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1981 Review

 

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Year 1981 – Music Videos/Entertainment/Celebrity/Hollywood Info/Trends/Trivia/TV News 

Luke & Laura On General Hospital

Rick Dees Now On KIIS-FM/Los Angeles

Walter Cronkite Ends 19 Years As CBS-TV Anchor

Prince Charles/Lady Diana Wed

MTV Launches (Video)

Year 1981 In News Headlines And Information

President Reagan Inuguration Speech

52 American Hostages Released From Iran

President Reagan Is Shot/Assassination Attempt

Pope John Paul II Is Shot

Air Traffic Controllers Go On Strike

Year 1981  In Technology News And Information

FCC Approves "Dick Tracy"-Type Phones - Cell Phones 

Year 1981 In Sports News And Other Fascinating Facts

Top Movie 1981

Top Pop Hit Music Single 1981 

From Here – You Can Scroll Through Year 1981

 

 

Year 1981 – Entertainment/Celebrity/Hollywood Info/Trends/Trivia/TV

"(Just Like) Starting Over" - John Lennon

February - Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree,” a song which became the symbolic anthem for the nation during the Iranian hostage crisis, is being re-released in a “revised edition” to make lyrical reference to the hostages return... Charles Kuralt, CBS Morning news anchor is arrested for drunk driving on highway 101 in San Mateo County. He was booked and released on his own recognizance… Yoko Ono releases something called “Walking On Thin Ice”…

"Solid Gold" Music Show With Blonde

23rd annual Grammy Awards - some winners

Best record - “Sailing” - Christopher Cross

More Grammy Awards - Best album - “Sailing” - Christopher Cross

Best song - “Sailing” - Christopher Cross

Best male vocal pop - Kenny Loggins

Best female vocal pop - Better Midler…

george harrison my sweet lord february 1981 timeline music historyMore February mrtimeline - George Harrison must pay $567,000 damages to a music company because he “subconsciously” copied another songwriter’s melody (He's So Fine) in composing the 1971 hit “My Sweet Lord”…

"Together" - Tierra

March - Walter Cronkite steps down as anchor of the CBS evening news, where he held forth for 19 years…

johnny carson news 1981 facts history timelineMore March - NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” names Dick Ebersol as its new producer… Johnny Carson blasts “The National Enquirer” on his “Tonight Show” after they published an article predicting he and his third wife, Joanna, were near divorce. He called the article totally false and called the author a creep… Here's a clip of ABC-TV's, "Fridays" with Father Sarducci introducing - 

"Jane" - Jefferson Starship

April -  WABC radio is relying on its new morning team - Ross & Wilson from Z-93 (Atlanta) and the station adds talk at night…

Ross & Wilson First Morning - WABC Radio

53rd Academy Awards held this week. Some winners:

Best Picture - “Ordinary People”

Best actor - Robert De Niro “Raging Bull”

Best actress - Sissy Spacek “Coal Miner’s Daughter”

Best original song - “Fame”…

"Ordinary People" - Trailer

"Keep On Loving You" - REO Speedwagon

ringo marries barbara april 1981 timelineMore April mrtimeline - Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark - a band from Liverpool, appears at the Whiskey on the Sunset Strip. The sound is techno-pop due to its reliance on electronic sounds - danceable beats and catchy hooks… Ringo Starr marries New York-born actress and model Barbara Bach…  Elizabeth Taylor makes her belated Broadway stage debut in “The Little Foxes”… New show heard on FM AOR stations - Global Satellite Network’s “Rockline” hosted by B. Mitchel Reed… Gary Owens, a staple on Los Angeles afternoons over KMPC is leaving the air June 12… “Steely Dan” breaks up…

 

May - Elizabeth Taylor makes her belated Broadway stage debut in “The Little Foxes”… Movie director Boris Sagal dies after he accidentally walked into a moving blade of a helicopter on Mt. Hood. He was shooting background scenes for an NBC television movie, “World War III”…  Beer commercials seem to be the rage in the music world. There’s Dave Mason for Miller eddie rabbit 1981 news music history facts  mrpopculture photoBeer; Charlie Daniels for Busch; Eddie Rabbit also does Miller Beer; don’t forget Kool & The Gang for Schlitz Malt Liquor and the Commodores for Schlitz. Journey has just joined Budweiser…

Bette Davis Eyes - Kim Carnes

debbie boone auto accident june 1981 timeline trivia factsJune - CNN celebrates its first year on the air. Today, it reaches some 6.3 million cable homes. But look out CNN - Group W says it is looking at launching a competitor to CNN - another all-news cable channel… Steely Dan breaks up, but Front Line Management says its two principals, Donald Fagen and Walter Becker expect the split to be temporary…Singer Debbie Boone, daughter of Pat Boone and her husband are injured in a three-car accident near Lodi, Ohio. Debbie suffered head bruises and her husband, Gabriel Ferrer has a dislocated hip...  In radio news - Legendary personality/disc jockey Gary Owens finishes a 19 year-run at radio station KMPC (710) in Los Angeles - where he held down the afternoon drive shift.  

Jesse's Girl - Rick Springfield

brooke shields july 1981 facts history timelineJuly - Looks like Elton John’s “The Fox” album - his debut on Geffen, is being termed a “disaster” by some in the music business. It never reached the national top-20 in album sales. Geffen is adding new artists to his label. Look for releases by Peter Gabriel, John Hiatt, Sammy Hagar and the Cars’ Ric Ocasek…  July movie fans flocked to such blockbusters as “Superman II” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark” in such abundance last month that box-office dollar records were smashed for two consecutive weeks… NBC news - as the network announces its “NBC Nightly News” is changing. John Chancellor, the current anchor, will take a backseat and become a news analyst. The anchor chair will be shared by Tom Brokaw and Roger Mudd… On top these days - actress Brooke Shields (16). She made her first film at 9 and has just completed her eighth “Endless Love.” She made a million last year. On television, you can see her in those Calvin Klein commercials…  Fred Silverman (43) resigns from his $1- million-a-year job as NBC President. He is succeeded by Grant Tinker (55)…  Gannett is studying the possibility of publishing the nation’s first general- interest national newspaper, which it calls USA Today… Harry Chapin is killed when his small car was struck by a tractor-trailer rig on the Long Island Expressway. He was 39… Not certain: Lynn Redgrave ’s status on the sitcom “House Calls” due to a dispute over breast feeding her baby at work. In her negotiations with Universal, she’s asking for a nurse to care for her new baby and assurances she would have time to breast feed the child during the day…

