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A Year in the 80’s – 1980 No. 1’s

A Quick Look Back

Population: 227,224,681
Life expectancy:  73.7 years
New Home: $64,600
New Car: $7,200
Median Income: $ 12,513
Stamp: $ .15
Regular Gas: $ 1.25
Bread: $ .48
Gal of Milk: $ 1.60

And here are the Number One’s for 1980!


Best Picture: Ordinary People
Best Director: Robert Redford for Ordinary People
Best Actor: Robert De Niro for Raging Bull
Best Actress: Sissy Spacek for Coal Miner’s Daughter

Highest Grossing Films
1.  The Empire Strikes Back ($209,398,025)
2.  9 to 5 ($103,290,500)
3.  Stir Crazy ($101,300,000)
4.  Airplane! ($83,453,539)
5.  Any Which Way You Can ($70,687,344)

Remember These Movies?
Little Darlings
My Bodyguard
Private Benjamin
The Blues Brothers
The Jazz Singer
American Gigolo
The Fog
Altered States
Stardust Memories


Grammy Awards:
Album of the Year: Billy Joel for 52nd Street
Record of the Year: The Doobie Brothers for What a Fool Believes
Best New Artist: Rickie Lee Jones

Pop Female Vocal: Dionne Warwick for I’ll Never Love This Way Again
Pop Male Vocal: Billy Joel for 52nd Street
Pop Duo/Group: The Doobie Brothers for Minute by Minute

Rock Female Vocal: Donna Summer for Hot Stuff
Rock Male Vocal: Bob Dylan for Gotta Serve Somebody
Rock Duo/Group: The Eagles for Heartache Tonight

Country Female Vocal: Emmylou Harris for Blue Kentucky Girl
Country Male Vocal: Kenny Rogers for The Gambler
Country Duo/Group: The Charlie Daniels Band for The Devil Went Down to Georgia

Billboard Top Singles
1.  Call Me – Blondie
2.  Another Brick in the Wall, Part II – Pink Floyd
3.  Magic – Olivia Newton-John
4.  Rock with You – Michael Jackson
5. Do That to Me One More Time – Captain & Tennille

Remember These Songs?
Funkytown by Lipps Inc.
Steal Away by Robbie Dupree
Biggest Part of Me by Ambrosia
Ladies’ Night by Kool & the Gang
Brass in Pocket by The Pretenders
On the Radio by Donna Summer
Fame by Irene Cara
Take the Long Way Home by Supertramp
Sara by Fleetwood Mac
Rapper’s Delight by Sugarhill Gang


Emmy Awards
Outstanding Drama: Lou Grant (CBS)
Best Actor, Drama: Edward Asner as Lou Grant, Lou Grant (CBS)
Best Actress, Drama: Barbara Bel Geddes as Miss Ellie Ewing, Dallas (CBS)

Outstanding Comedy: Taxi (ABC)
Best Actor, Comedy: Richard Mulligan as Burt Campbell, Soap (ABC)
Best Actress, Comedy: Cathryn Damon as Mary Campbell, Soap, (ABC)

Top Shows
1980 – 1981    (Households with TV: 79,900,000)

1. Dallas (CBS) 27,565,500
2. The Dukes of Hazzard (CBS) 21,812,700
3. 60 Minutes (CBS) 21,573,000
4. M*A*S*H (CBS) 20,534,300
5. The Love Boat (ABC) 19,415,700
6. The Jeffersons (CBS) 18,776,500
7. Alice (CBS) 18,297,100
8. House Calls (CBS) 17,897,600
9. Three’s Company (ABC) 17,897,600
10. Little House on the Prairie (NBC) 17,657,900

Remember These Shows?
That’s Incredible (80 – 84)
Too Close For Comfort (80 – 86)
Magnum P.I. (80 – 88)
Bosom Buddies (80- 82)
Barbara Mandrell & the Mandrell Sisters (80 – 82)
Facts of Life (79 – 88)
Trapper John, M.D. (79 – 86)
Real People (79 – 84)
Benson (79 – 86)

What else do you remember from 1980?


Music Outfitters
The Cost of Living
1980’s Flashback
In the 80’s
Classic TV Hits


A Year in the 80’s – People of Influence

So I  totally copied and pasted a lot of this information. These are very time consuming, so if I could find all I wanted in one place, I just copied it. But I linked all the sources.

