11/30/15

FLASHBACK: America's Top 10 November 30, 1980

Welcome to a rare Monday edition of FLASHBACK prompted by the synchronicity of dates thirty-five years apart.  Casey got right down to business on this early episode of America's Top 10, covering the Pop, Soul and Country singles charts while offering up Spotlight videos for each chart.  All thanks to the YouTube provider of this and all the other AT10 videos featured over the past few years.  This is the last scheduled AT10 for 2015 though there are 10 more scheduled sporadically through 2016.  Here are those three charts and their respective Spotlight videos.






And the quick eight minute cut of the episode that is the inspiration for this post:
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BONUS CHARTS and VIDEOS

Here's the episode of Solid Gold that originally aired the very same weekend as the episode of America's Top 10 above:

Elsewhere on music-related television that weekend, both American Bandstand and Saturday Night Live aired repeat episodes (or were otherwise pre-empted) while Soul Train featured Lenny Williams performing his latest single, a cover of "Ooh Child" along with "Messing With My Mind". 
One of the oddest guests in Soul Train history also appeared on that weekend's episode.  Japan's Yellow Magic Orchestra performed their unique cover of "Tighten Up" as well as their their highly influential "Firecracker", though by the time they appeared alongside Don Cornelius in one of his strangest interviews ever, the song had been out for two years in their homeland and had completed a brief run on the US Disco, R&B and Hot 100 charts earlier in the Spring of 1980.

December 1980.  Freshman year of high school.  Thankfully, my disastrous season as high school football player was over.  Trained and conditioned all Summer thinking there would be try-outs and cuts but so few people went out for football that everyone made the Freshman team, with most of us pulling double duty, playing both sides of the ball.  Had to beg, fight and finally pay $20 for number 77, the same number my Dad wore when he played football.  Though I was officially listed as a Tackle, I primarily played defensive tackle - for three whole downs in the first game of the season.

First play, my helmet was almost knocked off because I neglected to attach my chinstrap which earned me extra laps at practice.  Second play, I got lucky and the other team's tiniest player was in at running back and he ran directly into me and was stopped cold.  I remember thinking this was gonna be a great year.  Then the next play ended my high school football career.  I was in on a tackle for a loss though when it was all over, my left hand was at bottom of pile and I was on top of pile - the wrist was stretched and twisted and, as we found out later, broken for the third or fourth time in my life.

Doctor said I risked permanent disfigurement if I fractured it once more so my parents immediately removed all the things from my life that had led to me breaking my wrist: skateboard, bicycle and football. 

There was one other thing that broke my wrist back in 1976 that they could not excise from my life: girls.  In fourth grade, after recess, we had to line up by grade to go back into building, peeling off to our respective rooms as we marched by.  The lining up part was hard for those of us who preferred to prolong the joys of recess.  I was disciplined several times for continuing to play "after play time was over", something my gorgeous wife still accuses me of to this day!  One day while playing chase with a couple of fourth grade hotties (Janet and Diana), I tripped and fell and somehow both of them fell on top of... my right wrist, cracking it in two places! (Diana and I later were boyfriend and girlfriend for a whole weekend two years later in sixth grade.)  

Learned to write left handed that year and also instituted a strict girls only cast signing policy which went over pretty well.  When I tried to institute the same policy in high school in 1980, I ended up with an unsigned cast for 2 weeks before I ended the policy due to its sexist discrimination.  Spent the remainder of the football season on the sidelines as a statistician which was kind of cool cause I love numbers and we had a guy who gained almost 2,000 yards as a freshman. Plus I did not smell like rotten cabbage after every game so I was able to sit by the cheerleaders on the bus home from away games which was the whole reason I wanted to play football anyway.  Dated a few cheerleaders growing up but ended up falling in love with a girl from the color guard.

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