December 23, 1976: Christmas Spirit

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(Pictured: the cast of Barney Miller from the episode airing on December 23, 1976.)

December 23, 1976, was a Thursday. It’s a cold day in the Midwest, with temperatures in the single digits above zero in many places and strong winds driving wind-chills near 40 below. The forecast for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day contains a slight chance for snow. Today, president-elect Jimmy Carter completes his cabinet selections by naming Joseph Califano to be Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. While appointing a special energy adviser, Carter says he may consider creating a cabinet-level Department of Energy. All three network newscasts lead with news of Carter’s appointments. Other stories covered tonight include new cases of paralysis linked to the swine-flu vaccine, and the conviction of Watergate bagman Tony Ulasewicz for tax evasion. He failed to report as income payoffs he received personally. President and Mrs. Ford are spending the holiday in Vail, Colorado. The president spends the morning in meetings but goes Christmas shopping in the afternoon. In the evening, the Fords attend a cocktail party and a dinner at Sheika’s Discotheque. U.S. marshals in four cities seize 4,500 square yards of carpeting manufactured by a Georgia company because it does not comply with federal flammability standards. The New York Times reports on Wednesday’s 41st annual Debutante Cotillion and Christmas Ball at the Waldorf Astoria, at which 76 debs made what the Times calls “their formal bows to society.” Also yesterday, Monty Hall taped his last episode of Let’s Make a Deal.

Future major league pitcher Brad Lidge, future NHL star Scott Gomez, and future NFL kicker Kris Brown are born. Five games are scheduled in the National Hockey League; the Chicago Blackhawks have the night off after losing to Buffalo 4-2 last night. Before the game, the team fired Billy Reay, who had coached the Hawks since 1963. In Philadelphia, the Flyers beat Washington 5-2. Flyer Mel Bridgman, the first player taken in the 1975 NHL draft, records what is known as a Gordie Howe hat trick: a goal, an assist, and a fight. Hit movies in theaters include King Kong, The Enforcer, The Pink Panther Strikes Again, Silver Streak, and Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein. Car buyers in Madison, Wisconsin, can get an Oldsmobile Omega Brougham, loaded, for $5188, then drive it to Fuzzy Thurston’s Left Guard restaurant for the Thursday night filet special, which costs $3.95. On ABC tonight, the Sweathogs get the Christmas spirit on Welcome Back, Kotter, and it’s Christmas Eve in the 12th Precinct on Barney Miller. ABC also airs the final episode of canceled sitcom The Nancy Walker Show, created by Norman Lear. The CBS lineup includes The Waltons, Hawaii Five-O, and Barnaby Jones. NBC starts its night with Doug Henning’s World of Magic, a live show on which the magician makes an elephant disappear. The Henning special is followed by part 4 of the miniseries Once an Eagle. Later, on Tomorrow, Tom Snyder welcomes musician Van McCoy and DJ Norm N. Nite to discuss disco music.

The Beach Boys play Portland, Oregon, Blondie plays CBGB and Barry Manilow plays the Uris Theater, both in New York City, and AC/DC plays at a high school in Australia. At WLS in Chicago, “Tonight’s the Night” by Rod Stewart is #1 for a fifth straight week. “Nadia’s Theme” by Barry DeVorzon and Perry Botkin Jr. makes a strong move from #8 to #3, as does “Blinded by the Light” by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, which goes from #20 to #13. The two biggest movers on the chart are both up 12: a live and edited version of “Free Bird” by Lynryd Skynryd (#30 to #18) and “Weekend in New England” by Barry Manilow (#42 to #30). The new #1 album in Chicago is the debut album by Boston, taking over the top spot from Frampton Comes Alive!

A young radio geek in southern Wisconsin listens to all these songs and more, sometimes on WLS but more often on FM stations from Madison, Dubuque, or Freeport, Illinois, and he looks forward to what turns out to be a most memorable Christmas, the echoes of which he will still be able to hear many years in the future.

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November 22, 1963: Can I Get a Witness

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On the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, I wrote a post at The Hits Just Keep on Comin’ about what I found in the morning paper on that day, which was just another ordinary day until noontime. This post is based on that one.

