(Pictured: Madonna on stage in June 2001.)
This website’s early summer hiatus will continue following this post. New content returns late next week.
June 5, 2001, was a Tuesday. Vermont senator Jim Jeffords officially switches his party affiliation from Republican to independent, and he begins caucusing with Senate Democrats. The Senate had been divided 50-50, but Vice President Dick Cheney’s vote gave them control of the chamber; Jeffords’ switch puts the Democrats in the majority. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights leaks to the media a forthcoming report strongly critical of Florida’s performance during the disputed 2000 presidential election, accusing the state of widespread disenfranchisement of minority voters. Republican members of the commission are angry about the leak. In Los Angeles, city attorney James Hahn is elected mayor over former California assembly speaker Antonio Villaraigosa. In New York City, millionaire Michael Bloomberg uses a TV ad blitz to announce that he will run for mayor in the fall. Bassist Dee Dee Ramone of the Ramones dies today at age 50. It’s been a rough stretch for celebrities: musician John Hartford died yesterday; over the past weekend actors Anthony Quinn and Imogene Coca died; TV personality Arlene Francis died last week; singer Perry Como died on May 12.
Last night, the New Jersey Devils beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-1 to take a 3-2 lead in the Stanley Cup Final. The NBA Finals open tomorrow night in Los Angeles, where the Lakers will meet the Philadelphia 76ers. There’s a full schedule in Major League Baseball on this day. The Seattle Mariners run their record to 45-and-12 with a 5-4 win over Texas. The Cleveland Indians pull within a half-game of the Central Division-leading Twins with a 5-0 win over Minnesota tonight. In the National League, the first-place Chicago Cubs break open a back-and-forth battle with the St. Louis Cardinals thanks to a seventh-inning grand slam by Julio Zuleta, and they win 12-6.
On TV tonight, ABC has the highest-rated show, a new episode of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Also on ABC tonight are repeats of Dharma and Greg, The Geena Davis Show, and NYPD Blue. NBC’s schedule includes three episodes of Frasier, sandwiched around the premiere episode of Kristin. It’s a sitcom about a woman from Oklahoma who moves to New York City hoping to break into showbiz, and it stars Kristin Chenoweth. CBS airs JAG, 60 Minutes II, and Judging Amy. Fox presents That 70s Show, Titus, and Dark Angel.
Madonna, set to open a world tour in Cologne, Germany, ends up canceling shows tonight and tomorrow due to technical problems. Bon Jovi wraps up a brief tour of Australia and Japan with a show in Tokyo; they’ll open an American tour later this month. U2 opens a three-night stand in Boston. The Black Crowes play Merriwether Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland. Journey plays Albuquerque, New Mexico, with Peter Frampton and John Waite opening.
On the Billboard Hot 100, “Lady Marmalade” by Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya, and Pink moves into the #1 spot, knocking Janet Jackson’s “All for You” to #2. Other songs in the Top 10 include “Hanging By a Moment” by Lifehouse at #4, “Follow Me” by Uncle Kracker at #6, and “Thank You” by Dido at #8. The highest debut in the Top 40 is “There You’ll Be” by Faith Hill at #25; another country crossover, “I’m Already There” by Lonestar, debuts at #38. The oldest record on the Hot 100 is yet another country crossover: “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack, still hanging around at #30 in its 39th week on the chart.
In Madison, Wisconsin, a former radio DJ turned educational product developer spends another day in the cubicle farm. Although he doesn’t like the job much, it makes certain things possible: tomorrow, for example, he will take delivery on a new 2001 Ford ZX2. It’s the first car he ever bought not because he needed a new one but because he wanted one. After work tonight, he takes one last drive in his old Ford Escort to visit his parents an hour away, listening to old songs there and back. Later tonight, in his journal, he describes a sentiment that will one day appear on a blog he hasn’t invented yet:
We could not have known in 1977 how the music we were listening to then would stay with us, and how after so much time, it would continue to speak to us across the years. I realized that it often was, in a way I couldn’t have understood until many years later, commenting on our lives in the very moments we lived them.