"Endless Love" - Diana Ross/Lionel Richie

carpenters music facts history 1981 mrpopcultureAugust - Olivia Newton John receives her star on the Hollywood walk of fame...  The Carpenters come out of their commercial hit-making slump over the last few years with “Touch Me When We’re Dancing.” With their new hit, they have a 6th television special planned for the fall and they’ll tour next year… NBC says that Olympic champion Bruce Jenner will star in one (or more) CHiPs episodes. He’ll replace Eric Estrada who failed to show up for work on August 4… Ringo Starr signs with Neil Bogart’s “Boardwalk Entertainment Co.” His first album “Stop and Smell the Roses” will be released in October. In it, he’ll perform songs written and produced by Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ron Wood, Harry Nilsson and Stephen Stills… MTV (Music Television) Is Here! All Music Videos!

MTV Launches (Video)

"Slow Hand" - Pointer Sisters

luke and laura general hospital september 1981 trivia facts timelineSeptember - First Made-For-Cable TV movie is about to be made - “The Terry Fox Story” about the 22-year-old handicapped long distance runner who died after attempting to run the breadth of Canada. Cost of the film - $2 million. HBO will debut the movie next spring…. Erik Estrada, who sued MGM for $6.25 million and refused to appear for the first day filming of “ChiPS” last month, returns to work. Looks like Bruce Jenner will remain with the show, for now. Can the show handle three main characters?...Genie Francis , the 19-year-old star of “General Hospital” - the #1 daytime serial, is leaving the show… ESPN is adding “SportsCenter Plus to its sked beginning October 3. Anchors will be George Grande, Bob Ley and Sharon Smith, all regulars on ESPN’s “Sportscenter”… The Rolling Stones play the first date of their American tour - surprise appearance at Sir Morgan’s Cove in Worcester… Record labels MCA and Polygram are currently withholding their musical video productions from the new MTV channel. “Why should we pay $15,000 to $50,000 for a three-minute video and then give it away?” said a spokesperson from Polygram. “It’s philosophically wrong for anyone to use material we’ve paid for without compensation”… David Brinkley, who left NBC News last week after 38 years, joins ABC and is named anchor of a new Sunday jodi foster 1981 movie hinckley history facts  mrpopculturemorning news program. The new show   is called “This Week With David Brinkley”… Actress Jodie Foster , who previously denied talking to John Hinckley Jr., had two telephone conversations with him. Law enforcement officials said Hinckley tape-recorded two telephone conversations with the 18-year-old actress…

"Queen Of Hearts" - Juice Newton 

sandy hill sports tv october 1981 facts history timelineOctober - Breaking into the mainstream with the single “We’re In This Love Together” is an artist, primarily known in the jazz field - Al Jarreau. It’s from his first hit album, “Breaking Away” – his sixth album for Warner Brothers… Geffen Records says that Donna Summer is recording an album with Quincy Jones, one of the hottest producers in music… On “Saturday Night Live” this week – Rod Stewart and Tina Turner. One newcomer is getting high praise - Eddie Murphy… Sandy Hill, who has been seen on several ABC-TV shows since she left “Good Morning America” last year, joins “CBS Sports Saturday- Sunday” as a regular. She’ll join reporters John Tesh and Pat O’Brien in news coverage and feature reporting… Bryant Gumbel and reporter Chris Wallace replace Tom Brokaw on the “Today Show.” Gumbel will co-anchor with Jane Pauley. Wallace will remain in Washington as a correspondent. Brokaw leaves to join Roger Mudd as co-anchor of the NBC Nightly News…

"Private Eyes" - Hall and Oates

william holden dies november 1981 trivia facts timelineNovember - Production of “Diff’rent Strokes” has been shut down for several weeks. Four shows have been taped, but the problem is, they don’t feature star Gary Coleman, who hasn’t reported for work. He wants more money. NBC pays him $30,000 per episode and says it won’t hand out profit shares in midstream to actors who didn’t share the financial liability if the show bombed… Wayne Rogers announces he is quitting CBS’ “House Calls” - another highly- rated sitcom. It’s the result of a breakdown in contract negotiation… The hottest in Soap Operas – the relationship of Luke and Laura on “General Hospital”… Kenny Rogers is making a label jump to CBS Records From Liberty/EMI. This came just after Rogers filed a $44-million suit against his old label in a dispute over royalties from previous albums… Actor William Holden (63) is found dead in his Santa Monica (CA) apartment… The Rolling Stones will cap their current U.S. concert tour with a closed-circuit satellite concert party to be beamed from an undisclosed December 18. Titled “The World’s Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Party” the event will be limited to 200 venues in the U.S and Canada… Los Angeles weatherman Pat Sajak is named host of “Wheel of Fortune” daytime on andy kaufman 1981 history facts dateline timeline  NBC, replacing Chuck Woolery… Andy Kaufman has a great gimmick. He offers $1,000 to any woman who can pin him in a wrestling match… Passing - actor Jack Albertson (74) - winner of an Oscar, two Emmy’s and a Tony. Best known as the garage owner in “Chico and the Man”…

"Physical" - Olivia Newton John

evel knievel ordered to pay december 1981 timeline facts triviaDecember - Daredevil Evel Knievel is ordered to pay $12.75 million in damages to Sheldon Saltman – a former vice president of the telecommunications division of 20th Century-Fox. Knievel assaulted the executive in September of 1977 with a metal baseball bat …  E Street Band members going solo next years - Look for solo records by Clarence Clemmons and Miami Steve Van Zandt. Another new artist for David Geffen - George Thorogood… CBS Happy New Year America - Host Donny Osmond with Les Brown, Mickey Gilley, the Urban Cowboy Band with Johnny Lee and the Pointer Sisters…

