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Dateline: Events/Headlines - Week of May 15, 1983 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Sports, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts


In The News

Israel and Lebanon formally end the state of war between them with the signing of an agreement – the first step toward the withdrawal of Israeli occupation troops from Lebanon.

The Senate passes a historic immigration reform bill that would allow millions of illegal aliens in the U.S. to become permanent legal residents while imposing future criminal sanctions on employers who hire illegal aliens.

The Senate confirms William D. Ruckelshous to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

Two dead - Robert O Wickes, a fired teacher’s aide who blamed students for “messing up my career,” shoots two, holds students hostage for 9 ½ hours before killing himself. Wickes invaded East Junior High on Long Island and terrorized the English class. Police believe Wickes was trying to get revenge after being fired from his job in May for getting into an altercation with Louis Borgos, the 15-year-old student he wounded. The principal of the school was also shot, but died.

Passing – Temple Fielding (69) - whose budge travel books guided millions of Americans through Europe… of a heart attack. 

Passing – Mary Iacocca, wife of Chrysler Corp. Chairman Lee Iacocca. She was 52… after an apparent heart attack and insulin reaction.


Sports news – May 15, 1983

The USFL awards an expansion franchise to San Diego. USFL wants a goal of a 16-team league.

Art Schlichter, the Baltimore Colts reserve quarterback who admitted that he ran up $389,000 in gambling debuts, is suspended indefinitely by commissioner Pete Roselle for betting on NFL games and other sports events.


Technology news – May 15, 1983

The FCC, peppered with complaints about the popular New York service – “Dial-a-Porn,” insists that under the law, it can take no action and has referred the matter to the Justice Department. “Dial-a-Porn” gets about 500,000 callers a day from across the nation with sexually explicit recorded messages. The service is the brainchild of a skin magazine called “High Society.” The magazine, an adult-oriented publication, won the right to lease the number from the New York telephone Co. in a lottery for 21 “dial-it” channels earlier this year. These channels offer service ranging from weather and sorts messages to dial-a-prayer. “Dial-A-Porn” features 57-second tapes, featuring voices of centerfold models. The service runs 24-hours a day and the tapes are changed 3X a day. The service is now making about $25,000 a day, of which the magazine gets $10,000.

These new services – and probably more to come, are a result of telephone de-regulation. 


Entertainment/Celebrity news – May 15, 1983

Columbia Pictures announces the formation of the Pryor Co., a $40-million, five-year production deal between Richard Pryor and Columbia

Playing in Las Vegas –

Sammy Davis Jr. – Aladdin

Dean Martin – MGM Grand

Don Rickles – Sahara

Joan Rivers, Smother Brothers, Jim Stafford - Riviera


Television news – May 15, 1983

Warner Amex Satellite Entertainment announces new financing plans for its MTV music channel and Nickelodeon, a children’s program service. MTV, which now derives all its revenues from advertising, will begin charging local cable TV operators a fee to receive its programming. Nickelodeon, which already charges a fee, will begin to run advertisements. MTV can be seen by 12 million subscribers and Nickelodeon with slightly less, have yet to make a profit. Cost per sub will be between 10 and 15 cents.

Singer Maureen McGovern is the singer behind those ABC-TV promos – “That Special Feeling.”

SCTV Network finds a new home. Dropped by NBC, it will be part of HBO. The new show will feature four members of the commercial TV cast – Marty Short, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin and Joe Flaherty. HBO hopes John Candy will appear occasionally. Three other members of the original network TV cast – Rick Moranis, Dave Thomas and Catherine O’Hara are gone. That was one of the reasons NBC dropped the show. The other was its cost – at $400,000 per episode.

“Fantasy Island” hires a replacement for Tattoo (Herve Villechaize). He’s 6-foot-2 British-born actor Christopher Hewett. Apparently, Tattoo couldn’t come to terms on a new contract. 


Monday night television listings/programs/TV guide – May 15, 1983

CBS – It’s An Adventure Charlie Brown, MASH, One Day At A Time, Cagney & Lacey

NBC – Love Sidney, Motown 25, Tonight Show

ABC – Movie-Death On The Nile

PBS – Frontline, Life on The Mississippi


It’s An Adventure – Charlie Brown – Charlie Brown follows the advice of his pediatrician and heads for two weeks at summer camp.

Life on the Mississippi – Story of the boy Sam Clemons.


Music news – May 15, 1983

IRS Subsidiary label “Faulty Products” is being phased out. The label is home to The Dead Kennedys, TSOL and the Bangles. The latter are going to Columbia Records.

