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



In The News

Engulfed in the tidal wave of the biggest drug scandal in international amateur athletics history, 13 members of the track and field team withdraw from the Pan American games as four more weight lifters, including a triple gold medal-winning American, are stripped of their medals. William Simon, President of the U.S. Olympic Committee said they chose not to compete when told of the strict testing that has shown steroid use among several weight lifters.

In Manila, opposition leader Benigno Aquino, regarded as the strongest challenger to President Ferdinand Marcos, is assassinated as he steps off a plane returning from three years self-imposed exile in the U.S. Aquino told an ABC reporter on the plane that he had heard intelligence reports from Manila that he would be gunned down on arrival. Aquino put on a bulletproof vest before leaving the plane. 

Hurricane Alice slams into Houston, killing 6 and cutting power to 1.6 million. Galveston Island, where Alicia suddenly came ashore is still cut-off from the mainland. The storm had sustained winds of 115 mph.


Fascinating Business news – August 15, 1983

Coca-Cola announces that Diet Cola will soon rollout Nutra-Sweet - making it the first soft drink to use aspartame - a new low- calorie sugar substitute.  The company recently signed an agreement with Skokie, Il based G.D. Searle Co. - the exclusive patent holder on aspartame. 


Sports news – August 15, 1983

NFL owners vote unanimously to again carry four standby players in addition to the 45 on their regular-season rosters this year. The move is to keep more players out the clutches of the United States Football League. The vote came during a special meeting, attended by Commissioner Peter Rozelle. The proposed increase had been rejected by owners at two separate meetings earlier this year. 


Top TV shows/Nielsen ratings – August 15, 1983


 Newhart (19.6), Trapper John, M.D. (19.1), Wait Til Your Mother Gets Home (18.8), Jeffersons (18.8), Hill Street Blues (16.9), Simon & Simon (16.9), 9 to 5 (16.9), Cheers (16.5), Hart to Hart (16.4), Three’s Company (16.4)  60 minutes is #14 (15.3)...20/20 is #18 (14.8). 1 point is 833,000 homes.


Radio News- August 15, 1983

Z-100 New York debuts and the lineup is Scott Shannon (PD) mornings, Chuck Crane middays, Cat Simon afternoon, then Jack the Wack night,  Hollywood Hamilton late nights and Deborah

Rose overnights.

WFIL-AM Philadelphia switches to all oldies and Cleveland’s WWWE-AM goes A/C.


Music news – August 15, 1983

Making their debut on the U.S. charts – “Wam! With “Bad Boys.” Wham! Is Geogre Michael and Andrew Ridgeley. After a stint with British ska group, the executives, the duo signed with InnerVision Records and their first single – “Wham Rap” and “Young Guns.” The first album on Columbia is “Fantastic.”

MTV comes out with all of the promotions they’ve run since their sign-on. Here’s a sample:

“MTV One-Night Stand With Journey”

“One Night With The Rolling Stones”

“MTV Doors Video Giveaway”

“MTV PacMan Giveaway”

“MTV VideoDisc Givaway”



Music news – August 15, 1983

The New York Daily News confirms the marriage of Paul Simon to Carrie Fisher. They were married in a private ceremony at a Manhattan apartment.

Johnny Ramone, leader of the punk rock group the Ramones, is hospitalized in critical condition after a street fight with another punk rocker over a woman. The 29-year-old musician is severely beaten and suffers a fractured skull in a fight with Seth Macklin. The fight broke-out after Ramone saw Macklin with his girlfriend.  Macklin’s group “Sub-Zero Construction” is reportedly modeled after the Ramones.

Sly Stone of “Sly & The Family Stone” is arrested while performing at a nightclub in Ft Lauderdale and charged with stealing a $5000 ring from a guest at a Pompano Beach hotel.

Dies - Ira Gershwin - the lesser-known brother of George Gerswhwin. Ira was the first songwriter ever to win a Pulitzer Prize for the show “Of Thee I Sing.” With his brother, he penned greats such as “I Got Rhythm.” After his brother passed-away in 1937, Ira collaborated with the likes of Harold Arlen, Vernon Duke, Jerome Kern and others. His music, sung on Broadway made stars of Ethel Merman, Danny Kaye and contributed to the rise of Fred Astaire.


Top pop hit music singles(top-40) – August 15, 1983

 “Sweet Dreams” - Eurythemics, “Every Breath You Take” - Police, “She Works Hard For The Money’ - Donna Summer, “Maniac” - Michael Sembello, “Stand Back” - Stevie Nicks, “It’s A Mistake” - Men at Work, “(Keep Felling) Fascination” - Human League, “Puttin’ On the Ritz” - Taco, “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya’ - Culture Club “Is There Something You Should Know” - Duran Duran.


Top pop music albums – August 15, 1983

Top Albums - “Thriller” - Michael Jackson, “Synchronicity” - The Police, “Flashdance” - Soundtrack, “The Wild Heart” - Stevie Nicks, “Pyromania” - Def Leppard, “Let’s Dance” - David Bowie, “Keep It Up” - Loverboy, “Reach The Beach” - The Fixx, “Duran Duran” - Duran Duran.


Top Country Hit Music Singles – August 15, 1983

“You’re Gonna Ruin My Bad Reputation” - Ronnie McDowell, “I Always Get Lucky With You” - George Jones, “Love Song” - The Oak Ridge Boys, “Your Love’s On The Line” - Earl Thomas Conley, “He’s A Heartache” - anie Fricke


Top movies – August 15, 1983

Easy Money - Rodney Dangerfield

Risky Business - Tom Cruise, Rebecca DeMornay

Mr. Mom - Michael Keaton  

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