The Year 1981 In News Headlines And Information

January 1 President-elect Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy issue New Year’s greetings to the country in an interview taped for NBC and broadcast during the Tournament of Roses parade. “I know that there are great problems. I know that many people are disturbed worldwide, but certainly here in our country, as to whether we can solve the gravest problems confronting us. Let’s start this first day of the fifth year of the third century of our country - all of us together - realizing that we can solve the problems confronting us as we’ve solved them for 200 years. We just have to do it together”…  The Unification Church says that over the past two days, Sun Myung Moon has performed a mass engagement ceremony for 843 couples in New York City. Moon performed a mass engagement ceremony for 843 couples in New York City…

January 8 - The Reagan’s say goodbye in Los Angeles at City Hall ceremonies that included commemorative plaques, jellybeans and a pair of silver spurs to use  on Capitol Hill. The President-elect has been a  resident of the city for more than 40 years. In  Washington, Ronald Reagan orders his top aides to  prepare new, deeper spending cuts than they had  recommended for 1982 and succeeding years…. Iran drops its demand that the U.S. deposit $24 billion in Algerian banks before the 52 American hostages being held in Iran are released…

President Reagan Inauguration Speech

January 15 - Bernadette Devlin McAliskey , one of the most prominent and fiery Roman Catholic rights leaders in Northern Ireland, is shot and gravely wounded… Just as soon as Ronald Reagan is about to be sworn-in as President, the 52 American ronald reagan news 1981 update january   mrpopculturehostages are freed – in exchange for $8 billion in frozen Iranian assets Just as soon as Ronald Reagan is about to be sworn-in as President, the 52 American hostages are freed – in exchange for $8 billion in frozen Iranian assets. The captives had spent 444 days in captivity. After leaving Iran, two planes touched down in Athens, Greece for refueling and continued on to Algiers…

More Inauguration Parade/Hostage Release

NBC News Update - January 22, 1981

January 22 - The free hostages tell of beatings and other atrocities at the hands of the Iranian captors as they telephoned their loved ones. One said he was beaten and placed in solitary confinement for more than five months after he tried to escape. Another said he was told by Iranian interrogators trying to extract information from him that his mother had died (she is still very much alive)…Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and his wife Joan, announce they plan to divorce after 23 years of marriage….

In Algiers - Hostages Are Freed

More January 22 - More than 265,000 turn out for the Washington DC homecoming of the 52 American hostages. President Reagan vowed swift action against any future terrorism, warning that there are “limits to our patience”… Former Iran hostages ride through a ticker-tape parade in Manhattan. More than a million people lined the route… White House spokesman James Brady says President Reagan has assigned Vice President George Bush to “stay in touch and monitor the situation” in Atlanta, where 17 black children have disappeared in 18 months…

February 1 - The Reagan Administration withdraws as “unworkable and incredibly costly” proposals by the Carter Administration that would have required non-English- speaking children to be taught in their native language… Taking the stand for the sixth day at her trial, Jean Harris describes her rival for the love of “Scarsdale Diet” author Dr Herman Tarnower as an “adulteress,” a “whore,” and a “slut” in a letter to him. Harris is charged with shooting and killing Dr Tarnower in a jealous rage over an affair with david berkowitz 1981 news february facts history  mrpopculture38-year-old Lynee Tryforos… Now in Attica Prison, officials say The Son Of Sam ( David Berkowitz ) has fallen in love with a transsexual inmate…

February 8 - Another major hotel fire in Las Vegas, this time at the Hilton. Eight are dead and 242 injured… Iran deports American writer Cynthia B. Sawyer a day after she was convicted of spying and sentenced to the 9 months she had served while awaiting trial. ..More trouble in Poland as thousands of workers strike 450 factories in the country’s industrial southeast amid signs that the 5-month-old government of Stanislaw Kania is about to fall…

February 15 -  President Reagan urges Congress to slash the proposed 1982 federal budget by $41.4 billion and to reduce personal income taxes by 30% during four calendar years….  the De Lorean Motor Co in DunMurray, Northern Ireland is cranking out 12 new DMC sports cars a day… Police and FBI agents scour the city of Philadelphia in search of two laughing motorists who snatched $1.2 million in cash that fell from the back of an armored truck, the largest cash theft in Philadelphia history…

February 22 - Soviet Premier Nikolai A. Tikhonov tells Soviet citizens to work harder, promising them greater supplies of food and consumer goods in return. The Soviet Union, he said, has entered a critical period of development in which greater labor productivity and conservation of natural resources are essential to continued economic growth… President Reagan says he and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher agree that a Soviet proposal for a U.S.-soviet summit conference “needs to be carefully studied”… Prince Charles , heir to the British throne and one of the world’s most eligible bachelors is engaged to 19-year-old diane and charles 1981 news facts history  mrpopcultureLady Diana Spencer… Chrysler Corp reports a loss of $1.71 billion last year - the largest annual net loss in U.S. corporate history. The company this week receives a grant of $400 million in government loan guarantees…

March 1 - The Soviet Communist party ends its 26 th congress by unanimously reelecting Leonid I. Brezhnev its leader and filled the Kremlin Palace with shouts of “Glory to communism!”… Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger asks for a $32.6- billion increase in the Pentagon’s budget as the down payment for a larger Navy, a faster bomber and other new weaponry because “the United states cannot allow the military balance to swing further” in favor of Russia…U.S. automakers register their best sales period in nearly two years, stimulated by rebate programs. Sales of autos were up 21% from the same period last year… President Reagan says he intends to cut the federal payroll by at least $1.3 billion over the next two years…

 

March 15 - After 13 days of terror, three Pakistani hijackers surrender to Syrian authorities and release an estimated 102 hostages – the victims of the longest such aircraft kidnapping in history (so far)… In Washington - President Reagan tells an audience of longtime conservative supporters that “our time is now, our moment has arrived. He thanked them for helping him win “a victory for a set of principles” that can change the balance of government…Jean Harris (57) is sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for the love-triangle slaying of Scarsdale diet author Herman Tarnower… Chase Manhattan and First National Bank of Chicago announce they are going cut their prime-lending rate back to 17 ½ % from 18%...

President Reagan Is Shot/Assassination Attempt

March 22 - Outside the Washington Hilton - President Reagan is shot by a gunman and undergoes immediate surgery for removal of a bullet that lodged in his left lung. His condition is good. Suspect John Hinckley is taken into custody… Vice President George Bush rushes back to Washington from Texas. But, Alexander Haig - Secretary of State said in the mean time of power - “As of now, I am in control, here in the White House, pending the return of the vice president and I am in close touch with him”… Aid James Brady has been severly injured.  

