Those of you now in your 50s may look back on 1986 with tender memories because in this year you had likely not hit the age of 30, the age when a lot of us start to feel the push-and-pull of time as our own push-and-pull had changed a lot in the decade since the age of 20. If you’re like me, you might have said, “Oh god, I am old,” when maybe we all should have said, “I will never be this young again.”
In 1986, you may have been swooning to the number one song of the year “That’s What Friends Are For” by Dionne and Friends (Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, Elton John, and Stevie Wonder). The number two song was “Say You, Say Me” by Lionel Richie, and at number three was “I Miss You” by Klymaxx. On the harder rock and roll side of music, “Invisible Touch” by Genesis came in at number one, in second place for the year was “Why Can’t This Be Love” by Van Halen, and locking the number three spot, according to Billboard, was “I Want To Make The World Turn Around“ by the Steve Miller Band. Because I was doing three kinds of music in 1986, I have to include country music. According to the American Country Countdown Chart, the number three song was “Never Be You” by Rosanne Cash, number two was “Have Mercy” by The Judd’s, and the number one country song in 1986 was “Morning Desire” by Kenny Rogers.
As I said, I was playing all that music that year. I was doing a morning show with country music at WCAV and an afternoon gig at WLYT playing rock. It’s true. I would finish my morning gig at a country station and then do afternoons at a rock station. I guess ambition or the need for money has no musical boundaries. I eventually left the country station and went full time at the rock station.
I remember the day I arrived just before noon for my final interview at WLYT. It was January 28, 1986. As I entered through the front door into the main lobby, the quiet was deafening. I have never before or since heard a radio station so quiet. The lobby monitors were turned off, the usual milling about of sales and air staff did not exist, not a person was in sight. I looked into the conference room, and everyone was huddled around the TV. Just a few minutes before I arrived, at 11:39 a.m. EST, the Space Shuttle Challenger had disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida, killing all seven crew members.
In the podcast, I’ll have more thoughts on some of the above and other things, including rock and roll history and timeline and the answer to this trivia question: What half of a famous soft rock duo that had a hit in 1976 also had a hit in 1986 on the country charts? What were the two hits, and which half of the duo had the country hit? I hope you will join me on the shores of Rambling Harbor.