Search This Blog

Thursday, September 01, 2016

September 1, 1984

Are you ready for a special edition of the THURSDAY TIMELINE?

I'll explain why I'm doing this.  See, last year, September 1 fell on a Tuesday, and I should have done one then...problem is that on September 1, 2015,  I was still unpacking belongings and my Internet hadn't been hooked up yet.  No online access, no blog entry.

So, I thought that to appease all of you born on the 1st of September, I'd do a special Thursday Timeline just for all of you.  We'll start by listing some of the happenings in history that took place on this date.

1715 - King Louis XIV of France dies after a reign of 72 years - the longest for any major European monarch to date

1804 - Karl Ludwig Harding discovers the asteroid Juno

1864 - A four month siege of Atlanta by William Tecumseh Sherman is ended when the Confederate Army General John Bell orders the city to be evacuated during the American Civil War

1878 - Emma Nutt becomes the first female telephone operator in the entire world

1894 - The Great Hinckley forest fire begins, killing over 400 people

1905 - Alberta and Saskatchewan officially join the Canadian union

1920 - Actor Richard Farnsworth (d. 2000) is born in Los Angeles, California

1922 - Actress Yvonne DeCarlo (d. 2007) is born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

1923 - 105,000 people lose their lives when the Great Kanto earthquake strikes near Tokyo and Yokohama, Japan

1931 - Singer-songwriter Boxcar Willie (d. 1999) is born in Ellis County, Texas

1933 - Country singer Conway Twitty (d. 1993) is born in Friar's Point, Mississippi

1939 - Nazi Germany and Slovakia invade Poland on the same day that Adolf Hitler signs an order that would allow mentally ill and disabled people to be euthanized

1951 - The ANZUS Treaty - a mutual defense pact between the United States, New Zealand, and Australia - is signed

1952 - Ernest Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea" is first published

1979 - Pioneer 11 becomes the first spacecraft to visit Saturn

1985 - The wreckage of the Titanic is located during a joint French-American expedition

1988 - The Canadian television station YTV begins broadcasting

1992 - Super Mario Kart is released in North America for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System

2004 - The Beslan school hostage crisis begins and lasts for three days; by the end of it all, 330 hostages would lose their lives

2015 - Actor Dean Jones passes away at the age of 84

And celebrating a birthday on September 1 are these people; George Maharis, Seiji Ozawa, Alan Dershowitz, Lily Tomlin, Greg Errico, Barry Gibb, Phil McGraw, Joseph Williams, Dave Lumley, Gloria Estefan, Kenny Mayne, Boney James, Brian Bellows, Holly Golightly, Charlie Robison, Craig McLachlan, Padma Lakshmi, Josh Davis, J.D. Fortune, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Scott Speedman, Dan Gheesling, and Bianca Ryan.

Okay, so let's have a look at what day we're taking this Thursday Timeline to.

Ah, September 1, 1984.  I'm afraid that my memories of the year 1984 are quite hazy at best.  I was only three years old at the time and I could barely talk, let alone remember what was going on at that time.  I was still too young for school, though I did watch a lot of children's educational shows on both the CBC and TVOntario.  And for some reason, I seem to remember the music of 1984 quite well.  After all, every radio in the house was tuned to Top 40 radio stations every single day.  It's what happened when you had two sisters who were at the teen/pre-teen age at the time.

Yeah, the music of 1984 was very dominant in my early childhood years, and I think that could explain why many of my favourite songs are from that year.  Duran Duran and Michael Jackson were frequently played on the radio, as was the theme songs for "Ghostbusters", "Against All Odds", "I Just Called To Say I Love You", and "Footloose".  Unfortunately, this also meant that I heard the song "Jump" by Van Halen played a lot - and as I already wrote in this blog, that song scared me when I was a kid.  I think it was David Lee Roth that was responsible, but who can say?

One more song that I definitely remember hearing a lot in my childhood was a song by an artist who had definitely achieved success at least two decades prior.  Of course, back in those days, she was part of a husband and wife duo that charted several hits in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  But after her divorce was finalized in 1977, she had a bit of a struggle finding her way back onto the music scene once more.

At least that is until 1984, when she scored her one and only solo #1 hit on the Billboard Music Charts.  A song that first reached the top thirty-two years ago today.  Perhaps you've heard it before?

ARTIST:  Tina Turner
SONG:  What's Love Got to Do with It?
ALBUM:  Private Dancer
DATE RELEASED:  May 1, 1984

Now, this song was not exactly considered a comeback song for Tina Turner - she had previously had a hit single the year before with a cover version of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together".  However, this single definitely could be one of Tina's greatest achievements.

First things first, let's just state that at the time that this single was released, Tina Turner was 44 years old (birthdate November 26, 1939).  And while thankfully this isn't the case now, back in the early 1980s, a female singer was more or less prevented from hitting the top of the charts once they reached a certain age.  Like, say...maybe 30, 35?  Again, it didn't make it right - it was just the way it was.

Well, not only did Tina Turner want to make a comeback - she hadn't had a Top 10 hit on the charts since the mid 1970s - she wanted to arrive back on the music scene with a bang!  So, when "What's Love Got to Do with It" hit #1, she became the oldest female to ever score a #1 hit!

Or, at least, she held that record for about a year.  That record was surpassed by Grace Slick (who is just twenty-seven days older than Turner) for her part in the song "We Built This City" by Starship.  And then in 1999, Cher smashed through that record by having her single "Believe" top the charts, when Cher was the ripe old age of 53.  But still, having a #1 hit at the age of 44 is an impressive feat - especially when you consider that Madonna's last #1 single was "Music" - which topped the charts when she was 42.

But would you believe that this song was offered to several different artists before Tina Turner even sang a note on it? 

The single was first offered to British pop crooner Cliff Richard, who turned it down.  Phyllis Hyman was also offered the song, and she did show interest in recording it.  However, she had to turn it down when the head of Arista Records, Clive Davis, put the kibosh on it.  Donna Summer was also considered, but she too decided against it.  A British pop group named Bucks Fizz did record the song in February 1984 and was about to release it as a single, but when Tina Turner dropped her single first, the planned release date was canceled. 

And as far as accolades go towards "What's Love Got to Do with It" go, it was certainly handsomely rewarded at the award shows.  In particular, the song won three awards for "Record of the Year", "Song of the Year", and "Best Female Pop Vocal Performance".  It also won the award for "Best Female Video" at the 1985 MTV Video Music Awards.  And, in 2012, it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame!  Not a whole lot of songs can boast that achievement!

I guess the lesson learned from Tina Turner's stint at the top of the charts is this.  You can never be too old to achieve greatness.  And the singer from Nutbush, Tennessee with the legs of a twentysomething continues to release music and perform at the ripe old age of 76 and counting!  Believe me, there are some 20-year-olds that I know that can take lessons from Tina Turner in how hard work and determination can take you places you never dreamed of.

After all, it was 32 years ago today that she had the biggest single in the world of pop music.

No comments:

Post a Comment