Daily Trivia – 12/31/10

Question: What singer scored a top-10 hit with the movie theme “The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough”?

Last Question: What Arnold Schwarzenegger movie dared to cast Richard Dawson as a game-show host of the future?

Survey Says!… The Running Man

The Running Man, a movie based on a Steven King book, was Richard Dawson’s last movie before he retired. Although us 80s fans remember Dawson most from the game show, The Family Feud, acting was not new to Dawson. He played Corporal Peter Newkirk on Hogan’s Heroes from 1965 to 1971.

Daily Trivia – 12/30/10

Question: What Arnold Schwarzenegger movie dared to cast Richard Dawson as a game-show host of the future?

Last Question: What Billy Joel chart-topper advised: “Giver her every reason to accept that you’re for real”?

Answer: “Tell Her About It”

“Tell Her About It” was the first single released off of the An Innocent Man album. This song is an homage to the Motown Sound. It reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts for one week on September 24, 1983, replacing “Maniac” by Michael Sembello. At the end of the song in the video, comedian (and Easy Money star) Rodney Dangerfield is there preparing to go on “stage” thanking Joel for warming up the crowd.

For more on the album An Innocent Man, go check out the Album Listening Party for this album.

Guilty Pleasures – Culture Club

The Guilty Pleasure series continues. Although I do enjoy most of the artists that are going to appear in this series, there are some that I really can’t stand. Today’s band falls into the latter category. That would be Culture Club. I was even going to make a sacrifice for the blog, and actually download some of their hits. But, I could not bring myself to do it! When Boy George sang the words, “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?”, was I the only one who screamed an angry whole-hearted “YES!!” every single time?

When Culture Club burst onto the scene in 1982 with their debut album Kissing to Be Clever, many of us asked, “Is that lead singer a guy or a girl?” It looks a lot like a girl with that hairdo and those clothes. But, if it is a girl, she is kind of freaky looking. Oh, wait, the name is Boy George, so it must be a guy. right?
Yeah, yeah, confirmed. It’s a guy.

Well, as much as I was not a fan of the group, there is no denying Culture Club’s success of the early to mid 80s. Kissing to Be Cleversold over two million copies in the US, and another four million worldwide at the time of its release.

Culture Club definitely did not suffer a sophomore slump. In 1983, Colour by Numbers was released, and it sold four million copies in the US and another five million worldwide at its time of release. The second single, “Karma Chameleon” became the band’s biggest hit as it was #1 in the UK, #1 in the U.S. for 3 weeks, and was #1 in sixteen other countries, and became one of the top twenty best-selling singles of the 80s.

After the success of Colour by Numbers, Culture Club had a nose dive. I suppose that they literally had a nose dive as Boy George became addicted to cocaine, which then led to a heroine addiction. The band eventually broke up in 1986, and Boy George pursued a solo career.

The band reunited a couple of times since. They reunited in 1998, and appeared on VH1 Storytellers. They went on a small tour, then reunited again in 2002 for their 20th anniversary. They broke up again due Boy George’s successful DJ career.

I could not even come up with a top 5 list of Culture Club songs. Here is a list of my top 4 hits:

4. Do You Really Want to Hurt Me

I really could not stand this song. But there’s no denying it’s success. It put Culture Club on the map. Ironically, it is the only Culture Club song I own right now. That is because it is on The Wedding Singer Soundtrack.

3. Church of the Poison Mind

This top 10 hit is a little more tolerable. It has a pretty cool Motown vibe. Could they be winning me over? I do love Stevie Wonder’s “Uptight (Everything’s Alright)“, which is very similar.

2. I’ll Tumble 4 Ya

This song is alright. It has a pretty good reggae beat. It makes me want to go on a Caribbean Cruise.

