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Dateline: Events/Headlines - Week of January 8, 1981 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Sports, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts




In The News

Thirty One persons are feared dead after fire roars through a two-story brick boarding home for the elderly and mentally retarded residents in Keansburg, NJ, The location is about 30 miles south of Newark.

The Reagan’s say goodbye in Los Angeles at City Hall ceremonies that included commemorative plaques, jellybeans and a pair of silver spurs to use on Capitol Hill. The President-elect has been a resident of the city for more than 40 years. In Washington, Ronald Reagan orders his top aides to prepare new, deeper spending cuts than they had recommended for 1982 and succeeding years.

Philadelphia Democrat Rep Raymond Lederer, the only congressman indicted in the Abscam investigation to be reelected to Congress last November, is convicted of bribery conspiracy charges. It took a few hours for a jury to determine that Lederer accepted a $50 thousand bribe in return for promising to introduce private immigration bills for two supposed Arab sheiks.

Hearings begin to confirm Alexander Haig Jr. as secretary of state. He clashed with Democratic senators about his role during the Watergate investigation, telling members of the Foreign Relations Committee “”I found tremendous abuses on both sides,” referring to actions by high Nixon Administration officials and by the press... Also, Robert Warner the head of the National Archives says that despite a Senate committee’s subpoena, he cannot under law immediately turn over a list of Alexander M. Haig’s Jr’s 338 taped Watergate-era conversations with Richard Nixon. Warner says a law requires Nixon to be given five working days to object to its complying with such a subpoena. He sent such a request to Nixon’s counsel, asking him to waive the waiting period.

Iran drops its demand that the U.S. deposit $24 billion in Algerian banks before the 52 American hostages being held in Iran are released. Sources close to the Algerian delegation in Tehran, which is acting as intermediary in the hostage talks say that the Algerians believe that a breakthrough is near.

Billy Carter is looking forward to things after his brother is out of office in a few weeks: “I’ve enjoyed the attention. I’ll enjoy the lack of attention too. I’m as adaptable as hell. And thinking it all over, I don’t apologize for a damn thing I did”


Bestselling books – January 8, 1981

Answer as a Man - Taylor Caldwell

 The Covenant - James A. Michener

The key to Rebecca - Ken Follett

The Fifth Horseman - Larry Collins/Dominque Lapierre

The Origin - Irving Stone

Firestarter - Stephen King

Rage of Angles - Sidney Sheldon

Crisis Investing - Douglas R. Casey

Side Effects - Woody Allen

Cosmos - Carl Sagan

The Coming Currency Collapse - Jerome F. Smith

The Sky’s The Limit - Wayne Dyer

Craig Claiborne’s Gourmet Diet - Craig Claiborne/Pierre Franey

Peter The Great - Robert K. Massie


Sports news – January 8, 1981

Agent David Gershenson says his client - Quarterback Terry Bradshaw of the Pittsburgh Steelers, may quit if NBC picks up a television series pilot he’s involved in. “The verbal agreement calls for Terry to star in a pilot. Once Terry signs to do a pilot, at the same time he agrees to do a series. Whether the series goes on is totally is NBC’s option. Terry will have no choice. If NBC picks up the series, it will go into production right away Terry won’t be able to play football. Only if NBC doesn’t pick up the series, will Terry be available to play.”

Phil Esposito (38) announces his retirement from the National Hockey League as he plays his last game with the New York Rangers. Esposito is the second-highest scorer in history (so far), second only to Gordie Howe. He’ll assume duties as an assistant to Ranger coach and director of operations Craig Patrick. Esposito started in the NHL in 1963 with the Chicago Blackhawks, but moved to the Boston Bruins, where he had his best years. In Boston, he was an NHL first team All-Star, six straight years; led the league in scoring four straight years, and voted the league’s MVP twice.

The Oakland Raiders, with quarterback Jim Plunkett, defeat the San Diego Chargers 34-27 to win the American Football Conference championship. They’ll play the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XV... Frank Robinson is hired to manage the San Francisco Giants.


Technology news – January 8, 1981

At the consumer electronics show in Las Vegas - projection TV’s are getting a lot of attention. There are basically three types: - rear-projection models that sit close to the wall and take-up the least amount of floor space; a one-piece front-screen unit with slightly larger screens, but take up more room - and two piece units, that can have 7-foot or larger screens and can take the space of an entire room. Prices range from $3000 to $5000.


Entertainment/Celebrity news – January 8, 1981

Passing - Matthew Beard Jr. - “Stymie” of “Our Gang/Little Rascals at 56. He had returned to acting after years of drug addiction - Stymie suffered a stroke and lay unconscious on the floor for several days in his apartment. Beginning at the age of 5, he made 36 “Our Gang” comedies from 1930-35. Director Bob McGown gave him his nickname - “he was continually getting in the way of the film and holding up production; he stymied me all the time.”

Passing - actor Richard Boone (63) - best known as “Paladin” in TV’s “Have Gun Will Travel.” The actor died of throat cancer.  Suffering cuts and bruises after smashing his Maserati in 1963, he exclaimed, “you can’t damage a face like mine.” (Wire Paladin, San Francisco).

Passing - Scottish author A.J. Cronin (84) - best known for novels “The Citadel” and “The Keys of the Kingdom.” He was a surgeon, but turned to full-time writing in 1931 after the success of his first novel - “Hatter’s Castle.”


Television news – Subscription TV Update – January 8, 1981

Pay-TV/Subscription television update - here’s a list of subscription television operations in the U.S. The format uses a UHF television station to transmit a scrambled picture over the air. Subscribers pay about $20 a month for a descrambler. It currently has an advantage in areas not covered by cable-TV.  All you need is a UHF antenna (which most TV’s have/or one is provided by the installer). The main disadvantage - it costs about the same as cable service - and cable offers dozens of channels. Usually as soon as cable is available, subscribers drop their STV service. Some companies are trying to cut deals to transmit over cable-TV.  The industry seems to be as strong as ever, generating more than $14 million in revenues per month.  (Subscription television eventually went away, but for a short period in pop history, it was the only way cable less viewers could see premium pay-TV programming). All of the television stations listed below eventually went back to unscrambled  programming. Many went Spanish-language:

Newark, NJ - Wometco Home Theater (Wometco Enterprises) - over WWHT channel 68

Long Island, NY - Wometco Home Theater (Wometco Enterprises) - over WSNL - channel 67  

Boston - Stargase (Universal Subscription Television) - over WQTV channel 68

Worcester - Preview (Sicom Corp) - over WSMW channel 27

Ft Lauderdale - On TV (Oak Industries) - over WKID channel 51

 Dallas - VIU (Golden West Broadcasters) - over KNBN - channel 33

Oklahoma City - VIU (Golden West Broadcasters) - over KAUT channel 43

Phoenix - On TV (Oak Industries) over KNXV channel 15

Los Angeles - On TV (Oak Industries) over KBSC - channel 52

Los Angeles - Select TV (Select TV of California) - over KWHY channel 22

San Francisco - Super Time - (Subscription Television of San Francisco) - over KTSF-TV channel 26

Milwaukee - Select TV (Select TV of Wisconsin) - over WCGV channel 24

 Chicago - On TV (Oak Industries) - over WSNS channel 44

Cincinnati - On TV (Oak Industries) - over WBTI - channel 64

Detroit - On Television (Chartwell Communications/Tandem Productions) - over WXON, Channel 20


Friday Night Television listings/programs/TV guide – January 8, 1981

CBS - The Incredible Hulk, Duke of Hazard, Dallas

NBC - Buck Rogers, NBC Magazine With David Brinkley

ABC  - Benson, I’m A Big Girl Now, Movie

PBS - MacNeil-Lehrer Report, Wall Street Week, Dick Cavett, Captioned ABC News


On  Buck Rogers - 2-hour season premiere as Rogers battles a powerful man-bird that has vowed vengeance on the human race after its people were wiped out by marauding pirates. Gil Gerald, Erin Gray and Felix Silla star. Wilfred Hyde White joins the cast as Dr Goodfellow.  

