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This monthly podcast looks back at the pop culture of Generation X, from an African-American perspective.

Aug 1, 2019

Topics: 1984 Olympics, Prince, Purple Rain (LP/Film), Cosby Show. (Bonus Artist: hidingtobefound)


1984 Notes

General Snapshots

1. President: Ronald Reagan

2. Jan - US Bell System is broken up Bell System divestiture breaks AT&T into 24 independent units.

3. Jan - Wendy's "Fluffy Bun" advertisement is first broadcast, which gains Clara Peller and her "Where's the beef?" catchphrase national fame.

4. Jan - Michael Jackson's hair catches on fire during the filming of a Pepsi commercial. Michael Jackson stars in a Pepsi commercial with a young Alfonso Ribeiro, a.k.a Carlton from “The Fresh Prince.”

5. Feb - Michael Jackson wins a record eight Grammy Awards. [Prince was in the audience]

6. May - Happy Days airs its series finale, "Passages".

7. Jun – Best ever NBA draft: (1) Hakeem Olajuwon, (3) Michael Jordan, (5) Charles Barkley, and (16) John Stockton. [Sam Bowie 2nd pick]

8. Jun - Sally Ride becomes first American woman in space on the Space Shuttle Challenger.

9. Jul - The Motion Picture Association of America institutes the PG-13 rating, as a response to violent horror films such as Gremlins and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. [Parental Advisory sticker for albums coming next year because of Darling Nikki by Prince]

10. Jul - ABC begins their coverage of the Summer Olympic Games from Los Angeles.

11. Sep - The first MTV Video Music Awards, featuring Madonna’s iconic breakout moment, the ‘Like a Virgin’ performance.

12. Nov - Sony and Philips introduce the first portable CD player.

13. Nov – Reagan Re-Elected

14. Top 3 Pop Songs

15. #1 - "When Doves Cry", Prince

16. #2 - "What's Love Got to Do with It", Tina Turner

17. #3 - "Say Say Say", Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson

18. Record of the Year: Tina Turner / What's Love Got To Do With It

19. Album of the Year: Lionel Richie / Can't Slow Down

20. Song of the Year: Terry Britten (songwriter) / What's Love Got To Do With

21. Best New Artist: Cyndi Lauper

22. Top 3 Movies

23. #1 - Beverly Hills Cop

24. #2 - Ghostbusters

25. #3 - Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

26. Other Notable Movies

27. Gremlins / Karate Kid /Footloose / Terminator / Nightmare on Elm Street / Police Academy / The Never-Ending Story / Sixteen Candles / Romancing the Stone / Breakin’ / Beat Street

28. Top 3 TV Shows

29. #1 – Dynasty

30. #2 – Dallas

31. #3 - The Cosby Show

32. Black Snapshots

33. Apr - Marvin Gaye, singer, songwriter, and musician (b. 1939) Motown legend Marvin Gaye was shot to death by his own father after a fight between them. The murder weapon was a gun he had given his father for Christmas. His reputed final words were, "I got what I wanted... I couldn't do it myself, so I made him do it."

34. Jul - Vanessa L. Williams becomes the first Miss America to resign when she surrenders her crown, after nude photos of her appear in Penthouse magazine.

35. Dec - Four African American youths board an express train in The Bronx and attempt to rob Bernhard Goetz. He shoots them.

36. Dec - The first nationally broadcast telethon for the United Negro College fund is held. - "A Mind is a Terrible Thing To Waste"

37. Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female: Chaka Khan / "I Feel for You"

38. Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male: Billy Ocean / "Caribbean Queen"

39. Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group: James Ingram & Michael McDonald for "Yah Mo B There"

40. Best R&B Instrumental Performance: Herbie Hancock / "Sound System"

41. Best Rhythm & Blues Song: Prince, songwriter / "I Feel for You" performed by Chaka Khan

42. Economic Snapshot

43. Avg. Income = $21,600

44. House = $86,700

45. New Car = $8,700

46. Avg. Rent = $350

47. Tuition at Harvard = $9,000

48. Movie Ticket = $2.50

49. Gas = $1.10

50. Stamp = $0.20

51. Social Scene: 1984 Olympics [Jul 28th - Aug 12th]

52. Under the direction of the American entrepreneur Peter Ueberroth, the 1984 Olympics witnessed the ascension of commercialism as an integral element in the staging of the Games. Corporate sponsors, principally U.S.-based multinationals, could put Olympic symbols on their products, which were then marketed as the “official” such product of the Olympics. A spot on the torch relay team sold for $3,000 per km. The Olympics turned a profit ($225 million) for the first time since 1932. Despite concerns about growing corporate involvement ... the financial success and high worldwide television ratings raised optimism about the Olympic movement for the first time in a generation. [Due to the success of the games, Peter Ueberroth was named Time magazine's Man of the Year in 1984.] -

53. The Soviets, and 13 other countries, in retaliation for the U.S. boycott of the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, boycotted the 1984 Olympics.

54. Highlights:

55. Carl Lewis Ties Jesse Owens: At the 1936 Olympics, Jesse Owens won four gold medals — the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter, the long jump, and the 400-meter relay. Nearly five decades later, Carl Lewis also won four gold medals, in the same events as Jesse.

