(Pictured: Daryl Hall welcomes you to his world, 1986.)
September 23, 1986, was a Tuesday. It’s the first day of fall, which arrives at 2:58AM Central time in the United States. Headlines on the morning papers involve US-Soviet arms control talks, possible normalization of diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and Israel, continuing unrest in the Philippines, and new information about last spring’s Chernobyl disaster in the Ukraine. Today, a Congressional resolution declares the rose as the national flower. A U.S. Senate committee concludes impeachment hearings for federal judge Harry Claiborne, who is currently serving a jail term for filing false income tax returns. Claiborne, formerly a prominent entertainment lawyer, received a lifetime appointment to the bench from President Carter in 1978. He will be removed from office by a vote of the full Senate next month, the first federal official to be removed by impeachment since 1936. Also today, President Reagan makes a number of nominations and appointments and delivers prepared remarks before a couple of groups visiting the White House. Tonight, he attends a scholarship fundraiser at a Washington hotel, where he gives a nostalgic, humorous speech about his days at Eureka College in Illinois. Reagan is presented with the Eureka class of 1932 ring he could not afford to buy back then. In Connecticut, 11-year-old Kathleen Flynn goes missing and is later found murdered. The case will go cold until a suspect is arrested in 2019.
Last night’s NFL game saw the Chicago Bears run their record to 3-and-0 with a 25-12 victory over the winless Green Bay Packers.
The game featured a vicious hit by Packers defensive lineman Charles Martin on Bears quarterback Jim McMahon a full 20 seconds following the end of a play. Martin was kicked out of the game and will be suspended; the injury McMahon suffered on the play will end his season. (Editor’s note: the Charles Martin hit happened on November 23, not September 23. I am not the only Internet source to get this wrong. Tip of the helmet to Jeff Ash for the correction.) Tonight in baseball, Houston Astros starting pitcher Jim Deshaies sets a modern record by striking out the first eight Los Angeles Dodgers he faces. (The all-time mark of nine, set in 1884, still stands.) The Astros win 4-0. With two weeks left in the regular season, the playoff pairings look to be a foregone conclusion: the Astros versus the New York Mets in the National League and the Boston Red Sox versus the California Angels in the American League.
On TV tonight, ABC presents Who’s the Boss, the premiere episode of the detective spoof Sledge Hammer, Moonlighting (the highest-rated show of the night), and the second episode of Jack and Mike, a romantic comedy set in Chicago starring Shelley Hack and Tom Mason. NBC presents Matlock and the TV movie Doing Life, a fact-based prison drama starring Tony Danza. CBS starts the night with the third episode of The Wizard, an action-adventure series starring David Rappoport as a wealthy genius with dwarfism who helps the downtrodden. CBS has its own fact-based TV movie on the schedule tonight, Firefighter, with Nancy McKeon as the first female firefighter in Los Angeles County.
Boston’s long-awaited third album, Third Stage, is officially released. REM plays Mesa, Arizona, ZZ Top plays Frankfurt, Germany, and Ozzy Osbourne plays Portland, Maine. Emerson, Lake and Powell play Richfield Coliseum in suburban Cleveland, and Bon Jovi plays at Western Carolina University. David Lee Roth plays Indianapolis with Cinderella opening, and the Ramones play San Diego. “Stuck With You” by Huey Lewis and the News is #1 on the latest Cash Box chart, knocking last week’s #1, “Take My Breath Away” by Berlin, to #2. “Higher Love” by Steve Winwood is #3. Only one song is new in the Top 10: “Dreamtime” by Daryl Hall at #7. The biggest upward move by any song in the Top 40 is five places, and several songs make it: “Heartbeat,” by Miami Vice star Don Johnson, is the highest-ranking of them, at #19. Three songs debut in the Top 40: “Girl Can’t Help It” by Journey, “Twist and Shout” by the Beatles, and “Point of No Return” by Nu Shooz. The highest debut on the Cash Box Top 100 is “I Am By Your Side” by Corey Hart at #66. The biggest mover in the Top 100 is “Human” by Human League, up 15 spots to #53 this week.
