One Day in Your Life: June 20, 1980

(Another bonus edition, which has been sitting in the can for a year. I meant to run it last year on June 20, but didn’t, so here it is, finally.)

June 20, 1980, was a Friday. The prime interest rate is lowered from 12.25 percent to 12 percent, down from its peak of 20 percent in May. National elections are held in Iraq. The annual Gay Freedom Parade is held in San Francisco. A Delta Airlines 727 bound for Tampa mistakenly lands at MacDill Air Force Base instead of Tampa International Airport. NASA announces that photos taken by the Viking Orbiter I spacecraft show “meteorological anomalies” on the surface of Mars. New garbage collection rates go into effect in Junction City, Oregon. The new children’s library, attached to the city’s 1904 Carnegie Library, opens in Macomb, Illinois. In one of the biggest fights in years, Roberto Duran upsets Sugar Ray Leonard for the WBC welterweight boxing championship. Infielder Fred Patek, who is 5’4″, hits three home runs as the California Angels defeat the Boston Red Sox 20-2, and set several team records that will remain unbroken in 2008. NASCAR driver Martin Truex, Jr., is born, and Swedish composer Gustav Allan Pettersson dies at age 69. The UA Cinema 6 theater opens in Amarillo, Texas. The Empire Strikes Back goes into wide release across the country, playing in 823 theaters. Other movies opening include Brubaker starring Robert Redford, Can’t Stop the Music starring the Village People, The Blue Lagoon starring Brooke Shields, and The Blues Brothers. After 14 seasons, the original Hollywood Squares goes off the air with its final broadcast on NBC. Two other game shows, Chain Reaction and High Rollers, are also seen for the last time. Wheel of Fortune, originally scheduled for cancellation, survives.

The Knebworth Festival in England features the Beach Boys, Santana, Mike Oldfield, and Lindisfarne. Fleetwood Mac plays at Wembley Arena in London. Led Zeppelin plays Brussels, Belgium. Back in the States, the Beach Boys appear in a taped performance on the late-night TV show Fridays. The Grateful Dead plays the West High Auditorium in Anchorage, Alaska, and Harry Chapin plays Cohasset, Massachusetts. Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band play Detroit. The Little River Band plays Chicago.

On the new Cash Box chart, which will come out officially tomorrow, “Funkytown” by Lipps Inc. is Number One for the fourth week in a row; “Coming Up” by Paul McCartney & Wings is Number Two. Billy Joel’s “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” makes a strong move into the Top 10, to 8 from 12. “All NIght Long” by Joe Walsh moves from 36 to 30; “Gimme Some Lovin'” by the Blues Brothers moves from 40 to 33. New songs in the Top 40 include “Misunderstanding” by Genesis at Number 37 and “In America” by the Charlie Daniels Band at Number 40. Album-rock station WXXQ in Freeport, Illinois, is playing all of them (except for Lipps Inc). The station’s music director is also its night jock; he plays a lot of music on his show because it has barely enough commercials in it to cover his $135-a-week salary.

6 responses

  1. I was so crushed when Duran beat Leonard.

    As for The Blue Lagoon, an old roommate and I – both of us who were entering our teens when that movie was released – realized that we had never lived in a world where Brooke Shields wasn’t a babe.

  2. It’s fun to imagine what might have been on the radio on my sixth birthday.

  3. As I recall, the Eagles were on tour that summer. Didn’t we see them at Alpine Valley right around that date…June 20, 1980?

    As for the music on WXXQ, yeah…it rocked. But those jocks weren’t so hot…they only opened the mic to say something maybe twice an hour.

  4. Shark – the jocks on WXXQ that summer were too busy to be talking – entertaining the people in the office building across the way playing air guitar and air keyboards.

  5. Coolio, I took my first breath on June 20th 1980 in Cambodia after the Khmer Rouge Civil War.

  6. Adriane Renee Green-Paige | Reply

    I was born on June 20,1980 and my dad said he had to leave work where his co-workers and he was whatchin the fight, to rush to my mother who was in labor with me. No wonder why I liked to fight. The Blue Lagoon is like one of my favorit movies. No wonder why im an African American who likes alittle rock. lol. Jun 20,1980 sounds like it was a good day, and i always wounder what that day was like around the world.

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