November 22, 1963, was a Friday. The weather forecast for Madison, Wisconsin, is for mild weather, occasional rain, and possible thundershowers, with a high around 60. The Wisconsin legislature adjourned last night, although the governor is rumored to be considering a special session to address a controversial highway bill. A state representative is embroiled in scandal over a shady stock transaction. U2 pilot Joe Hyde of LaGrange, Georgia, is missing after wreckage of his plane was found in the Gulf of Mexico, presumably having crashed on a reconnaissance flight over Cuba. President Kennedy and his wife are in Texas. Newspapers report the catcalls he received at some stops, and his wife’s popularity.

Dave Fronek will start at quarterback for the Wisconsin Badgers in their season-ending game against Minnesota tomorrow, and injured quarterback Bart Starr could play for the Packers on Sunday against San Francisco. The high school basketball season is set to begin tonight. The Badger Drive-In theater in Madison is still open despite the lateness of the season and has a quadruple feature tonight: Juvenile Jungle, Young and Wild, Unwed Mothers, and The Wayward Girl. Friday-night diners can enjoy lobster for $2 at Namio’s and the Tiki or pay just $1.75 at Nate’s Place. Those staying in tonight can look forward to episodes of Bob Hope Chrysler Theater, Burke’s Law and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour on TV. At 7:00, Madison radio station WISM-FM (at 98.1) will present The Stereo Demonstration Hour.

On the new Billboard Hot 100 coming out tomorrow, “I’m Leaving It Up to You” by Dale and Grace is the new #1, knocking “Deep Purple” by Nino Tempo and April Stevens to #3. “Washington Square” by the Village Stompers is up to #2 from #4; “Sugar Shack” by Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs is down to #4 from #2. The only new song among the Top 10 is “Dominique” by the Singing Nun, up to #9 from #19. Six songs are new among the Top 40, including “Be True to Your School” by the Beach Boys and “Since I Fell for You” by Lenny Welch, which blast to #19 and #20 respectively. Also new in the Top 40: Marvin Gaye’s “Can I Get a Witness,” the followup to his first Top 10 hit, “Pride and Joy,” at #33. Just outside the Top 40: “Louie Louie” by the Kingsmen at #41.

Perspective From the Present: Practically nothing happened that weekend as people expected it might on Friday morning, with one exception: controversially, the NFL played its games as scheduled on Sunday; the Packers won 28-10 in front of 45,000 fans in Milwaukee. Badger fans were en route to Minnesota by train and the players by plane when news of the assassination broke on Friday; although University of Minnesota officials initially wanted to play, the game would eventually be postponed to the next Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. Basketball games were canceled; stores, theaters, and restaurants closed; TV stations carried assassination coverage, and radio stations either reported the news or played somber music. On Friday night, Madison was drenched by cold rain.

At breakfast, Madison had been expecting another ordinary autumn weekend. By shortly after lunchtime, the world was transformed. I quote again the single best thing ever written about the assassination, from essayist Lance Morrow, written for Time magazine on the 20th anniversary: “The real 1960s began on the afternoon of November 22, 1963 . . . . It came to seem that Kennedy’s murder opened some malign trap door in American culture, and the wild bats flapped out.”

October 22, 1976: The Song Remains the Same

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(Pictured: Robert Plant on stage at Madison Square Garden in 1973 during the filming of The Song Remains the Same.)

(Edited below.)

October 22, 1976, was a Friday. Amendments to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s rules governing movement and handling of livestock at fairs and exhibitions go into effect today. The FDA bans red dye #2 due to a potential cancer risk. (Late edit: the dye was banned in February; today, the FDA recalled tons of candy made with it.) The decision will cause M&M/Mars to stop selling red M&Ms. President Ford starts his day with a doctor’s appointment after breakfast, then has a morning of meetings concerning the presidential campaign and a photo op with Noor Hussain, an 80-year-old Pakistani woodcarver who presents him with an ivory table. At noontime, President and Mrs. Ford leave the White House for Williamsburg, Virginia, and tonight’s final debate with Democratic challenger Jimmy Carter. The presidential debate leads all three evening newscasts and is carried on all three networks. CBS precedes the debate with an episode of Spencer’s Pilots, an adventure series about a private aviation company. NBC presents an episode of Sanford and Son called “I Dream of Choo-Choo Rabinowitz,” in which Fred tries to break a world record for staying awake, and an episode of Chico and the Man. ABC airs Donny and Marie, with guest stars Cindy Williams and Charley Pride. The movie Car Wash is new in theaters.

