On April 22, 1985, Prince and The Revolution released Around the World in a Day. This record was the follow up to the massively successful album, Purple Rain, which was released in 1984. While not selling as many copies as Purple Rain, the album did reach #1 and went on to sell seven million copies.
Two top ten singles did come out of the record. Raspberry Beret went to #2 and Pop Life landed at #7. In the video for Raspberry Beret, the young blond lady who hands Prince his guitar was actress Jackie Swanson, who went on to play the girlfriend and later wife of Woody Harrelson’s character on Cheers.
Click image to stream Around the World in a Day via Amazon.
WKRP in Cincinnati aired its last episode this week back in 1982. The show aired for four seasons starting in Sept 1978.
The show was created by Hugh Wilson and was based on his experience working at top forty radio station, WQKI in Atlanta. Originally airing on Monday nights at 8 pm, the show had to go up against Welcome Back Kotter and Little House on the Praire. Ratings were not good and the show actually went on hiatus for eight weeks. When it returned, the ratings went up thanks to being in a great time slot right after M*A*S*H. CBS moved the show back to Monday at 8 pm during the second season. The show continued to move around and each time, it lost viewers.
The final show aired on April 21, 1982, and was actually ranked at #7 in the weekly ratings. In the years following the cancellation, the show became a hit in syndication. Due to this success, a spinoff, The New WKRP in Cincinnati was created for syndication in 1991 and aired for two seasons.
Click the image to watch the 1st episode of WKRP in Cincinnati via Amazon Prime.
The #1 Country album this week in 1979 was The Gambler by Kenny Rogers. The album went on to sell more than 35 million copies. The title track and She Believes in Me also went to number one on the country singles charts.
The Gambler was a huge cross over singles hit that made it to #16 on the pop chart and #3 on the easy listening chat. In 1980, A made for TV movie based on the song aired on CBS. The film was so successful that four sequels were also produced.
If you were a kid in the late seventies and your family had cable, you might remember a Japanese sci-fi show called The Space Giants that aired in the afternoons after school on WTCG Channel 17 Atlanta, which later became WTBS.
The show featured a robot family that battled the evil Rodak who was always unleashing some kind of giant monster to destroy civilization. The robot family could turn into rockets and the dad would also become a giant who would fight the creatures.
The Space Giants was the first Tokusatsu show filmed in Color in Japan. Tokusatsu is a term used to describe Japanese live-action shows that use a good bit of special effects. Similar shows include Ultraman and Spectreman.
Click image to watch The Space Giants – Mightier than Godzilla or Ultraman Now!
Dallas premiered on CBS in 1978. A year later it was moved to Friday night and became part of a blockbuster lineup along with The Incredible Hulk and The Dukes of Hazzard. That same year it was a top 15 show of the entire season. The next year it was top 10, and for the following five years, it was the #1 or #2 show of the year.
The episode revealing who shot J.R. was watched by 90 million people. Night time soaps were a staple of Gen X era TV, and without a doubt, Dallas was King of all of them. After the show was canceled in 1991, three Dallas TV movies aired and in 2010, TNT revived the show for three seasons.
What are your thoughts and memories of the show and why do you think it was such a huge success?
Click image to start watching the first episode ofDallas now!
In our last post, we talked about the various music genres of the Gen X era. We left out Funk because it clearly is a product of the Boomer generation, but we could have included a subgenre of funk called Electro-Funk. In this style, the horn sections got replaced with synthesizers and the beat often came courtesy of a drum machine. Some of the top acts associated with 80’s electro-funk include, the Dazz Band, Midnight Star, Zapp and The Gap Band.
When many people think of music in regards to the Generation X era, they might think of the New Wave and Hair Metal scenes of the eighties. While those styles might provide the most common visual reminders of the time, the years from the mid-seventies to the mid-nineties also brought us Rap, Disco, Techno, Industrial, Goth, Thrash, Death Metal, Grunge and don’t forget the UrbanCowboy country boom of the early eighties.
Can you think of any other genres? What was your favorite of the era?
Lone Wolf McQuade was released on April 15, 1983, and starred Chuck Norris and David Carradine. Norris was the top Martial Arts star at the time and Carradine’s TV show Kung Fu had helped kick start the Martial Art movie boom of the seventies. The film was directed by Steve Carver, who had also directed Norris in the 1981 film, An Eye for an Eye.
This was a martial art fan’s dream come true to have two of the genre’s biggest names go head to head. The final fight scene pitted Carradine’s flowing Kung Fu style up against the straight forward karate style of Norris. There had always been rumors that the two stars didn’t like each other and that things got somewhat real during the final showdown. Carver has recently confirmed this during an interview on the YouTube show, A Word on Westerns.
39 years ago today, Judas Priest released British Steel, one of the most influential albums in heavy metal history. The album contained classics such as Living After Midnight, Breaking the Law, United, and Metal Gods.
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