April 1 - Reports say John Warnock Hinckley Jr., accused of shooting President Reagan, went a months-long gun-buying spree and took a cross-country trek to Washington. As important, was a letter he wrote to actress Jodi Foster, telling of his unrequited love for her, and saying he killed the President. The letter also disclosed that he planned to get even with the President because he believed Reagan had once snubbed the 18-year-old actress, who was featured in the movie “Taxi Driver”…

April 8 - President Reagan leaves the hospital and returns to the White House, declaring he had “much to be thankful for.” …The space shuttle Columbia lifts-off - the first time a shuttle has ever been launched into space by America!...

April 15 - Space shuttle Columbia returns to earth (Edwards Air Force base) with astronauts John W. Young and Robert L. Crippen who exclaimed - “what a way to come to California”…Another black man is found murdered in Atlanta - making it 24. 

April 22 - President Reagan, preparing for his first major public appearance since he was shot, returned to the White House to polish the speech he will deliver to a joint session of Congress. He appeared to favor his left side as he walked toward the helicopter at Camp David. Earlier, he told reporters he is still suffering pain from his gunshot wound and although the episode seems unreal to this day, he wonders, too, “why this didn’t happen 27 times before”…  President Reagan says he is lifting the grain embargo against the Soviet Union…

May 1 - Harrison A. Williams Jr. (D-NJ) is found guilty on Abscam bribery-conspiracy charges, becoming the first senator and seventh member of Congress to be convicted in the scandal…. Investigators have found no hard evidence that John w. Hinckley, charged with trying to assassinate President Reagan, was stalking the President or other political figures, so say federal law enforcement sources. …Doctors report good news on James Brady - the wounded White House press secretary has only one small air bubble in his brain and other leakage has been stopped…

francois mitterand 1981 news history mrpopcultureMay 8 -  Socialist leader Francois Mitterrand is elected president of France for a seven-year term… Pope John Paul II is hit by three bullets fired at close range before 18,000 people in St. Peter’s Square…

CBS News - Pope John Paul II Is Shot

May 15 - The Gipper is back - President Regan delivers the 136 th commencement address at the University of Notre Dame - his first trip outside Washington since he was shot in the chest by a would-be assassin on March 30… In Belfast - Convicted Irish Republican Army guerrilla Raymond McCreesh dies on the 61 st day of a hunger strike, following two comrades to death in a so-far vain attempt to pressure Britain into granting IRA prisoner’s political status…

May 23 - Police storm Spain’s Central bank in Barcelona to free the last of 200 hostages, killing one of the 11 terrorists gunmen who had held them captive for 37 hours… OPEC decides to freeze crude oil process for the rest of 1981. The current policy allows members to charge as much as $41 a barrel and suggests $36 as the basic price…. Earl Butz, former Agriculture Secretary, pleads guilty to a felony charge of federal tax evasion for understating his 1978 taxable income by more than $148,000…

June 1 - Vatican City - A smiling, waving Pope John Paul II leaves the hospital and returns to his Vatican apartments, three weeks after he was shot in an assassination attempt in St. Peter’s Square…

June 8 - Singer Pat Boone asks the Federal Trade Commission to drop an unprecedented order requiring him to make refunds to consumers of a the mail-order product, Acne-Statin, a purported acne cure he endorsed in 1977 advertisements… The IRS billy carter 1981 news facts history   mrpopculture imagehas seized all of Billy Carter’s property in Plains and his home and 58 acres in Buena Vista because he owes the government $105,000 in back taxes… Trouble in Iran as Revolutionary guards surround President Abothassan Bani-Sadr’s office as the embattled President issued a statement to the nation saying his life was in danger…

June 15 - Prime Minister Menachem Begin says he is ready to give U.S. special envoy Philip Habib a blunt ultimatum: Unless he achieves a diplomatic solution that ends in Syria moving its missiles out of Lebanon soon, Israel will take military action…. President Reagan, taking aim at House Democrats charges that Congress is in danger of “backsliding” on federal spending cuts and delaying too long on tax reductions. In demanding that Congress speed up its work to deliver a tax bill and a budge before its scheduled recess in August, Reagan hinted he might keep the lawmakers in session…

June 23 - The Supreme Court rules that Woman can be excluded from military draft registration and any military draft. The decision overturns a lower court’s ruling that the act is an unconstitutional form of sex discrimination… A bomb kills the Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti – the second most powerful man in Iran plus…

July 1 - President Reagan chooses Arizona Judge Sandra D. O’Connor to become the first woman justice in the history of the Supreme Court… In California - Gov Edmund Brown Jr. orders aerial spraying to kill the Mediterranean fruit fly in the Santa Clara Valley…   Largest merger to date - Du Pont Co., the nation’s largest chemical company says it has signed an agreement to acquire Conoco Inc in a transaction valued at a record $7.3 billion. The deal would create the nation’s seventh-largest industrial company. (this is the beginning of the 1980’s mega-mergers)…

July 8 - Rioting and looting turn areas of London into battlegrounds as the weeklong rash of urban violence spreads into northern cities. As days pass, the rioting gets worse with many asking - is the very fabric of British society unraveling perhaps irreparably?... Two men waving Molotov cocktails hijack a Chicago-to-Miami jet carrying 180 passengers and 12 crewmembers and force the pilot to fly them to Havana. The two men were arrested and six other passengers got off voluntarily… The government gives its first approval to an artificial sweetener in nearly a quarter century – aspartame…

July 15 -  In Kansas City (MO) - two elevated concrete walkways at the Hyatt Regency hotel give way onto a lobby floor full of dancers  at least 46 die… The 128-year-old Washington Star newspaper will cease publication August  7…

charles and diana wed july 1981 trivia facts timelineJuly 23 - Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer are married in St. Paul’s Cathedral in London…

August 1  -  U.S. air traffic controllers call a  national strike. President Reagan  tells strikers to go back to work  within 48 hours or be fired… 150 gather at “The Loft” restaurant in Fort Lee, New Jersey for the official launching of Music Television or MTV. Most of  the network’s programming (about 80%) will come from  promotional clips now currently shown on weekend late-night  TV. First music videos transmitted by the channel are from the Buggles, Pat Benatar and Rod Stewart…