It’s the second night of the NBA regular season; all four former American Basketball Association teams that joined the older league this summer make their debuts. The New York Nets, San Antonio Spurs, and Denver Nuggets get wins; the Nuggets beat their former ABA foe, the Indiana Pacers. Future major-league catcher Michael Barrett is born. In Monroe, Wisconsin, the Cheesemaker football team’s losing streak reaches six after a 37-0 home loss to Sun Prairie that drops them to 2-and-6 on the season with one game to play. After the game, late that night, a Monroe police officer will have to kick several couples out of Twining Park for parking after closing time.

Last night, the Who closed their 1976 tour at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. It would be the last performance featuring drummer Keith Moon. Tonight, Barry Manilow plays Dallas, and Elvis Presley plays Champaign, Illinois. Black Sabbath opens a tour in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the Eagles play the Forum in Los Angeles. Their performance of “Wasted Time” will appear on the 1980 album Eagles Live. Album releases today include Elton John’s Blue Moves, Bob Seger’s Night Moves, and Led Zeppelin’s The Song Remains the Same, which is the soundtrack to the movie that came out earlier this week. At B100 in San Diego, “Do You Feel Like We Do” by Peter Frampton is #1 on the new survey out today, knocking last week’s top hit, “Lowdown” by Boz Scaggs, to #2. The rest of the Top 10: “Rock’n Me” by the Steve Miller Band, “Shake Your Booty” by KC and the Sunshine Band, “Devil Woman” by Cliff Richard, Walter Murphy’s “A Fifth of Beethoven,” “Still the One” by Orleans, “Getaway” by Earth Wind and Fire, Heart’s “Magic Man,” and Rick Dees’ “Disco Duck.” Five songs are new in the Top 30; the highest debut belongs to Rod Stewart and “Tonight’s the Night.”

Perspective From the Present: I have told the story at my other blog several times, I think: at the football game, my girlfriend and I were on our first date since splitting up over a year before, and afterward, we wanted to make up for lost time. I recognized all of the other cars that were kicked out of the park with us, and their drivers recognized me. Such was my reputation with the ladies that one of the other guys said to me on Monday, “I thought to myself, that’s Jim’s car, but who would he be here with?” That night, and the several months that followed it, are among the very favorite times of my life. We only fall good and truly in love for the first time one time, and it tends to leave a mark.

October 16, 1978: Virtuous and Vicious

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(Pictured: Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols, on the right, on his way to court in October 1978.)

October 16, 1978, is a Monday. In Rome, Karol Cardinal Wojtyla, the current archbishop of Krakow, Poland, is elected pope and takes the name John Paul II. He is the first non-Italian pope since 1523. The Supreme Court refuses to get involved in the case of a group of Nazis who want to march in the largely Jewish Chicago suburb of Skokie; it appears that the march will go on as planned. A study on controlling pine vole infestation begins at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Hispanic Americans are featured on the current edition of Time magazine. The cover story notes that Hispanics are the fastest growing minority group in the United States and “are bidding to become an increasingly influential one.” Herbert A. Simon wins the Nobel Prize for economics. Actor Dan Dailey dies at age 62; he had been in several movie musicals during the 40s and 50s and starred in the TV series The Governor and J.J., which ran in 1969 and 1970. On TV tonight: M*A*S*H and Little House on the Prairie.

Oklahoma tops the new Associated Press college football poll; Penn State is #2. In the NFL yesterday, the Green Bay Packers jumped out to a 28-0 lead in the first quarter and beat the Seattle Seahawks 45-28 to raise their record to 6-and-1. After losing Game 5 last night at Yankee Stadium, the Los Angeles Dodgers are on the brink of elimination in the World Series. The Yankees will take Game 6 tomorrow night and win the series.  The new NBA season opened over the weekend; new Detroit Pistons coach Dick Vitale is in the hospital after two games with an intestinal infection. NBA star Marvin “The Human Eraser” Webster of the New York Knicks is on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

