Tag Archives: Vanessa Williams

Top 40 Songs This Week – February 11, 1989: Songs 40-31

Hi Everybody! Time for a new Top 40 countdown! This week, we are Returning to 1989. This is one of the last countdowns that I would have heard before I left for Navy Boot Camp, and be cut off from all pop culture for a couple of months. This should be an interesting week. Some of these songs were new to the countdown, and they would be big hits as I was graduating boot camp. Other songs had been out for a bit, so I knew them very well. And of course there are songs that were new to the countdown, but would not last long, and would be gone by the time I left boot camp. So, let’s Return to the week ending February 11, 1989, and begin the countdown!

Also, you can click on the song title to listen to/watch the video on YouTube, and you can click on the album cover to get the song from Amazon.


40. “Eternal Flame” by The Bangles

This Bangles smash hit broke into the Top 40 right here. This ballad would eventually top the charts. After topping the charts with “Walk Like an Egyptian”, this song helped the Bangles be only the third all-female group to score multiple number-ones in the United States, after the Supremes and the Shirelles.

39. “Little Liar” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

This was the second single released from the Up Your Alley album (after “I Hate Myself for Loving You”). This is one of those awesome songs that I had forgotten about. It has that classic late ’80s/early ’90s rock sound. It had peaked at #19 on the Billboard Hot 100.

38. “The Love in Your Eyes” by Eddie Money

This is the second song in a row that I love, and had forgotten about! This came off of Money’s Nothing to Lose album, which had the big hit, “Walk on Water”.

 

 

37. It’s No Secret” by Kylie Minogue

Time to sound like a broken record…this is another one I vaguely remember. This was not as a big a smash as Minogue’s cover of “Locomotion”, but it is still a decent throwback to late ’80s pop. Kylie Minogue is still releasing new music to this day. She just released her 14th studio album, Golden, last year. Her single, “Dancing“, was a #1 hit on the U.S. Dance charts.

36. “Dreamin'” by Vanessa Williams

I remember this song, but didn’t realize it was from the ’80s. This was released from Vanessa Williams’ debut album, The Right Stuff, and was her first top 40 and first number-one hit on the Billboard R&B chart, where it stayed at the top of the chart for two weeks.

35. “Just Because” by Anita Baker

And now we have the second awesome R&B ballad in a row. This was off of Anita Baker’s #1 smash hit album, Giving You the Best That I Got.

 

 

34. “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” by Poison

Unless you lived under a rock in the late ’80s, you know this song. It was Poison’s biggest hit, staying at the top of the chart for 3 straight weeks. I loved it when it was first released. But, it got exhausting hearing it everywhere all the time. Of course, some of that was self-inflicted, as I had the 45 of this song. After keeping my distance for a while, I do enjoy going back to this.

33. “You’re Not Alone” by Chicago

I always loved this song, from the great Chicago 19 album. I don’t remember the version from this video. There seems to be a lot of electric guitar in it, which is pretty cool. From September ’88 through this time of February ’89, I had a job working for the newspaper The Providence Journal. I would deliver papers for paper routes that did not have any paperboys. After that, I would go back to the office, and go back out and bring newspapers to people that called in, saying that they didn’t get their paper. So, while I was driving around delivering papers, Chicago 19 would be in heavy rotation in my car. Any of those songs immediately bring me back to that time.

32. “I Beg Your Pardon” by Kon Kan

I had totally forgotten about this song! It was the debut single of the Canadian synthpop band Kon Kan. I love this as it has that classic ’80s sound. It would be Kon Kan’s only top 40 hit inthe U.S.

 

31. “My Prerogative” by Bobby Brown

Sadly, Bobby Brown is known more for his problems, including the train wreck involving the relationship between him and Whitney Houston. We forget how huge a star he was at this time in the late ’80s though. This song was a #1 hit. The album from which it came, Don’t Be Cruel, topped the Billboard 200 album charts, and spawned 5 top 10 hits. It was the best selling album of 1989.


That wraps up today’s list of songs. What do you think so far? What were you doing at this time in 1989? Also, feel free to email me a long distance dedication to Returnto80s@gmail.com. We’ll be back tomorrow, to continue the countdown.

