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Who topped the Billboard charts 35 years ago? Paul and Stevie, of course

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We really did have it so much better in the early ‘80s. Just check out the Billboard top 5 songs for the week of June 26, 1982. 

1. Ebony and Ivory (Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder)
2. Don’t You Want Me (The Human League)
3. Rosanna (Toto)
4. Heat of the Moment (Asia)
5. Always On My Mind (Willie Nelson)

Well, I wasn’t a HUGE fan of Willie Nelson, but I love the Pet Shop Boys’ later cover of his signature tune. Also, it’s always nice to see Asia among the leaders. Still can’t believe John Wetton is gone. 

As for Ebony and Ivory, the tune was written alone by Paul McCartney and appeared on his album Tug of War. It spent seven weeks at No. 1. It was the longest run at the top for any McCartney song in his post-Beatles career; likewise it was Steve Wonder's longest running chart-topper. 

The next 5 songs from that week in 1982 are a little more scattered genre-wise.

6. Hurts So Good (John Cougar)
7. Crimson and Clover (Joan Jett and the Blackhearts)
8. Let It Whip (Dazz Band)
9. Love’s Been A Little Hard On Me (Juice Newton)
10. The Other Woman (Ray Parker Jr.) …

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‘80s acts dominate lineup of 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Oh, yes. Christmas is coming early this year to ‘80s fans in Florida. Disney’s Epcot Center has announced the lineup to its “Eat to the Beat” concert series that coincides with their annual International Food & Wine Festival.

Two names that really pop out - The Hooters and Squeeze. It’s been forever since those bands have graced the stages down south. (By the way, if you haven't seen .38 Special perform live, consider that another can't-miss show, along with Dennis DeYoung and Air Supply - two longtime regulars at Epcot for good reason.)

As always, these shows are free with paid park admittance. Here’s the lineup of ‘80s bands for the Food & Wine Festival. (Get the full lineup here)



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Han Solo movie now in the hands of ... Ron Howard?

Dear god, I love Ron Howard movies. All of them. Especially Cocoon and Night Shift in the '80s. Particularly The Paper, which is the most accurate comedy I've seen about the newspaper biz. And even Rush, which I was sad to learn was not about the band but instead about Formula 1 racing. (Seriously, though, Rush was amazing.)

But I'm still shaking my head at learning that Ron Howard is the new director of the Han Solo spinoff movie. I just don't picture him as a sci-fi guy. (I mean, I guess Cocoon counts as sci-fi, but not really. Well, there's also Willow - part of the LucasFilm empire - but that's more adventure than sci-fi.)

Variety reports that his immediate hire follows this week's departure of original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who were dismissed after they couldn't see eye to eye with producers.

According to Variety, Howard will start work immediately. As in, "We hope you brought your lunch to work today" immediately. The movie has already begun shooting and only has a few weeks of production left before some pre-planned reshoots are set to begin.

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Relive the tear-jerking 'Cocoon' podcast on film's 32nd anniversary

Cocoon, the movie that has practically been adopted as family by St. Petersburg (where it was filmed), turns 32 years old today. Seriously? And we thought the actors in the movie were old. 

The story of a group of retired seniors who seemingly discover a “fountain of youth” in the pool of the vacation house next door appropriately never seems to age. Watch it today and you’ll cry at all the same parts. 

Tampa Bay Times film critic Steve Persall did an amazing story about the film on its 25th anniversary, and he joined us for a special Stuck in the ‘80s podcast. We hope you listen again and enjoy the magic. 

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A look back at 'The Bounty' and Daniel Day-Lewis

With Daniel Day-Lewis retiring from acting this week, ‘80s fans might want to go back and look at some of his work in our decade. Aside from 1989’s My Left Foot, for which the actor won his first Oscar, the movie that always pops up first in my mind is the very underrated remake of The Bounty in 1984.

This version of The Bounty - considered the most historically accurate - was in fact the fifth film version of the story of 1789 mutiny on the HMS Bounty, led by Fletcher Christian who led his crewmen to overthrow Lt. William Bligh. Cast away in small launch with few loyalists, Bligh would eventually make it back to England and a search was conducted for the mutineers. (Only a handful would later be brought to justice; Christian was never found. He was believed to be hiding on a nearby island, though some rumors have it that he secretly made his way back to England.) …

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'I'm finished...' Daniel Day-Lewis quits acting

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Three-time Academy Award winner Daniel Day-Lewis has announced through a spokesperson that he is quitting acting at age 60, Variety reports.

“Daniel Day-Lewis will no longer be working as an actor,” spokeswoman Leslee Dart confirmed to Variety. “He is immensely grateful to all of his collaborators and audiences over the many years. This is a private decision and neither he nor his representatives will make any further comment on this subject.”

No further comment? Good luck with that. To paraphrase The Last of the Mohicans, “We will find you! No matter how long it takes, no matter how far. We will find you!”

Day-Lewis’ career took off in the ‘80s, when he made appearances in Gandhi, The Bounty, My Beautiful Laundrette, A Room with a View, The Unbearable Lightness of Being and My Left Foot (for which he won his first Oscar). 

He also won Oscars for 2008’s There Will Be Blood and 2013’s Lincoln. (He was nominated for Oscars for Gangs of New York and In the Name of the Father.)

The actor, who was notoriously picky about the roles he chose, has previously taken long breaks from making movies, but this is the first time he's declared to be through with them. …

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New podcast: Summertime in the '80s playlist


We had so much fun producing our first "Summer in the '80s" podcast, we almost forgot it's been nearly 10 years since it debuted. Episode 128 - check it out. So for this week's podcast, we decided to enlist our friend Jen with One N and build a new summertime playlist.

Some of the songs on this podcast are pretty obvious. But at least two of them, I'd never heard until moments before we recorded. I'll let you figure out which is which.

Remember, if you are enjoying the show, do us a solid and write a nice review on iTunes. It means the world to us.

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Hall and Oates add new dates to 2017 tour

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Hall & Oates have been tearing up the highways this summer on their tour with Tears for Fears. Business has been so good that the Philly pop-and-soulsters have added a few more dates to the calendar - including a new show in Florida.

However, just a heads-up: These new tour stops don't feature Tears for Fears as a co-headliner. Instead, St. Paul and the Broken Bones will be the opener. Here are the additional dates.

September 22: Cedar Park, TX - H-E-B Center at Cedar Park
September 24: Sugarland, TX - Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land
September 26: Tuscaloosa, AL - Tuscaloosa Amphitheater
September 28: Jacksonville, FL - Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
September 30: Charleston, SC - North Charleston Coliseum

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Pop charts from head to toe: Billboard's weekly Hot 100 from 30 years ago

Ever take the time to look back at the Billboard charts? They're all available online. You can pick any week from any year and - boom! - it's a trip back through musical memories. Starting today, I'll post the charts from 30 years ago. So today, we look back and the charts from the week of June 20, 1987. 

And who's in the top five? Lisa Lisa with Head to Toe?!? She's followed by Atlantic Starr with Always and then Whitney Houston's I Wanna Dance With Somebody, Genesis' In Too Deep and finally Herb Albert and Janet Jackson with Diamonds. Yes, by the late '80s, the musical scene had shifted from New Wave to ... well, I'm not sure there's a term that wraps those five songs together. 

Here's the rest of the top 10 this week:
6. Heart - Alone
7. Bon Jovi - Wanted Dead or Alive
8. Kim Wilde - You Keep Me Hangin' On
9. Kenny G - Songbird
10. Smokey Robinson - Just To See Her

Click here for the full Billboard Hot 100 for this week 30 years ago.

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Great trailers for forgotten movies: 1987's 'Roxanne'

Building on the seeming indifference '80s Nation gave to the start of my "Bad Trailers for Great Movies" series the other day, today I give you the slightly more optimistic "Great Trailers for Forgotten Movies" debut. 

Why all the weirdness when it comes to movie trailers? Because Hollywood was hit-and-miss with trailers in the '80s. But apparently, by 1987, they were getting it right with this one from Roxanne, the rom-com that starred Steve Martin and Daryl Hannah

Those in the know recognize its plot as a retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac, Edmond Rostand's 1897 play about a noble man with a big nose and a big heart to go along with it. In 1987, it's Steve Martin's turn to play Cyrano, this time as a fire chief who falls for the brainy and beautiful Roxanne (Hannah). Rick Rossovich, fresh off his role as "Slider" in Top Gun, plays the tongue-tied muscle-head who seduces Hannah with the prose of Martin. 

Critics were generally pleased with Roxanne; it maintains a healthy 89 percent "fresh rating" on Rotten Tomatoes. The trailer aptly captures the sweet nature of the film while not giving away all the choice punchlines. 


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That song from Thomas Dolby and the other Sakamoto

From playing the iconic keyboard solo on Foreigner's Waiting For A Girl Like You to working with funk meister George Clinton to creating iconic cell phone ring tones, Thomas Dolby has always done his fair share of work in the field of music. One experimentation by Dolby you probably have never seen or heard is his collaboration with Ryuichi Sakamato and the video for Field Work.