On TV tonight, the CBS lineup includes WKRP in Cincinnati, M*A*S*H, One Day at a Time, and Lou Grant. ABC shows Welcome Back Kotter, Operation Petticoat, and Monday Night Football with the Chicago Bears at the Denver Broncos. NBC has a 90-minute episode of Little House on the Prairie followed by the first-run TV movie Human Feelings, starring Billy Crystal as an angel trying to find six virtuous people in Las Vegas to keep God, played by Nancy Walker, from destroying the city. The Sex Pistols’ record company wires the group’s manager $50,000 to bail Sid Vicious out of jail, where he’s held on suspicion of murdering his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen. Jethro Tull and Uriah Heep play Buffalo, Little Feat plays Champaign, Illinois, and Santana plays the Bottom Line in New York City. Today’s Peanuts strip features Snoopy as “the world-famous disco dancer.” At WRKO in Boston, Donna Summer’s disco version of “MacArthur Park” vaults to #1, knocking off Exile’s “Kiss You All Over” (now #3) and leaping over the Little River Band’s “Reminiscing” (now #2), among others. Farther down the chart is an album track from Bob Seger’s Stranger in Town, “Till it Shines,” at #15, “5.7.0.5” by City Boy at #16, and the title track from Van Morrison’s new album Wavelength at #24.

Among the songs not yet charted at WRKO is Hall and Oates’ passive-aggressive “It’s a Laugh.” In Wisconsin, it’s right in the wheelhouse of an unhappy college freshman who, despite the fact that he is finally getting started with the radio career he has always wanted, is having the worst month of his life.

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.

March 19, 1976: Show Me

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(Pictured: Peter Frampton gives it all he’s got, 1976.)

March 19, 1976, was a Friday. Newspaper readers learn that Democratic Senator Frank Church of Idaho entered the presidential race yesterday, even though the race is well underway already. Also yesterday, Paul McCartney’s father, James, died at age 73, and the state of Kentucky officially ratified the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery. (It had rejected the amendment in 1865.) Today, closing arguments continue in the bank-robbery trial of heiress Patricia Hearst. Hearst was kidnapped in 1974 by the Symbionese Liberation Army; within weeks, she had taken the name Tania, became a member of the group, and remained underground until she was arrested in the fall of 1975. In Britain, Buckingham Palace announces the separation of Princess Margaret from her husband, Lord Snowdon. They have been married 15 years and have two children. At the White House, President Ford meets members of the National Newspaper Association and takes questions. After the public announcement of the appointment of diplomat Thomas Gates to head the United States Liaison Office in China, Ford, Gates, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft hold a classified meeting in which they discuss the political signal sent to Chinese leaders by the Gates appointment. In Sierra Madre, California, a bicentennial time capsule is buried under the flagpole of the city’s new police and fire building. The Garden State Rotary Club of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, holds its first meeting.

The Indiana Hoosiers defeat Alabama in the Mideast Regional semifinals of the NCAA basketball tournament. (On Sunday, they will qualify for the Final Four by beating Marquette, and will eventually win the national championship, going undefeated for the year.) Third-ranked UNLV is upset by Arizona, 114-109 in overtime. In Illinois, 16 teams in two classes open the state high school basketball tournament. Tomorrow, Chicago Morgan Park (class AA) and Mt. Pulaski (class A) will win championships. Celebrity guests on the recently renamed $20,000 Pyramid are Soupy Sales and All My Children actress Stephanie Braxton. Panelists on The Hollywood Squares include Bob Newhart, Shirley Jones, Hal Linden, Don Rickles, Jonathan Winters, and Arte Johnson. Joining Brett, Charles, and Richard on Match Game ’76 are Clifton Davis, Patty Duke Astin, and Joyce Bulifant. Programs on NBC tonight include Sanford and Son, The Practice, a sitcom starring Danny Thomas as a physician, and The Rockford Files. Future TV actress Rachel Blanchard and future NBA player Andre Miller are born. Guitarist Paul Kossoff, formerly of Free and currently of Back Street Crawler, dies aboard an airplane flight after years of drug abuse; he was 25.

Bette Midler plays Tarrytown, New York, the Electric Light Orchestra plays Boston, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band plays Kansas City, Kansas, Elvis Presley plays Johnson City, Tennessee, and Bad Company plays Dallas. David Bowie plays Buffalo and the Who plays Denver. On the new Billboard Top 40 that Casey Kasem will count down this weekend, “December 1963” by the Four Seasons and “All By Myself” by Eric Carmen hold at #1 and #2. Aerosmith’s “Dream On” and Johnnie Taylor’s “Disco Lady” are new in the Top 10. The hottest hits within the Top 40 are “Show Me the Way” by Peter Frampton, up 12 places to #25, and “Right Back Where We Started From” by Maxine Nightingale, up 11 places to #14.  A teenager in southern Wisconsin continues his behind-the-wheel driver’s ed instruction in eager anticipation of getting his license within a few weeks; whenever he’s in the car, the radio is always on. And whenever he’s not.

