July 5, 1985: People Do the Craziest Things

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(Pictured: Miami Vice stars Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas.)

July 5, 1985, was a Friday. A giant wildfire is burning in the Los Padres National Forest in Santa Barbara County, California. Officials say favorable weather has slowed the fire somewhat. Many fireworks displays in areas threatened by the fire were canceled last night. The Labor Department reported today that the nation’s unemployment rate is 7.3 percent for a fifth straight month, the longest such streak in over 15 years. The Associated Press reports that the Major League Baseball All-Star Game on July 15 will be broadcast on NBC with stereo sound. Currently, only about 70 of the nation’s 1,208 TV stations broadcast in stereo, but between 55 and 60 percent of American homes are in range of one of them. NBC’s parent company, TV manufacturer RCA, hopes to convince consumers to buy more expensive stereo-compatible sets. One challenge facing TV stereo is the FCC’s recent decision not to require cable companies to retransmit stereo signals.

Future soccer star Megan Rapinoe is born. At 3:55AM Eastern time this morning, the New York Mets finish off the Atlanta Braves 16-13. The first pitch, scheduled for 7:40PM last night, was delayed 90 minutes by rain; there was also a 41-minute rain delay in the third inning. The game is tied 8-8 after nine innings; each team scores two runs in the 13th. The Mets go ahead in the top of the 18th before Braves pitcher Rick Camp, a lifetime .060 hitter, homers in the bottom of the inning to tie it again. The Mets score five in the top of the 19th; the Braves get two in the bottom of the inning but it isn’t enough. The previously scheduled postgame fireworks display goes off beginning at 4AM. Later in the day, the Chicago Cubs drop the second game of a weekend series to the San Francisco Giants, 12-6. The injury-riddled Cubs have been in a tailspin, losing 17 of their last 23 games, including 13 losses in a row in June. Baseball’s four divisions are led by the Toronto Blue Jays, California Angels, St. Louis Cardinals, and San Diego Padres. The United States Football League playoff semifinals are this weekend. Tomorrow, the Oakland Invaders play the Memphis Showboats; on Sunday, the Baltimore Stars play the Birmingham Stallions. Both games will be broadcast on ABC.

On TV tonight, ABC presents Webster, The Comedy Factory (a summer series of unsold sitcom pilots), Benson, People Do the Craziest Things (a Candid Camera-style prank show), and Matt Houston. The CBS lineup includes The Dukes of Hazzard and the 1983 TV movie White Water Rebels, starring James Brolin and Catherine Bach. NBC airs Michael Nesmith in Television Parts (featuring sketch comedy and short films), Spencer (a family sitcom also broadcast with the title Under One Roof), the science-fiction series V, and Miami Vice, the highest-rated show of the night. In theaters, Back to the Future opened on Wednesday to take advantage of the long holiday weekend. It will knock last week’s #1 film, Pale Rider, starring Clint Eastwood, to #2 at the box office. Other movies in theaters include Rambo: First Blood Part 2, Cocoon, and the only other major film to open this weekend, The Emerald Forest, an adventure set in Brazil, directed by John Boorman and starring Powers Boothe.

Eric Clapton plays Poplar Creek in suburban Chicago and Barry Manilow plays Springfield, Illinois. Tom Petty and Lone Justice play Dallas. Miles Davis plays in Austria. The Tubes perform in Concord, California, with Todd Rundgren and Utopia opening. Iron Maiden and W.A.S.P. are in Irvine, California. Stevie Ray Vaughan opens a European tour in Hamburg, Germany. On the new Cash Box chart that will come out tomorrow, “Sussudio” by Phil Collins holds at #1. “A View to a Kill” by Duran Duran is #2 and “Raspberry Beret” by Prince is #3. Tears for Fears has two songs in the Top 40: “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” at #5 and “Shout” at #23, up from #35 last week. “Every Time You Go Away” by Paul Young and “Voices Carry” by ‘Til Tuesday are new in the Top 10. “The Power of Love,” the song by Huey Lewis and the News heard in Back to the Future, is new in the Top 40, at #35 in its second week on the Cash Box Top 100. Lewis also has a cameo role in the film.

Perspective From the Present: Friday was not a holiday for me. I was at work at the radio station as usual, fascinated by the Mets/Braves game, commiserating with colleagues over the Cubs’ sorry performance, and playing the hits.

A new Sidepiece, which contains the usual gasbaggery but also a piece of subscriber-exclusive news, went out yesterday. If you aren’t a subscriber yet, click here. If you are a subscriber but didn’t get it, check your spam filter. 

3 thoughts on “July 5, 1985: People Do the Craziest Things

  1. tom long

    Thanks for this email. I was in Great Lakes Naval Bootcamp for just over two weeks. Rarely did we get news. All training all day.

  2. Gary Omaha

    That Lujack aircheck brought back memories. The adlibs! The music! The jingles! (I hope the engineer enjoyed it.) And best of all, the US30 Dragstrip spot! Sunday! Sunday!

    1. Gary’s referring to something I posted on Twitter today: Larry Lujack on his first day after moving from WLS to WCFL, July 5, 1972. It’s the whole afternoon show on that day (scoped; runs about 35 minutes), and it goes a long way toward explaining why he inspired so many of us to do radio ourselves. We all wanted to be this cool, this carefree, this loose and funny, even if we could never actually do it like he did. The aircheck is here: https://m.box.com/shared_item/https%3A%2F%2Fapp.box.com%2Fs%2F8figooytt9dzsuho7e5w48zhjce0qten

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