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



In The News

President Reagan proposes that the Soviet Union and the United States eliminate intermediate-range nuclear missiles from Europe, in aiming for the “lowest possible level” for these arms. 

 Presidential Press Secretary James Brady goes home for good after spending eight months in the hospital and undergoing four operations for a bullet wound in his brain. Brady (41) had been a patient at George Washington university Hospital ever since he was shot in the March 30 assassination attempt on President Regan outside a Washington hotel.

Neil McNeil, director of the Medill News Service is shot and killed by his estranged wife, Doris, who then killed herself at their northwest Washington home. The Medill News Service is the Washington bureau for 15 newspapers and eight TV stations. 

Adm. Hyman G. Rickover will be retired next year, despite his wishes. President Reagan in making the decision to end Rickover’s career of almost 60’s years in the Navy, asks Rickover to be his adviser on the civilian use of atomic energy.  

Princess Diana, expecting a baby in June, tells another young wife that she had ever heard about morning sickness before her marriage and she is “fed up with it.” “Some days I feel terrible. Nobody told me about morning sickness. I’m fed up with this morning sickness.”

Orient Express to return? The new “Venice Simplon Orient Express will pull out of London’s Victoria Station for the first time May 28. Said a spokesman for the new venture – the idea is to “restore the art of travel” and provide “926 miles of unashamed luxury.” The service will run from Paris, Milan and Venice and back “the way the ultimate in train travel use to be.” The first Orient Express train left Paris in October of 1883 and was shut down in 1977.  


Sports news – November 15, 1981

Magic Johnson says he wants to be traded from the Los Angeles Lakers because he and coach Paul Westhead have irreconcilable differences. Later, the Lakers fire coach Paul Westhead.


Entertainment/Celebrity/Hollywood news – November 15, 1981

Actor William Holden (63) is found dead in his Santa Monica (CA) apartment. Later examiners say Holden, apparently drunk, fell and hit his head on a blunt object, dieing from blood loss.

Patricia Stauffer (48) – a long-time companion of William Holden says she and the late actor had planned to be married New Year’s eve in Africa.

Marries – Actress Brenda Vaccaro to photographer Charles Cannizzaro.


Playing in Las Vegas –

Wayne Newton, Dave Barry – Aladdin

Engelbert Humperdink – Hilton

Dean Martin – MGM Grand

Loretta Lynn, Jim Stafford – Riviera

George Carlin, Kay Starr – Sahara


Television news – November 15, 1981

ABC-TV begins closed-captioned services for the hearing-impaired on its “World News Tonight.” An open caption version of the newscast has been airing later in the evening on PBS.

Plans for a 24-hour Cable Health Network (CHN) are announced by Viacom International Inc. It’s scheduled to get underway next spring. On-air commentator for CHN as well as the network’s chairman is Dr. Art Ulene, who also reports on health for NBC’s “Today” show. A spokesman said CHN will be distinguished from the others both by its 24-hour schedule and by “in-depth” rather than “magazine-type” reporting that will include personal interviews, audience participation and documentary films.

HBO licenses a half-hour fully animated Christmas carton from Coronet Films for 10 years and a four-year option beyond. “The Trolls And the Christmas Express” will be narrated by Roger Miller.

“Star Wars” the top-gross film of all time (so far) is sold to CBS-TV. Price is $25 million for three runs.

Robert Ulrich is to star in a new TV series – “Gavilan” – a one-hour action show about an ex-navy commander who takes on dangerous and exciting assignments. It’s his sixth series since 1973: “Bob and Carol, Ted and Alice,” SWAT,” Soap” “Tabitha” and “Vegas.”

Walt Disney’s “Mary Poppins” will debut on network TV this Sunday. Don’t miss the fun on CBS-TV.


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

CBS – 60 Minutes, Archie Bunker’s Place, One Day At A Time, Alice, The Jeffersons, Trapper John

NBC – Project Peacock, ChiPs, Movie

ABC – Code Red, Movie

PBS – Nova, Masterpiece Theater


Project Peacock – A young boy is adopted by Mean Joe Greene and learns about values, discipline and relationships. Adopted from the Coca-Cola commercial. Stars Mean Joe Greene, famed defensive tackle of the Pittsburgh Stealers.

Nova – Artists in the lab – An introduction to 20th century pioneers who use computers and lasers to create of strange, exciting new art forms.