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Top 40 Songs This Week – March 25, 1989: Songs 20-11

Hi Everybody! Welcome back to this week’s countdown! If you missed the previous posts, you can check out songs 40-31 and 30-21. Once again, we have a crazy diverse day. We have hair bands, R&B, and pop. And, we also have a Long Distance Dedication! So, let’s Return to the week ending March 25, 1989, and continue the countdown.

20. “Your Mama Don’t Dance” by Poison

We begin today with Poison’s cover of the Loggins and Messina hit, “Your Mama Don’t Dance”. The Loggins and Messina version reached all the way up to #4 in 1972. While Poison didn’t go as high with the song, they did manage to reach #10. This song was kind of a let down for me. But, next year, Poison would release what I feel was their best album – Flesh and Blood.

“Your Mama Don’t Dance” by Poison on Amazon

19. “I Beg Your Pardon” by Kon Kan

This is one of those songs that I didn’t recognize by the title, but remembered it when I heard it. This has that classic late-80s New Wavey synthpop sound. This song was a worldwide hit for the Canadian synthpop band.

“I Beg Your Pardon” by Kon Kan on Amazon

18. “You Got It (The Right Stuff)” by New Kids On The Block

Oh Good Lord!!! I forgot that we are now in a point in time where the New Kids were white hot. Well, I was never a part of their target audience, so this is not my thing. They are local to me, so I am happy for their success. Donnie is awesome in Blue Bloods, and I actually do enjoy the A&E show, Wahlburgers. I still haven’t been to one of those restaurants yet. By the way, who would have thought that 26 years after this song, New Kids On the Block would still be touring?!?

“You Got It (The Right Stuff)” by New Kids On The Block on Amazon

17. “Superwoman” by Karyn White

“Superwoman” is the second single from R&B singer Karyn White’s self-titled debut album, Karyn White (1988). It became her second U.S. top ten hit and second U.S. R&B number-one hit.

Here is a nice R&B song by Karyn White. She had a nice string of hits in the late ’80s through early ’90s. She then left the music business to start a family. In 2012, she released her first studio album in 17 years – Carpe Diem.

“Superwoman” by Karyn White on Amazon

16. “You Got It” by Roy Orbison

Here is the second song, of this list, titled “You Got It” (minus “The Right Stuff”). I remember this song very well, but thought this was an older song from the ’60s. This song reached #9, and was Orbison’s first Top 10 hit in 25 years. Unfortunately, Orbison never saw this return to the charts, as he died of a heart attack the previous December at the age of 52. A couple of his Traveling Wilburys played on this song – Jeff Lynne on backing vocals and electric guitar, and Tom Petty on backing vocals and acoustic guitar.

“You Got It” by Roy Orbison on Amazon

15. “Just Because” by Anita Baker

Here is another really good R&B hit. This is my favorite song so far today. Anita Baker won a Grammy with this song for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.

“Just Because” by Anita Baker on Amazon

14. “Stand” by R.E.M.

Ugh, I can’t “Stand” this song! I don’t know what it is about R.E.M., but they just irritate me. This song just sounds like an annoying children’s song. I will give them credit for having a unique sound.

“Stand” by R.E.M. on Amazon

Now we’re up to our Long Distance Dedication. This is the feature that reminds us what popular music is all about…songs helping us to express important feelings. Here is a letter from Robert from Nebraska:

Dear Casey,

This dedication is for the most important person in my life. I had the great experience of growing up in Frankfurt, Germany. I was part of military family and we moved quite a few times. I was a quiet, shy boy and I had a few good friends, but always had difficulty being comfortable in groups, especially if girls were present. I never really dated much – until the beginning of my senior year when I met Diana. I had signed up for the bus to take us to an away football game. The buses were crowded and I was forced to sit next to one of the most beautiful girls I had ever seen. Naturally, I was nervous and had trouble even looking as her- not to mention talking to her. During the football game we gave each other side glances and on the trip home we again sat together- not because we had to this time. When we got back to the school, I somehow summoned enough courage to ask for her phone number. The rest, as they say, is history. We became inseparable and did everything together. Eventually, the time came to return to the U.S. for college. We decided to go to school in Nebraska – I just could not imagine being without her. I was leaving the first week of July and she would leave at the end of August. We spent every day until that week in June. These were the best days I had ever had. I was worried that things would not work out while we were apart and these could be the last days I would ever see her. Casey, would you please play “Endless Summer Nights” by Richard Marx. This song reminds me of the great times I spent with Diana and how much she meant to me. Thank you.

