Question: In 1986, who became the first new MTV VJ since the original five?
Last Question: What 1984 movie about skiing featured a “Chinese downhill” race?
Answer: Hot Dog…The Movie
Hot Dog…The Movie was set in Squaw Valley and revolving around a freestyle skiing competition. The movie starred Patrick Houser as Harkin Banks, a young and ambitious freestyle skiier from Idaho who is determined to prove himself in the competition. The movie was also one of the first major film roles for Playboy Playmate (and future Mrs. Gene Simmons) Shannon Tweed.
Last Song: “Everytime You Go Away” written by Daryl Hall, and performed by Hall and Oates, and then again by Paul Young. I picked this song because yesterday was 23(!) years to the day that I left for Navy Boot Camp, and this was the song that came on the radio station in the recruiter’s car as we were pulling away from my house.
“The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades” by Timbuk3
Timbuk3 was formed in 1984 in Madison, Wisconsin by the husband and wife team of Pat MacDonald (acoustic, electric, bass and MIDI guitars, harmonica, vocals, drum programming) and Barbara K. MacDonald (electric guitar, acoustic guitar, mandolin, violin, rhythm programming, vocals). In 1986 they released their first album, Greetings from Timbuk 3, which included their only single to chart, “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades”.
While the title of the song sounds positive, Pat revealed on VH1’s “100 Greatest
One-hit Wonders of the ’80s” that this was a misinterpretation. The bright future was referring to impending nuclear holocaust. It doesn’t matter though, as the song was a big hit for Timbuk3, peaking at #19 on December 27, 1986 in the U.S., and they were nominated for a Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1987.
After the successful debut, Timbuk3 gradually faded away. They did go on to record five more albums, but nowhere near as successful as their debut. They would break up in 1995.
Let’s Return to the ’80s where “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades”:
Question: What 1984 movie about skiing featured a “Chinese downhill” race?
Last Question: What show featured a character named “Hawke” who flew a super-charged helecopter, nicknamed “The Lady”?
Airwolf, starring Jan-Michael Vincent, Ernest Borgnine and a high-tech military helicopter, ran from 1984 to 1987. The series ran for 55 episodes on CBS from 1984 through 1986, then in it’s final season, a whole new cast was brought in, and the show aired on USA Network.
We will continue to look back at the music that Whitney left us. We have gone over her Later Years and The Soundtrack Years. Now let’s go over her late ’80s/early ’90s work.
The Star Spangled Banner
“If you were there, you could feel the intensity. You know, we were in the Gulf War at the time. It was an intense time for a country. A lot of our daughters and sons were overseas fighting. I could see, in the stadium, I could see the fear, the hope, the intensity, the prayers going up, you know, and I just felt like this is the moment. And it was hope, we needed hope, you know, to bring our babies home and that’s what it was about for me, that what I felt when I sang that song, and the overwhelming love coming out of the stands was incredible.”
—Whitney Houston talking about how she felt at the moment when she belted out the national anthem at Super Bowl XXV.
Super Bowl XXV would go down in history as one of the greatest Super Bowls of all time, which ended with Buffalo’s Scott Norwood missing the game winning field goal at the end, giving the underdog New York Giants the victory.
However, Whitney made the Super Bowl historic before the opening kick-off. We were in the midst of the first Persian Gulf War, specifically Operation Desert Storm. The nation’s pride was high at the time.
And then Whitney delivered the greatest rendition of the National Anthem of all time. Anybody who performs the song, especially before a big event, will forever be compared to Whitney. And nobody will ever be her equal.
Here is the benchmark performance:
I’m Your Baby Tonight
She released her third studio album, I’m Your Baby Tonight, in 1990. It would take her 8 years to release her next album. I’m Your Baby Tonight was not as successful as her first two albums, but it was still a hit. Here are some of the songs from that album:
“We Didn’t Know” (with Stevie Wonder)
“I Belong to You”
“My Name Is Not Susan”
“I’m Your Baby Tonight”
“One Moment In Time”
Whitney recorded this song for the 1988 Olympics, which were held in Seoul, South Korea. The song would be Whitney’s 10th Top 10 hit.