Who is Ryuichi Sakamato? A talented man from Japan who has excelled as a pianist, composer and actor among many pursuits. He was the lead opposite David Bowie in the 1983 movie Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence and also won the Academy Award in 1987 as the score composer for The Last Emperor.

It has to be a coincidence that earlier in the decade that Dolby would sing the lyric "Good Heavens Miss Sakamoto. You're beautiful!" on She Blinded Me With Science and then later in 1986 would team up with another Sakamoto for Field Work. A song from Sakamoto's album entitled Illustrated Musical Encyclopedia, Field Work is part experimental/part pop song and the video features the two music mavericks in front of the cameras.


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Bad trailers for great movies: 1987's 'Made in Heaven'

If you want to revisit some of Kelly McGillis' best work in the '80s, consider the 1987 movie Made in Heaven. Of course, it helps that she's paired with Timothy Hutton; the two stars share a chemistry that Top Gun pal Tom Cruise couldn't comprehend. 

Made in Heaven, the story of two would-be lovers who meet in heaven only to be separated by the laws of "up above" and forced to find each other again on Earth, rarely makes a cable appearance, so you'll have to hit up Netflix's DVD plan or fork over some coins to buy or rent it online. But whatever you, don't judge the movie based on its theatrical trailer, which is a strange mix of poorly chosen dialog, cliche narration and special effects stolen straight from Xanadu. Cringe all you want, but trust me: This is an '80s movie you NEED to see in whole. 

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Do you remember this tune by Dolby's 80s protege?

Besides his own music, Thomas Dolby was also busy as a producer and guest musician in the '80s. Always on the cutting edge, Dolby was always looking for a New Toy and in the '80s he found it with Lene Lovich.

Lovich was born in Detroit and at the age of 13, she and her English-raised mother moved back to England. By the mid-70's, Lovich was in her mid to late 20s and embraced the theatrics of the new wave/punk movements and landed on the U.K. charts with her unique stylings on pop music. In 1981, she teamed up with Dolby for New Toy that was a minor hit in England and a Top 40 hit in Australia.

Besides writing and producing New Toy, Dolby appears in the video but just as a side character to Lovich. The video for New Toy features Lovich's lovely locks in a song about rampant commercialism and branding - and her hatred for Hoover vacuum cleaners. It also holds the unofficial record for biggest pair of scissors used in an '80s video.

Lovich released only one album after the '80s and settled into family life raising her two children and supporting PETA.


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Thomas Dolby deserved more time on the 'Airwaves'

I must admit that while I loved She Blinded Me With Science in 1983 (and still do), that I never listened to Thomas Dolby albums in the '80s. Because of Steve Spears dogged praise of Dolby over the years on Stuck in the '80s, my situation of listening to Dolby albums has been rectified and thankfully I now know all about great songs like Airwaves.

Airwaves was a single off of Dolby's 1982 album The Golden Age Of Wireless and did not chart anywhere. It wasn't much later that the stand alone single She Blinded Me With Science became a hit and was later put on all subsequent reissues and repackaging of The Golden Age Of Wireless.

The video for Airwaves is in contrast to many of his other silly videos as Dolby is a spy runner trying to relay messages across the border in a police state. The dark lighting and cold snow-covered set compliments the atmospheric music of Airwaves.

For more Thomas Dolby, you can always listen to SIT80s Podcast No. 70 to listen to Steve's interview with Dolby or you could come back to the blog the rest of the week to discover several of the side projects of Dolby in the '80s. …

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New podcast: 'Thirtysomething' turns 30 with author Scott Ryan

Remember back when Thirtysomething seemed like a TV show only your parents would want to watch? Wouldn't you give just about anything to be that young again? Truth is, if you skipped out on Thirtysomething in the late '80s and early '90s, you seriously missed an amazing TV series penned by some seriously gifted writers. 

Author and podcaster Scott Ryan reminds us of this and more in his new book Thirtysomething at 30: An Oral History. And he's this week's special guest on our podcast. Our host Jen with One N did an amazing job with the interview, which sounds more like a fun chat between two new friends than a stodgy old Q&A. If you weren't into Thirtysomething, you will be after this episode. 

We're also giving away a signed copy of Scott's book. Just email us at with "30something" in the subject line and tell us your favorite memory of the TV show. And if you're already convinced, you can buy a hardcopy or paperback version of Thirtysomething at 30 at …

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