56. Edwin Moses won the gold medal in the 400m hurdles 8 years after winning in 1976.

57. Mary Lou Retton: The U.S. became enthralled with the short (4' 9"), exuberant Mary Lou Retton in her attempt to win gold in gymnastics, a sport that had long been dominated by the Soviet Union. When Retton received perfect scores in her final two events, she became the first American woman to win an individual gold medal in gymnastics.

58. A marathon for women was held for the first time at the Olympics (won by Joan Benoit of the U.S.)

59. Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, and Chris Mullin were on the team that won the gold medal in basketball.

60. The United States topped the medal count for the first time since 1968.

61. Music Scene

62. Black Songs from the Top 40

63. #1 - "When Doves Cry", Prince

64. #2 - "What's Love Got to Do with It", Tina Turner

65. #3 - "Say Say Say", Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson

66. #7 – “Hello", Lionel Richie

67. #9 - "Ghostbusters", Ray Parker Jr.

68. #12 - "All Night Long (All Night)", Lionel Richie

69. #13 - "Let's Hear It for the Boy", Deniece Williams

70. #18 - "Jump (For My Love)", The Pointer Sisters

71. #21 - "Let's Go Crazy", Prince and The Revolution

72. #22 - "Say It Isn't So", Hall & Oates

73. #24 - "Joanna", Kool & The Gang

74. #25 - "I Just Called to Say I Love You", Stevie Wonder

75. #30 - "The Glamorous Life", Sheila E.

76. #32 - "Stuck on You", Lionel Richie

77. Vote:

78. Top R&B Albums

79. Jan - Can't Slow Down, Lionel Richie

80. Mar – Thriller, Michael Jackson

81. Apr - Busy Body, Luther Vandross

82. Apr - She's Strange, Cameo

83. May - Can't Slow Down, Lionel Richie

84. Jul - Jermaine Jackson, Jermaine Jackson

85. Jul – Lady, One Way

86. Jul - Private Dancer, Tina Turner

87. Jul - Purple Rain [Soundtrack], Prince and The Revolution

88. Dec - The Woman in Red [Soundtrack], Stevie Wonder

89. Vote:

90. Featured Artist: Prince Rogers Nelson, a.k.a. Prince, The Purple One. American singer, songwriter, actor, and multi-instrumentalist. (@ 26 yrs. old)

91. Famous for his flamboyance, powerful voice, and eclectic behavior, he boasted of a career that spanned four long decades, a rarity in the music world where success is fickle. With worldwide sales of 100 million records, he is counted amongst the best-selling artists of all time. The son of a pianist and a jazz singer, Prince inherited his musical talents from his parents who encouraged him from a young age to pursue music as a career. Under his parents’ guidance he developed a deep love for music and began creating tunes when he was just seven. He also taught himself how to play the piano, guitar and drums. He became a professional singer and performer as a young man and earned much popularity with his eponymous album ‘Prince.’ His highly sexualized lyrics, creative compositions, and incorporation of elements of funk, dance, and rock music made him stand out from others of his generation. He enjoyed a very successful career that was cut short by his untimely death at the age of 57.

92. Childhood & Early Life:

93. Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on June 7, 1958 to an African American couple Mattie Della and John Lewis Nelson. His father was a pianist and songwriter and his mother was a jazz singer. He suffered from epileptic seizures as a young child. He became interested in music at a young age and was encouraged by his parents. He taught himself how to play the piano, guitar and drums, and wrote his first tune when he was seven. His parents separated when he was ten, and the next few years were spent repeatedly switching homes, sometimes living with his father and sometimes with his other. He formed his first band, Grand Central (later known as Champagne), when he was 14.

94. Career:

95. Debut album ‘For You’, (1978) / ‘Prince’, (1979) - Hit singles ‘Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?’ and ‘I Wanna Be Your Lover’. Went platinum, effectively establishing Prince’s career. / ‘Dirty Mind’ (1980) / ’Controversy’ (1981), and ‘1999’ (1982)

96. 1984, he released ‘Purple Rain’. Sold more than 13 million copies in the US and spent 24 consecutive weeks at No. 1. The same year he appeared in a rock musical drama film of the same name, making his film debut. The film became a cult classic.

97. Following Albums: ‘Parade’ (1986) / ‘Sign o' the Times’ (1987) / ‘Lovesexy’ (1988) / ‘Batman’ (1989)

98. In the 1990s he started performing with a new backing band, the New Power Generation.

99. In 1993 he changed his stage name to, an unpronounceable symbol which was a combination of the symbols for male (♂) and female (♀).

100. ‘Purple Rain’ is consistently ranked among the best albums in music history and is widely regarded as Prince's magnum opus. It has sold over 22 million copies worldwide, becoming the sixth best-selling soundtrack album of all time. His album ‘Sign o' the Times’, which had elements of funk, soul, psychedelic pop, and rock music, and featured tracks like ‘If I Was Your Girlfriend’, ‘Housequake’ and ‘It’ was another one of his mega hits. In 1989, ‘Time Out’ magazine ranked it as the greatest album of all time.

101. In early April 2016 he reported that he was not feeling well and postponed his performances. It was also said that he was being treated for drug overdose. On April 21, 2016, he was found dead in an elevator. He was 57 years old.

102. Open Comments: Do you know what Purple Rain is?

103. TV Scene:

110. Open Comments:

111. Question: Evans or Huxtables?

112. Vote: