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Dateline: Events/Headlines – Week Of May 15, 1981 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Sports, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts



In The News

Pope shooting -  Pope John Paul II is reported in satisfactory condition but not yet out of danger as police broaden their investigation to determine whether his assailant had ties with international terrorist groups. Doctors say his intestinal injuries are extensive.

The Gipper is back – President Regan delivers the 136th commencement address at the University of Notre Dame – his first trip outside Washington since he was shot in the chest by a would-be assassin on March 30.

In Belfast - Convicted Irish Republican Army guerrilla Raymond McCreesh dies on the 61st day of a hunger strike, following two comrades to death in a so-far vain attempt to pressure Britain into granting IRA prisoner’s political status.

The House Ways and Means Committee adopts legislation that would cut health, welfare, unemployment and Social Security programs by $9.1 billion – nearly the entire sum ordered recently by Congress at the request of President Reagan.

This week, Ronald Reagan becomes the oldest U.S. President – at 70 years and 99 days old – besting Dwight D. Eisenhower when John F. Kennedy took office. 

Teachers Unions warn that 1 of 3 teachers in the U.S. will receive a notice that he or she may not have a job in the fall. Most will lose their jobs because of anticipated cutbacks in federal education spending.

Roy Williams, a top Teamsters Union official who is under investigation by the Justice Department, is chosen by leaders of the 2.3-million-member union as interim replacement for its late president Frank Fitzsimmons.

Passing – Writer William Saroyan (72). He won the 1940 Pulitzer Prize for his most famous play, “The Time of Your Life” but rejected the  $1,500 award because he believed that wealth of commerce should not patronize art.


Medical news – May 15, 1981

Professor Guenther Doerner – an East German scientist says that homosexuality results from hormone imbalances, challenging beliefs that homosexual inclinations are caused predominantly by environmental and psychological factors. He says they are often programmed into certain individuals from the start. “If the level (of testosterone) is too low in male, he will develop a predominantly female brain, reacting later to sexual stimuli in a similar way to a woman. If on the other hand, the male hormone level in a female is too high, she will predisposed to lesbian behavior later in life.”


Entertainment /Celebrity/Movie news – May 15, 1981

Brooke Shields non gratis – The Department of Health of Human Services extinguishes an anti-cigarette advertising campaign featuring Shields (who is 15), calling it “not appropriate and ineffective in snuffing out teenage smoking.” Shields is known these days for her seductive Calvin Klein jeans ads and also appeared as a prostitute in the film “Pretty Baby.” Says the young actress: “They (cigarette manufacturers) might be afraid that the commercials might do well. I think my audience is a big audience and the commercials I’ve done in the past have been very successful.”

In one of the ads, Brooke says, “people who smoke are real losers.”

Richard Pryor dues the National Enquirer for $10 million, citing a September 9 article which inferred he “blew himself away while free-basing cocaine mix” at a party.


Top TV shows/Nielsen ratings – May 5, 1981 

The Best Little Girl In The World – 35.5

Three’s Company 24.2

Movie-Meatballs – 23.6

Too Close For Comfort – 22.4

TV’s Censored Bloopers – 22.3

Hart to Hart – 21/6

Movie-Stand By Your man – 21.6

60 Minutes – 21.4

Laverne & Shirley – 21.3

Little House on the Prairie – 20.7

Love Boat – 20.4

ChiPs – 19.4

MASH – 19.4

Greatest American Hero – 19.1

Happy Days – 19.0

Diff’rent Strokes – 19.0

Real People – 18.4

Fantasy Island – 18.2

Trapper John, MD – 18.1

Barney Miller – 17.5

Dukes of Hazzard – 17.2

Facts of Life – 17.2

Magnum, PI – 17.0

Dean Martin Special – 16.7

House Calls – 16.5


Television news – May 15, 1981

RCA Corp. and Rockefeller Center Inc confirm that they intend to enter into a join venture to present BBC-TV programs to cable television homes in this country. The companies are set to launch a new national pay-cable channel – “The Entertainment Channel in 1982.

Nick Perry – an on-air personality at WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh, PA since the station signed-on in 1958 – is found guilty on all charges that he fixed Pennsylvania’s daily number game on April 24 when “666” came up and had a payoff near $3.5 million. The state charged that Perry enlisted the aid of two station stagehands to inject paint into all the ping pong balls being used in the drawing except for the “4” and the “6.”


Sunday night television listings/programs/TV guide – May 15, 1981

CBS – 60 Minutes, Movie, Trapper John, M.D.