March 14, 1987: Act Up

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(Pictured: Boy George, on stage in 1987.)

March 14, 1987, was a Saturday. In his weekly radio address, President Reagan talks about the changes in his national security team, necessitated by the unfolding Iran-Contra scandal. White supremacists rally in Forsyth County, Georgia, after winning a lawsuit giving them the right to do so. A United Press International story appearing around the country today says that the World Health Organization is reporting a worldwide total of 42,704 AIDS cases, three-quarters of which are in the United States. In Los Angeles, county officials are planning to open several new AIDS testing sites, due in part to a sharp increase in AIDS cases among heterosexuals. In New York City, Larry Kramer and other gay activists form the organization ACT UP. Yesterday, a judge ordered 17-year-old Machelle Outlaw of Goldsboro, North Carolina, readmitted to her Christian school after she was expelled earlier in the week for modeling swimsuits in a department store fashion show. Among the teams winning games in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament are Indiana, Wyoming, and Notre Dame. Katarina Witt wins the World Figure Skating Championships in Cincinnati. Stu Kulak, recently acquired in a trade, makes his debut with the NHL’s New York Rangers. (He will play in three games for the Rangers before being released.) TV shows on NBC tonight include The Golden Girls and Saturday Night’s Main Event, a pro wrestling show. Lower Prior Lake, in Scott County, Minnesota, records its earliest ice-out—the date on which there’s no more ice on the lake. Pope John Paul II meets the Cremonese soccer team and members of the Moscow Circus.

Wang Chung plays in Denver, and Petula Clark plays the Hamilton Hotel in Itasca, Illinois. In the UK, The Very Best of Hot Chocolate goes to #1 on the album charts. The #1 single in the UK is Boy George’s cover of Bread’s “Everything I Own,” which doesn’t hit in the States. In the States, the #1 single is “Jacob’s Ladder” by Huey Lewis and the News, which doesn’t hit in the UK. “Somewhere Out There” by Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram is #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Janet Jackson’s “Let’s Wait Awhile” is at #3, making it the fifth Top-5 single from her album Control. The achievement matches only her brother Michael’s on Thriller. Rounding out the top 5: last week’s #1 single, “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi, and “Lean on Me” by Club Nouveau. For the second week, Licensed to Ill by the Beastie Boys is Billboard‘s #1 album. Bruce Springsteen’s Live 1975-1985 box set goes platinum only about three months after its release.

Perspective From the Present: I was playing elevator music at KRVR in Davenport, Iowa, and had been doing so since January. It’s likely that I had this Saturday off, and I probably slept late. I worked until 9:00 at night, and The Mrs. and I got into the habit of grabbing a late dinner and going to a midnight movie on Fridays. It’s likely we didn’t get home until something like 3:00 this morning.

Meal at 9, movie at 12, home by 3. The only way we could do that now would be to have breakfast at nine and the movie at noon.

November 18, 1984: Dark Side

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(Pictured: a scene from the movie Eddie and the Cruisers, 1984.)

November 18, 1984, is a Sunday. By Congressional resolution, it’s the first day of National Family Week. The New York Times publishes several articles about Baby Fae, the anonymous child who died last Thursday after living 20 days with the transplanted heart of a baboon. The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub tops the Times bestseller list for fiction; Iacocca: An Autobiography, by former Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca, leads the nonfiction list. Future Avenged Sevenfold bassist Johnny Christ is born, although his parents name him Jonathan Lewis Seward. The Chuck Norris film Missing in Action tops the weekend box office. The New York City Opera’s production of Sweeney Todd closes after 13 performances.

In the National Football League, the Miami Dolphins suffer their first loss of the season after 11 straight wins, losing to San Diego, 34-28. The San Francisco 49ers are also 11-and-1 after a 24-17 win over Tampa Bay. Tim Lewis of the Green Bay Packers sets a team record with a 99-yard interception return for a touchdown in a 31-6 win over the Los Angeles Rams. Geoff Bodine wins the final NASCAR race of the season, but Terry Labonte wins the Winston Cup championship.