On Dallas - JR encourages his daddy to consummate a business deal, fully aware that the venture will conflict with Bobby’s investment plans and leave Ewing Oil with a serious cash-flow problem.

On The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson - The Doobie Brothers


Music news – January 8, 1981

John McVie (35) - bass player with Fleetwood Mac is arrested and charged with felony possession of cocaine at his West Maui home. Also arrested, his wife, Julie-Ann (29). Both were released with bail at $1,500. McVie is British and could face deportation proceedings if convicted.


Top pop hit music singles(top-40) – January 8, 1981

(Just Like) Starting Over - John Lennon

Another One Bits The Dust - Queen

Hungry Heart - Bruce Springsteen

Love On The Rocks - Neil Diamond

Guilty - Barbra Streisand & Barry Gibb

Hit Me With Your Best Shot - Pat Benatar

Lady - Kenny Rogers

The Tide Is High - Blondie

More Than I Can Say - Leo Sayer

Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime - The Korgis

Every Women In The World - Air Supply

Tell It Like It Is - Heart

De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da - The Police

I Made It Through The Rain - Barry Manilow

Celebrate - Kool & The Gang

Miss Sun - Boz Scaggs

 Passion - Rod Stewart

It’s My Turn - Diana Ross

Time Is Time - Andy Gibb

Suddenly - Olivia Newton John & Cliff Richard

One Step Closer - The Doobie Brothers

My Mother’s Eyes - Bette Midler


#1 Top country Hit Single - I Think I’ll Just Stay here and Drink - Merle Haggard.


Top music albums – January 8, 1981

Double Fantasy - John Lennon/Yoko Ono

The Jazz Singer - soundtrack featuring Neil Diamond

Crimes of Passion - Pat Benatar

Zenyatta Mondatta - The Police

Hotter Than July - Stevie Wonder

Goucho - Steely Dan

Autoamerican - Blondie

Guilty - Barbra Streisand

Kenny Rogers’ Greatest Hits - Kenny Rogers

Eagles Live - The Eagles

Super Trouper - Abba

Doc - Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band

Minimum Wage - The Busboys

Fleetwood Mac Live - Fleetwood Mac

9 to 5 - Dolly Parton

Dirty Mind - Prince

Foolish Behaviour - Rod Stewart

Barry - Barry Manilow

Royal Albert Hall Concert - Creedence Clearwater Revival


Top movies – January 8, 1981

The Jazz Singer - Neil Diamond, Laurence Olivier, Lucie Arnaz, Catlin Adams

Raging Bull - Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci

Nine to Five - Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton, Dabney Coleman, Elizabeth Wilson, Sterling Hayden

Altered States - William Hurt, Blair Brown

Tess - (A Roman Polanski Film) - Nastassia Kinski, Peter Firth, Leigh Lawson

The Empire Strikes Back - Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels

First Family - Gilda Radner, Bob Newhart, Madeline Kahn, Richard Benjamin, Harvey Korman, Rip Torn, Fred Willard

Tribute - Jack Lemmon, Robby Benson, Lee Remick

Jack the Ripper - Klaus Kinski, Josephine Chaplin

Willie & Phil - Michael Ontkean, Magot Kidder, ray Sharkey

Twinkle, Twinkle Killer Kane - Stacy Keach, Scott Wilson, Ed Flanders, Moses Gunn, Robert Loggia

New Year’s Eve Evil - Roz Kelly, Chris Wallace

Inside Movies - John Savage, David Morse, Diana Scarwid, Amy Wright

The Elephant Man - Ann Bancroft, John Grelguci

Stir Crazy - Gene Wilder, Richard Pryor

Neil Simon’s Seems Like Old Times - Chevy Chase, Goldie Hawn, Charles Grodin

Any Which Way You Can - Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Ruth Gordon

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