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Dateline: Events/Headlines - Week of December 17, 1989 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts


In The News

U.S. invasion forces, move into the streets of Panama City to root out Manuel A. Noriega’s paramilitary. Polls say Americans support the movie.  The massive force then overthrows the regime of strongman Manual A. Noreiga, chasing him into hiding.

 24 years of dictatorship ends - The Warsaw Pact’s last Stalinist domino – the regime of Romanian president Nicolae Ceausescu is toppled in a violent crash, after several days of bloody fighting. In place – a newly formed Council of the Front of National Salvation composed of known Romanian dissidents. The dictator and his wife have fled to Bucharest.

Soviet President Gorbachev earns that anything but a middle course would lead the country toward disaster. The Central Committee will be discussing the most explosive issue the country now faces – grown nationalism in any of the Soviet Union’s 15 constituent republics – following the decision last week of the Lithuanian Communist party to declare its independence from the parent Soviet party. 

Mikhail S. Gorbachev, whose political and economic reforms in the Soviet Union sparked a revolution that shattered Communist control of Eastern Europe, is named Man of the Decade by Time magazine.

The last organized military support for deposed Panamanian dictator Manuel Noreiga, collapses as Panama’s now U.S.-approved leaders begin efforts to from and run an actual government. 

A bomb is removed from a federal Court building in Atlanta, but a Savannah attorney was killed when another bomb exploded in his office. The blast came several days after the package bomb murder of an 11th Circuit judge in Alabama and may be linked to a NAACP tear gas incident.

Defense Secretary Dick Cheney requests $4.6 billion to research and develop “Star Wars” missile defenses next year. It could pit the Bush Administration against lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

President Bush wishes the nation a joyous Hanukah and a Merry Christmas.
”It is daily acts of goodness and generosity, performed time and time again throughout the yea, that hold the true meaning of this holy season,” said the President.


Business news – December 17, 1989

Real estate tycoon Donald Trump is one of the top candidates to buy Bloomingdale’s the ritzy department store chain now owned by troubled Campeau Corp.


Health/Medical/AIDs news update – December 17, 1989

Tthe federal government for the first time has approved the legal use of marijuana for an AIDS patient to test reduction of nausea, vomiting and pain caused by the disease and its treatment

Technology news – December 17, 1989

 Here’s an update on the largest on-line services for the home:

Compuserve – 550,000 subscribers

Prodigy – 170,000

Genie – 170,000

Quantum Computer Services – 130,000

Boston Citinet – 45,000


Prodigy now has a home-shopping service. In partnership between Sears-Roebuck and IBM, the company is making an unprecedented bid for computerized home shopping. Out of all the other services that cater mainly to computer buffs, Prodigy was set up mainly as a merchandising medium. The company has sold more than 60,000 of its $50 subscription start-up kit in the past two months alone, amid its first big Christmas campaign. Besides shopping with 70 retailers, Prodigy also offers features such as news headlines, stock trading, flight reservations, electronic mail, educational games and banking.  

Pioneer and Kokusai Denshin Denwa Ltd. Of Japan have announced the development of the first rewritable laser-read video disk system.


Radio news – December 17, 1989

Randy Kabrich says he has resigned as program director of (Q105) in Tampa. He wants a management position.

WMMS Cleveland announces that it is again an album rock station after five years as a top-40 outlet.

Country WYNY New York announces it has hired Jim Kerr for mornings. 

PD John Mainelli is resigning from talkradio WABC, effective Jan. 1.

Howard Hoffman, once the producer for the Z-100 morning show, is at rival WYNY, producing the morning show there and says his old station is using his copyrighted “Mr. Stress” character. He doesn’t like it one bit.


Entertainment /Celebrity/Movie news – December 17, 1989

Julia Roberts takes over the role Kim Basinger turned down in Fox’s “Sleeping with the Enemy.”

Passing – actor Lee Van Cleff – villain of American Westerns. He was 64.

