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Dateline: Events/Headlines - Week of May 15, 1987 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts


In The News

Wholesale inflation spikes up .7% in April. Causes: a weaker dollar and increases in the cost of food, petroleum and cars.

President Reagan said that it was “my idea to begin with” for U.S officials to raise money to raise money to support the Nicaraguan contras through such secret and unorthodox methods as soliciting funds from Saudi Arabia and other foreign countries. 

Fawn Hall (27), former White House secretary who told prosecutors that she helped Lt. Col. Oliver North shred documents when the Iran-contra affair was unraveling, testifies before a special federal grand jury.

More Contra – Congressional investigators reveal that former White House staff member Oliver North personally cashed $2.400 worth of traveler’s checks he received from Nicaraguan contras and spent the money on such items as groceries and snow tires.

The death toll rises to 37 aboard the Navy ship (frigate) USS Stark, struck by an Iraqi missile. President Reagan orders other American vessels in the Persian Gulf to a higher state of alert and warns Iraq and Iran that their planes will be fired on if there is a hint of hostile intent.

Later, President Reagan portrays Iran, not Iraq, as the chief villain in the missile attack by an Iraqi jet.

Nicaraguan resistance leader Adolfo Calero tells Senate and House committees that he gave $90,000 in unsigned traveler’s checks to former White House aide Oliver North in 1985 – money that congressional investigators say is still largely unaccounted for.

Assistant Secretary of State Richard Murphy says that the United States is ready to protect Kuwatti oil tankers to upset Iranian plans to dominate the Persian Gulf region, preserve free navigation in international waters and avoid what could be a ruinous surge in oil prices.

Time Inc reaches an agreement to sell Discover, its money-losing science magazine. New owners will be Family Media. Sale price is $26 million.

Passing – Rita Hayworth (68), pin-up girl of the 1940’s.

Passing – Actor Colin Blakely (May 7). He was 56… of leukemia.

Rev Jerry Falwell tells PTL viewers that if viewers don’t send $7 million by the end of the month, he will shut down the scandal-plagued empire. “We need the most sacrificial gift you can send. If we’re going to honor our creditors, we need to raise at least that by May 31 and probably $20 million to $25 million over the next 90 days.” Falwell took over the PTL TV ministry and Christian them park-resort from disgraced founder Jim Bakker on March 19.


Television news – May 15, 1987

Joan Rivers is forced out of her 7-month-old “Late Show Starring Joan Rivers” on Fox. Carole Bayer Sager will be the first guest host under Fox’s new revolving host format for the program.

This week on the Phil Donahue show – “Female Impersonators – Who are they? Why do they do it?

Turner broadcasting’s WTBS commissions a new version of “Our Gang” – the pilot of a proposed made-for-cable half-hour sitcom. Turner has had the “Our Gang” rights since it bought the MGM library last year.   

MTV promotion – in conjunction with Mel Brooks’ upcoming “Spaceballs,” MTV is offering a viewer a chance to be a movie mogul. The winner will get 10 days to schmooze with Hollywood-types about a (MTV 3-minute) movie they’ll produce. Included are the airfare, rented Beverly Hills mansion and Porsche.

CNN’s Iran-contra hearing coverage has its ratings up some 229% over the channel’s normal audience share. 

The home shopping race escalates with the latest entry as MCA-TV and Home Shopping Network announce the “Home Shopping Overnight Service” – scheduled to begin in September. The announcement follows Lorimar Telepictures recent announcement it plans to expand its “ValueTelevision” (VTV) into overnights.  


Top TV shows/ratings/Nielsen – May 15, 1987

Family Ties – 26.8

Cosby Show – 25.5

Dallas – 21.5

Movie-Return of the Six Million Dollar Man – 20.5

 Murder, She Wrote – 20.3

Cheers – 20.1

Growing Pains – 20.0

Moonlighting – 19.2

60 Minutes – 18.7

Knots Landing – 18.7

Falcon Crest – 18.6

Movie-Roses Are for the Rich – 18.6

Who’s the Boss? – 18.3

Matlock – 18.3

Hill Street Blues – 18.1

Golden Girls – 17.8

Golden Girls – 17.6

Hands of a Stranger – 17.4

Magnum, PI – 15.8

 The Equalizer – 15.7

Valorie – 15.2

Cagney & Lacey – 14.7

Designing Women – 14.7

Me & Mrs. C – 14.5

Movie-Ghost of a Chance – 14.4

Kate & Allie – 14.3

Alf – 14.1

Newhart – 14.1

Head of the Class – 13.6


Television news – May 15, 1987

NBC’s “Hunter” will also be seen on CBS – in reruns late night beginning this fall.

