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Dateline: Events/Headlines – Week Of May 15, 1979 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Sports, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts



In The News

President? - Senator Robert J. Dole of Kansas officially declares his candidacy for the top spot on the GOP ticket.

President Carter, saying he hoped the worst of the gasoline shortage is nearly over, announces a series of measures specifically aimed at relieving problems in places in rapid growth areas such as California. The state has been making headlines lately with long gasoline lines and rising tempers. 

In Moscow - President Tito of Yugoslavia gets a bear hug from Soviet President Leonid I. Brezhnev during a quiet arrival ceremony, initiating four days of informal talks about the two countries’ strained relations.

Up and coming comedian David Letterman recently appeared in an NBC movie “Fast Friends,” playing a stand-up comedian who takes over a talk show from an aging host. Last year he hosted a talk-show pilot for NBC which was not picked-up, but which was seen by Fred de Cordova who offered the nightclub comedian six guest spots. Could Letterman become the next Johnny Carson? What does Letterman think of fellow night club comic Jay Leno? “Jay is the best of observational stuff. He has an amazing ability to take stuff to the stage and make it work nine times out of ten.”

A federal jury orders energy conglomerate Kerr-McGee Corp. to pay $10.505 million to the children of its late employee, Karen Silkwood for its negligence in her 1974 plutonium contamination. 


Religion In The Media Update – May 15, 1979

TV preacher authority William C. Martin says that currently, there are around 2,000 electronic preachers. Names you’ll see spreading the word are Billy Graham, Robert Shuller, Bob Harrington, James Robison, Oral Roberts, Hal Lindsey, David Terrell, Herbert W. Armstrong and his father, Garner Ted Armstong; Ernest Angley, Morris Cerullo, Leroy Jenkins and Thea Jones. Others include Rev. Ike, Carl McIntire, and Billy James Hargis. Look for his book “Electric Preacher” to be published next year. 


Entertainment/Celebrity news – May 15, 1979

Playing in Las Vegas –

Burt Bacharach/Raquel Welch – Caesars Palace

Tony Bennett and David Brenner – Desert Inn

Sergio Franchi, Dana Valery and Nipsey Russell – Frontier

Paul Anka – Hilton

Shirley MacLaine, Fred Travalena – Riviera

Don Rickles and Glenn Smith – Sahara

Shecky Green and Mills Brothers – Sands


Television news – May 15, 1979

Mork is hot – Look for a Mork bubble gum coming from Wrigley’s soon. Look for a Robin “Mork” album on Casablanca Records while you’re at it.

Tony Danza who appears in “Taxi” is also a boxer. This week in Phoenix, he defeats Johnny Heard in the third round.

At an affiliate meeting – Fred Silverman who was called-in last June to help ailing NBC, predicts the network will have bounced back to full health by Christmas next year. NBC finished last in prime time ratings this season for the fourth year in a row.

Phil Donahue joins NBC-TV’s “Today” show. He joins Tom Brokaw, Jane Pauley and Gene Shalit.

NBC terminates an agreement with former President Gerald Ford to appear in a number of news specials for a report $1 million. A similar contract with wife Betty also was ended. Both sides say the termination was amicable


Friday night television listings/programs/TV guide – May 15, 1979

CBS – Leif Garrett Special, Dukes of Hazzard, Dallas

NBC – Diff’rent Stokes, Hello Larry, Rockford Files, The Duke

ABC – The Mackenzies of Paradise Cove, TV Movie


Leif Garrett Special – Leif sings and does comedy bits with guests Brooke Shields, Bob Hope, Marie Osmond and Flip Wilson.

Hello Larry – Larry’s divorce becomes final – now off to the single’s bar.

Rockford Files – Valuable paintings are stolen from the police commissioner, who’s Angel’s in-law.    

ABC TV Movie – “Return of the Mod Squad” – Michael Cole, Peggy Lipton, Clarence Williams III, Tige Andrews.  


Radio news – May 15, 1979

Psychic Uri Geller and an independent network of radio stations are banding together for an experiment in telekinesis – to bring about a nationwide surge of energy designed to pull the space station back into orbit. A broadcast will feature a countdown with Uri Geller with the idea of getting enough people to put their heads together to get the space station back in orbit.

Drake Chenault announces two more Special Features to be released this year – The Top 100 of the ‘70’s and a multi-hour Christmas show. Scheduled to begin this summer is “The Weekly Top Thirty.”