ABC Sunday Night Movie – “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”

On Alice – Mel’s cousin Wendell shows up for a visit and Vera and Wendell become attracted to each other.


TV Show/Nielsen ratings – November 15, 1981

Dallas – 29.1

60 Minutes – 27.8

The Jeffersons – 24.8

One day AT A Time – 24.5

Monday Night Football –24.1

 Alice – 24.1

Movie – 10 – 23.9

Three’s Company – 22.9

Movie – Close encounters of the third Kind – 22.3

To Close for Comfort – 22.0

The Love Boat – 21.8

Archie Bunker’s Place – 21.7

Magnum, PI – 21.5

Dukes of Hazzard – 21.1

NFL Football game 2 – 20.9

That’s Incredible – 20.8

Trapper John, M.D. – 20.3

Happy Days – 20.3

Real People – 20.2

MASH – 20.2

Facts of Life – 20.1


Radio news – November 15, 1981

Satellite Music Network says it will introduce two additional 24-hour full-service formats to serve stations on a turnkey basis. The new formats are middle-of-the-road and black urban. That gives the service five formats.

 WNBC’s Don Imus is down to a 5.1 share from a 6.2 share in the spring and a high of 7.4 last winter. WNBC is running a schedule of TV spots featuring Imus asking various persons on the street to listen to WNBC. The station just added a traffic helicopter.

Mel Karmazin, general manager of WNEW AM/FM resigns to become president of the newly structured Infinity Broadcasting, a group of six stations that include WKTU-FM, WYSP-FM and WBCN-FM. Karmazin has been with WNEW for 11 years.

WYNY-FM New York GM Al Law is promoted to v/p of programming for NBC radio stations. They include WNBC/WYNY-FM, WMAQ/WKQX Chicago, and WRC/WKYS-FM Washington DC.


Music news – November 15, 1981

The Rolling Stones will cap their current U.S. concert tour with a closed-circuit satellite concert party to be beamed from an undisclosed site on December 18. Titled “The World’s Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Party” the event will be limited to 200 venues in the U.S and Canada.

Trend MOR music – with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Steve and Eydie and the like are back on the radio, and the music seems to be a saving grace for AM stations. Leading the way is the syndicated “Music of Your Life” from Al Ham. Another syndicator is Tony Arnold with his “Unforgettable” format. WNEW-AM in New York (which does its own version) is leading the way once again. It just got a 4.0 in the ratings, beating contemporary AM stations WNBC and WABC. 


Top Country Hit Music Singles – November 15, 1981  

Wish You Were Here – Barbara Mandrell

 Al My Rowdy Friends – Hank Williams Jr.

My Favorite Memory – Merle Haggard

Miss Emily’s Picture – John Conlee

Bet Your Heart On Me – Johnny Lee

All Roads Lead To You – Steve Wariner

If I Needed You – Emmylou Harris and Don Williams

It’s All I Can Do – Ann Murray  


Top music albums – November 15, 1981

Ghost In The Machine – Police

4 Foreigner

Tattoo You – Rolling Stones

Nine Tonight – Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band

Escape – Journey

Bella Donna – Stevie Nicks

Raise – Earth, Wind & Fire

The Innocent Age – Dan Fogelberg

Abacab – Genesis

Private Eyes – Daryl Hall and John Oates

Exit Stage Left – Rush

Precious Time – Pat Benatar

Breakin’ Away – Al Jarreau

Songs in the Attic – Billy Joel

Something Special – Kool & The Gang

If I Should Love Again – Barry Manila

Why Do Fools Fall In Love – Diana Ross


Top pop hit music singles(top-40) – November 15, 1981 

Private Eyes – Daryl Hall & John Oates

Waiting For A Girl Like You – Foreigner

Physical – Olivia Newton John

Here I Am – Air Supply

Start Me Up – Rolling Stones

Tryin’ To Live My Life Without You – Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band

The Night Owls – Little River Band

Arthur’s Theme – Christopher Cross

Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic – Police

Oh No – Commodores


Top movies – November 15, 1981

Time Bandits

Halloween II

French Lieutenants Woman

Only When I Laugh

The Pursuit of DB Cooper

True Confessions


Raiders of the Last Ark

Prince of the City

Body Heat


Evil Speak

Rich And Famous

Chariots of Fire

Private Lessons


Southern Comfort

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