NBC – Disney’s Wonderful World, ChiPs, Movie

ABC – Those Amazing Animals, Movie

PBS – The Cousteau Odyssey, Masterpiece Theater, Steve Allen’s Meeting of the Minds


On Those Amazing Animals – Cathy Lee Crosby milks a deadly cobra.

CBS Movie – “Escape From Iran: The Canadian Caper” with Gordon Pinsent.

ABC Movie – “Beyond the Poseidon Adventure with Sally Field, Michael Caine, Karl Malden, Jack Warden, Shirley Jones.

NBC Movie – “Meatballs” – Bill Murray, Harvey Atkin, Kate Lynch.

Trapper John, M.D. – A new intern has the rest of the staff in a rage because of his insensitivity to co-workers’ patients.


Radio news – May 15, 1981

Mike Carruthers, a DJ at KHTZ-FM (97.1) Los Angeles will be hosting a new 90-second feature called “Something You Should Know.”

KLIV (1590) in San Jose – for 20 years a top-40 station and recently an album rock station, is switching to Al Ham’s “Music of Your Life.” “Our experiment with playing FM music on AM just didn’t work.” 

Another hit countdown show – Dick Clark is entering the foray with his new “Dick Clark National Music Survey” which will debut later this month. Clark has nothing but good things to say about the godfather of national countdown shows – Casey Kasem: “Nothing is unique about the (my) show. Casey Kasem is a great story teller who has been imitated and this is an imitation.”

New show heard on FM AOR stations – Global Satellite Network’s “Rockline – a 90-minute live call-in talk show – a rock radio first. Debut was February 4. The debut show featured Joe Walsh and Tom Johnston. B. Mitchel Reed hosts. So far, the show has 17 stations, but is bound to grow. KLOS-FM, Los Angles is the flagship – the same place you can hear B. Mitchel Reed weekdays 9a-1p.  


Pop music this week in 1981 

Bette Davis Eyes – Kim Carnes

Being With You – Smokey Robinson

Just the Two of Us – Grover Washington Jr.

Morning Train – Sheena Easton

Angel of the Morning – Juice Newton

Sukiyaki – A Taste of Honey

Take It On The Run – REO Speedwagon

Kiss On My List – Daryl Hall and John Oates

Living Inside Myself – Gino Vannelli

Too Much Time On My Hands – Styx

I Can’t Stand It – Eric Clapton and his band

Medley: Venus/Sugar Sugar/No Replay/I’ll Be Back/Drive My Car… Stars On 45

A Woman Needs Love – Ray Parker & Raydio

How ‘Bout Us – Champaign

Ain’t Even Done With The Night – John Cougar

Watching The Wheels – John Lennon

Sweetheart – Freddie and the Knockouts

You Better You Bet – The Who

I Love You – Climax Blues Band


Top pop music albums  – May 15, 1981

Hi Infidelity – REO Speedwagon

Arc of a Diver – Steve Winwood

Paradise Theatre – Styx

Face Dances – The Who

Winelight – Grover Washington Jr.

Another Ticket - Eric Clapton

Dad Loves His Work – James Taylor

Moving Pictures – Rush

Face Value – Phil Collins

Double Fantasy – John/Yoko Lennon

The Jazz Singer – Neil Diamond

Being With You – Smokey Robinson

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap – AC/DC

Zebop – Santana

Greatest Hits – Kenny Rogers

Wild Eyed Southern Boys - .38 Special

Zenyatta Mondatta – The Police

Mistaken Identity – Kim Carnes


Top Country Hit Music Singles – May 15, 1981

I Loved ‘Em Every One – T.G. Shepard

Seven Year Ache – Roseanne Cash

What Are We Doin’ In Love – Dottie West

Elvira – Oak Ridge Boys

Friends/Anywhere There’s A Jukebox – Razzy Bailey

Am I Losing You – Ronnie Milsap

But You Know I Love You – Dolly Parton

I’m Just An Old Chunk of Coal – John Anderson


Top pop music hit singles in Britain – May 15, 1981

Stand and Deliver – Adam & The Ants

Stars on 45

Chi Mai – Ennie Morricone

Grey Days – Madness

You Drive Me Crazy – Shakin’ Stevens

Can You Feel It – Jacksons

Fade to Grey – Visage


Top movies – May 15, 1981

Friday the 13th Part 2

Kill and Kill Again


Squeeze Play

Blazing Saddles


Texas Chainsaw Massacre


Atlantic City

La Cage Aux Foles II

Lion of the Desert

Graduation Day


Last House on the Left

House By The Lake

Scared to Death

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