Rick Dees joins KHJ Los Angeles for mornings… Dusty Street is doing mornings at crosstown KROQ.

M.G. Kelly departs top-40 KTNQ (Ten-Q Los Angeles at 1020 on the AM dial) and says he’s leaving radio to concentrate on television. He has a new 30-minute “The M.G. Kelly TV Show,” now in production. “I’m leaving radio because I feel my acting is all-encompassing and time consuming. It’s time to move forward to the next stage of my performing.”

Disco radio – a different animal - Speaking at an advertising seminar; Rick Sklar argues that disco played on a contemporary station doesn’t make that station a disco station. Sklar pointed to “unheard of skews of demographics” among disco stations. Not letting on that he was talking about (WKTU-FM) – a station that’s beating WABC, Sklar went on to say that the station has a 21 share among single listeners and a 17 share among divorced listeners. “Rhythm is a great companion for lonely people,” said Sklar. 

He pointed out that disco stations “build their market shares by very slow repetition of material” – a few four-hour turnovers, a great many eight, 12 or 24 hours between play and that disco stations have some of the characteristics of beautiful music stations.  

Steve Marshall leaves KNX-FM (Los Angeles) as program director to join “WKRP In Cincinnati” as writer and story editor.

New video show? – Matrix Communications signs DJ Charlie Tuna to voice something called “The Radio Picture Show” – six 90-minute TV music specials. The show will feature video performances by leading pop-rock-disco artists in a top-40 rotation. A series of jingles and mini-features with visual accompaniment have been produced to be interspaced throughout the musical countdown.


Music news – May 15, 1979

Pink Floyd finally goes back into the recording studio to cut a long-awaited album. Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” has been on the album charts some 250+ weeks!

Lou Reed is arrested in Germany and charged with assaulting a female fan during a concert. He was jailed overnight.


Top Disco Hit Music – May 15, 1979

Ring My Bell – Anita Ward

Hot Stuff – Donna Summer

Bad, Bad Boy – Theo Vaness

Dance to Dance/Dancer – Gino Soccio

Dance With You – Carrie Lucas

We Are Family/He’s the Great Dancer – Sister Sledge

Work That Body – Taana Gardner

My Baby’s Baby – Liquid Gold

Forbidden Love Madleen Kane

One More Minute/Fill My Life With Love/Belle de Jour – St. Tropez

I Who Have Nothing/Stars/Body Strong – Sylvester

Take Me Home – Cher

In The Navy/Manhattan Woman – Village People

Let Me Be Your Woman – Linda Clifford


Top music albums  – May 15, 1979

Minute by Minute – Doobie Brothers

Breakfast In America – Supertramp

2-Hot – Peaches & Herb

Desolation Angels – Bad Company

We Are Family – Sister Sledge

Van Halen II – Van Halen

Spirits having Flown – Bee Gees

Parallel Lines – Blondie

 Bad Girls – Donna Summer

Cheap Trick At The Buddokan

Enlightened Rogues – Allman Brothers Band

Salsoul – Instant Funk

Disco Nights – G.Q.

Rickie Lee Jones

Go West – Village People

Livin’ Inside Your Love – George Benson

Destiny – The Jacksons

Blondes Have More Fun – Rod Stewart


Top Country Hit Music Singles – May 15, 1979

Lying In Love With You – Jim Ed Brown & Helen Cornelius

If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me – Bellamy Brothers

Don’t Take It Away – Conway Twitty

Lay Down Beside Me – Don Williams

Sail Away – Oak Ridge Boys

When I Dream – Crystal Gayle

How To Be A Country Star – Statler Brothers

She Believes In Me – Kenny Rogers


Top pop hit music singles in Britain – May 15, 1979

Pop Muzik – M

Bright Eyes – Art Garfunkel

Some Girls – Racey

Does Your Mother Know – Abba

Hooray, Hooray It’s A Holi Holiday – Boney M

One Way Ticket – Eruption

The Logical Song – Supertramp

Knock On Wood – Ami Stewart

Reunited – Peaches & Herb

Banana Splits – Dickles

One Way Ticket - Eruptiion 


Top movies  – May 15, 1979


Dawn of the Dead

Love At First Bite

Deer Hunter


Silent Partner

China Sydrome

The Champ

Blazing Saddles

Norma Rae

Coming Home

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