Ronald Reagan (1911 – 2004)
RR photoUS President from ’81-’89. During the eight years of his presidency, he reshaped national politics and carried out his campaign promises to cut taxes and increase the defense budget, using the latter as leverage to negotiate significant arms control agreements with the Soviet Union. Despite some setbacks, including notable budget deficits, Reagan left office in 1989 with strong approval ratings. MillerCenter.Org


Reagan is credited with bringing a quicker end to the Cold War, along with this man:

Mikhail Gorbachev (1931 – )
mgThe general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991 and president of the Soviet Union in 1990–91. His efforts to democratize his country’s political system and decentralize its economy led to the downfall of communism and the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. In part because he ended the Soviet Union’s postwar domination of eastern Europe, Gorbachev was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1990.


Margaret Thatcher (1925 – 2013)
MTIn 1979, Thatcher was elected British Prime Minister, the first and only woman to hold that position, and the longest-serving Prime Minister of the 20th century. Called the “Iron Lady” by a Soviet journalist, that nickname became associated with her leadership style and politics. During her three terms, from 1979 to 1990, Thatcher worked to cut welfare programs, reduce trade union power and influence, and privatize state-owned companies. The policies she implemented have become known as Thatcherism, and continue to have influence today.


Sandra Day O’Connor (1930 – )
SDOIn 1981, Ronald Reagan nominated O’Connor as a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and she received unanimous Senate approval. O’Connor made history as the first woman justice to serve on the Supreme Court. As a justice, O’Connor was a key swing vote in many important cases, including the upholding of Roe v. Wade. She often focused on the letter of law, not the clamoring of politicians, and voted for what she believed best fit the intentions of the U.S. Constitution. She retired in 2006, after serving for 24 years.


Bill Gates (1955 – )
BGIn 1975, Gates co-founded Microsoft. In 1980, he partnered with IBM, adapting an operating system (86-DOS) for their new personal computer. Microsoft retained the copyright for the operating system, and went on to become a major name in the computer industry with sales of MS-DOS, which was released in 1982. Microsoft Windows was launched in 1985, which went on to become an industry standard. “His Microsoft software shaped the way millions use the technology that has transformed communications and commerce.” – USA Today


Hiroshi Yamauchi (1927 – 2013)
HYYamauchi transformed his grandfather’s playing card company into one of the world’s most recognizable brands. Nintendo’s Famicom (The Family Computer) launched in 1983 and became a must-have product in Japan. Against the advice of many experts in the US toy industry, and despite the fact that the North American market was still reeling from the video game crash of 1983, Nintendo launched the Famicom in the United States as the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985.  And the rest is history.


Stephen Hawking (1942 – )
SHCosmologist Stephen Hawking is regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Albert Einstein. His work on the origins and structure of the universe, from the Big Bang to black holes, has revolutionized the field, while his best-selling books have appealed to readers who may not have Hawking’s scientific background. His first book,”A Brief History of Time,” was published in 1988 and became an international best seller.


Ryan White (1971 – 1990)
RWRyan White and his mom courageously fought AIDS-related discrimination and helped educate the Nation about his disease. Diagnosed with AIDS at age 13, he and his mother fought for his right to attend school, gaining international attention as a voice of reason about HIV/AIDS. At the age of 18, Ryan died just months before Congress passed the AIDS bill that bears his name – the Ryan White CARE (Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency) Act, now called the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. HSRA


Princess Diana (1961 – 1997)
PDPrincess Diana, the wife of British Prince Charles, endeared herself to the public through her warmth and caring. From her picture-perfect wedding to her untimely death in a car accident, Princess Diana was in the spotlight nearly at all times. Despite problems with so much attention, Princess Diana tried to use this publicity to bring attention to worthy causes such as the elimination of AIDS and landmines. She also became truly a princess of the people when she publicly shared her struggles with depression and bulimia, becoming a role model for those who suffer from those ailments.


Wayne Gretzky (1961 – )
WGConsidered by many as the greatest hockey player of all time, “The Great One” helped the NHL gain popularity in the US. At the end of his 1980 rookie year, he was MVP and tied for first in scoring. By the end of his second year, he had broken two major records, for points and assists in a season. Gretzky has won or shares 61 NHL records (one of his records is for breaking the most records). In his first nine years in major league hockey, he won eight consecutive MVP’s, four Stanley Cups and seven Art Ross Trophies (award for most points). His #99 jersey has been retired by every NHL team.