P.S. Casey, everything did work out. This summer we will celebrate our 25th anniversary with our four wonderful children. Even today this song reminds me of her and that summer after our senior year.

Robert. Here is your long distance dedication

From 1987, that was “Endless Summer Nights” by Richard Marx, a long distance dedication from Robert in Nebraska, to his wife Diana.

Now. On with the countdown.

“Endless Summer Nights” by Richard Marx on Amazon

13. “Don’t Tell Me Lies” by Breathe


I had never heard this song before. I do like some songs by Breathe, so I was hoping this would be a pleasant surprise. It’s not bad. Not great either, but far from the worst on this countdown.

“Don’t Tell Me Lies” by Breathe on Amazon

12. “Dreamin'” by Vanessa Williams


This is the third R&B song today, and it is another winner! This was Vanessa’s first top 40 hit, and first #1 R&B hit.

“Dreamin'” by Vanessa Williams on Amazon

11. “Paradise City” by Guns N’ Roses

This is, by far, my favorite Guns N’ Roses tune! It is such a perfect rock song. From Steven Adler’s awesome drumming to Slash’s classic guitar sound, to Axl’s voice, which is perfect for this song. They are just firing on all cylinders at this point. I think that if they all got along, kept their s*!t together, they would have survived through the grunge era. Everybody has been waiting for the original lineup to get back together for years. And after Eddie Trunk’s recent interview with Steven Adler, there is a buzz about this happening. I’m not holding my breathe though.

“Paradise City” by Guns N’ Roses on Amazon

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July 23, 1984: Vanessa Williams resigns as Miss America

The following is from the History Channel:

On this day in 1984, 21-year-old Vanessa Williams gives up her Miss America title, the first resignation in the pageant’s history, after Penthouse magazine announces plans to publish nude photos of the beauty queen in its September issue. Williams originally made history on September 17, 1983, when she became the first black woman to win the Miss America crown. Miss New Jersey, Suzette Charles, the first runner-up and also an African American, assumed Williams’ tiara for the two months that remained of her reign.

Vanessa Lynn Williams was born March 18, 1963, in Millwood, New York, to music teacher parents. She attended Syracuse University and studied musical theater. In 1982, while working a summer job as a receptionist at a modeling agency in Mt. Kisco, New York, photographer Thomas Chiapel took the nude pictures of Williams, telling her they’d be shot in silhouette and that she wouldn’t be recognizable. After Williams became Miss America, the photographer sold the pictures to Penthouse without her knowledge. Williams later dropped lawsuits against the magazine and photographer after it was learned that she had signed a model release form at the time the photos were taken.

The Miss America pageant, which prides itself on projecting a wholesome, positive image of women, began in 1921 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, as a stunt developed by local businessmen to extend the summer tourist season. In 1945, the Miss America Organization handed out its first scholarship. Today, it provides over $45 million each year in cash and tuition assistance to contestants on the national, state and local levels. In 1954, the competition was broadcast live for the first time. Beginning in the 1980s, contestants were required to have a social platform, such as drunk-driving prevention or AIDS awareness, and Miss America winners now travel an estimated 20,000 miles a month for speaking engagements and public appearances. In 2006, following a decline in TV ratings, the pageant moved from Atlantic City for the first time in its history and took place in Las Vegas, where a new Miss America was crowned in January instead of September.

Vanessa Williams rebounded from the Miss America scandal and went on to a successful entertainment career as an actress and recording artist, performing on Broadway as well as in movies and television and releasing a number of popular albums.


I don’t know about anybody else, but Vanessa Williams is the only Miss America that I can remember. It reminds me of the line from the Styx hit “Miss America”:

In your cage at the human zoo, they all stop to look at you
Next year, what will you do when you have been forgotten

But despite the scandal, Williams went on to a successful career. In 1988, she had success with the album and the song “The Right Stuff”:

As far as her music goes, her biggest success came in 1992 with the number 1 smash hit, “Save the Best for Last”:

I had actually bought that one on cassette single. Remember those? And more recently Williams had success on the hit show Ugly Betty, which just finished its last season.