(Pictured: Daryl Hall welcomes you to his world, 1986.)
September 23, 1986, was a Tuesday. It’s the first day of fall, which arrives at 2:58AM Central time in the United States. Headlines on the morning papers involve US-Soviet arms control talks, possible normalization of diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and Israel, continuing unrest in the Philippines, and new information about last spring’s Chernobyl disaster in the Ukraine. Today, a Congressional resolution declares the rose as the national flower. A U.S. Senate committee concludes impeachment hearings for federal judge Harry Claiborne, who is currently serving a jail term for filing false income tax returns. Claiborne, formerly a prominent entertainment lawyer, received a lifetime appointment to the bench from President Carter in 1978. He will be removed from office by a vote of the full Senate next month, the first federal official to be removed by impeachment since 1936. Also today, President Reagan makes a number of nominations and appointments and delivers prepared remarks before a couple of groups visiting the White House. Tonight, he attends a scholarship fundraiser at a Washington hotel, where he gives a nostalgic, humorous speech about his days at Eureka College in Illinois. Reagan is presented with the Eureka class of 1932 ring he could not afford to buy back then. In Connecticut, 11-year-old Kathleen Flynn goes missing and is later found murdered. The case will go cold until a suspect is arrested in 2019.
Last night’s NFL game saw the Chicago Bears run their record to 3-and-0 with a 25-12 victory over the winless Green Bay Packers.
The game featured a vicious hit by Packers defensive lineman Charles Martin on Bears quarterback Jim McMahon a full 20 seconds following the end of a play. Martin was kicked out of the game and will be suspended; the injury McMahon suffered on the play will end his season. (Editor’s note: the Charles Martin hit happened on November 23, not September 23. I am not the only Internet source to get this wrong. Tip of the helmet to Jeff Ash for the correction.) Tonight in baseball, Houston Astros starting pitcher Jim Deshaies sets a modern record by striking out the first eight Los Angeles Dodgers he faces. (The all-time mark of nine, set in 1884, still stands.) The Astros win 4-0. With two weeks left in the regular season, the playoff pairings look to be a foregone conclusion: the Astros versus the New York Mets in the National League and the Boston Red Sox versus the California Angels in the American League.
On TV tonight, ABC presents Who’s the Boss, the premiere episode of the detective spoof Sledge Hammer, Moonlighting (the highest-rated show of the night), and the second episode of Jack and Mike, a romantic comedy set in Chicago starring Shelley Hack and Tom Mason. NBC presents Matlock and the TV movie Doing Life, a fact-based prison drama starring Tony Danza. CBS starts the night with the third episode of The Wizard, an action-adventure series starring David Rappoport as a wealthy genius with dwarfism who helps the downtrodden. CBS has its own fact-based TV movie on the schedule tonight, Firefighter, with Nancy McKeon as the first female firefighter in Los Angeles County.
Boston’s long-awaited third album, Third Stage, is officially released. REM plays Mesa, Arizona, ZZ Top plays Frankfurt, Germany, and Ozzy Osbourne plays Portland, Maine. Emerson, Lake and Powell play Richfield Coliseum in suburban Cleveland, and Bon Jovi plays at Western Carolina University. David Lee Roth plays Indianapolis with Cinderella opening, and the Ramones play San Diego. “Stuck With You” by Huey Lewis and the News is #1 on the latest Cash Box chart, knocking last week’s #1, “Take My Breath Away” by Berlin, to #2. “Higher Love” by Steve Winwood is #3. Only one song is new in the Top 10: “Dreamtime” by Daryl Hall at #7. The biggest upward move by any song in the Top 40 is five places, and several songs make it: “Heartbeat,” by Miami Vice star Don Johnson, is the highest-ranking of them, at #19. Three songs debut in the Top 40: “Girl Can’t Help It” by Journey, “Twist and Shout” by the Beatles, and “Point of No Return” by Nu Shooz. The highest debut on the Cash Box Top 100 is “I Am By Your Side” by Corey Hart at #66. The biggest mover in the Top 100 is “Human” by Human League, up 15 spots to #53 this week.
Perspective From the Present: The Packers/Bears rivalry was never more vicious than it was in 1986; players and coaches quite literally hated each other. (Editor’s note: this was as true in September, as it was in November.) Of the Martin hit, I said at the time, “I don’t condone it, but I understand it.” Staying up for the Monday night game made it a late night for a morning radio jock. But on this day, I did my show as always, as summer turned to fall on the prairies of western Illinois.