(Pictured: the cast of Full House puts on the ritz, 1991.)
March 8, 1991, was a Friday. Headlines include the demobilization of American troops in wake of the Persian Gulf War, which officially ended on February 28 with the end of coalition combat operations. Elements of the 82nd Airborne Division are due back in North Carolina today. Defense Secretary Dick Cheney says that barring a new outbreak of fighting, 5,000 soldiers per day will be coming home. In Los Angeles, 15 police officers are suspended today in the wake of the beating of motorist Rodney King after his arrest this past Sunday morning. A videotape of the beating was first broadcast nationally on Tuesday. The Los Angeles DA announced today that he will seek indictments of some officers. In Bowling Green, Ohio, the local police blotter includes the following from earlier this week: several incidents of home and car vandalism, birds running loose down the corridors of the local mall (they had apparently escaped from a pet store), obscene questions from a man claiming to be taking a door-to-door survey, and a woman reporting that somebody took her garden hose from outside her home and put it in her basement.
In men’s college basketball, conference tournaments are in progress before the NCAA tournament field is announced on Sunday. Teams in contention for top seeds include North Carolina, Syracuse, Ohio State, Duke, Arkansas, Indiana, Nevada-Las Vegas, and Arizona. Six games are played in the NBA tonight. In a battle of division leaders, the Chicago Bulls need a fourth-quarter comeback to beat the Utah Jazz 99-89. Michael Jordan of the Bulls leads all scorers with 37 points. Another top team, the Boston Celtics, beat the Los Angeles Clippers 104-98. It’s the 45th win for the Celtics, tying them for most in the league with the Portland Trail Blazers, who have the night off.
In a document released today, the FCC has announced that as of February 28, 1991, there are 10,863 radio stations and 1,469 TV stations licensed in the United States. These figures do not include FM and TV translators or low-power TV stations. On TV tonight, ABC’s TGIF lineup includes episodes of Full House and Family Matters as well as the premiere of Baby Talk, a sitcom loosely based on the Look Who’s Talking movies. Also on ABC tonight is the final episode of Going Places, a sitcom about TV comedy writers living on the beach in Los Angeles, and the news magazine 20/20. NBC presents episodes of Unsolved Mysteries, Hunter, and Dark Shadows, a remake of the original 60s series, starring Ben Cross as Barnabas Collins. CBS airs episodes of the western Guns of Paradise, Dallas, and a colorized repeat of the first episode of I Love Lucy. FOX presents America’s Most Wanted and Against the Law, a legal comedy/drama. At the movies this weekend, you can see The Silence of the Lambs, Home Alone, and Dances With Wolves, Julia Roberts in Sleeping With the Enemy, New Jack City starring Wesley Snipes, and The Doors, which stars Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison.
Nirvana plays Vancouver, British Columbia, and the Scorpions play Irvine, California. Hall and Oates play the Star Plaza Theater in Merrillville, Indiana, near Chicago, and Neil Young plays Miami with Sonic Youth opening. Jazz saxophonist Stan Getz plays Paris. It will be his last show before his death in June. New Kids on the Block play Little Rock, Arkansas. On the new Cash Box charts that come out tomorrow, “Written All Over Your Face” by the Rude Boys is #1 on the R&B chart. The #1 country song is “Lovin’ Blind” by Clint Black, at the top for a second week. On the pop chart, the #1 song is “One More Try” by Timmy T.
Perspective From the Present: In the spring of 1991, I’d been program director of the little station in Clinton, Iowa, for about a year. We had live, local shows in the morning and afternoon, but we got the rest of our programming via satellite. I did the afternoon show. After dealing with a day full of programming minutiae, it was a fine thing to go into a room, shut the door, and be alone for a while. My shows weren’t great, but weren’t horrible either: decent, workmanlike, small-market radio. I didn’t yet know Clinton was the last stop of my full-time radio career, although in retrospect it’s hard for me to imagine where I thought I might go from there.
Coming Wednesday: we’ll go inside the American Top 40 show from the weekend of March 9, 1991.