Michael Jordan (1963 – )
MJo2By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time. As a phenomenal athlete with a unique combination of fundamental soundness, grace, speed, power, artistry, improvisational ability and an unquenchable competitive desire, Jordan single-handedly redefined the NBA superstar. A listing of his top accomplishments include: Rookie of the Year, Five-time NBA MVP, Six-time NBA champion, Six-time NBA Finals MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, 14-time NBA All-Star, Three-time NBA All-Star MVP, Ten scoring titles (an NBA record), Retired with the NBA’s highest scoring average, Hall of Fame inductee.


Michael Jackson (1958 – 2009)
MJTAt approx. 65 million copies sold, “The King of Pop’s” 1982 Thriller  remains the best-selling album of all time worldwide. The 14 minute music video was so popular that MTV played it twice an hour to meet demand. Jackson had nine #1 singles throughout the 80’s, more than any other musician, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. He is only person from pop and rock music to ever be inducted into the Dance Hall of Fame. Jackson has 13 Grammy Awards, the Grammy Legend Award, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and 26 American Music Awards (more than any other artist), including “Artist of the Century” and “Artist of the 1980’s”. Jackson is the most awarded recording artist in the history of popular music, and posthumously became the most downloaded artist of all time.


Madonna (1958 – )
291863aMadonna is known for continuously reinventing both her music and image, and for retaining a standard of autonomy within the recording industry. She attained immense popularity by pushing the boundaries of lyrical content in mainstream pop music and imagery in her videos, which became a fixture on MTV. Critics have praised her diverse musical productions which have also been known to induce controversy. Her music and style has influenced numerous artists around the world. Madonna is considered by Forbes as a cultural icon and she is often referred to by the international media as the “Queen of Pop”. Wikipedia


Russell Simmons (1957 – )
RSRussell Simmons is the most important businessman in the history of rap music. As co-founder of the Def Jam label in 1984, his street-friendly taste and marketing savvy helped bring hip-hop into the mainstream of American culture and mass media. Simmons ensured his artists remained as uncompromisingly rebellious as possible, an attitude that made hip-hop a music of choice for a generation of multi-cultural teenagers simply by staying true to its roots. Simmons shepherded rap music into big business, gradually building his own communications company into the largest black-owned enterprise in the industry.


Steven Spielberg (1946 – )
SSIn the ’80s, this director was basically an unstoppable blockbuster machine. Virtually everything he made was huge — all three Indiana Jones  films, E.T., Back to the Future I  and IIGremlinsPoltergeistThe Goonies — and he perfected the difficult mix between family accessible adventure and enormously successful moneymakers. He’s inarguably one of the most influential people in film, and from Raiders of the Lost Ark  onward, all his work in the ’80s became pop culture gold.


Whoopi Goldberg (1955 – )
WGbIn 1985, Goldberg won a Grammy for skits taken from her one-woman show, which addressed the issue of race in America. She also starred in The Color Purple, for which she received an Oscar nomination and her first Golden Globe Award. She won her second Golden Globe for her role in 1990’s Ghost, and became the first African-American actress to win the Academy Award for best supporting actress since 1940 (and only the second to win an Oscar for acting). That same year, the NAACP named her the Black Entertainer of the Year, and she also collected an Excellence Award at the Women in Film Festival.


Tom Cruise (1962 – )
TCThomas Cruise Mapother IV always thought he would be a priest. But he ditched that idea in high school, and focused on becoming an actor. He made his 1981 début in Endless Love, and quickly shot to stardom. Within five years, Tom became the highest grossing actor in the market, starring in hits like Top GunRisky Business, and Rain Man. Tom became a big supporter of The Church Of Scientology in 1990, claiming that the teachings cured him of the dyslexia that he’d had all of his life.