Perspective From the Present: The Packers/Bears rivalry was never more vicious than it was in 1986; players and coaches quite literally hated each other. (Editor’s note: this was as true in September, as it was in November.) Of the Martin hit, I said at the time, “I don’t condone it, but I understand it.” Staying up for the Monday night game made it a late night for a morning radio jock. But on this day, I did my show as always, as summer turned to fall on the prairies of western Illinois.
(Pictured: John Denver.)
August 26, 1974, was a Monday. By Congressional resolution, it’s Women’s Equality Day. Aviator Charles Lindbergh, first to fly solo across the Atlantic in 1927, dies at age 72. President Gerald Ford, in office just 17 days, issues a statement on Lindbergh’s death. Following a cabinet meeting that focuses on the economy, he speaks to 160 baseball players set to compete in the Little League World Series. This evening he briefly attends a reception in honor of Herb Stein, outgoing chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors. NBC Nightly News leads with Lindbergh’s death; CBS and ABC save it for the end of their broadcasts, leading instead with Ford’s cabinet meeting and an economic summit set for the end of September. Six named typhoons are currently located in the eastern Pacific between Hawaii and Mexico: Ione, Kirsten, Joyce, Lorraine, Maggie, and Polly. It’s the largest number of simultaneous Pacific storms since records have been kept; the number won’t be equaled again until 2015. The recently renamed U.S. Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife, now known as the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, announces a new emblem to go along with its new name.
In sports, seven games are scheduled in the majors. The division-leading Boston Red Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Los Angeles Dodgers all have the night off, but the Oakland A’s lose to the Milwaukee Brewers 2-1. There was one game in the World Football League yesterday; the Jacksonville Sharks defeated the Hawaiians 14-8 to start the eighth week of the regular season. Five games will be played on Wednesday and one more on Thursday. This week, John Matuszak of the NFL’s Houston Oilers will jump to the WFL’s Houston Texans, signing a million-dollar contract and debuting in Wednesday’s game against the New York Stars. During the second quarter, he will be served with a restraining order, and he will have to watch the rest of the game from the sidelines.
Elton John is featured in the current People magazine talking about his forthcoming film role in Tommy, his homes in Beverly Hills and London, and his new and record-setting $8 million contract with MCA Records. In St. Paul, Minnesota, oldies station WYOO adopts a new identity during a live broadcast from the Minnesota State Fair. U100 has a high-energy rock format intended to compete with WDGY, KDWB, and KSTP. The format and station identity will last until 1976. The Washington Post publishes a lukewarm review of Joni Mitchell’s Saturday night concert in Columbia, Maryland. Tonight, Rush plays Cleveland, only its second headlining show with new drummer Neal Peart, who replaced John Rutsey earlier this summer. Deep Purple plays Hartford, Connecticut, and Chicago plays in suburban Detroit. Liza Minnelli plays the Ohio State Fair and Elvis plays Las Vegas. Aerosmith plays Worcester, Massachusetts. At the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles, John Denver’s shows this week are being recorded for an album that will be called An Evening With John Denver, to be released in 1975. Tonight’s performance of “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” will eventually be a #1 single.
At WMYQ in Miami, “The Night Chicago Died” by Paper Lace holds at #1. Roberta Flack’s “Feel Like Makin’ Love” is #2 and “Having My Baby” by Paul Anka is #3. Eric Clapton’s “I Shot the Sheriff” leaps from #10 to #4. Two songs are new in the Top 10: “Rock Me Gently” by Andy Kim at #8 and “Wildwood Weed” by Jim Stafford at #9. The hottest record in Miami is “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love Babe” by Barry White, up to #12 this week from #28 the week before. Another major mover is “Wild Thing” by Fancy, up to #13 from #22 last week. Three songs are new on the WMYQ survey: “You Haven’t Done Nothin'” by Stevie Wonder, “Then Came You” by Dionne Warwick and the Spinners, and “Earache My Eye” by Cheech and Chong.
