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Category: The 80s

The NeverEnding Story: the most influential film of my life

BrianWilkins.org
May 18, 2020

Atreyu and Falkor the luck dragon.

The summer of 1984 was a banner time for movies. See Ghostbusters, Sixteen Candles, Revenge of the Nerds, Karate Kid, et al. The Orpheum theater in Marshalltown, Iowa had a new movie playing called “The NeverEnding Story” (NOTE: last movie I saw at the Orpheum was Caddyshack II in 1988). I had $5.52 in my pocket from my paper route job. That was enough for a movie ticket, popcorn and pop in those days.

I watched “The NeverEnding Story” by myself, with only 40-50 other people in the theater. It shaped me forever. All I wanted from that point forward was to save my Childlike Empress (aka Moon Child). read more

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George Benson performed “Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You” in 1985, before Glenn Medeiros

BrianWilkins.org
April 30, 2020

In all fairness, neither George Benson, nor Glenn Medeiros wrote the song. That honor belongs to co-writers Michael Masser and Gerry Goffin. Masser wrote several hits for Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, Natalie Cole and many others. Goffin wrote several number-1 pop hits including “The Locomotion” and “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.”

George Benson performed the song in 1985. It was on his 22nd studio album 20/20. The album peaked at #45 on the Billboard 100 album charts on February 15, 1985. But “Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You” was only released as a single in Europe. It reached #29 in Belgium and #43 in the Netherlands. It’s unclear why the single was never released in the USA. read more

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Dirty Dancing: (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life “was an accident”

BrianWilkins.org
April 28, 2020

Unpopular opinion: Dirty Dancing sucked. Jennifer Grey’s character was named “Baby.” It reminded many Gen X kids of that cheesy dinosaur movie, Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend, two years earlier.

There’s also a very popular opinion about the film – its signature soundtrack tune is an 80s classic.

“(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on November 28, 1987. It also reached #1 in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Holland and South Africa. But the song was supplanted from the #1 spot in the U.S. after only one week, thanks to Belinda Carlisle and “Heaven Is A Place On Earth” (which contains one of my favorite lyrics of all time: “…and lift me up in a wave of love”). Regardless, every American age 40-50 probably has a story associated with either the movie Dirty Dancing or its signature soundtrack song. read more

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30 years ago today: Paula Abdul reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Opposites Attract”

BrianWilkins.org
February 15, 2020

I skipped school on Thursday, February 15, 1990. I’d met this cute eighth grader at Skate North in Des Moines the previous Friday and was going to spend the day at her house. Problem was that I was only 14 (no driver’s license) and she lived far out in Urbandale. The bus took me part of the way, before I walked the last three miles.

My journal is a bit illegible the rest of the way due to spilling something on it over the years. But her mom came home early and I ended having to hide in the closet and climb out a window when the coast was clear. In-school suspension was coming the next day for the truancy. But hey, she was really cute! read more

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RIP Marie Fredriksson: My 5 Favorite Roxette Songs

by Brian A. Wilkins
December 10, 2019

The duo of Per Gessle (L) and the lovely Marie Fredrikkson are Roxette.

My good friend Blake had a memorable, funny comment when we were roommates at Iowa State University in 1994. “Black men aren’t supposed to be Roxette fans.” He said that after observing the fact I had three Roxette CD’s in my collection. That’s what happens when you’re black and grow up in 1980s Iowa.

Roxette vocalist and keyboardist Marie Fredriksson passed away yesterday in Djursholm, Sweden at the age of 61. She had been battling brain cancer for over 17 years. She is survived by her husband of 25 years, Mikael Bolyos, and their two children. read more

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5 Most Groovy Gospel Songs Of All-Time

BrianWilkins.org
August 29, 2019

My good friend Shannon loved the song “Son Of A Preacher Man” by Dusty Springfield.

I told her that I’m the son of a preacher woman (Church of God in Christ, or “COGIC”), which apparently is/was pretty rare in genuine Christian institutions – female pastors. Shannon got a chuckle out of that fact since we smoked weed and drank together all the time in the early 2000s.

Generation X kids know how it is – many of us were forced to go to church every Sunday. Some of us also had to go to church on Wednesdays and even Sunday School before church. Church was so normal that there was even the sitcom “Amen” that ran from 1986 to 1991. read more

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