Oprah Winfrey (1954 – )
OWIn 1984, Oprah moved to Chicago to host a faltering half-hour morning program, which she turned into the hottest show in town. In 1986, it was broadcast nationally, and quickly became the number one talk show. In 1987, it received three Daytime Emmy Awards, and in 1988, Oprah herself received the International Radio and Television Society’s “Broadcaster of the Year” Award; the youngest person ever to receive the honor.  “She pioneered a form of intimate public discourse that brought taboo subjects into the open and sparked a confessional, self-help culture.” – USA Today


So there you have it. No matter what you think of their politics, opinions or careers, they were all people of influence, in one way or another.

Obviously, these are not the only people who were influential in the 1980’s (and beyond).

Who’d I leave off this list?


A Year in the 80’s – One Hit Wonders

Continuing the music theme for another week, I present you with some one hit wonders!

For the most part, these are all true one hit on the US Top 40 Pop Chart and that’s all this band ever did wonders, the bands you never of before and then never heard from again.

Here we go!

The Vapors – Turning Japanese
peaked at #36 on November 29th

When I saw this video, I realized I didn’t remember anything except the chorus. And listening to it I can see why: it’s pretty dumb and possibly a bit racist. But the chorus is catchy. I really think so.


Joey Scarbury – Believe It or Not (Greatest American Hero theme)
peaked at #2 on August 15th

I LOVED this song!! Loved it. And why not, it’s Solid Gold. (Get it? Solid Gold? I crack me up.) ANY-way, this video really is golden 80’s memorabilia, for so many reasons.


Buckner & Garcia – Pac-Man Fever
peaked at #9 on March 27th

American Bandstand, Dick Clark, skinny ties, Pac Man… I’ve got 80’s fever, ya’ll! I’m not even playing. As an interesting side-note, Buckner now has a show called The 1 Hit Wonders Show.


Taco – Puttin’ on the Ritz
peaked at #4 on September 3rd

I totally remembered most of the words when I watched this video, you guys! Or at least lots of them. Ok, some of them, but still. It seems a little weird now, but I really liked this video when I was 13. I thought it was super duper.


Ollie & Jerry – Breakin’… There’s No Stopping Us
peaked at #9 on August 4th

Break dancing is cool. That is all.


John Hunter – Tragedy
peaked at #39 on February 16th

I have no recollection of this song whatsoever, but this video made me laugh so I had to include it. Plus, cute doggie. This is so thoroughly mid-80’s! The hair, the makeup, the shoulder pads…they’re just a tragedy.


Boys Don’t Cry – I Wanna Be a Cowboy
peaked at #12 on June 21st

I do  remember this song – and it’s still awesome! Yippie-yippie-yi, Yippie-yi-yo-yo! Oh, Yippie!!


Danny Wilson – Mary’s Prayer
peaked at #23 on September 5th

I liked this song, but I had no idea until now that he was saying Mary’s prayer.


E.U. (Experience Unlimited) – Da Butt
peaked at #35 on May 21st

This is a little bit of a cheat because E.U. had other hits on the R&B charts too, but they’re a D.C.-based band, which is local to me. Also it’s old guys singing about butts.


Grayson Hugh – Talk It Over
peaked at #19 on September 9

This is the only song on the list I even recognized. And I played them all. Where was I in ’89? My favorite parts of this song and video are the background singers. They remind me of my time singing in chorus.

This was the most fun, you guys!! I think I’ll be spending some money at iTunes in a minute. 🙂



A Year in the 80’s – a music sampler

The first album I ever bought was Asia’s sefl-titled début record, and I bought it because I liked the cover. What can I say, I was 12 and I just really wanted to own a record.

Remember vinyl records and those big gorgeous covers? And if you were lucky you’d open them up and all the lyrics would be on the inner sleeve and you’d lay on the couch and play the record over and over until you knew all the lyrics by heart. *sigh* That lasted through my cassette tape years, but I was beyond that by the time cd’s came out.

We are now in the digital age, and I don’t even think I’ve bought an actual physical copy of an album in over ten years. Times they are a changin’, and music along with it. But I have a huge place in my heart for the music I grew up with in the 80’s, and that will probably never change. By the way, I really liked that Asia album. 12 year old me knew a good cover when she saw one. 🙂

Here’s a little sampler of the music I listened to in the 1980’s:

1980 – 1982
These were the boombox years for me, when I’d carry that thing all over the neighborhood. I remember when I got my boombox for Christmas. It. Was. Beautiful. Remember listening to the radio, waiting for that one song you loved to come on, your finger hovering over the record button? I remember that.