Dial Magazine – public TV’s monthly magazine will cease publication in September. The 7-year-old publication had 1.3 million subscribers, but it wasn’t enough to meet the rising costs of publishing and distributing the magazine. Some PBS stations will opt for their own publications.

The cast has been picked for a Star Trek revival TV series. The new captain of the Enterprise will be played by Patrick Stewart – a Shakespearean-trained British actor. Jonathan Frakes, lately of steamy soap operas, will portray the starfleet’s executive officer and second-in-command. LeVar Burton of “Roots” will play a blind lieutenant who “sees” by the use of a prosthetic device worn over his eyes. Also named – Denise Crosby from “48 Hours,” and soap actress Cheryl McFadden will play the ship’s doctor.  


Sunday night television listings/TV guide – week of May 15, 1987

CBS – 60 Minutes, Murder, She wrote, Roses are for the Rich

NBC – Our House, Rags to Riches, Return of the Six Million Dollar Man

ABC – Movie, Movie

PBS – A Planet for the Taking, Masterpiece Theater, The Collection

Fox – 21 Jump Street, Married With Children, Tracey Ullman, Mr. President, Duet

MTV – Andy Warhol’s 15 Minutes, Video music

A&E – Passport, Evening at the Improv, Good Time Café, Goldie Hawn Special

Nick At Nite – Smothers Brothers, Bad News Bears, Donna Reed, Mr. Ed, Movie



21 Jump Street – A teen gang holds students hostage.

Married With Children – Marcy and Steve get stuck babysitting the Bundy kids.

Roses are for the Rich – Stars Lisa Hartman, Bruce Dern, Jim Younge, Betty Buckley. A young widow plots revenge on a local mining magnate, who may be responsible for the mining accident that killed her husband. 

Return of the Six Million Dollar Man – Lee Majors and Lindsay Wagner are back! Steve and Jaime stop radicals out to take over the country.

ABC Movie #2 “Silkwood” with Meryl Streep, Kurt Russell, Cher.


Music news – May 15, 1987

David Crosby (45) marries Jan Dance (35) his longtime girlfriend. Some of those attending- Bonnie Raitt, Stephen Stills, Joe Walsh, Grace Slick, Roger McGuinn, Graham Nash and actor Howard Hessman.

Claiming a loss of more than $400,000 in record royalties – Carole King files suit against former Ode Records president Lou Adler. Ode records officially dissolved in 1977.

Bon Jovi’s “Slippery When Wet” becomes the fastest-selling megahit since Prince’s “Purple Rain” nearly three years ago. RIAA says the album has sold some 7 million copies in less than 8 months.

Run-D.M.C. strikes a deal with Adidas for its own shoe and clothing lines. The trio is gearing up for their tour with the Beastie Boys.

John Mellencamp has dropped “Cougar.”

Beach Boy Brian Wilson has teamed up with Wall of Voodoo for the group’s remake of “Do It Again.”

“Nick Rocks” – The Nickelodeon channels special music show will blend baseball and rock ‘n’ roll. Some of baseball’s stars will request their favorite videos. Also seen on the channel – “The Nick Rocks Dance Party.” The latest edition was hosted by Expose and featured clips by the Cover Girls, Teen Dream and Patrice Rushen.

Wherehouse president/CEO Lou Kwiker says the vinyl album will all but disappear by 1989 and will account for only 5-7% of the music business.

CBS Records reveals that it will begin to copy-code its compact disks in the third quarter so the CD’s can be read by digital audio tape recorders equipped with copy-code chips. Other majors are waiting.