1. Karma Chameleon

This was Culture Club’s most successful song. It’s kind of a fun song. Not fun enough for me to spend $1.29 on. When I was in Junior High school, I was some place where there was a raffle for all different items. You buy a bunch of tickets, and put them in the cans in front of the items. I threw a ticket in for the 45 records of “Karma Chameleon” and Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long”. You can see where this is going can’t you? These 45’s were the first things I ever won in my life. Now I had something else to bring to the school dances (that I mentioned in the Air Supply article), and I didn’t need to bring AC/DC’s Back In Black anymore! And they actually played my records at the dance!

So did I offend any Culture Club fans out there? Or did they irritate you as much as they did me? I won’t stick my nose up at you if you’re a fan. They’re just not my cup of tea.

Daily Trivia – 12/29/10

We are going to do away with Trivia Tuesday. Instead, you will be able to get your ’80s trivia fix here daily (well at least daily during the week, excluding holidays)!

Question: What Billy Joel chart-topper advised: “Giver her every reason to accept that you’re for real”?

Last Question: In Three’s Company, what was Chrissy’s name short for?

Answer: Christmas

Chrissy’s full name was Christmas Noelle Snow.

In season 4, episode 9 (Chrissy’s Hospitality), Chrissy falls and hits her head. She ends up in the hospital and explains to the nurse that her father named her Christmas because “she was the best present he ever got”.

Music Video of the Day – 12/29/10

Since the New Year starts this week, why shouldn’t the video be U2’s “New Year’s Day”:

“New Year’s Day” was the first single off of U2’s 1983 album War. Here are some facts about the song from Songfacts:

– The lyrics refer to the movement for solidarity lead by Lech Walesa in Poland. After this was recorded, Poland announced they would abolish martial law, coincidentally, on New Year’s Day, 1983.

– This was U2’s first UK Top 10 and their first single to chart in America.

– This almost didn’t make the album because Bono was having fits writing the lyrics.

– The Edge played piano on this as well as guitar.

– This was the first U2 video to get heavy airplay on MTV.

– The themes of understanding in a time of global unrest were a focal point for the album War, whose title was inspired by the various worldwide conflicts of 1982.

– The line “Under a blood red sky” was used as the title for a video and live album U2 released in 1983. The video was recorded at Red Rocks, Colorado, June 5, 1982. The album contains performances from that show as well as 2 others.

– Bono considers this a love song. While it is about war, it deals with “The struggle for love.”

– Bono wrote this shortly after he married his childhood sweetheart, Ali.

– The video shows the band riding horses in the snow. The Edge used a stunt-double because he was having trouble with his horse.

Trivia Tuesday – 12/28/10

Question: In Three’s Company, what was Chrissy’s name short for?

Last Question: This week’s question is about When Harry Met Sally. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we all know that it was Rob Reiner’s mother that had the famous line “I’ll have what she’s having,” so that’s not the question. The question is, What was the name of the place where this classic scene took place?

Answer: Katz’s Deli

Here are some other facts about the movie, from the site Destination Hollywood:

Did You Know?

… that Rob Reiner always references his other movies somewhere in each of his movies. In When Harry Met Sally, Billy Crystal is reading Misery which would be Rob Reiner’s next movie.

… that in the scene where Harry and Sally are watching TV and talking to each other on the phone, they are both watching the movie Casablanca. Don’t miss our Tribute to Casablanca.

… that When Harry Met Sally was written by Nora Ephron. She received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. After When Harry Met Sally she went on to work with Meg Ryan again, writing and directing Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail.

… that When Harry Met Sally was made into a stage play starring Luke Perry and Alyson Hannigan. If you don’t believe us you can read a review.

R.I.P. Teena Marie (March 5, 1956 – December 26, 2010)

According to CNN, R&B singer-songwriter Teena Marie apparently died in her sleep at her California home, and was discovered by her daughter on Sunday, December 26. According to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, an autopsy will be performed today. It was not immediately clear when the results would be available, but the coroner’s office said it hopes to have the autopsy completed on Tuesday.

Teena Marie was born Mary Christine Brockert, and grew up in Venice, California. She signed with Motown records in 1976 after she auditioned for the label honcho, Berry Gordy. She was spotted by Rick James and guitarist Paul C Saenz who became her mentors. She had some hits with Motown, such as “I’m Just a Sucker for Your Love” (a duet with Rick James), “Behind The Groove“, “I Need Your Lovin’“, “Fire and Desire” (another duet with James), “Square Biz“, “Portuguese Love“, and “It Must be Magic“.

