Welcome back as we continue this week’s Countdown! If you missed the previous songs, you can check out songs 40-31 and 30-21. Let’s Return to the week ending April 14, 1984, and continue the countdown, and listen to a Long Distance Dedication.
Any day that has a countdown that starts with Kool & the Gang is a great day!! I love, love, love this forgotten gem from their album, In the Heart. Great music, great vocals, and great ’80s choreography. Classic!
This classic duet introduced the English speaking world to Julio Iglesias. I love Willie Nelson, so I really like this song. I sadly missed out at being able to see Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings live. But, I have gotten to see Willie a couple of times, and he knows how to put on a great show.
Ah, Queen. My favorite band! This has always been a favorite of mine. The keyboards and vocals are just so mesmerizing. The link on the song title is for the original video. But, I just have to share this as well. Who can forget Queen’s performance of this song at Live Aid in front of 72,000 people at Wembley Stadium? Freddie just held thousands and thousands of people in the palm of his hand. Incredible.
This is a song and artist I had never heard of before. From his name, I thought Dwight Twilley would be a country singer. But, this is a pop-rock song. This and a 1975 song called “I’m on Fire” were his biggest hits.
This was the second single released from Huey Lewis and the News’ huge breakthrough album, Sports. Unfortunately, like all the other singles released from Sports, this song was so overplayed. But, it is a little nostalgic listening to it now, all these years later.
This was already a great song on it’s own. But, the music video just puts it over the top. It is one of my favorite videos of the ’80s. So much fun. It won the first MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year at the 1984 MTV Video Music Awards.
This song has an interesting history. It was originally written and recorded by Kirsty MacColl in 1979. It got a lot of radio airplay in the U.K. However, a strike at her distributing company prevented it from being released as a single. Since nobody could buy it, it didn’t make the U.K. charts. Then in 1983, Tracey Ullman, who was already well known in the U.K., but not known at all in the U.S., recorded this song. Kirsty MacColl sang the backing vocals on Ullman’s version. It became a #2 hit in the U.K., then was released in the U.S. the following year. It broke the top 10 in the U.S., peaking at #8.
And now our Long Distance Dedication. I should say VERY Long Distance Dedication. We have a letter from Robert. It says:
I had the great fortune of being a son of an Army dad. As a military family we were forced to move a lot. I had to learn to make friends quickly and be ready to move at any time. With 2 months left of my 6th grade year, my dad told us that we were moving to Germany. I was both disappointed and excited. I was sad to leave my friends and change schools again, but I was excited to experience living in a foreign country. You see Casey, my mother is Dutch and I was born in Holland. I soon learned that I would be living only three hours away from my birthplace and my mother’s home town. I would have the chance to spend a lot of time in Holland and get to know my Dutch grandparents (Oma and Opa). Shortly after arriving in Germany, my sister and I were sent to Holland to spend a month with my grandparents while my parents got all of our living arrangements in order. I was scared – I did not know much Dutch and didn’t know anyone other than a few relatives. As it turns out that summer turned out to be one of the best I ever had. I met three people – all about my age – who lived on my grandparents street, Rudi, Inge,and Anke all had similar interests that I did. Best of all, they were learning English in school and used me to practice. While I helped them with English, they helped me learn Dutch and translate my awful bumblings to my grandparents. We spent everyday together. They showed me around town and I explained English slang that they heard on TV. Best of all we spent many hours listening to music. That summer was full of great songs, but one of our favorites was by Toto. Even today, when I hear this song I think of Holland, summer, and my three friends. I returned to the United States after I graduated high school and I have never seen Rudi, Inge, or Anke since. But every time I hear this song, I think of them. Casey, would you please play “Africa” by Toto for Rudi, Inge, and Anke, my best friends from Holland.
Well, Robert…Here is your long distance dedication:
That was Toto from their 1982 album Toto IV. That went out from Robert to his best friends from Holland – Rudi, Inge, and Anke.
[the funny thing is that I do have readers from all over the world. So it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that they will actually see this. That would be so cool!]
Now…on with the countdown.
“Weird Al” was already well known by the time his parody of “Beat It” came out. And then his popularity skyrocketed. It was so much fun to finally hear some comedy on mainstream radio! I actually kind of felt let down, when the song started, and it was “Beat It” playing instead of “Eat It”. “Weird Al” is still going strong today, as he just released his latest studio album, Mandatory Fun, just last year.
We have arrived at one of the most iconic songs of the decade. Fun Fact: This song is actually a cover. It was originally written and performed by Robert Hazard in 1982. But, Cyndi made it her own, and propelled her to immediate worldwide fame.
Well, that wraps up today’s list of songs. 10 more to go! I hope you are enjoying this countdown as much as I am! And thanks to Robert once again for the Long Distance Dedication. I hope you all come back tomorrow to check out the rest of the countdown.
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