This is the continuation of my Whitney Houston tribute. The first article covered her later years. Now we will slowly work our way backward through time, and get into the movie years. As she was conquering the music world, Whitney moved on to the silver screen. She started off with a bang, starring in The Bodyguard with Kevin Costner. The movie and its soundtrack was a huge success. She then starred in Waiting to Exhale with Angela Bassett. That movie was also successful, debuting at number one, and eventually grossing $81.45 million. Finally, she starred in 1996’s The Preacher’s Wife with Denzel Washington, and directed by Penny Marshall.
All of Whitney’s movies did well. But, she also performed many songs for each film with the legendary soundtrack of The Bodyguard being the most successful.
Now, let’s work our way backward, beginning with…
At a time when I was in to hard rock, and listened to Motley Crue, Van Halen, AC/DC, and Def Leppard, a beautiful pop singer burst on to the scene, with an incredible voice. Whitney Houston brought me back to pop and R&B. She expanded my musical horizon without feeling guilty. She sang some soaring ballads, and fun dance music. Her music stands the test of time. I wasn’t one of those people that downloaded all of her music after she passed away last week. I already had it all, and still love it! As Whitney is laid today (I am writing this while the funeral is on), let us remember her for her music instead of her problems.
Since there are so many songs that I love, I will split this up over several articles. Let’s start with the more recent songs, and work our way back to her beginnings.
The Later Years
Whitney’s last studio album was 2009’s I Look To You. It was her big comeback album that we were all waiting for. She had finally dropped that dead-weight Bobby Brown, and seemed to be cleaned up. Unfortunately, her voice was a shell of its former glory when she performed live. But, her shell is better than most people at their best. Here are a couple of songs that I like from that album:
I Look to You
I Didn’t Know My Own Strength
Whitney released her 5th studio album in 2002 called Just Whitney… This is my favorite song from that album:
“Try It On My Own”
In 1998, Whitney released her first studio album in 8 years, My Love Is Your Love. Here are a few songs from the album. Whitney was obviously a heavy influence on Mariah Carey. They sang a duet together on this album.
Another song of note from this album is “Heartbreak Hotel” in which Whitney sang with Faith Evans and Kelly Price. On February 9, 2012, in a pre-Grammy party to celebrate Price’s nominations, the singer sang “Jesus Loves Me” with Whitney Houston in what turned out to be Houston’s last public performance two days before Whitney’s death.
And the title track, “My Love Is Your Love”, is a great song as well. Here are the songs:
“When You Believe” (with Mariah Carey)
“Heartbreak Hotel” (with Faith Evans and Kelly Price)
Question: What show featured a character named “Hawke” who flew a super-charged helecopter, nicknamed “The Lady”?
Last Question: In My Bodyguard, who played the lunch money-stealing “Melvin Moody”?
Answer: Matt Dillon
My Bod0yguard, was released in July 1980, and was the beginning of Matt Dillon’s teen idol status. The movie also starred Chris Makepeace, who had just starred in Meatballs with Bill Murray. Dillon played Melvin Moody, a bully who terrorized Makepeace’s Clifford. Clifford then enlists the help of school outcast, Ricky.
Ricky was played by Adam Baldwin (unrelated to THE Baldwins). Adam has been on a roll in recent years, starring in the cult phenom Firefly, and just finishing up his great role of John Casey in Chuck.
Chris Makepeace started off well, starring in Meatballs and My Bodyguard, but did not really star in any other major films. He has not appeared in any movies since 2001.
Matt Dillon was no flash-in-the-pan. He has had quite a long and successful career. He was hilarious in 1998’s There’s Something About Mary, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2005’s Crash.