Air supply – The One That You Love, All Out of Love, Lost In Love, Even the Nights Are Better

Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’, Who’s Crying Now, Open Arms, Faithfully

Hall & Oats – Private Eyes, Kiss on My List, I Can’t Go for That, Maneater

REO Speedwagon – Keep on Loving You, Take It on the Run

Pat Benatar – Hit Me with Your Best Shot, Heartbreaker, Treat Me Right, Love Is a Battlefield

The Police – Don’t Stand So Close to Me, Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic

But Abracadabra by Steve Miller Band is the one that always comes to mind first when I think of that boombox. This video is hideous hilarious:


1983 – 1985
MTV came to my town in ’83 or so, and that’s when I really got into music. Or at least the music they were playing on MTV. Actually, most of these songs blend together along the early 80’s timeline in my brain.

Huey Lewis and the News – Do You Believe in Love, The Heart of Rock & Roll, If This Is It, The Power of Love

Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), Here Comes the Rain Again, Would I Lie To You?

Culture Club – Do You Really Want to Hurt Me, I’ll Tumble 4 Ya, Karma Chameleon

Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Want To Have Fun, Time After Time, All Through The Night

The Go-Go’s – We Got the Beat, Our Lips are Sealed, Vacation

Madonna – Borderline, Lucky Star, Holiday, Crazy for You, Material Girl

Tears for Fears – Everybody Wants to Rule the World, Shout, I Believe

Duran Duran – Hungry Like the Wolf, The Reflex, Rio

Bryan Adams – Strait from the Heart, Summer of ’69, Run to You

John (Cougar) Mellencamp – Jack & Diane, Hurts So Good, Lonely Ol’ Night

Pink Houses is the one I really liked the best. My Nannie lived in a pink house, and I always thought of this song when I thought of her house:


1986 – 1987
I got my license in ’86, and after that I wasn’t sitting at home watching music videos much anymore. We were cruising town! 

Bon Jovi – You Give Love a Bad Name, Livin’ on a Prayer, Wanted Dead or Alive

Heart – Never, These Dreams, Alone, Nothing at All

Madonna – Causing a Commotion, La Isla Bonita, Open Your Heart, Papa Don’t Preach, Live to Tell

Bruce Springsteen – Glory Days, Dancing in the Dark, Tunnel of Love, Brilliant Disguise, Born in the U.S.A.

The Eagles – New Kid in Town, Life in the Fast Lane, One of These Nights, Take It to the Limit

The Dream Academy – Life in a Northern Town, Bound to Be, Indian Summer, The Love Parade

I saw The Dream Academy on Saturday Night Live and bought their album after only hearing those two songs. I’ve been in love with them ever since.


1988 – 1989
Graduation and my first year at college! We went to a few concerts these years, too, which are great memories. I went to school in the mountains, and many an afternoon I was riding through the hills blasting The Eagles, Indigo Girls, and Bruce Hornsby. Singing at the top of my lungs. Those poor, poor cows.

U2 – With or Without You, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, Where The Streets Have No Name

R.E.M. – Stand, Orange Crush, Pop Song ’89, Begin the Begin, Fall on Me

INXS – What You Need, Need You Tonight, Devil Inside, New Sensation, Never Tear Us Apart

Aerosmith – Dude Looks Like a Lady, Janie’s Got a Gun, What it Takes, Don’t Get Mad Get Even

The Smiths – Is It Really So Strange, Sheila Take a Bow, Panic, Ask

Indigo Girls – Closer to Fine, Tried to Be True, Secure Yourself

Bruce Hornsby and the Range – The Way It Is, Mandolin Rain, Every Little Kiss, On The Western Skyline

The best concert I ever saw was Bruce Hornsby playing piano with the Richmond Symphony. Love, love this music. But I have no recollection of ever having seen this video:

This one was harder than the movies by a long mile. I wanted to list every single song I remembered from the 80’s! This is just a tiny sampling of the great music I loved from that decade, in the general order of when I remember listening to it.

You know, I just realized that some of the albums I fell in love with in the 80’s – Bruce Hornsby, The Dream Academy, U2, The Eagles – those are still among my absolute favorites today. More than 2o years later. And I still get excited when I hear them.

What were you listening to in the 80’s? I mean, if you were alive then. 🙂