The Waitresses lose their lead vocalist – Patti Donahue, who’s going solo.

Marvin Gaye on a comeback… with his new album “Midnight Love” on his new label – Columbia. He’s in the midst of a sold-out tour. CBS bought out Gaye’s contract with Motown. Gaye’s last album for Motown – “In Our Lifetime” sold poorly and he suffered through a highly publicized divorce and he went into self-exile in Europe. But now Gaye is back and in demand. Ironically, he’s not featured in Motown’s special anniversary TV show this week.

Michael McDonald marries singer Amy Holland.

The Band, minus guitarist Robbie Robertson, will reunite in Toronto July 4.

“Rock and Roll Confidential” makes its debut. The pop newsletter is headed by Dave Marsh – rock historian, critic and writer. Among its first edition – “Is compact disc technology a sly new way for the record industry to combat home taping?” Also about MTV racism – Why did MTV eventually play Michael Jackson videos but they’re still not playing anything by Rick James? 

Stevie Ray Vaughan, the young Texas guitarist who plays on David Bowie’s latest album, has decided not to accompany Bowie on his world tour. Bowie asked Vaughan to sign a contract which the guitarist deemed unacceptable.

Big special – “Motown’s 25th Anniversary” – with host Richard Pryor with Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye and many other Motown stars.


Radio news – May 15, 1983

Album rock stations say that MTV has had a positive influence to their playlists.

Rick Lippincott resigns as program director of WLS AM-FM. WLS-AM is still Chicago’s #1 rock station with a 4.8 in the latest ratings.

Anniversary – The King Biscuit Flower Hour marks 10 years on the air… CBS RadioRadio marks its first year.

New format – All Beatles is being tried by KYST (AM 920) just outside of Houston, TX.

Joe Piscopo of Saturday Night Live, will debut is own syndicated comedy radio show called “Joe Piscopo At Large” beginning July 4. The two-minute daily show will feature Piscopo impersonating the likes of Frank Sinatra, Andy Rooney and Ted Koppel. He’ll also interview rock musicians such as Mick Jagger.     


Top Pop Hit Music Singles(top-40) – May 15, 1983

Let’s Dance – David Bowie

Overkill – Men At Work

Flashdance… What A Feeling – Irene Cara

Solitaire – Laura Branigan

Little Red Corvette – Prince

She Blinded Me With Science – Thomas Dolby

My Love – Lionel Richie

Time – Culture Club

Jeopardy – Greg Kihn Band

Photograph – Def Leppard

Der Kommissar – After the Fire

Rio – Duran Duran

I Wont’ Hold You Back – Toto

Straight From The Heart – Bryan Adams

Come On Eileen – Dex’s Midnight Runners

Affair of the Heart – Rick Springfield


Top Country Hit Music Singles – May 15, 1983

You Take Me For Granted – Merle Haggard

Foolin’ – Johnny Rodriquez

Lucille (You Won’t Do Your Daddy’s Will) – Waylon Jennings

I’m Movin’ On – Emylou Harris

You Can’t Run From Love – Eddie Rabbitt

Our Love Is On The Faultline – Crystal Gayle

The Ride – David Allan Coe

You’re Out Doing What I’m Here Doing Without – Gene Watson

Whatever Happened to Old Fashioned Love – B.J. Thomas


Top pop music hits in Britain – May 15, 1983

True – Spandau Ballet

Keep Felling Fascination – Human League

Pale Shelter – Tears for Fears

Temptation – Heaven 17

Words – F.R. David

Candy Girl – New Edition

Let’s Dance – David Bowie

Our Lips Are Sealed – Fun Boy Three

Can’t Get Used To Losing You – Beat

Beat It – Michael Jackson


Top music albums – May 15, 1983

Thriller – Michael Jackson

Flashdance – Soundtrack

Pyromania – Def Leppard

Let’s Dance – David Bowie

H2O – Hall & Oates

Frontiers – Journey

Lionel Ritchie

Rio – Duran Duran

1999 – Prince

The Final Cut – Pink Floyd

Business as Usual – Men At Work

Jarreau – Jarreau

War – U2

‘The Golden Age of Wireless – Thomas Dolby

Eliminator – ZZ Top

The Distance – Bob Segar And the Silver Bullet Band

The Closer You Get - Alabama


Top movies – May 15, 1983

Blue Thunder



Dr. Detroit

Cheech & Chong Still Smokin



Something Wicked This Way

Local Hero

The Hunger

The Evil Dead


Rocky III

Monty Python’s Meaning of Life




Dawn of the Dead

Valley Girl

Baby It’s You

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