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Dateline: Events/Week of July 15, 1990 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts


In The News

After meeting with West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev reluctantly gives his blessing to a united Germany in NATO, stressing that a united Germany must choose its alliance. President Bush welcomed Gorbachev’s change of position: “This comment demonstrates statesmanship and strengthens efforts to build enduring relationships based on cooperation.”

Removing the last big obstacle to a single German state, Poland declares itself “entirely satisfied” with firm new border guarantees. Reunification is expected to come December 2 with all-German elections.

President Mikhail S. Gorbachev orders the immediate diversification of the Soviet Union’s state-run radio and television system, so that all political movements will have access to the airwaves, ending the Communist Party’s monopoly. 

Baseball star Pete Rose is sentenced to five months in prison and fined $50 thousand for cheating on his taxes. Rose failed to report $354 thousand in income from baseball memorabilia sales, autograph appearances and from monies made from gambling, for which he was banned from baseball.

The Richard M. Nixon library and Birthplace are dedicated in Yorba Linda, CA (near Anaheim). With Nixon were three other presidents - Ronald Reagan, George Bush and Gerald R. Ford.


Radio news – July 15, 1990

Tim Lennox - host of a weekday show on talk station WERC-AM in Birmingham is suspended for banning black callers after a colleague’s car was broken into. Lennox said he was upset because a black man broke into a station employee’s car and stole her purse just before the start of his show. The station let him back on the air a few days later.


Sports news – July 15, 1990

 Retired from pro-football since 1986, Lyle Alzado (41) reports to the Raider camp ready to play again. He says he’s making his comeback because he’s missed the violence of the NFL: “Why do you watch football? It’s not pretty. It’s the violence. I miss it. I want it.” The defensive end is competing against players 20 years younger to earn a spot on the Raiders defensive team. Since his retirement, Alzado has gone into acting and opened a popular restaurant in West Hollywood. He plans on opening 10 more in the U.S. and 8 in Mexico.  


Technology news – July 15, 1995

At the National Cable Forum - it’s announced that one of the new cable shows debuting in September is “Maniac Mansion.” The executive producer is Eugene Levy of SCTV fame. The show is about a silly family of scientists and inventors including a brother-in-law who’s a fly. Lucasfilm’s will produce the series. “Maniac Mansion” will air on the “Family Channel.”


Bestselling books – July 15, 1990

Coyote Waits - Tony Hillerman

The Burden of Proof - Scott Turow

Message From NAM - Danielle Steel

The Stand - Stephen King

An Inconvenient Woman - Dominick Dunne

Dave Barry Turns 40 - Dave Barry

Men At Work - George F. Will

Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton - Edward Rice

Barbarians At The Gate - Bryan Burrough/John Helyar


Television news – July 15, 1990

Passing - Bill Burrud (65) of a heart attack. Burrud was a child actor who grew up to produce and host “Animal World.” He was known for other travel, adventure and animal programs through the television age. At the time of his death, he was working on a one-hour special for Disney’s cable Discovery channel called “Sea Mammals.” “Animal World” ran from 1968 to 1976 and he narrated “Safari to Adventure” from 1969 to 1975. 

Will Smith (21) - a rapper who calls himself the Fresh Prince, signs with NBC for a new series. Visionary Brandon Tartikoff says three things will be expected of him:

To bring the black street world of hip-hop to American TV audiences

To star in a sitcom bearing his name that will be the network’s first “hit-the-ground-running” hit since the “Golden Girls.”

To be a “big, breakout star” along the lines of, oh, say Eddie Murphy  

The new series “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” is backed by first-time producer Quincy Jones. Will Smith has never acted before. Says Quincy Jones: “I think Will’s a star. He really makes it pop. He’s got this sense of timing that’s unbelievable. Right now, he’s not even thinking about it; he’s just doing his own thing. He’s going to be dangerous when he finds out where the cameras are.” Smith is half of D.J. Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince.

Brandon Tartikoff gives up day-to-day control of the programming department at NBC and will assume a new title of chairman of NBC Entertainment Group. Warren Littlefield steps into his shoes as president of NBC Entertainment and the executive in charge of all programming except news and sports.

 On “The Joan Rivers Show” on CBS, actress Genie Francis (28), best known as “Laura” of Luke and Laura fame on General Hospital, says she left the daytime serial because she was on the verge of an emotional breakdown, not because she thought she was bigger than life and could find something else. “I was sobbing and late to work, and, you know, I would go out to my car at the end of the night and just sit in the car and cry.” “Most people feel that I left because I thought I was so hot that I had to get to become hotter... I was too embarrassed to admit that I was having all of these problems.” Miss Francis has a new role on “All My Children.” 