Perspective From the Present: It is possible that this day was my first day of high school in Monroe, Wisconsin. We usually went back to school before Labor Day, although not always on the Monday before. Whenever it was, my first day of high school should remain one of the more memorable days of my life, but as I wrote a few years ago, I actually don’t remember anything about it at all.
For more about the World Football League and this bygone week in television, click here.
July 20, 1969, was a Sunday. Police in Massachusetts continue investigating an incident on Friday night in which Senator Edward Kennedy drove his car off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island near Edgartown. A campaign worker riding with him, 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne, drowned. Although Kennedy claims he tried to rescue Kopechne immediately after the crash and again a few hours afterward, he did not report the incident to police until yesterday morning, after Kopechne’s body had been found. Sixteen American servicemen die in Vietnam today: 12 members of the Army, two Navy men, and two Marines. This afternoon, Korean War veterans Neil Armstrong, a Navy lieutenant no longer in the service, and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr., an Air Force colonel, land on the moon aboard Apollo 11. Tonight, they will become the first humans to walk on its surface. In Seattle, a baby born at the precise moment Apollo 11 is landing is named Neil Armstrong Dial. Gospel and R&B singer Roy Hamilton, best known for his recordings of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and “Unchained Melody,” dies after suffering a stroke earlier this month. Tonight, at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, a series of fights break out between black and white Marines. Fifteen Marines, all white, are injured.
News of the Apollo 11 landing is announced at major league ballparks during a busy afternoon of games. There are five doubleheaders—six if you count the completion of a suspended game before today’s regularly scheduled game in Seattle. The Twins and Pilots were in the 16th inning when last night’s game was called due to a 1AM curfew. Today, Twins pitcher Jim Perry throws two shutout innings to get the win in the suspended game. Perry then takes the mound for the scheduled game and pitches a complete-game shutout. Pilots pitcher John Gelnar loses both games. Elsewhere in the American League, in the first game of the A’s/Angels doubleheader, pitcher Vida Blue starts the game for the A’s and gets the loss in his major-league debut. Among the National League games, the Los Angeles Dodgers play at San Francisco. Giants pitcher Gaylord Perry hits his first-ever major-league home run; in 1964 his manager had said, “A man will land on the moon before Gaylord Perry hits a home run.” Perry’s home run comes about 30 minutes after the Apollo landing is announced. David Pearson wins the NASCAR Grand National Volunteer 500 in Bristol, Tennessee. Belgian cycling star Eddy Merckx wins the Tour de France, a race he will dominate for the next several years. Dave Hill wins the PGA IVB-Philadelphia Golf Classic on the first hole of a playoff.
The Newport Folk Festival concludes today with performances by James Taylor, Van Morrison, and Pete Seeger. Taylor’s set is cut short so festival promoters can play radio coverage of the moon landing over the PA system. Pink Floyd performs live on a BBC moon landing special titled So What If It’s Just Green Cheese? King Crimson performs in London and interrupts its show to announce that astronauts have landed on the moon. Elsewhere in England, the Who plays Hastings and Deep Purple plays Birmingham. Yes plays Cork, Ireland. In San Francisco, Joe Cocker plays the Fillmore West with Country Joe and the Fish, Blind Faith plays Baltimore, and Led Zeppelin plays suburban Cleveland with the James Gang opening. Upstate New York landowner Max Yasgur meets with a group planning a rock festival for next month. He agrees to rent them a 600-acre parcel for $75,000. Festival organizers have already spent $25,000 to rent land from adjacent landowners.
At WLTH in Gary, Indiana, “In the Year 2525” by Zager and Evans is #1, knocking “One” by Three Dog Night to #2. “Quentin’s Theme” by the Charles Randolph Greane Sound, heard on the TV show Dark Shadows, makes a big jump from #12 to #5. At country station WKTC in Charlotte, North Carolina, “Statue of a Fool” by Jack Greene is #1. Also in the Top 10: Sonny James’ cover of the Indian love story “Running Bear,” Buck Owens’ cover of “Johnny B. Goode,” and Roy Clark’s “Yesterday When I Was Young.” At R&B station WGOV in Valdosta, Georgia, “The Feeling Is Right” by Clarence Carter is #1. Also in the Top 10: “Mother Popcorn” by James Brown, “Color Him Father” by the Winstons, and “I Wanna Take You Higher” by Sly and the Family Stone.
