October 24, 1980: Lost at Sea

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(Pictured: the cast of The Dukes of Hazzard.)

(Note to patrons: back when One Day in Your Life was its own website, certain posts were categorized under “Somewhat New Day.” These were posts that had appeared at THJKOC in the past but were edited and/or updated and/or expanded to appear at ODIYL. This is one such post, which never appeared in this form over there.)

October 24, 1980, is a Friday. By presidential proclamation, it’s United Nations Day. Headlines in this morning’s papers include the retirement of longtime Soviet premier Alexei Kosygin, who has served in the post since 1964, and who stepped down yesterday for health reasons. He will be replaced by his deputy, Nikolai Tikhonov. Also yesterday, UN Ambassador Donald McHenry spoke to the Security Council and blasted Iraq’s invasion of Iran. Some observers believe the speech is aimed at conciliating Iran, where 52 American hostages are in their 355th day of captivity today. A ship named the SS Poet leaves Philadelphia, officially bound for Egypt with a cargo of corn. The ship will never arrive at its destination; a Coast Guard investigation will declare it lost at sea and all 34 crew members dead. In future years, there will be suggestions that the Poet contained $40 million in arms and spare parts, paid for by the Reagan campaign and sent to Iran as a bribe to keep their American hostages in captivity until after the November 4 election, and that the ship was deliberately destroyed after delivery to keep the shipment secret. Scientists continue to watch Mount St. Helens in Washington state, which erupted again last week. It’s the fifth smaller eruption since the devastating one last May. In Chicago, you can buy a gallon of two-percent milk for $1.49 and a pound of Oscar Meyer wieners for $1.99 at Jewel food stores.

In boxing, heavyweight contender Gerry Cooney knocks out Ron Lyle in the first round. Future R&B singer Monica is born. Alexander Poniatoff, founder of Ampex, the company that developed the first practical videotape recorder, dies at age 88. The first U.S. national tour of Sweeney Todd opens in Washington, DC. NBC airs the final episode of The David Letterman Show, a daytime variety series that has followed the Today Show since June. CBS starts primetime with two Peanuts specials, the new Life Is a Circus, Charlie Brown and the annual repeat of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Also on CBS tonight: The Dukes of Hazzard and Dallas. NBC airs a repeat episode of the miniseries Centennial, followed by the news show NBC Magazine. ABC’s Friday night movie is the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The network takes out newspaper ads with the tag line, “Another outstanding movie on free television.” The movie is followed by a political program, in which Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan talks economics. Opening in theaters this weekend: Motel Hell, a parody of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and My Bodyguard, joining box-office hits Private Benjamin and Hopscotch, which stars Glenda Jackson and Walter Matthau.

Head East plays Austin, Texas, the B-52s play Chicago, Bruce Springsteen plays Seattle, and Linda Ronstadt plays Iowa State University with the Joe Ely Band opening. At WRKO in Boston, there’s a distinct adult-contemporary vibe going on with “Lady” by Kenny Rogers, “Woman in Love” by Barbra Streisand, and “Look What You’ve Done to Me” by Boz Scaggs all in the Top 10. There’s a Doobie Brothers vibe at the top as well, with “Real Love” and Amy Holland’s “How Do I Survive,” produced by Michael McDonald, who is Holland’s husband. The chart is also rich with decaffeinated R&B, including “Never Knew Love Like This Before” by Stephanie Mills, “He’s So Shy” by the Pointer Sisters, and “Give Me the Night” by George Benson. The closest thing to rock on WRKO at the moment is Paul Simon’s “Late in the Evening,” but even that has the tasteful stamp of the 1980-1982 pocket that made MTV necessary.

One response

  1. When “Lady” hit #1 on Billboard, it gave Lionel Richie the third consecutive year of having at least co-written a pop chart topper. He would go on to make it nine consecutive years of writing or co-writing Billboard #1s (1978-1986), which may still be a record among writers. Good for him, I just wish it wasn’t for songs like this and “Truly” that generate more sap than a maple farm.

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