October 10, 1983: This Much Is True

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(Pictured: Bonnie Tyler, 1983.)

I have written about a lot of October days over the years. I’ve been tweeting them out all month and will continue to do so. Here’s a new day.

October 10, 1983, was a Monday. It is Columbus Day. Pleasant autumn weather prevails across the country, with a bit of rain forecast in the Appalachians and the upper Midwest. Headlines on the morning papers include yesterday’s resignation of Interior Secretary James Watt, ending a two-week controversy over a remark in which he characterized members of a government advisory board as “a black, a woman, two Jews, and a cripple.” In Des Moines, Iowa, Catholic bishop Maurice Dingman talks to a reporter about his kidnapping on Sunday. Two men claiming to have a gun snatched him from outside a convenience store and forced him to ride with them to Waterloo, Iowa, where one man got out of the car. The other drove the bishop back to Des Moines and released him unharmed after eight hours. Today, Occidental Petroleum has reportedly reached a settlement with families whose homes were built on the Love Canal chemical dump site in New York State. In Wisconsin, a bill that would raise the drinking age from 18 to 19 is approved by a legislative committee and sent to the State Assembly for debate. Wisconsin is one of only three states with a drinking age of 18. Ohio senator John Glenn and former vice-president Walter Mondale, the top two candidates for the 1984 Democratic presidential nomination, blast one another on the campaign trail. Glenn says Mondale would bring back the failed policies of the Carter Administration, while Mondale criticizes Glenn for votes in favor of President Reagan’s economic plans. In New York City, funeral services are held for Terence Cardinal Cooke, who died last week at the age of 62. Sir Ralph Richardson, one of the great British actors of the 20th century, dies at age 80; future singer Lzzy Hale of the band Halestorm is born.

The World Series opens tomorrow night in Baltimore. The Philadelphia Phillies will send 19-game winner John Denny to the mound to face 18-game winner Scott McGregor. Orioles manager Joe Altobelli plans to start McGregor again in game 4, and in game 7 if necessary. Today, the sale of the Detroit Tigers is announced; John Fetzer, the owner since 1962, sold the club to Thomas Monaghan, the founder of Domino’s Pizza. The purchase price is not disclosed. In the NFL today, Houston Oilers coach Ed Biles resigns after the team loses its sixth straight, and 13th in a row over two seasons, on Sunday. Tonight, Pittsburgh defeats Cincinnati 24-14.

Monday Night Football airs on ABC as usual, following an episode of the reality series That’s Incredible. NBC presents the new dramatic series Boone, about an aspiring singer in post-World War II Nashville, created by Earl Hamner. It’s followed by Adam, a TV movie starring Daniel J. Travanti and Jobeth Williams, about the 1981 abduction and murder of six-year-old Adam Walsh. CBS wins the night, however, with episodes of Scarecrow and Mrs. King and AfterMASH, and the Country Music Association Awards. At the CMAs, Alabama wins Entertainer of the Year for the second year in a row, as well as Vocal Group of the Year and Album of the Year. John Anderson’s “Swingin'” is named Single of the Year. Song of the Year is “Always On My Mind,” recorded by Willie Nelson, who co-hosts the awards show with Anne Murray.

At WLS in Chicago, “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler is #1. Last week’s #1, “The Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats, falls to #2. “Puttin’ on the Ritz” by Taco holds at #3. Two songs are new in the Top 10: “Promises Promises” by Naked Eyes and “Islands in the Stream” by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. The biggest movers on the survey are both up 13 spots: “Burning Down the House” by Talking Heads and “Foolin'” by Def Leppard. The highest debuting new song is “True” by Spandau Ballet. The top four albums hold their positions from the previous week: Synchronicity by the Police, Thriller, Def Leppard’s Pyromania, and the Flashdance soundtrack.

Perspective From the Present: This may have been the Monday after the weekend The Mrs. and I went apartment-hunting in Macomb, Illinois, in preparation for moving there at the end of the month (to the badly run station in the nowhere town). As it happens, we revisited Macomb this past weekend. When we moved 35 years ago, we moved for good: we think it’s only the second time either of us has been back there since.

4 thoughts on “October 10, 1983: This Much Is True

  1. Brian Rostron

    The Phillies made the World Series even with 42 year old Pete Rose playing 150 games at first base while hitting .245 with 0 HRs and 45 RBIs. He played poorly in the series, was benched, and then went on national TV with Howard Cosell to complain about being benched.

  2. Jim Bahler

    While I don’t believe I’ve ever actually been to Macomb, I did write mostly record reviews for Sunrise magazine, out of Macomb, back in 1972 through 1975. I was living in Janesville, Wisconsin at the time, and still live here. 10 years before your time, but a connection of sorts. Guess I didn’t miss much. Jim

    1. porky

      I am friends with Bill Knight who was heavily involved in that magazine, later titled the Prairie Sun (distributed at the Co-op Record Stores in the Midwest). Bill is/was an excellent journalist and eventually was a journalism professor (now retired) at Western Illinois University in Macomb.

  3. Scott Erickson

    My friend and former colleague at Murray State, Dennis Johnson, joined the music faculty in 1985. Prior to that, he held the same position (Director of Bands) at Western Illinois but I’m not sure how long he was there. Small world . About the drinking age in Wisconsin, I thought it went to 19 way before 1983. I’m not sure why I thought that.

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