Perspective From the Present: Even on July 20, 1969—one of the most historic dates in human history—regular daily life went on like it always does. That’s what makes One Day in Your Life so interesting to me, and I hope to you, too.
December 23, 1966, is a Friday. It’s cold in the Upper Midwest with highs around 20; snow is possible from Arkansas and northern Mississippi to southern Ohio; the southeast expects rain. All over the country, elementary school classrooms hold Christmas parties.
Two crewmen die and four are wounded when North Vietnamese shore batteries hit the USS O’Brien off the north-central coast of Vietnam. It’s the first North Vietnamese attack on an American ship from shore. The Chicago Tribune reports that Richard Daley will announce by January 1 whether he will seek an unprecedented fourth term as mayor. The director of placement at Northwestern University says college graduates in business and industry can expect to be offered the highest salaries ever in 1967: engineering graduates will be paid an average of $712 a month to start; salesmen can expect $585. Seventeen Chicago-area men in jail for delinquent alimony payments have been released for Christmas, although some former spouses and their families object. Earlier in the week, thieves stole gifts intended for kids at the Ada S. McKinley Community Services Agency in Chicago, but a local men’s club has replaced them. Sixty-five children are expected to attend today’s Christmas party.
The 16 Polk Brothers stores in the Chicago area will be open tonight until 10:00 and until 8:00 on Christmas Eve. If you buy a new appliance, you get a free case of soup. The Tribune reports that eight Green Bay Packers have been named to United Press International’s NFL All-Star team, although the selections were made public last week. The Packers will play the Dallas Cowboys on New Year’s Day for the NFL championship. On the same day, Kansas City will play Buffalo for the AFL championship. Winners will advance to the first Super Bowl, to be played in Los Angeles on January 15. At the box office, top movies include Doctor Zhivago, The Fortune Cookie, Gigi, Fantastic Voyage, and Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines. On TV, CBS leads off its primetime lineup with Wild Wild West and Hogan’s Heroes; on NBC, it’s Tarzan and The Man From UNCLE; on ABC, primetime starts with The Green Hornet and Time Tunnel.
In the UK, the final episode of the music show Ready Steady Go, which has become a weekend-starting tradition in the UK since its premiere in 1963, is broadcast. The final episode, titled “Ready Steady Goes,” features a who’s-who of British pop stars including Mick Jagger, the Who, and the Yardbirds, and ends with the whole cast singing “White Christmas.” At WCFL in Chicago, “Winchester Cathedral” by the New Vaudeville Band spends a fourth week at #1. “Kind of a Drag” by the Buckinghams is at #2. The two hottest records at WCFL are right behind: “Snoopy vs. the Red Baron” by the Royal Guardsmen is at #3, up from #15 last week; “I’m a Believer” by the Monkees is at #4, up from #17. Rounding out the Top 10: “Mellow Yellow” by Donovan, Mitch Ryder’s “Devil With a Blue Dress,” “Good Vibrations” by the Beach Boys, “Lady Godiva” by Peter and Gordon, and the Supremes’ “You Keep Me Hangin’ On.”
Perspective From the Present: I can’t say for sure that Mrs. Rodger’s first-grade class at Lincoln School in Monroe, Wisconsin, had a Christmas party 50 years ago today. My sense is that when I was a kid, Christmas vacation used to start a little earlier than it does now, and so our last day may have been earlier in the week. But no matter. At the party, Mrs. Rodger gave each of us a Christmas ornament, a paper-maché gingerbread man with her name on the back. It hung on our tree at home every year. It came with me when I moved away, and I still get it out every year, even though we’ve stopped putting up a tree. It’s pictured at the top of this post, looking out from the mantel right now, reminding me of how far I’ve traveled in time . . . and how little.
