(Pictured: Jerry Brown makes a point on the campaign trail in 1992.)
March 14, 1992, was a Saturday. Snow falls in the Great Lakes states and in New England; locations in New York State set low temperature records. Headlines in the papers today include the shutdown of Pravda, the Soviet Communist Party newspaper, which has run out of operating funds in post-Soviet Russia, although the shutdown proves to be temporary. Senate Democrats have narrowly passed a $57 billion middle-class tax cut that will be paid for by tax increases on the nation’s richest 800,000 citizens. No Republican voted for it; four Democrats voted against. President Bush has vowed to veto it. Over 350 current and former members of the House of Representatives have written bad checks on the House Bank; one Minnesota congressman bounced nearly $120,000 worth. An Associated Press feature running in papers around the country this weekend discusses the growing support for presidential candidate Jerry Brown among organized labor. Brown hopes to slow Bill Clinton, who won several Super Tuesday primaries earlier this week. Brown says that Clinton represents “everything that stinks about the American political process.” A spokesperson for candidate Paul Tsongas says “Jerry Brown has this incredible talent for sucking votes away from the front-runner. I think that helps us.” Former TV evangelist Tammy Faye Bakker has been granted a divorce from her husband Jim, who is current in jail on a federal fraud and conspiracy conviction. The Red Cross says that the death toll in an earthquake that struck Turkey on Friday may reach 4,000.
In college basketball, conference tournaments are held in advance of NCAA tournament selections tomorrow. In the SEC tournament, Kentucky beats LSU 80-74; LSU is without center Shaquille O’Neal, who served a mandatory one-game suspension after being ejected during a fight in yesterday’s win over Tennessee. Seven games are played in the NBA tonight; the defending champion Chicago Bulls have a league-best record of 53-and-12 after beating Orlando 112-96.
Texas Stadium in suburban Dallas is the site of Farm Aid V. The massive show features Willie Nelson, Neil Young, Paul Simon, John Mellencamp, Bonnie Raitt, Joe Walsh, Nick Lowe, and a host of other rock, pop, and country performers. Metallica plays Miami, Phish plays New York City, Rush plays New Haven, Connecticut, Tesla plays Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and a heavy-metal show in Germany featuring a number of bands espousing pro-Nazi themes attracts a crowd of 1,000.
On TV, NBC wins the night with its lineup of The Golden Girls, The Powers That Be (starring John Forsythe as a United States senator with a wacky family and staff), Empty Nest, the Empty Nest spinoff The Nurses, and Bob Hope and Other Young Comedians. CBS presents two hours of the Ice Capades and an episode of The Boys of Twilight, a western starring Richard Farnsworth and Wilford Brimley. It will be canceled after next week’s broadcast. ABC starts with the animated sitcom Capitol Critters, followed by Who’s the Boss, Perfect Strangers, Growing Pains, and The Commish. Fox airs two episodes of Cops and World’s Greatest Stunts III. Later, John Goodman hosts Saturday Night Live with musical guest Garth Brooks, whose album Ropin’ the Wind is currently #1 on the Billboard 200.
In the current edition of Radio and Records, Michael Jackson tops the CHR and Urban Contemporary charts with “Remember the Time.” “Save the Best for Last” by Vanessa Williams is #2 CHR, #4 Urban Contemporary, and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. On the AOR Tracks chart, Bruce Springsteen’s “Human Touch” debuts at #1, just ahead of “Come As You Are” by Nirvana. “Human Touch” debuts on the CHR and Adult Contemporary charts as well, and this weekend, Shadoe Stevens plays it as a “sneak peek” on American Top 40. The Radio and Records New Rock chart is led by U2’s album Achtung Baby. That album’s lead track, “One,” is new on the AOR Tracks and CHR charts.
Perspective From the Present: I spent nearly four years in the early 90s at an AM-FM combo in small-town Iowa. The spring of 1992 was the approximate midpoint of those years, and things were pretty good; we were operating out of a remodeled main studio and the work we had put into reviving a moribund operation over the last two years was paying off. I did not often go to work on Saturdays unless I had to do a remote broadcast from a sponsor; whether I did on this day I do not know.
At this point in my life, I assumed I would work in radio forever. Turns out I was right, sort of.