Rest in peace, Benny Mardones: “Into the Night” (1980)

(Above: Benny Mardones. Credit: Billboard/Getty Images) Billboard magazine is reporting the death of pop singer/songwriter Benny Mardones today at the age of 73 following a long battle with Parkinson's disease. Mardones was born in Cleveland in 1946. His musical career began after serving in the Vietnam War when he moved to New York City and … Continue reading Rest in peace, Benny Mardones: “Into the Night” (1980)

On a mission from God: Solomon Burke, “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love” (1964)

Forty years ago today - June 16, 1980 - The Blues Brothers made its film premiere. It was the first R-rated film I ever saw. In an age just in line with the advent of home video recorders and the infiltration of cable TV, it just wasn't as easy to see an "under 17 not … Continue reading On a mission from God: Solomon Burke, “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love” (1964)

Snow’s coming: Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, “Stranded” (1980)

(Above: Mayday, this is Echo Hotel.) The first winter storm warning of the season is upon us for 2018. Unfortunately, it's hitting a good portion of the plains and upper Midwest on the busiest travel day of the year: the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Each year more travelers fly on this day more than other, and … Continue reading Snow’s coming: Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, “Stranded” (1980)

Plenty of variety: The Billboard Hot 100 chart, November 15, 1980

(Above: Kenny Rogers, somewhere between psychedelia and chicken.) By the middle of November I was entrenched in my new school. My parents decided to move to Orland Park near the end of my sixth grade year; in fact, I commuted to Helen Keller School for the last three months of the term that spring. I … Continue reading Plenty of variety: The Billboard Hot 100 chart, November 15, 1980

Ten Albums: Dire Straits, Making Movies (1980)

Continuing up the list of the Top Ten Albums, as determined by a very unscientific study (n=1) by yours truly.... #7. Dire Straits, Making Movies (1980) In a post I wrote in the early days of this blog about the song "Skateaway," I indicated that I wasn't sure where to put this album in terms … Continue reading Ten Albums: Dire Straits, Making Movies (1980)

Great lost hit: Fred Knoblock, “Why Not Me” (1980)

(Above: Picture sleeve from "Why Not Me.") If I asked you to name as many Top 20 hits as you could think of from the summer of 1980, I'd wager what's in my wallet that the name Fred Knoblock would have escaped you. I've been digging into the early 80s charts lately and finding some … Continue reading Great lost hit: Fred Knoblock, “Why Not Me” (1980)

A sixth-grader’s records: The Billboard Hot 100, May 17, 1980

  (Above: The place where my radio career started, in a very loose sense of the word.) The big story in the middle of May 1980 was the eruption of Mount Saint Helens in Washington State.  More than fifty people lost their lives in the blast, and it dominated the news cycle for several days.  … Continue reading A sixth-grader’s records: The Billboard Hot 100, May 17, 1980

Fast away the old year passes: Dan Fogelberg, “Same Old Lang Syne” (1980)

(Above: How many New Year's Eves were spent.) This is a series of stories in a few parts that all sort of fit together - it's like "Love, Actually" without the pretty models.   New Year's Eve used to be my favorite holiday. We would all gather together with a lot of alcohol and a … Continue reading Fast away the old year passes: Dan Fogelberg, “Same Old Lang Syne” (1980)

You can’t have one without the other: The Kings, “This Beat Goes On/Switchin’ To Glide” (1980)

(Above: The Kings debut LP.  I'll take a hundred or two for it.) I actually got to thinking about this topic in the car this morning on the way to campus.  One of the Sirius XM classic rock channels (and I have all of them on the same bank in the memory) played Elton John's … Continue reading You can’t have one without the other: The Kings, “This Beat Goes On/Switchin’ To Glide” (1980)

Toro toro, taxi: Dire Straits, “Skateaway” (1980)

Last week's post about Revolver being one of my Top Five albums got me spiraling into a sort of High Fidelity argument with myself about what would be in that Top Five list.  The album that I keep going back and forth on is Dire Straits' Making Movies from 1980.  Is it simply good or … Continue reading Toro toro, taxi: Dire Straits, “Skateaway” (1980)