(Pictured: the Sex Pistols on stage in December 1976.)
December 2, 1976, was a Thursday. The weather across the Midwest and the Northeast is bitterly cold with heavy snow in some areas. Fidel Castro, who has been prime minister of Cuba since 1957, becomes president of Cuba, a position he will hold until 2008. A Utah judge has ordered the firing-squad execution of Gary Gilmore be carried out on Monday after Gilmore turned down a further stay of execution. Sentenced to death in October for two murders, Gilmore has waived all appeals and wants his execution to go forward. (It will, but not until January.) The state of Illinois holds a legislative hearing on a proposal to reinstate the death penalty. An amendment has already been stripped from the bill that would require legislators who vote for the death penalty to witness executions. President Ford holds meetings with the National Security Council, Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, and the chairman of a commission on governmental salaries. He also holds a budget meeting. Ford’s half-brother, Bud King, is killed in a traffic accident in Tennessee. Former Pittsburgh Pirates manager Danny Murtaugh, who won two World Series titles with the team and retired at the close of the 1976 season, dies of a stroke at age 59. In Britain, the country is abuzz over a TV interview yesterday in which members of the Sex Pistols used obscene language while talking with interviewer Bill Grundy. The Chicago Tribune reports on a study suggesting that young people who consume popular food additives such as caffeine and monosodium glutamate may be risking their health. Hanley-Dawson Cadillac in Chicago will sell you a new 1977 Coupe de Ville for $7,995. In today’s Peanuts strip, Linus discusses his grandfather.
On daytime TV, guests on Dinah! with Dinah Shore include Orson Welles, Dyan Cannon, and Rob Reiner. On TV tonight, the ABC lineup includes Welcome Back Kotter, the holiday special Frosty’s Winter Wonderland, and The Streets of San Francisco. CBS airs The Waltons, Hawaii Five-0, and Barnaby Jones. NBC has the first episode of the nine-hour miniseries Once an Eagle, about two soldiers and their experiences in the World Wars. The Jacksons are on the cover of Jet and Linda Ronstadt is on the cover of Rolling Stone. Linda and her manager strongly dislike some of the sexy Annie Leibovitz photos that accompany the cover story. Lynryd Skynyrd plays St. Paul, Minnesota, KISS plays Memphis, and Elvis Presley opens an 11-night stand at the Las Vegas Hilton. The Bee Gees play Madison Square Garden in New York, Aerosmith wraps up a two-night engagement in Detroit, and Black Sabbath plays Providence, Rhode Island, with opening act Montrose.
At WLS in Chicago, “Tonight’s the Night” by Rod Stewart spends the second of what will be five weeks at #1. “Muskrat Love” by the Captain and Tennille holds at #2. Boston’s “More Than a Feeling,” “Disco Duck,” and “You Are the Woman” by Firefall round out the Top 5. “Beth” by KISS is the only new song in the Top 10, moving from #11 to #8. “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” by Leo Sayer, “You Don’t Have to Be a Star” by Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., and “Livin’ Thing” by ELO are all up seven spots, from #23 to #16, #29 to #22, and #33 to #26 respectively. Two other songs farther down the chart make eight-place moves: “Love Ballad” by L.T.D. (#38 to #30) and “Baby Boy” by Mary Kay Place, singing as aspiring country singer Loretta Haggers, her character from Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (#39 to #31). On the album chart, the top three hold their places from the week before: Frampton Comes Alive at #1, Boston at #2, and Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life at #3. The fastest-moving albums of the week are Elton John’s Blue Moves (#20 to #14) and the debut album by Firefall (#29 to #23).
Perspective From the Present: WLS never had a stronger lineup than it did in 1976, with Larry Lujack and his newscaster Lyle Dean in the morning, Tommy Edwards on middays, Bob Sirott in the afternoon, John Landecker and Steve King at night, and Yvonne Daniels on overnights. You can hear the last part of Daniels’ show and a bit of Sirott filling in for Lujack on the morning show on December 2, 1976, here.