Elvis Presley’s $100-million estate is turned-over to his daughter, Lisa. She’s the sole heir after more than a decade of legal disputes. 

Roseanne Barr calls-off her January wedding, saying that her boyfriend Tom Arnold was in an alcohol and drug rehabilitation clinic.


Television news – December 17, 1989

Don’t miss “It’s A Wonderful Life” on TNT this weekend.

NBC is bringing back “Dark Shadows,” the afternoon gothic soap opera which ran on ABC-TV from 1966-1971. The movie will be produced by Dan Curtis, the original show’s producer.

Howard Rollins- co-star of “In the Heat of the Night,” is taken time off because if illness. The are rumors that series producer Carroll O’Connor has fired Rollins.


Top TV Shows/Ratings – December 17, 1989

Roseanne – 23.7

Cosby Show – 22.5

Golden Girls – 22.2

A Different World – 20.4

Empty Nest – 19.8

60 Minutes – 19.8

 The Wonder Years – 19.8

Dear John – 19.3

L.A. Law – 19.2

Murder, She Wrote - 18.9

Monday Night Football – 18.8

Married… With Children – 18.4

Who’s the Boss? – 18.3

Bob Hope Christmas Special – 17.6

Matlock – 17.5

In the Heat of the Night – 17.5

Coach – 17.1

Unsolved Mysteries – 16.9

Designing Women – 16.9

Julie (Andrews) & Carol (Burnette) – Together Again – 16.1

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeers – 15.8

Doogie Howser, M.D. – 15.5

Amen – 15.4

Growing Pains – 15.2

Hogan Family – 15.0


Monday night television listings/TV guide – December 17, 1989

CBS – Major Dad, I Love Lucy Christmas, Murphy Brown, Designing Women, Newhart, Doctor Doctor, Pat Sajak Show

NBC – Movie, Christmas in Washington

ABC – MacGyver, Monday Night Football, Nightline

Fox – 21 Jump Street, Alien Nation

PBS – Nature, Travels


I Love Lucy Christmas – Lucy and Ricky reminisce about Little Ricky’s birth. 

NBC Movie – Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1989) starring Keshia Knight Puliam.

Newhart – George romances an overweight women.

Christmas in Washington – Olivia Newton-John, Diahann Carroll, Vic Damone and James Galway perform at the National Building Museum.

Pat Sajak Show – Joe Namath, Buster Poindexter and comedian Bill Engvall.

Music news - December 17, 1989

A new album features contemporary versions of songs associated with artists whose deaths are believed linked to drugs and drug abuse. It’s called “Stairway to Heaven/Highway to Hell” and features Bon Jovi, Cinderella, Ozzy Osbourne, Motley Crew and Skid Row, offering songs by Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and others.

VH-1 slowly ushers in a change - For up to 15 hours daily the video channel says announcing chores are being handled by what the station refers to as “Connects.” These are three characters – a prime-time, overnight and daytime personality created by Ken Brown. VH-1 says for its target demo of 25-49, the VJ concept was not working. The other hours are filled with specialty programs such as “New Visions,” “Brunch With Bobby Rivers,” and ”My Generation,” hosted by its existing slate of VJ’s. 

Sister channel MTV is in for some changes. In an effort to clean up the clutter, MTV is bringing in new VJ’s in January. Also, the dayparting of videos which began in September of 1988 will continue. Among the changes – a four-hour morning show featuring a morning team; a three-hour, it oriented prime-time show’ the addition of “Unplugged,” a weekly nonvideo program featuring acoustic performances; and the elimination of “hard 30,” a 30-mnute weekday afternoon metal music show. 

More MTV – The success of “Just Say Julie,” the weekly half-hour mix of music and comedy featuring comedian Julie Brown, has spawned three new weekly comedy and music shows – “Colin Quinn’s Manly World” – begins Jan. 22.