 Radio news – May 15, 1987

Gary Owens is teaming up with Al Lohman for a new morning show over KFI, Los Angeles. The show will offer all the silliness these two talents can conjure-up. Both are veterans of LA radio and both are extremely talented.

More Los Angeles – Former KMET rock DJ’s Jim Ladd, David Perry and Jack Snyder, fired when the station changed formats in February, each file multimillion-dollar lawsuits against the station. All the staff was let-go on February 6. The station went jockless, and came back a week later as KTWV (The Wave) – and sequed music.  Ladd got perhaps the biggest short end of the stick. He jumped from rival KLOS to join rock KMET in January.

Country music will remain on New York radio: NBC-owned WYNY (97.1) says it will pick-up the country format when WHN (1050) goes all-sports July 1. WYNY has nothing to loose. Its last ratings were a 1.6, worse than WHN with a 2.1. WYNY will continue to carry Dr. Ruth Westheimer’s “Sexually Speaking” talk show Sundays 10pm-midnight.  


Top country hit  music singles (top-40) – May 15, 1987

Can’t Stop My Heart from Loving You – The O’Kanes

To Know Him Is To Love Him – Emmylou Harris

Julia – Conway Twitty

It Takes A Little Rain – Oak Ridge Boys

I Will Be There – Dan Seals

Girls Ride Horses Too – Judy Rodman

Too Many Rivers – Forrester Sisters

Plain Brown Wrapper – Gary Morris

Domestic Life – John Conlee

Til I’m Too Old To Die Young – Moe Bandy


Top hit music singles in Britain – May 15, 1987

La Isla Bonita – Madonna

Can’t Be With You Tonight – Judy Boucher

Nothing’s Gonna Stop us Now – Starship

Living In A Box – Living In A Box

Lean On Me – Club Nouveau

The Slightest Touch – Five Star

Sheila Take a Bow – Smiths

If You Let Me Stay – Terence Trent D’Arby

A Boy From Nowhere – Tom Jones

Another Step (Close To You) – Kim Wilde & Junior


Top Black Music Tracks – May 15, 1987

Just To See Her – Smokey Robinson

 Always – Atlantic Starr

There’s Nothing Better than Love – Luther Vandross

Back And Forth – Cameo

Happy – Surface

Don’t Disturb This Groove – The System

Go On Without You – Shirley Murdock

I Don’t Want To Lose Your Love – Freddie Jackson


Top pop hit music singles(top-40) – May 15, 1987

(I Just) Died In Your Arms – Cutting Crew

With Or Without You – U2

Looking For A New Love – Jody Whatley

The Lady In Red – Chris De Burgh

La Isla Bonita – Madonna

Heat of the Night – Bryan Adams

Big Love – Fleetwood Mac

You Keep Me Hangin’ On – Kim Wilde

Always – Atlantic Starr

I Know What I Like – Huey Lewis & The News

Right On Track – Breakfast Club

Talk Dirty To Me – Poison

Don’t Dream It’s Over – Crowded House

Wanted Dead Or Alive – Bon Jovi


Top music albums – May 15, 1987 

Licensed to Ill – Beastie Boys

The Joshua Tree – U2

Look what The Cat Dragged In -  Poison

Slippery When Wet – Bon Jovi

Into The Fire – Bryan Adams

Whitesnake – Whitesnake

The Final Countdown – Europe

Tango In The Night – Fleetwood Mac

Crowded House – Crowded House

Life, Love and Pain – Club Nouveau

Jody Whatley – Jody Whatley

Trio – Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris

Broadcast – Cutting Crew

Control – Janet Jackson

Back in the Highlife – Steve Winwood



Top Movie Videocassette Rentals – May 15, 1987

Top Gun

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Stand By Me

The Fly

Legal Eagles


Ruthless People

Blue Velvet

Soul Man


Top movies – May 15, 1987

The Secret of My Success – Michael J. Fox

Creepshow 2

Gardens of Stone

Lethal Weapon

Hot Pursuit

Project X

American Ninja 2


Raising Arizona

Extreme Prejudice

Blind date

Tin Men

Steele Justice


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