80’s Trivia -7/8/13

Question: In Footloose, what kind of car did Ren drive. Also, what color was it?

Last Question: Can you name the two Three’s Company spinoff shows?

Answer: The Ropers and Three’s a Crowd

Great job Jim!!

Each of the spinoffs did not last long at all. The Ropers ran from March 13, 1979 to May 22, 1980. And Three’s a Crowd ran from September 25, 1984 to April 9, 1985.

Three’s Company was based off of the British sitcom Man About the House, which aired in the United Kingdom from 1973 to 1976. When that series ended, the producers decided to produce two spinoffs. The first was George and Mildred (as in George and Mildred Roper), which ran from 1977 to 1980. The second spinoff was written for Richard O’Sullivan who played Robin Tripp (Jack Tripper on Three’s Company) and was named Robin’s Nest, also the name of his restaurant on the series, which ran from 1977 to 1981.

The Ropers

Since Three’s Company was so popular, the producers wanted to strike while the iron was hot, and do a spinoff. Audra Lindley, who played Helen Roper, was interested. However Norman Fell, who played Stanley Roper, was hesitant. He was already part of a successful show, so he didn’t want to take a chance on going on another show that could possibly flop. So, the producers contractually promised Fell that they would give the new series a year to prove itself. If unsuccessful, then he and Lindley would return to Three’s Company.

The Ropers first aired in the timeslot following Three’s Company, and was successful. Three’s Company would then go on hiatus, but The Ropers kept it’s numbers up, and finished at #8 for the 1978-79 season. This was the second-highest series premiere rating at the time. But, as far as the networks go, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Just as they do today, they see a successful show, and say, “Hey, let’s move this to a different time slot!” At the beginning of the 1979-1980 season, The Ropers got moved to Saturday nights at 8pm, resulting in an audience drop which put it near the bottom of the ratings. I know that I didn’t watch The Ropers at that time. This is because it was up against CHiPs. In May 1980, it was announced that The Ropers would be cancelled. Then the show was moved to Thursdays at 9:30pm after Barney Miller in May 1980 for the last three episodes. The numbers jumped back up, but the show stayed cancelled. And Norman Fell and Audra Lindley got screwed.

The Ropers had been replaced on Three’s Company by Ralph Furley (Don Knotts). The show was very successful with Mr. Furley. The producers weren’t interested in pay 2 people to play the landlords when they could just pay 1 person and be just as successful. This was also the time where Suzanne Somers had her infamous contract dispute with the show. And since The Ropers technically lasted more than a year, the show was not contractually obligated to bring Fell and Lindley back. Fell would later state that he always believed the decision to pull the plug on the show had been made much earlier, but that the network deliberately postponed making the cancellation official until after the one-year mark specifically to be relieved of the obligation to allow Fell and Lindley to return to Three’s Company.

Despite the hard feelings, in March 1981 both Fell and Lindley made one final guest appearance on Three’s Company (in season 5, episode # 96) nearly a year after the end of their own series before the characters were retired for good. For audiences, it was a chance to see all of the three landlord characters — played by Fell, Lindley, and Knotts — on the same stage.

Three’s a Crowd

As Three’s Company entered its eighth season in 1983, it was still successful. However, it had new competition, with a little show called The A-Team. Naturally, Three’s Company‘s ratings took a dive. Knowing that the show was in trouble, the producers decided to end Three’s Company’s run, and create a new spinoff, called Three’s a Crowd.

Development and casting of the new series occurred in secret as Three’s Company‘s eighth season progressed. Fellow cast members Joyce DeWitt, Priscilla Barnes, Don Knotts, and Richard Kline were kept out of the loop. During a Christmas hiatus in late 1983 producers auditioned several female leads to play Jack’s new love interest Vicky Bradford, and eventually decided upon Broadway actress Mary Cadorette. An embarrassing situation arose when Joyce DeWitt accidentally walked in on the auditions after coming to the studio to set up her dressing room as the holiday hiatus was coming to a close. DeWitt was then informed by the producers that the series, ending at the close of the season with Ritter, would spin off to Threes a Crowd without her. Awkward!

