October 5, 1980, is a Sunday. By Congressional resolution, it’s the first day of National Diabetes Week. On his way back to Washington from a fishing trip in Pennsylvania, President Carter stops off at Camp David for an hour. Among the issues Carter will face on Monday: the Iran-Iraq War, which began a couple of weeks ago. Elections are held in West Germany and Malta. In an interview in Parade magazine, Richard Nixon says that “America has slipped to number two.” The Los Angeles Dodgers, who had trailed Houston by three games on Friday, beat the Astros 4-3 to tie for the National League West lead; the Astros will win a one-game playoff the next day. Dale Earnhardt wins the National 500; country singer and part-time racer Marty Robbins finishes 32nd in the race, which is run in Charlotte, North Carolina. Paul Thomas, future bassist in the rock band Good Charlotte, is born, as is future NFL defensive back Jeremy LeSueur. The first broadcast of Worship for Shut-Ins is seen on local TV in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The fifth season of The Muppet Show premieres with guest star Roger Moore. A new terminal is dedicated at the airport in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
The Chipmunks’ version of “My Sharona” tops the “Funny Five” countdown on the weekend’s episode of The Dr. Demento Show; also featured on the show are records by Billy Murray and Gallagher and Shean. Alvin Lee and Ten Years After play in Glasgow. Neil Young’s album Hawks and Doves is released. Yanni has been playing aboard a cruise ship in the Gulf of Alaska; today, the ship sinks, but he survives. Pianist Dick Kroekel entertains the Northern Virginia Ragtime Society.
Queen tops the Cash Box chart for the week with “Another One Bites the Dust,” but farther down, country music is crossing over in waves unseen for 10 years. The movie Urban Cowboy and its soundtrack have been huge hits since the summer, and Johnny Lee’s “Lookin’ for Love” is in the Top 10 at the moment. Also charting are other songs from the movie, including “Look What You’ve Done to Me” by Boz Scaggs, “Could I Have This Dance” by Anne Murray, and Mickey Gilley’s cover of “Stand By Me.” Other country records on the chart are “Drivin’ My Life Away” by Eddie Rabbitt, “You’ll Accomp’ny Me” by Bob Seger, which is getting some country airplay, “Lady” by Kenny Rogers, and down at Number 93, “I Believe in You” by Don Williams.
Something special happens to “I Believe in You” when it’s played on AM radio after dark. I know this because we’re playing it at KDTH, and on this Sunday, I’m doing my usual night shift. On the skywave, Williams’ grandfatherly voice takes on a quality that makes it seem warm enough to keep out the world no matter how cold the world gets, and the words of the song, far from merely being clever country wordplay, start to seem like philosophy. “I Believe in You” will peak in the low 20s on the pop charts right around Christmas, but to me, it’s always going to sound like October.