On ABC tonight, Ripley’s Believe It or Not and the adventure series Hardcastle and McCormick are followed by the theatrical movie Stripes, starring Bill Murray and Harold Ramis. CBS primetime starts with 60 Minutes, then Murder She Wrote, The Jeffersons, Alice, and Trapper John, M.D. NBC’s lineup includes Silver Spoons, Knight Rider and the first part of the made-for-TV movie Fatal Vision, dramatizing the Jeffrey MacDonald murder case. Metallica plays Paris and Queensryche plays Buffalo. Bruce Springsteen plays Lincoln, Nebraska and rushes the season a little bit by closing with “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.” Jethro Tull plays Seattle, and Stevie Ray Vaughan becomes the first white artist to win the W.C. Handy Blues Awards for Entertainer of the Year and Blues Instrumentalist of the Year. On this weekend’s edition of The Dr. Demento Show, “Earache My Eye” by Cheech and Chong tops the Funny Five countdown.

At WLOL in Minneapolis/St. Paul, “Out of Touch” by Hall and Oates is #1 for a second week. “I Can’t Hold Back” by Survivor is up to #2, and “Better Be Good to Me” by Tina Turner holds at #3. Pat Benatar’s “We Belong” is the lone new entry in the Top 10 at #8, replacing “Caribbean Queen” by Billy Ocean, last week’s #10 down to #18 this week. The biggest mover on the WLOL chart is “Understanding” by Bob Seger, up seven spots to #20. The highest debuting song on the chart is Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” at #32. At WLOL’s crosstown rival, KDWB, “Out of Touch” has fallen completely off the station’s survey from #4 the previous week. “I Can’t Hold Back” and “Better Be Good to Me” show up at #2 and #4 respectively. (Wham’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” is at #3). KDWB’s #1 single for a second week is “On the Dark Side” by John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band from the movie Eddie and the Cruisers. (It’s #10 at WLOL.) Paul McCartney’s “No More Lonely Nights” is the lone new entry in the KDWB Top 10. “Hello Again” by the Cars is KDWB’s hottest song, up nine to #20. The highest debut belongs to Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” at #22. “Born in the USA” debuts on the KDWB chart at the bottom, #30.

October 28, 1985: Blown Call

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(Pictured: St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Joaquin Andujar, ejected from Game 7 of the 1985 World Series, gives umpire Don Denkinger a piece of his mind about Game 6.)

October 28, 1985, was a Monday. The headline on the nation’s sports pages today is the meltdown of the St. Louis Cardinals, who lost Game 7 and the World Series to Kansas City last night 11-0. On Saturday night, the Cardinals had lost Game 6 on a call by umpire Don Denkinger that TV replays clearly showed to be wrong. In tonight’s NFL game, the Los Angeles Raiders run their record to 6-and-2 with a 34-21 win over San Diego. Future NFL player Early Doucet is born, and former player Tommy Thompson dies. Chris Evert takes over the #1 ranking among female tennis players from Martina Navratilova, who had taken it from Evert two weeks only, and who will get it back a month from now.

A series of stories in the current Time magazine dissects the hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro earlier this month, and the joint American-Italian operation that intercepted a plane carrying the Palestinian hijackers. People‘s cover story is on the best and worst-dressed people of the year. Portions of Massachusetts are declared a federal disaster area after Hurricane Gloria struck the East Coast in late September. TV preacher Pat Robertson will claim the hurricane missed his headquarters in Virginia because of his prayers. A total eclipse of the moon is visible throughout all of Asia, but cannot be seen in North and South America.

Top movies at the box office this past weekend included Jagged Edge, Krush Groove, Commando, and Back to the Future. Among the soaps on daytime TV today: Ryan’s Hope. Tonight, PBS airs a documentary about the Statue of Liberty, directed by Ken Burns. On network TV, it’s the made-for-TV movie A Time to Live, starring Liza Minnelli in a role that will win her a Golden Globe award for Best Actress, and the retooled sitcom What’s Happening Now. Joan Rivers is guest host on The Tonight Show with John Larroquette and Howie Mandel. The Grateful Dead opens a two-night stand in Atlanta, Eric Clapton plays Milan, Italy, R.E.M. plays London, and Miles Davis plays Copenhagen, Denmark. Barbra Streisand shoots a video for “Somewhere” at the Apollo Theater in New York.