President Reagan Warns Air Traffic Controllers To Return To Their Jobs Or Be Fired

August 8 -  Two U.S. Navy F-14 planes shoot down two Libyan SU-22 fighters after they fired on the American aircraft in an unprovoked attack over international waters… Secretary of State Alexander Haig charges that Cuba has stepped up its support of guerrillas in El Salvador…

August 15 - Mark David Chapman is sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for fatally shooting Beatle John Lennon on the evening of December 8, 1980…

john hinckley 1981 news facts history august  mrpopculture imageAugust 22 - John W. Hinckley Jr . pleads not guilty to charges of trying to kill President Reagan and three others. His lawyers were seeking his release from jail, but that’s not going to happen… Explosions rock the headquarters of the U.S. and NATO air commands in West Germany - wounding 18 Americans. In Peru, seven separate explosions go off, including the U.S. Embassy in Lima… Rebuffing proposed budget cuts - Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger is quoted as saying that rebuilding U.S. military strength is the most important task this Administration was elected to carry out…

September 8 - The government approves the merger of three New York, Florida and California savings and loan associations into the nation’s larges federally chartered savings and loan. The merger combines West Side Federal Savings & Loan of New York and Washington Savings and Loan Assn into Citizens Savings & Loan of San Francisco… President Reagan orders $13 billion in planned military spending cuts over the next three years the first round of budget cutbacks aimed at a balanced budget by 1984…

September 15 - So far, the stock market hasn’t responded to what the press is calling “Reaganomics” but the President believes otherwise… In Denver - President Reagan denounces the “Chicken Littles" who doubt that is economic recovery plan will work and proclaims it “as good as money in the bank”… Solidarity Day March - A massive counter attack against the economic and social policies of the Reagan Administration is launched in Washington with a turnout of some 260,000. It’s one of the largest political demonstrations ever held in the U.S…

September 22 - A new era in transportation opens when France’s new high-speed “train of the century,’ the fastest in the world, begins its inaugural run from Paris to Lyon at an average of 156 mph. Looking like a plane without wings, the bullet-nosed TGV - train a grande vitesse or high- speed train, carried President Francois Mitterrand and other  dignitaries on the historic trip… President Reagan recommends a 12% cut in appropriations for most government agencies… The FTC rules that Anacin must specify that it is an aspirin. The product says it is the “pain reliever most recommended by doctors,” but doesn’t say it is, in fact, just aspirin…

 

October 1 - Protect oil - President Reagan declares he will not allow a revolutionary takeover in Saudi Arabia like that in Iran two years ago… Let Reaganomics Begin - This week (Oct 1) begins a new fiscal year for the government - and the first for what are many are calling “Reaganomics” – the start of the nation’s biggest tax cut. Workers should see more in their paychecks, but it also means cuts in welfare and food stamps. Also, financial institutions are now offering a unique new government-approved tax-exempt savings certificate. It also means that many college students will be paying back higher interest for the government-backed loans…

anwar sudat 1981 october news facts history mrpopculture imageOctober 8 - President Anwar Sadat is assassinated by a band of men in Egyptian army uniforms - opening fire from a jeep during a military parade. The men then jumped out, charging the reviewing stand - firing shots and hurling at least one grenade. Two others were killed in the attack and thousands fled the scene in panic… For the first time, former Presidents, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter get together - albeit for the grime occasion of attending President Sadat’s funeral… Banks across the U.S. lower their prime lending rate to 19%. An analyst said “There’s no question that it has got to come down further... the prime rate should fall at least to 18%... The U.S. Postal Service says it will raise the price of a first-class stamp from 18 cents to 20 cents beginning November 1…

October 22 -  Federal labor panel votes to strip the Professional Air traffic Controllers Organization of its right to represent air controllers because of the union’s call for an illegal strike against the government. It’s the first time the government has put a union out of business by stripping it of its bargaining authority… The Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization, hoping to strengthen the court appeal of its desertification, declares an end to its three-month strike… Administration officials say the surrender would change nothing - the 11,500 strikers will not be allowed to go back to work. President Reagan scores a victory as the Senate approves his record $8.5 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia…

November 1 - Republican Thomas Kean defeats Democrat James Floria in a hard-fought race for New Jersey governor. About 120,000 workers in southern Poland agree to end their tow-week strike after Solidarity leader Lech Walesa personally intervened… The nation’s unemployment rate rises from 7.5% to 8%... Not getting along - Seems that Secretary of State Alexander Haig Jr. and national security adviser Richard Allen haven’t been getting along. Many believe Allen is soon to be removed from his position… President Reagan announces that he will sign a 10-year extension of the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act. The act banned literacy tests, poll taxes and other discouragements to minority voting. It also required nine states - Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia and parts of others, to obtain “pre-xlearance” from the Justice department before changing their election laws…

nancy reagan 1981 drugs november mrpopcultureNovember 8 - New anti drug crusade - Nancy Reagan all but blames drug addiction on the nation’s parents and advises them to get tough, even if it means, losing your child for a while. She told members of the national federation of parents - “I think for a long time parents weren’t involved. They shifted it to the schools or the police or the government - anybody but themselves - because it took time, it took effort, it’s not pleasant”…

November 15 - President Reagan proposes that the Soviet Union and the United States eliminate intermediate-range nuclear missiles from Europe, in aiming for the “lowest possible level” for these arms… Presidential Press Secretary James Brady goes home for good after spending eight months in the hospital and undergoing four operations for a bullet wound in his brain. Brady (41) had been a patient at George Washington university Hospital ever since he was shot in the March 30 assassination attempt on President Regan outside a Washington hotel…

November 22 - Dies - Actress Natalie Wood (43) drowns in an apparent accident off Catalina Island where she was spending the holiday weekend with husband Robert Wagner. The Wagners had taken friend/actor Christopher Walken along in their yacht…

December 1 - President Reagan issues an executive order expanding the power of U.S. intelligence (The CIA) to  mount some kinds of covert operations inside the  United States, to step up surveillance of American citizens abroad and to infiltrate organizations in this  country…. President Reagan and his top advisers brace for a deeper and longer recession than they moammar khadafi news 1981 november history factsanticipated but will stick by their plans without any relief programs… President Reagan rejects the denial by Col. Moammar Kadafi that Libyan terrorists have been sent to the United States to kill government leaders. “I wouldn’t believe a word he says.” “We have the evidence and he knows it”…