The sketch-filled “Ben Stiller Show” starts Jan. 25.

“Kevin Seal Sporting Fool” and “Pirate Television” will be featured Friday nights.

Rap music – Still getting played on radio on a limited basis, but with the success of MTV’s “Yo! MTV Raps” – several other video shows have emerged. Video Juke Box” is seen on 27 TV stations and BET has “Rap City.” Tommy Boy just released the first Rap compilation package “Monster TV Rap Hits.”

More rap – One of the big label success stories is the new “Delicious Vinyl” label. It marks its first year in business with the release of a triple-platinum album, double-platinum single and platinum single by tone Loc, as well as platinum single and probable platinum album for Young M.C. 

The Rolling Stones will close their “Steel Wheels’ tour with a live pay-per-view concert this week in Atlantic City. Also appearing – Axl W. Rose and Izzy Stradlin of Guns N’ Roses, Eric Clapton and others.

George Martin has put together an album for release called “After The Hurricane,” to give assistance to victims of the Monserrat hurricane that hit the island Sept. 17. Featured are The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Steve Wonder and the Police.

Billboard reports that New Kids on the Block close out 1989 by becoming the first act to land six top 10 hits on the Hot 100 in once calendar year since Michael Jackson in 1983.

Trend – Music retailers are finding optimism in music video sales. Prices have come down for the videos which can now sell for less - $14.95-$19.95, a little more than a compact disc.


Top pop hit music singles(top-40) – December 17, 1989

Don’t Know Much – Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville

We Didn’t Start The Fire – Billy Joel

Another Day In Paradise – Phil Collins

With Every Beat Of My Heart – Taylor Dayne

Back to Life – Soul II Soul Feat. Caron Wheeler

Pump up the Jam – Technotronic Feat. Felly

Blame It On the Rain – Mill Vanilli

Living in Sin – Bon Jovi

Just Like Jesse James – Cher

Angelia – Richard Marx

Don’t Close Your eyes – Kix

(It’s Just0 The way that You Love Me – Paula Abdul

This One’s For The Children – New Kids On The Block

Everything – Jody Watley

How Am I Supposed To Live Without You – Michael Bolton

Love Shack – B-52’s

Leave A Light On – Belinda Carlisle

Just Between You and Me – Lou Gramm

Free Fallin’ – Tom Petty

The Last Worthless Evening – Don Henley

Swing the Mood – Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers

When the Night Comes – Joe Cocker

Two To Make It Right – Seduction

Oh Father – Madonna

Rock and A Hard Place – Rolling Stones


Top music albums – December 17, 1989

Storm Front – Billy Joel

Forever Your Girl – Paula Abdul

Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814 – Janet Jackson

Cosmic Thing – B-52’s

Hangin’ Touch – New Kids On The Block

Steel Wheels – Rolling Stones

Slip of the Tongue – White Snake

Pump – Aerosmith

But Seriously – Phil Collins

Merry Merry Christmas – New Kids On the Block

Full Moon Fever – Tom Petty

Dr. Feelgood – Motley Crue

Cry Like A Rainstorm, Howl Like The Wind – Linda Ronstadt Feat. Aaron Neville

Presto – Rush

Full Moon Fever – Tom Petty

Heart of Stone – Cher

Keep on Movin – Soul II Soul

Repeat Offender – Richard Marx

Crossroads – Tracy Chapman

Journeyman – Eric Clapton

Flying In A Blue Dram – Joe Satriani 



Top Country Hit Music Singles – December 17, 1989

Who’s Lonely Now – Highway 101

Out Of Your Shoes - Lorrie Morgan

A Woman In Love – Ronnie Milsap

It Ain’t Nothin’ – Keith Whitely

Till I Can’t take It Anymore – Billy Joe Royal

That Just About Does It – Vern Gosdin

Two Dozen Roses – Shenandoah

Many A Long & Lonesome Highway – Rodney Crowell

She’s Gone, Gone Gone – Glen Campbell

It’s You Again – Skip Ewing


Top Rap Music Singles – December 17, 1989

Cha Cha Cha – MC Lyte

New Jack Swing – Wrecks-N-Effect

Steppin’ Into the A.M. – 3rd Bass

Somebody For Me – Heavy d. & The Boyz

Me So Horney – 2 Live Crew

Just a Friend – Biz Markie

The D.O.C. &: The Doctor – the D.O.C.