Both Dewitt and Barnes learned that their characters would conclude with the series finale, however, both Richard Kline and Don Knotts were offered an opportunity to have recurring roles on the spin-off. Both actors declined the offer (Kline would make a guest appearance on the show in early 1985).

In transitioning from Three’s Company to Three’s a Crowd, series producers decided to follow the plotline of the British series. Season eight of Three’s Company drew to a close in a three episode story arc. In the first of these episodes, Janet meets wealthy art collector Phillip Dawson. In the second episode she falls in love with him, while Jack meets and falls in love with stewardess Vicky Bradford. Her wealthy father, played by Robert Mandan, does not approve of the relationship. When first aired, this episode ended with the words “To be continued… next fall,” and when rerun late in the summer, this was changed to “To be continued… next week.”

The last episode of Three’s Company aired as an hour long special that kicked off the 1984-85 fall television season and set up the premise for Three’s a Crowd. In the episode, Janet married Phillip, and Terri relocated to Hawaii. Jack and Vicky profess their love for one another, but Vicky turns down Jack’s proposal of marriage, citing her fear of the institution after seeing her parents feud her whole life. They instead move in together, in an apartment above Jack’s Bistro. In the last scene, Jack and Vicky are spending their first romantic evening together in the new apartment, only to have Mr. Bradford accidentally barge in on them, explaining that he received the key from Jack’s old boss Mr. Angelino, having just bought the building from him, becoming the couple’s new landlord. The title card for Three’s Company then appears over the screen with the word “Company” zooming out, being replaced with “a Crowd”.

Like its predecessor, Three’s a Crowd remained against The A-Team, with the same results. The show was not getting great viewership. John Ritter was told that ABC would commit to a half-season of thirteen episodes to see how the series would place, although Ritter was reported as saying that he would not return to the show unless a full season was ordered. It did not matter, as Diff’rent Strokes was dropped by NBC. ABC decided to pick up that series, and drop Three’s a Crowd.

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Remember That Song – 7/8/13

Can you name the artist and song:

Half our lives we spend waiting
for the knock upon the door

Last Song: “I Hate Myself for Loving You” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

Daylight spent the night without you
But I’ve been dreamin’ ’bout the lovin’ you do
I won’t be as angry ’bout the hell you put me through

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Remember That Song – 7/5/13

Can you name the artist and song

Daylight spent the night without you
But I’ve been dreamin’ ’bout the lovin’ you do
I won’t be as angry ’bout the hell you put me through

Last Song: “(You Can Still) Rock In America” by Night Ranger

Great job Robert (@mishouenglish)!!

Little brother’s got it ready to roll
Tires burning as they head for the show

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Albums of the ’80s: Huey Lewis and the News – Sports

In 1978, Huey Lewis & The American Express were formed, and based out of the Bay Area in California. In January 1980, the American Express credit card company complained about the band name. So they changed it to what we now know as Huey Lewis and the News. Later that year, they released their self-titled debut studio album. What, you never heard of it? Well, not too many people have, as the album went largely unnoticed. However, their follow-up album in 1982 – Picture This – was successful, thanks to their breakout hit “Do You Believe In Love”.

In 1983 (yes, 30 years ago!), Huey Lewis and the News released their 3rd album – Sports. This album was what I would like to call a slow burn. It started out as ranking 6th on the U.S. charts. But, as each single was released (and played endlessly on MTV) the album and the band became more and more popular. They would gain worldwide fame, and the album would be certified 7x Platinum. By June 1984, the album would be a number 1 hit. Four singles from the album reached the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100.

Huey Lewis and the News followed-up the album strongly, as they had 2 popular songs from Back to the Future – “The Power of Love”, which was a number 1 hit, and “Back in Time”.

The band’s 4th album, Fore!, was not too shabby, as it sold 3x Platinum. But, their commercial success faded after that. By the ’90s, they weren’t exactly drumming out the hits. But they are still together and still tour.

Now, let’s hop in the Delorian, and go back 30 years to 1983, and experience the classic hit album, Sports.