December 8 - President Reagan invalidates U.S. passports for travel to Libya and asks the estimated 1,500 Americans in the country to come home at once because their lives and safety are in “imminent danger.” Poland’s premier and Communist Party leader, Gen. Wojeiech Jaruzelski tells his nation in a broadcast that the country is in a “state of war” and that it will be run by an “Army Council of National Salvation”…

December 15 - Rioting erupts in Warsaw with clubs and tear gas. Seven are killed and over 400 are injured. Martial law continues… The Roman Catholic Church emerges as a powerful voice as Poland’s martial-law authorities tighten their grip on the country. Polish bishops call the government action “a blow applied to the hopes and expectations of society.” The church urged “that peace may be restored and that passion and anger be reduced.” Poles continue to grudgingly adjust their lives to the new crushing limits on their lives…  As the trash strike hits its 16th day in New York City - Mayor Ed Koch orders a “blitz” of municipal trash pick-ups. “It is not strike- breaking, because it is a health hazard…

December 22 - President Reagan declares that “freemen cannot and will not stand idly by in the face of brutal repression” and imposes economic sanctions on Poland’s military rulers… President Reagan, moving to punish the Soviet Union for the martial-law crackdown in Poland, blocks the sale of equipment for a pipeline that would carry natural gas from Siberia to Western Europe…

Year 1981  In Technology News And Information

January -  At the consumer electronics show in Las Vegas - projection TV’s are getting a lot of attention. There are basically three  types: - rear-projection models that sit close to the wall and  take-up the least amount of floor space; a one-piece front-screen unit with slightly  larger screens, but take up more room - and two piece units, that can have 7-foot  or larger screens and can take the space of an entire room. Prices range from $3000 to $5000… Pay-TV/Subscription television update – stronger than ever The format uses a  UHF television station to transmit a  scrambled picture over the air.  Subscribers pay about $20 a month for a  descrambler. It currently has an  advantage in areas not covered by cableTV.  All you need is a UHF antenna (which most TV’s have/or one is provided by  the installer). The main disadvantage - it costs about the same as cable service -  and cable offers dozens of channels. Usually as soon as cable is available,  subscribers drop their STV service… Ted Turner’s Cable News Network enters the New Year with entry into 4.3 million cable homes and growing. Although advertising revenues are climbing ahead of projections, financial analysts estimate they amounted to only $5-6 million in 1980, with a total CNN loss in excess of $15 million. CNN charges systems 15- to-20cents per subscriber per month. As of mid-December, CNN was carried on some 615 cable systems in 48 states and the Virgin Islands…

February - Cable TV update - ESPN says it has passed the 8 million mark in subscriber penetration. A company spokesman said the network no longer signs on cable systems unless they agree to carry all of its 24 hour  programming and that only 1-2% now carry on that limited basis an important factor in getting national advertising…The Public Broadcasting Service unveils a plan to establish a pay-television network offering a feature artistic presentation  every night and educational programs during the day. The “Public Subscriber Network”…

ESPN Doing "Frisbee" Throwing In 1981

March - ARTS - a cultural channel, begins to be carried at night on Warner Amex’s Nickelodeon channel. Nickelodeon, a children’s channel, will switch to ARTS at the end of its programming in early evening… Warner Amex Satellite Entertainment’s new 24-hour music channel will be in four to six million homes within the next two years - so says the company. The new service debuts August 1 and will be the first of its kind. The company is calling it “MTV: The Music Channel”…

cell phone tech history 1982 april update  mrpopcultureApril - The FCC approves a long-awaited, Dick Tracy-type phone service called cell phones. .. The Bell system wins about half the potential business. Cellular radio takes its name from a process of dividing cities into small geographic pieces - or cells - each served by a low powered radio transmitter. Through computer switching, a call made from a moving vehicle can be transferred automatically from cell to cell and frequency to frequency without interrupting the conversation. The current system uses a single powerful radio transmitter to blanket an area so that a conversation on a car phone can continue regardless of the vehicle’s whereabouts. But, this older technology allows just 24 simultaneous conversations to take place in a place such as New York City, where Cell will offer hundreds of thousands of calls. AT&T announced that it would be prepared to operate its firs cellular system by 1983 and could be operating in 70 major cities by the mid 1980’s… RKO radio announces the formation of “The Satellite Music Network” will offer two 24-hour live formats for radio stations “to plug into”…

June -  RCA kicks-off a major advertising launch for its “Selecta Vision” videodisc player…  Warner Amex Cable Communications activates a two-way CATV (cable) system in the greater Cincinnati suburban area, which like its original Qube operation in Columbus…  

July - More and more sets are using digital frequency- synthesis tuning. They require no fine-tuning… CBS announces a plan to introduce three satellite programming networks based on new technology. High-definition television, which scans double the 525 lines of the standard TV  transmission, and can also provide stereo sound… The technology would be broadcast directly to locally affiliated CBS stations, homes, and cable TV systems and was developed by the Sony Corp and CBS…

mtv begins 1981 tv music history mrpopcultureAugust MTV begins. Stereo sound? For an extra fee, your cable company will provide you with an FM stereo adapter so you can hear MTV music in stereo from your FM radio…Westinghouse and ABC announce two news cable channels to compete with Ted Turner’s Cable News Channel. The news service is tentatively called the Satellite ews Channel… Mother Angelica and 13 other nuns at Our Lady of the Angels Convent in Birmingham, Alabama launch a Catholic cable TV network called Eternal Word Network… IBM enters the Personal Computer market. The first PC’s will have a 16-bit microprocessor - twice that of PC rivals Apple, Tandy Corp and Commodore…

September – Vinyl Records - Audiophile records for rock fans? – Mobile Fidelity is releasing a pair of $50 rock vinyl albums this week. Pink Floyd’s “ Dark Side of the  Moon and Supertramp’s “Crime of the Century.” The albums are re-mastered at half- speed and recorded with new technology. 5,000 copies of reach will be pressed. Ted Turner says he’ll launch an all-news network for radio stations and will make Cable News Network II, the recently announced headline service, available to broadcast TV stations for excerpted use. Target date for both is January 1. The radio network will offer a combination of audio tracks from CNN1 and CNNII…

