Crazy” by Paul Davis is in its 40th and final week on the Hot 100, which is the longest run in history to this point. The Saturday Night Fever soundtrack tops the album chart for the 19th week in a row. Billboard‘s Adult Contemporary #1 is “Even Now” by Barry Manilow. On the Billboard country chart, the #1 song is “Do You Know You Are My Sunshine” by the Statler Brothers.

Perspective From the Present: I have more to say about my high-school graduation at The Hits Just Keep on Comin’ today. It seemed cosmically appropriate to me for the #1 song that day to be “With a Little Luck,” given its opening lines: “With a little luck we can help it out / We can make this whole damn thing work out.” I took it then a reference to whatever was behind the door we were walking through on that night. Forty years removed from that night, the question of whether the whole damn thing really did work out is up to each of us in the Class of ’78 to answer for ourselves.

May 25, 1977: Hello Stranger

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(Pictured: Burt Reynolds and Sally Field in Smokey and the Bandit.)

May 25, 1977, is a Wednesday. Nine people die in a fire at the Evarard Baths, a popular gay bathhouse in New York City. The business has operated since 1888. Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Fahd concludes a visit to the United States, and President Carter briefly speaks to reporters at a departure ceremony. Tomorrow Carter will hold a formal press conference. Carter also speaks at a dinner for Democratic members of Congress at the Washington Hilton Hotel. The government of China lifts a decade-old ban on the works of Shakespeare. In Big Timber, Montana, the local IGA food store is ready for the forthcoming Memorial Day weekend with rib steaks for $1.69 a pound, old-fashioned frankfurters for $1.29 a pound, 31-ounce cans of Van Camp’s pork and beans for 49 cents, and Columbia beer for $1.25 a six-pack or $5 a case.

In major-league baseball, Rod Carew gets five hits and the American League West-leading Minnesota Twins amass 24 hits altogether in a 13-5 win over the Boston Red Sox in the first game of a doubleheader. The Twins also take the nightcap 9-2. AL Eastern Division leader Baltimore splits a doubleheader with Kansas City. The Los Angeles Dodgers, who lead the National League West with the best record in baseball, lose to the Houston Astros 7-6. (They’re now 31-and-11.) The Eastern Division-leading Pittsburgh Pirates are idle. There’s no action in the NBA Finals tonight; the Philadelphia 76ers lead the Portland Trail Blazers 1 game to none, with Game 2 set for tomorrow night. On TV tonight, it’s the final episode of The Brady Bunch Hour, a variety show starring the actors from the sitcom. In today’s Doonesbury strip, Rick and Joanie negotiate the next stage of their lives now that Joanie has graduated from law school.

The movie Star Wars opens in theaters. Smokey and the Bandit is set for release on Friday. Led Zeppelin opens a four-night stand at the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland, and the Grateful Dead plays Richmond, Virginia. In New York City, Joan Baez plays the Palladium and Devo plays Max’s Kansas City. Elvis Presley performs in Rochester, New York. The Clash play Brighton, England.

On the current Billboard Hot 100, “Sir Duke” by Stevie Wonder is at  #1. “When I Need You” by Leo Sayer, last week’s #1, is at #2. “Couldn’t Get It Right” by the Climax Blues Band is at #3. Two new songs have blasted into the Top 10: “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac, from the week’s #1 album, Rumours, is at #6 from #14 a week ago; “Gonna Fly Now” by Bill Conti is at #7 from #21 the week before. Also new in the Top 10: “Lucille” by Kenny Rogers, at #10, up from #12. “Lido Shuffle” by Boz Scaggs, in its 11th week on the Hot 100, spends a second consecutive week at #11. The 14-place move of “Gonna Fly Now” is the biggest within the Top 40, but two other records take nine-place jumps: “Undercover Angel” by Alan O’Day (at #19 from #28) and “Jet Airliner” by the Steve Miller Band (at #30 from #39). The biggest leap of any song in the Hot 100 is made by the Eagles’ “Life in the Fast Lane,” moving from #73 to #53 in its second week on the chart. Five songs are new in the Top 40; the highest debut is “High School Dance” by the Sylvers at #35. The highest debut on the Hot 100 belongs to Barbra Streisand’s “My Heart Belongs to Me,” coming in at #52. Barbra also has the oldest record on the Hot 100, “Evergreen,” at #83 in its 24th week on. “Hello Stranger” by Yvonne Elliman is #1 on the adult-contemporary chart. The #1 country song is “Luckenbach, Texas” by Waylon Jennings.

Perspective From the Present: School was just about out in Monroe, Wisconsin, as I finished my junior year of high school. I had landed a job at a gas station managed by a friend’s father, which meant I wouldn’t have to do farm work in the summer. My girlfriend and I were very happy. Today, the songs from the end of May play in my head and my heart whenever I want to hear them, without the need for a radio.

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.

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.