(Pictured: a group of travelers arrives at the airport in Rome on September 28, 1970.)
September 28, 1970, was a Monday. It’s the first day of the fall semester at Kent State University in Ohio, where four anti-war protesters were killed by National Guardsmen in May. Folk singer Phil Ochs headlines a memorial event that includes speeches by civil rights activist Dr. Ralph Abernathy and Thomas Grace, a student wounded in May. Last week, the Scranton Commission investigation into the shootings determined that even if the Guardsmen believed they were in danger, the situation did not call for lethal force. Thirty-two Americans taken hostage three weeks ago in a series of airplane hijackings in the Middle East arrive in Cyprus on their way home; six more former hostages are free in Jordan but yet to start for home. Time‘s cover story this week is about Palestinian guerillas and the Jordanian civil war. Egyptian president Gamel Abdel Nasser dies of a heart attack at age 52 and is succeeded by Anwar Sadat; author John Dos Passos dies at age 74. Running for reelection in California, Governor Ronald Reagan visits a Honda car plant in Gardena. President and Mrs. Nixon visit Pope Paul VI during their trip to Rome. Also in Rome today: the Rolling Stones, who arrive from Vienna for a concert tomorrow night.
This week’s Sports Illustrated features a cover foldout with pictures of major league managers Danny Murtaugh of Pittsburgh, Leo Durocher of the Chicago Cubs, and Gil Hodges of the New York Mets. Inside, the magazine reports on the controversy surrounding eight black football players at Syracuse University who have been suspended for the season over their discrimination complaint against the university. In today’s Peanuts strip, Lucy wonders why Schroeder never gives her flowers. On TV tonight, ABC’s second broadcast of Monday Night Football stars the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, who race to a 31-0 lead in the second quarter on the way to beating the Baltimore Colts, 44-24. The Colts will lose only one more game this season on their way to a Super Bowl win. Major sponsor Ford promotes the new 1971 Mustang, LTD, Maverick, and Torino models among the game’s commercials. CBS counters with Gunsmoke, The Lucy Show, Mayberry RFD, The Doris Day Show, and The Carol Burnett Show. NBC’s lineup includes The Red Skelton Show (new on NBC after 19 seasons on CBS), Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, and the theatrical movie The Lost Man, a 1969 film starring Sidney Poitier as a revolutionary on the run from the police.
Findings of a coroner’s inquest into the death of Jimi Hendrix on September 18th are announced in London. Hendrix choked to death while intoxicated on barbiturates. Badfinger plays at Eastern Washington College in Cheney, Washington; Yes plays at Aberystwyth University in Wales. The Moody Blues play the Spectrum in Philadelphia. At WDBQ in Dubuque, Iowa, “Cracklin’ Rosie” by Neil Diamond spends another week at #1 according to the station’s new music survey. New in the Top 10 are “Joanne” by Michael Nesmith, “Groovy Situation” by Gene Chandler, and “Indiana Wants Me” by R. Dean Taylor. The biggest mover on the chart is “Candida” by Dawn. Among the new songs on the survey are the latest hits by Mark Lindsay, Melanie, and Linda Ronstadt, along with last week’s Premier Single, “Don’t You Know” by Beefcake.
Perspective From the Present: Moody Blues flutist Ray Thomas fell off a stage platform just before the Spectrum show, breaking two toes—and his flute. He asked if anyone in the audience happened to have a flute he could use, and someone did. Whether this happened on September 28 or the night before isn’t clear; neither is it clear whether the Moodys played on back-to-back nights at the Spectrum or just one, and whether Thomas asked for a replacement flute on the first night or the second night. As for the band Beefcake, our friend Larry Grogan suspects it may be made up of songwriters Chris Arnold, David Martin, and Geoff Morrow, who recorded under several different names, and who wrote dozens of songs for acts from Elvis on down, including “Can’t Smile Without You,” made famous by Barry Manilow.
And as for the bigger hits from the fall of 1970, you know how I am about all that.