RCA Video Selecta Vision Video Disc Player Commercial

October - Why Not Watch What You Want When You Want On RCA Videodiscs? RCA VideoDisc Prices start at $14.98 - much less than the cost of prerecorded video tapes. So, for a modest cost, you can build your own library of RCA VideoDiscs and have a whole world of entertainment at your command. Any time. All the time”… Home taping  ruled illegal - The U.S. 9 th Circuit Court of Appeals rules that copying television programs off the air, even for private use in the home is an illegal infringement of copyright laws. Moreover, it ruled that manufacturers and retailers of the recorders may be held liable for having supplied the equipment. The three-judge panel, sitting in San Francisco, stopped short of barring sales of Sony’s Betamax video recorders (this will be overruled another time)… Viacom Cablevision of Long Island, serving more than 80,000 subscribers is bringing in Cable News Network. Turner president Ted Turner stated that the signing of Cablevision “will allow the Madison Avenue advertising community to see the Atlanta-based news network first-hand” and the move extends CNN’s reach into the greater NY area…

November - ABC-TV begins closed-captioned services for the hearing-impaired on its “World News Tonight.” An open caption version of the newscast has been airing later in the evening on PBS… A judge orders AT&T to pay MCI damages of almost a million dollars for refusing to lease them long distance circuits at bulk rates…

Year 1981 In Sports News And Other Fascinating Facts

At the movies - "Stir Crazy" w/Gene Wilder & Richard Pryor

terry bradshaw 1981 football history steelers mrpopculture imageJanuary -  Olympic athlete-turned-actor Bruce Jenner and actress Linda Thompson are married… - Agent David Gershenson says his client - Quarterback Terry Bradshaw of the Pittsburgh Steelers, may quit if NBC picks up a television series pilot he’s  involved in. “The verbal agreement calls for Terry to star in a pilot. Once Terry  signs to do a pilot, at the same time he agrees to do a series. Whether the series  goes on is totally is NBC’s option. Terry will have no choice”…  Phil Esposito (38) announces his retirement from the  National Hockey League as he plays his last game with the  New York Rangers… The Oakland Raiders with QB Jim Plunkett defeat the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XV. As a tribute to the freed 52 hostages, the NFL will distribute and estimated 80,000 yellow ribbons to fans attending the Super Bowl in New Orleans… Passing - actor Richard Boone (63)…

 

February - It’s learned that singer Peter Yarrow of “Peter, Paul & Mary” was granted a full and unconditional pardon by President Carter before he left office. Yarrow served in jail briefly after being arrested for “taking indecent liberties” with a 14-year-old girl in August of 1969… The NBA East beats the West 123-120. Nate (Tiny) Archibald of the Boston Celtics gets the game’s MVP…  Passing –easy listening maestro Hugo Montenegro (55)… Passing - Drummer William (Cozy) Cole(72)… Passing - Bill Hailey (William John Clifton Haley Jr.) (55)… Former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Hollywood Henderson admits that he had used narcotics for 14 years, but during the last 5 years, he has developed a dependency on cocaine… The Nevada Commission votes to restore Frank Sinatra’s gaming license after an 18-year-hiatus… Now that Disney is leaving NBC (after 20 years), CBS says it is looking forward to an association with the company. CBS will air the Disney show beginning next season…

"Message Of Love" - ABC-TV's "Fridays" - W/Andy Kaufman Video

March - Comic Flip Wilson is arrested at Los Angeles International Airport when $1,000 worth (2.5 grams) of cocaine and hashish is allegedly found in his possession... The Rhode Island Commission of Human Rights orders the California-based “Sambo” chain to change the name of its four Rhode Island restaurants. The commission ruled the name, which is found offensive by some blacks because of the children’s book “Little Black Sambo,” “is an indirect way of denying public accommodations to black persons… Rick Dees - off the air since he left KHJ - is back - doing mornings on low-rated KIIS-FM - Los Angeles.  

Rick Dees Now Does Mornings On KIIS-FM Los Angeles

April - Video games - one of the few fads sweeping the country these days. A favorite is something called “Space Encounters” and of course, Pac ManVince Ferragamo , one the Rams’ #1 quarterback is going to the Alouettes of the Canadian Football league for a reported $400,000 a year… Passing - General of the Army Omar Nelson Bradley , last of America’s five-star abbie hoffman news 1981 arrested april facts historygenerals. He was 88… Passing - Boxing great Joe Louis . He was 78… Abbie Hoffman (44) surrenders to court officials in Manhattan to  begin serving up to three years in prison for selling $36,000 worth of cocaine to undercover agents in 1974. “The U.S. Press won’t have Abbie Hoffman to kick around anymore,”  said Hoffman… Producers of “Dallas” are wondering what to do after the death of star Jim Davis, who portrayed Jock Ewing in the CBS drama. ABC cancels “Soap” and “Vegas” among others. News shows to be added include “The Fall Guy” starring Lee Majors and “Code Red” starring Lorne Green as a Los Angeles fireman…

ABC-TV's "Fridays" With Larry David And Michael Richard (Skit)

May - Vatican police detain American comedian Don Novello, who played the role of Father Guido Sarducci on “Saturday Night Live” when he arrived at St. Peter’s Basilica wearing a priest’s collar and black cape. Police accused the comedian of impersonating a Roman Catholic priest and taking photographs without authorization…  Fernandomania is on! Everybody’s eye seems to be on the Dodger pitcher. Look for front-page photos in Time, Sports Illustrated, Newsweek and other magazines. His games are usually sold out. TV ratings are higher than average. Fernando Valenzuela…Suzanne Somers has been dropped from “Three’s Company”  she wanted a big raise  to $150 thousand per episode from $30,000… The Rev. Jerry Falwell threatens to launch a nationwide boycott of products advertised on the television networks if objectionable “bedroom scenes, sex and violence” are not eliminated from TV programs by early July… He’s hot – pitching sensation Fernando Valenzuela of the LA Dodgers… Billy Martin is suspended by the American League for harassing home plate ump Terry Cooney in a game at Toronto… Passing - George Jessel, who was also known as the unofficial “Toastmaster General” of the nation. He was 83… There seems to be no stopping the popularity of "Luke & Laura" on ABC-TV's "General Hospital." They are a phenom...