On the American Top 40 show broadcast over the preceding weekend, Charlie Van Dyke filled in for Casey Kasem. Seven songs entered the Top 40 for the first time. The highest debut was “Soul Kiss” by Olivia Newton-John at #34, followed by Scritti Politti’s “Perfect Way” at #35, plus new hits by ZZ Top, Billy Joel, Alive and Kicking, Ray Parker Jr., and Klymaxx. The biggest upward move within the 40 was made by Mr. Mister’s “Broken Wings,” up eight spots to #27.  The biggest drop belonged to “Cherish” by Kool and the Gang, down 13 spots to #26 in its 17th week on the Hot 100. Whitney Houston took the #1 spot with “Saving All My Love for You,” knocking last week’s #1, “Take on Me” by a-ha, to #3. “Part Time Lover” by Stevie Wonder was at #2. The show included two Long Distance Dedications: “I Won’t Hold You Back” by Toto and “You’re Only Human” by Billy Joel.

Perspective From the Present: We lived in a one-bedroom basement apartment in the fall of 1985. It was in what was otherwise a commercial building, owned by the insurance agent whose office was across the hall, with an optometrist and some other office upstairs. We’d been there exactly two years at that point, but would soon move to a rented house. I can still see myself in that little apartment, sitting in the big easy chair I scrounged from my parents’ basement, watching the sixth and seventh games of the World Series. But when I went to look at the Google Street View of the address not long ago, I didn’t recognize it at all.

October 14, 1977: The Series

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(Pictured: Reggie Jackson swings and misses during a 1977 World Series game at Yankee Stadium.)

October 14, 1977, is a Friday. At the White House, President Carter meets with General Omar Torrijos and other Panamanian officials to clarify American military rights in the Canal Zone if the canal is turned over to Panama, as proposed in the Panama Canal Treaty signed last month. Later, Carter answers questions from a group of reporters and editors, meets author David McCullough, and attends a reception for Democratic Party fund-raisers, among his other daily activities. After a round of golf in Spain, singer and actor Bing Crosby dies at age 74. (He shot an 85.) Actor Keenan Wynn dies in Los Angeles. Speaking in Des Moines, Iowa, anti-gay activist Anita Bryant is hit in the face with a pie. The First National Bank of Chicago reports that a million dollars is missing from its vaults. “It’s possible that at some point we miscounted the cash,” says the bank’s senior vice president, “but as of now we are working on the assumption that it is a cash loss.” In 1981, $2,300 of the money will be recovered; the rest never will.

On TV tonight, ABC carries Game 3 of the World Series, to be played in Los Angeles. The Yankees beat the Dodgers 5-3 to take a 2-1 lead in the series. Yankee stars Reggie Jackson and Thurman Munson play in the game, after threatening to sit out in a dispute over seats provided to their family and friends at Dodger Stadium. In the Chicago Tribune, TV critic Gary Deeb blasts ABC for turning this week’s edition of its nightly newscast, anchored by Harry Reasoner and Barbara Walters, into a promotional vehicle for the network’s coverage of the Series, which ABC is carrying for the first time. Opposite the baseball game, CBS broadcasts Wonder Woman and Smile, a 1975 theatrical comedy about beauty pageant organizers, starring Bruce Dern and Barbara Feldon; NBC airs the Sanford and Son spinoff The Sanford Arms, Chico and the Man, The Rockford Files, and Quincy.

Before tonight’s World Series game, Linda Ronstadt sings the National Anthem. Ronstadt is also featured in the current edition of New Times magazine, and has two new singles out, “Blue Bayou” and “It’s So Easy.” The Grateful Dead plays Houston, Renaissance plays the Royal Albert Hall in London, Steppenwolf plays St. Louis, Keith Jarrett plays Paris, Rush plays Tulsa, and the Steve Miller Band plays Ann Arbor, Michigan. KISS Alive II is released. On the new Cash Box magazine chart, which will come out officially tomorrow, the top four are unchanged from the previous week: “You Light Up My Life” by Debby Boone is in its second week at #1, followed by “Keep it Comin’ Love” by KC and the Sunshine Band, “Nobody Does it Better” by Carly Simon, and Meco’s “Star Wars/Cantina Band.” New in the Top 10: “I Feel Love” by Donna Summer and “Cold as Ice” by Foreigner. New in the Top 40: “How Deep Is Your Love” by the Bee Gees, “I Just Want to Make Love to You” by Foghat, and “Send in the Clowns” by Judy Collins.

In Wisconsin, the leaves change and then they fall; the world gets a little bit colder every day. The radio talks to a guy who can’t help but listen, because it knows his life better than he does.