In 1982, Marie got into a heated legal battle with Motown records over her contract and disagreements about releasing her new material. After leaving Motown, she signed with Epic Records. She had several more hits, including her biggest selling album, 1984’s Starchild. The album contained the hit single “Lovergirl“, which peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in March of 1985. She also recorded the song “14k“, which was featured in the Goonies movie. She also recorded another song for a soundtrack – “Lead Me On” from the movie Top Gun. In the fall of 1990, Marie released the album Ivory. Epic wasn’t happy with the album sales, so Marie and Epic agreed to go their separate ways. Teena Marie slowed down a little bit after that, and took time to raise her daughter Alia Rose. But she had a major comeback in 2004 with her album La Doña, and her follow-up Sapphire, in 2006. Marie was nominated for a Grammy Awards 2005 for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for “Still in Love“.

This past year Marie was a headliner in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Hilton and other venues.

“I am horrified by the sudden death of my darling Teena Marie,” Motown founder Berry Gordy said in a statement sent by his publicist. “She was my ‘baby,’ always true to herself, always true to her heart.”

Berry called her a “powerhouse performer, writer, producer and arranger.”

“When I first auditioned her she was so awesome she blew me away,” Gordy said. “She had so much soul — the only thing white about her was her skin.”

Here is Teena Marie’s hit “Lovergirl”:

Ronald Reagan Quote of the Week – 12/27/10

This week’s quotes are New Year’s messages from Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev from January 1, 1989.
First is Ronald Reagan’s:
On behalf of the American people, I send you greetings on the coming of the New Year.

In your country and mine, the New Year is a time of hope and renewal. Never have these qualities of the spirit been more necessary than now, as Soviet Armenia begins to heal from its wounds. You have our deepest sympathy. You have our prayers. And you have a personal hope from my wife, Nancy, and me that in the effort to rebuild what was shattered you will find your solace.

I am confident that relations between our two countries will continue on the positive course they have followed in the year just ending. And despite our disagreements, we have been able to find some common ground. When I visited Moscow and met with President Gorbachev, we advanced our mutual understanding on the vital issues of human rights, arms reductions, regional problems, and bilateral relations. Although much remains to be done, we’re making progress in all of those areas.

In Moscow, we signed the documents of ratification for the treaty eliminating an entire class of U.S. and Soviet intermediate-range nuclear missiles, and the implementation of that historic treaty has proceeded smoothly. Soviet and American negotiators continued to discuss a 50-percent reduction in strategic nuclear weapons. And we are preparing to enter into new negotiations about conventional military forces in Europe. President Gorbachev, during his recent speech to the United Nations, announced significant reductions in Soviet conventional forces. This is certainly a step in the right direction of correcting the imbalances in the European military situation, but much more remains to be done. Thus, while much has been accomplished in the area of arms control and reductions, we must continue efforts to ensure a lasting peace.

In human rights, progress is being made in reunification of families, freedom of people to travel as they please, and in other areas. The cessation of jamming is also a positive step; for if we’re to understand each other better, we must be able to talk freely with each other, and listen freely as well. In bilateral relations, for example in cultural and educational exchange, improvements mean that the barriers that artificially separated our peoples are slowly being lowered. And in regional issues, from Afghanistan to the Persian Gulf and southern Africa, solutions are being found to conflicts of many years’ standing. Perhaps your country will join ours in the effort to bring peace, democracy, and security to Central America.

In all of these areas, these improvements represent only the beginning of a long, difficult road to better understanding and cooperation. We are ready to continue moving along this road. Important differences remain between our countries and will continue for years to come. But I am confident that we have been witness in 1988 to progress that, if we are careful and diligent, can continue next year and during the years to come.