Frankly Speaking – Awesome Dre/Hard Core

FBI – Donald D

She’s Got A Big Posse – Arabian Prince

Bust A Move – Young MC

I Think I Can Beat Mike T. – Jazzy Jeff/Fresh prince

Turn It Out – Rob Base

Five Dollar High – Cucci Crew II

Beepers – Sir Mix A lot

Rhyme Fighter- Mellow Man Ace

Top pop hit music singles in Britain – December 17, 1989

Don’t Know Much – Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Nevelle

You Got it (The Right Stuff) – New Kids on the Block

Get A Life – Soul II Soul

The Eve of the war (Ben Liebrand Remix) – Jeff Wayne

Lambada – Kaoma

Homely Girl – UB40

When You Come Back To Me – Jason Donovan

Can’t Shake the Feeling – Big Fun

Fools Gold/What The World is Waiting For – Stone roses

All Round the World – Lisa Stansfield

I Don’t Wanna Lose You – Tina Turner


Hot Dance Records/Songs In Clubs – December 17, 1989

Rhythm Nation – Janet Jackson

Pump Up the Jam – Technotronic Feat. Felly

Over and Over - Pajama Party

Two to Make It Right – Seduction

New Jack Swing – Wrecks-N-Effect

French Kiss - Lil' Louis

Love On top of Love  Killer Kiss – Grace Jones

Somebody for Me – Heavy d. & The Boyz

Me So Horny – 2 Live Crew

Swing The Mood – Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers


Top Album Rock Music Cuts – December 17, 1989

Fool For Loving – Whitesnake

Pretending – Eric Clapton

Downtown Train – Rod Stewart

A Girl Like You – Smithereens

Show Don’t Tell – Rush

Love Son – Tesla

I Can’t Help Explain – Scorpions

Peace in Our Time – Eddie Money

Terrifying – Rolling Stones

Another Day In Paradise – Phil Collins


Top Modern Rock Music Tracks – December 17, 1989

Proud to Fall – Ian Mcculloch

Love and Anger – Kate Bush

A Girl Like You – Smithereens

Blues From a Gun – The Jesus and Mary Chain

Contact – Big Audio Dynamite

Standing There – The Creatures

Let Love Rule – Lenny Kravitz

Personal Jesus – Depeche Mode

Time and Space – Flesh for Lulu

Should God Forget – The Psychedelic Furs


Billboard Top Pop Music Artists For 1989 In Order Of Popularity 

New Kids on the Block

Bobby Brown

Guns N’ roses

Paula Abdul

Milli Vanilli

Bon Jovi

Fine Young Cannibals


Richard Marx

Debbie Gibson

Def Leppard

Ton Loc

Skid Row

Karyn White


Anita Baker


Rod Stewart

Tom Petty



Living Colour


Great White

Edie Brickell & New Bohemians

Traveling Wilburys



White Lion

Jody Watley

The Cure


Gloria Estefan


Billboard Top New Pop Music Artists For 1989 

New Kids on the Block

Paul Abdul

Milli Vanilli

Tone Loc

Skid Row

Karyn White



Living Colour



Top Children’s videos – December 17, 1989

The Land Before time



Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Teen Mutant Ninja Turtles Killer Pizzas

Frosty the Snowman

Santa Clause is Coming To Town


Top movies – December 17, 1989

Christmas Vacation

The War of the Roses

Back to the Future Part Ii

The Little Mermaid

The Wizard


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