Luke & Laura on "General Hospital"

June - Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn says free agency in baseball has led to higher operating costs and there must be a limit to the rapidly escalating salary structure…  Larry Holmes KO’s Leon Spinks in the third round of about at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena. The New York Yankees chose Stanford outfielder John Elway on the second round of the regular draft phase. Elway is also one of the nation’s premier college quarterbacks… Passing - Allen Ludden , longtime host of “Password”… Larry Holmes KO’s 

john mcenroe tennis history june 1981 sports facts  mrpopculture imageLeon Spinks in the third round of about at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena… A Wimbledon - John McEnroe deliberately breaks a racket and called the tournament referee “an competent fool.” He was irritated by disputed line calls… Jack In The Box introduces a new kind of sandwich – The Club Supreme! … Gary Owens finishes a 19 year-run at radio station KMPC (710) in Los Angeles - where he held down the afternoon drive shift…

July - Thirteen more games are cancelled as the baseball strike lingers on… Steven Ford , son of former President and Mrs. Gerald Ford, joins the cast of the CBS serial “The Young and the Restless”…  Passing – Actor Ross Martin… Chairman Allen H. Neuharth of Gannett is studying the possibility of publishing the nation’s first general-interest national newspaper, which it calls USA Today. More credence will be given to the results of scientific opinion polls being conducted by the newspaper chain’s Louis Harris & Associates polling subsidiary and by Simmons Market Research Bureau. Neuharth said a decision is expected to be made before the end of the year…. Herschel Walker a 19-year-old college sophomore at the University of Georgia has already had a lucrative multiyear contract offer from the Canadian Football League. Walker is an outstanding runner, but wants to challenge the NFL rules. He graduates in 1984, but doesn’t want to wait that long. An NFL rule says that a college player can’t be drafted until his class has graduate…  ABC radio announces that it will offer a live via satellite national talk format beginning next year. The first talent’s named are Michael Jackson and Dr. Toni Grant from local KABC talk radio in Los Angeles… Sports - The baseball strike gets settled and it looks like major league baseball will be back on August 10…  CBS is shaking up its football announcer pairings. Pat Summerall and Tom Brookshier will be splitting up, as will Vin Scully and George Allen. Summerall and Scully - #1 and #2 announces for football, will have new partners. Hank Stram for Summerall and John Madden for Scully. Out completely is Curt Cowdy…  Passing - Robert Moses , the “master builder” whochanged the face of New York City during a half-century of power. He was 92…

At the movies - "Stripes" - Bill Murray

August - Pitcher Bob Gibson is inducted into the Baseball hall of fame in Cooperstown, NY.  Gibson won 251 games for St Louis and is the  only pitcher ever to win the seventh game of a  World Series twice...Tennis star Martina  Navratilova says she is bisexual but hesitates to  live with her good friend, fellow star Nancy  Lieberman because the public may incorrectly  assume they are homosexual lovers.. . The New York Daily News says it is folding its afternoon edition. Dubbed “Tonight,” the afternoon paper had a circulation of 100,000 - half of the 200,000 targeted… United Airlines - the nation’s largest carrier, says it will begin to offer low-fare, low-frill lines. The shift will include adding increased seating in all49 of United’s 737’s and 19 of its 104 727’s… Cary Grant (77) and wife of four months Barbara Harris Grant (30) sue the National Enquirer for $10 million. The Grants claim the tabloid libeled them in an article asserting Harris “pushed him into marriage…

September - A Chevrolet Chevette diesel becomes the first American-made car to reach 40 miles per gallon in government fuel economy ratings. Once again, The Volkswagen rabbit diesel at 45 miles per gallon was the top-rated car… George Steinbrenner  george steinbrenner 1981 september news baseball yankees history  mrpopculturewants that college kid – John Elway. You see, Elway has the rest of this month to accept Steinbrenner’s $75,000 offer to play right field next summer on the Yankees’ Class A team in the New York - Pennsylvania League…

October - Terry Bradshaw throws for 276 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Pittsburgh Steelers to a 20-6 victory over the New Orleans Saints… Greg Nettles, the hero of the New York Yankees’ three-game sweep over the Oakland A’s, knocks-down teammate Reggie Jackson at a restaurant victory celebration in Oakland… The Dodgers win the World Series beating the Yankees. Pedro Guerrero drove in five runs with a homerun, triple… Rollie Fingers , relief pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers, is named winner of the American League Cy Young Award for 1981…

"For Your Eyes Only" Starring Roger Moore As James Bond

November - Rollie Fingers , relief pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers, is named winner of the American League Cy Young Award for 1981, Fingers won 6 games and saved 28 others with a 1.04 era in 47 appearances… Those famous Mean Joe Greene Coca- Cola commercials (with the little boy) are the basis for a TV movie. It’s called “The Steeler and the Pittsburgh Kid… Steve Garvey, formally of the Dodgers, signs a $6 million contract with the San Diego Padres… NBC debuts “The Regis Philbin Show” - seen mornings in most markets after “The Today Show.” Philbin just left the simarly-formated “A.M Los Angeles’ on Channel 7 there. In radio ads in that market, Philbin is heard telling listeners it was the same show, only a different channel…

December - Marques Johnson ends his 18-game holdout and signs an 8-year contract with the Milwaukee Bucks for $1 million… Porno star John Homes is arrested on suspicion of murder in the bludgeoning deaths of four people in the Laurel Canyon area of Los Angeles… A superior court judge orders hairdresser Marilyn Barnett to move out of the Malibu house owned by her former lover, tennis champion Billie Jean King. Billie Jean King says she is relieved that it was all over… Muhammad Ali gets defeated in a 10-round decision from the fists of Trevor Beribick at a fight in Nassau… Although it is not yet announced, there’s very strong gossip WABC radio is going talk soon. The station is said to be doing half the advertising business it did in 1976 - when it pulled $9 million with its top-40 music. Most believe it will be tied-in with the launch of ABC radio’s new satellite talk network. New York talker WOR-AM pulled-in $13 million last year…

 

"Raiders Of The Lost Ark" Was A Top 1981 Movie

 

Kim Carnes' "Bette Davis Eyes" Was A Top 1981 Pop Hit Music Single

 

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