President Gorbachev’s visit to New York — cut short by the catastrophe in Armenia — gave us a chance to meet once more during my term as President. On January 20, George Bush will be sworn in as my successor. The American people have chosen him in part because he represents continuity in the policies, foreign and domestic, that the United States has pursued over the past 8 years. I know that Mr. Bush will continue on the same course with equal commitment.

This is my final message to you as President, and so, let me close by saying this: I believe the world is safer than it was a year ago, and I pray it will be safer still a year from now. I wish you, the Soviet people, well in the New Year. Thank you, and may God bless you and keep you all the days of your life.

The following message was from Mikhail Gorbachev:

Dear Americans, on this first day of the New Year, I am pleased to have the opportunity to convey, on behalf of the Soviet people and on my own behalf, our best wishes to the American people and to every American family.

Seeing out a year gone by and ushering in a new year is always a moving experience. Each time, we take stock of the past year: happy about some things, sad about others, and hoping that many of our concerns will be left behind as we cross the threshold of the year and that our wishes will be fulfilled in the coming year.

Last year was rich in momentous events. It also brought many good changes in relations between our peoples and countries. Today they are more dynamic and more humane. We have become closer, and we have come to know each other better. Americans seem to be rediscovering the Soviet Union, and we are rediscovering America. Fears and suspicion are gradually giving way to trust and feelings of mutual liking. I could see all of this for myself in my meetings with Americans in Washington and, quite recently, in New York. We regard the warmth and good will shown to the Soviet delegation during those days as something very important for our relations. I think President Reagan, too, will remember his meeting with Soviet people during his visit to the Soviet Union.

We in the Soviet Union are in favor of the most wide-ranging ties between our peoples; I hope you are, too. And that means we can look ahead with optimism to the future of our relations. This is what we talked about with President-elect Bush.

1988 is memorable for all of us as a year when we began reducing the most terrifying nuclear weapons. That alone is enough for it to go down in history as a landmark, a great turning point in world affairs. Many other facts, too, prove that changes for the better, very important for all of us, are taking place in the world. The Afghan issue is close to a settlement. Hostilities have ceased between Iran and Iraq. Real opportunities are emerging for resolving painful and complex issues in Southeast Asia and southern Africa. The situation in the Middle East is also changing. All this is very encouraging.

And let me mention one thing in particular. You know how much misfortune and suffering was caused by the earthquake in Armenia, how great was the human tragedy it wrought. I went to see the ruins of the devastated Armenian towns. You can’t even look at what the forces of nature have done without shuddering. All Soviet people took the misfortune of the people of Armenia as their own. In this hour of grief, they extended a helping hand to them, as brothers. The devastated towns and villages will be reborn — that is the will of all the peoples of the Soviet Union. Armenia’s tragedy has evoked great sympathy throughout the world. We are grateful to the American people and to all peoples who have come to our aid.

Seeing all this, one cannot help thinking that all people who live on this Earth, all of us, however different, are really one family. I am sure we will find enough wisdom and good will to establish together a true period of peace for all humankind. If we are capable of a new way of feeling, then we must surely be capable of a new way of thinking. If we are capable of a new way of thinking, then instead of merely surviving we can live in a new way: on the basis of equal rights, justice, trust, humanism, and wide-ranging cooperation. This is the message I wanted to convey in addressing the United Nations in New York.

There are, of course, still many problems in the world, and they are intricate and complex. But that only heightens the need to solve them together — as we say in our country, with everyone pitching in. It is good that we understand this and, moreover, that we are taking the first steps in that direction. Both our countries have a lot of problems. Quite naturally, you know your problems better, and we know ours. We intend to solve our problems in the course of perestroika. But the Soviet Union and the United States also have some common problems. I am convinced that today, on the basis of growing mutual understanding and trust, we can solve them better than we could yesterday.

Once again, I salute you, citizens of a great nation. Once again, I wish all of you peace, good health, and well-being. May there be more happiness and joy in your life. May your best hopes be fulfilled. May our common achievements shine brighter and brighter, filling every Soviet and American home and all our planet with an abiding will for peace, development, and construction.

A Happy New Year!