Even before filming a single commercial - Madonna (31) is dropped by Reebok as a spokeswoman for the athletic shoemaker. A spokesperson said, “Madonna’s availability and our need to get her weren’t a mesh. We needed to get some benefits out of it to continue with the deal.”

NBC says Larry King will debut this fall in an interview and variety special. “Sunday Night With Larry King” will feature celebrity interviews and in-person performances. The interviewer is a fixture on CNN.

A settlement is reached in a $30 million defamation lawsuit against talk show host Geraldo Rivera. The suit, filed by Terry Rouse (32) claimed she was libeled and slandered by Riveria during the live television show “American Vice: The Doping of a Nation” broadcast Dec 2, 1986. An estimated 15 million people saw deputies (using a battering ram), break into a duplex where Rouse was staying. The woman was handcuffed and dragged out of the duplex in front of the television audience. Rouse says she was hired to paint the house which belonged to a friend.  

ABC-TV debuts “Into The Night” starring Rick Dees (40). Billy Vera & The Beaters will be the house band. Says Dees about the late night entry: “I wanted a show that was not just guest-driven. We’ll have regular comedy features and bits, sprinkled with top superstars in entertainment and the hottest music acts around. And some surprise elements where we jump out of the bushes and throw some money out at you. The overall feeling of the show is that anything can happen. We want you to feel good about being up at such an ungodly hour. We’re not into making you feel bad, or making our guests feel stupid.” Dees will be busy. He’ll continue to do mornings on KIIS-FM (102.7) in Los Angeles and the popular “Rick Dees Weekly Top 40” on national radio. 

Cable channel TBS broadcasts 86 hours of coverage of the Goodwill Games for the first time. Ted Turner calls it “cable television’s largest original programming event ever.” Turner conceived the Goodwill Games in 1984 as an effort to decrease tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States.


Monday Night Television listings/TV guide – July 15, 1990

CBS - Major Dad, Designing Woman, The 1990 Miss Teen USA Pageant

NBC - Sister Kate, Working Girl, Love And Hate: A Marriage Made In Hell

ABC - MacGyver, Movie

FOX - 21 Jump Street, Alien Nation

PBS - National Audubon Society, Adventure, American Masters

The Nashville Network - Crook & Chase, Gospel Jubilee, On Stage, Nashville Now w/Ralph Emery.


Top pop hit music singles(top-40) – July 15, 1990

She Ain’t Worth It - Glenn Medeiros/Bobby Brown

Hold On - En Vogue

 Poison - Bell Biv DeVoe

I’ll Be Your Shelter - Taylor Dayne

Enjoy The Silence - Depeche Mode

Vision of Love - Mariah Carey

Hanky Panky - Madonna

Mentirosa - Mellow Man Ace

Enjoy The Silence - Depeche Mode

Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away) - Motley Crue

Notice Me - Nikki

Cradle Of Love - Billy Idol

Girls Night Out - Tyler Collins

Sittin’ In The Lap Of Luxury - Louie Louie

Rub You The Right Way - Johnny Gill

When I’m Back On My Feet Again - Michael Bolton

The Power - Snap!


Top pop music albums – July 15, 1990

I’m Breathless - Madonna

Please Hammer Don’t Hurt Em - M.C. Hammer

Poison - Bell Biv DeVoe

Pretty Woman - Soundtrack

Wilson Phillips - Wilson Phillips

Step by Step - News Kids on the Block

Violator - Depeche Mode

Soul Provider - Michael Bolton

Brigade - Heart

Shut Up and Dance - Paula Abdul

I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got - Sinead O’Connor

Compositions - Anita Baker

We Are in Love - Harry Connick Jr.


Top movies – July 15, 1990

Die Hard 2 - Bruce Willis, Bonnie Bedelia, William Atherton, John Amos

Ghost - Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg

Days Of Thunder - Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman

Disney’s - The Jungle Book (reissue)

Ford Fairlane - Andrew Dice Clay

Quick Change - Bill Murray, Geena Davis, Randy Quaid, Jason Robards

Dick Tracy - Warren Beatty, Madonna

Total Recall - Arnold Schwarzenegger

Another 48 Hours - Edie Murphy, Nick Nolte

The Jetsons

 Robocop - Peter Weller

Navy Seals - Charlie Sheen, Michael Biehn, Joanne Whalley-Kilmer, Bill Paxton

Pretty Woman - Richard Gere, Julia Roberts

Betsy’s Wedding - Alan Alda, Molly Ringwald

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