The Heart of Rock & Roll

This song that leads off the album was the 3rd single released, and it reached #6 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

This is a pretty good rocker. Most songs that have a rockin’ sax solo in the middle is aces in my book. Plus they name of several cities in the song. This way, they could cheaply get extra loud cheers whenever they mention the city they were touring in that night. And if they were in a city/town that was not mentioned in the song, I’m willing to bet that they added the name in for that night, and really got the crowd excited! Ugh! Not a bad song though, but it was one of the many songs of this album that was played over and over again on MTV and on the radio. Therefore, it didn’t take long to get sick of it.

Heart and Soul

This song was the first single released from the album, and was a #8 hit. And from the “You learn something new every day” department, I just found out that this song was released by 2 different groups prior to Huey Lewis and the News making a hit out of it. The first version was also the title track of a 1981 album by Exile. The second was released by The BusBoys for their 1982 album American Worker (couldn’t find a video for this).

This was the first time I had seen Huey Lewis and the News on MTV.

Bad Is Bad

This was the only song on the first side of the album that did not get released as a single. I didn’t know there was a video shot for this. I used to not like this song, but I like it more now. It is a cool combination of Blues and Doo-Wop.

I Want a New Drug

This was the second single released from the album, and reached up to number 6 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and topped the Dance Club Play chart.
There was controversy surrounding this song. When the similarities between this song and the theme song of the 1984 film Ghostbusters were heard, Huey Lewis sued Ray Parker Jr. for plagiarism, claiming that Parker had stolen the melody from “I Want a New Drug”.

They ended up settling out of court. But everything got stirred up again in 2001, when Lewis commented on the payment in an episode of VH1’s Behind the Music. So Parker sued Lewis for breaching confidentiality. Here’s a pretty cool mashup of the two songs:

Here’s the video that was shown a couple million of times on MTV:

Side 2

Walking on a Thin Line

While most of the big hits were on the first side of the album, I like the songs on the second side much more. This song is one of my favorites on the album. Great way to start Side 2.

Finally Found a Home

This song has the same tempo as “Walking on a Thin Line”, and I love it. Here is a live version:

If This Is It

This is probably my least favorite Huey Lewis song. This was the fourth single released from the album, and it was the third consecutive song to reach #6 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. In general, I’m not a fan of the band’s ballads. I much prefer their rockin’ songs.

You Crack Me Up

Ah, back to the rockin’ stuff. Another one of my favorites from the album.

Honky Tonk Blues

When this album came out, I was not really into Country or Blues, so I didn’t appreciate this song. But, by the time Grunge came around in the ’90s, and ran the music I loved out of town, I ended up getting heavily into Country. So, I love this song now.
This was originally done by the legendary Hank Williams. Here is some old school country with the Hank Williams version.

I think Huey Lewis and the News did a great job with the song. You be the judge yourself.

What do you think of the album? Are you like me, and prefer the lesser known songs from the album, or do you still like the hits?

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Remember That Song – 7/3/13

Can you name the artist and song:

Little brother’s got it ready to roll
Tires burning as they head for the show

Last Song: “Walking Down Your Street” by The Bangles

Great job Robert (@mishouenglish ) and Kickin’ It Old School (@oldschool80s)!!

And be sure to check out Kickin’ It Old School’s interview with Vicki Peterson of The Bangles.

I’ve got one thing on my mind, yeah
I’ll even sacrifice my pride
‘Cause I want you

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Remember That Song – 7/2/13

Can you name the artist and song:

I’ve got one thing on my mind, yeah
I’ll even sacrifice my pride
‘Cause I want you

Last Songs: “Escape” by Journey

Great job Robert (@mishouenglish)!!

Just when you think you had it all figured out
Runnin’ scared can change your mind

I never knew I had so much to give
How hard times can fool ya

Oh I’m okay, I’m alright
Feelin’ good out on your own

I’ll break away, I’ll break away tonight
I’ve got dreams I’m livin’ for

Second song: “That’s the Way I Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll” by AC/DC, which is off of the Blow Up Your Video album – the last vinyl album I ever bought.

I’m gonna take this town, turn it around
I’m gonna roll roll roll

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