Minority Moments in Pop Culture: Marvin Gaye Singing Star Spangled Banner
at ’83 NBA All Star Game
In this podcast we have fun exploring some of the unique moments in American pop culture that featured, highlighted or happened to, through or because of a connection with a minority culture or group. Most everybody knows the big stuff: Martin Luther King, Muhammad Ali, Caesar Chavez, Bruce Lee, Shirley Chisholm, Rita Moreno, etc. Those icons are in a class by themselves and chiseled into our culture
We are going to look for little things that will make you say, “Hmmm, I didn’t know that or thanks for reminding me”. Our first show features the Marvin Gaye’s culturally impacting live performance of the National Anthem at the 1983 NBA All Star Game. It opened the door for other celebrities to from Roseanne Barr to Whitney Houston to put their unique stamp on our Anthem. Listen in for other intersecting tidbits about Marvin Gaye and this unique Minority Moment in Pop Culture
In the Spring of 1967, deep cultural seeds were being planted that would germinate in ’68 an ’69 and then mature and linger over the ’70’s, 80’s and ’90s.
Muhammad Ali refuses induction into the US army and becomes a mainstream social pariah. Full redemption comes to him as a Parkinson’s afflicted man lights the torch with a shaking hand body. The first electric car is launched by Westinghouse. Electric cars are mainstream in 2010. Barbara Walters prominence rises on the today show. This daughter of the owner of the famed, “Latin Quarter” venue would become a TV icon in the 80’s and launch a talk staple named, “The View”. Herb Alpert, Aretha, The Temptations and Lou Rawls are carving out their entertainment turf. Rowan and Martin and The Smothers Brothers are redefining TV. Twiggy is creating “The Waif” look that would remain desirable until the Bulimia of Karen Carpenter.
During the summer of 1976, people thought that the title fo the song was about “making mid-day whoopie” (thanks Newlywed Game), when they heard the song, Afternoon Delight. This catchy little earworm reached number one during the week that America was celebrating a 200 year anniversay. According to Billboard Chart HIstorian, Fred Bronson, the song was actually named after a great meal at a restaurant. That is certainly different than the. first top-ten hit ever recorded by a porn star, “More More More”, by Andre True. How do you like it….
Bruce Jenner was an Olymian and Nadia was the first 10 in Gymnastics. Atari was a “Breakout” hit and it’s creators, Wozniak and Jobs were still unknown to the world. John Lennon was allowed to stay in the U.S. The last slide rule was made and mercy sakes alive, we were about to start a CB convoy!
Jeopardy with new host, Alex Tribek, was coming back on the air after an absence of many years. Captain Kangaroo says, “Goodbye” and Vanessa Williams is crowned, “Miss America”. Purple Rain is making Prince, a king! Mary Lou Retton is Queen of the Olympics. Richard Burton passes away at only 58 years of age! Jerry Fallwell says Michael Jackson is a passing and inappropriate fad that will not last. Ghostbusters and the Karate kid are kicking butt at the movies. VCRSs are ruling the land and we are starting to feel the first cultural tugs pulling us away from analog and into the digital age. “
The world was at war as Desert Storm was just starting and names like Colin Powell and Schwartzkoff would soon be part of every newscast. MTV was the king of music. AIDS had unfortunately claimed more than 100,000 live in the U.S. Sony Handycam was introduced that week and would soon take over the “Camcorder” as the leader in consumer video. A position it would hold until the camera phone decades later. Cheers, Designing Women and A Different World ruled the airwaves. Delta Burke was suing the producers and Lisa Bonet was getting married to Mrs. Willis’ son! Wolfgang Puck and the new McLean Burger from McDonalds were fighting for taste-bud supremacy!
MC Hammer, Portable lie CD Players, this kid named Clinton is a long-shot for the presidency.
New icons were on the horizon. Barack Obama is sworn in on that date and Lady Gag arrived at the Billboard #1 chart position. Paul Blart was busy being a Mall Cop at the movies and Sully was landing a plane on the Hudson river that week. Steve Jobs was taking medical leave and everyone knew something was wrong with his health. The Pope went on You Tube and Father Quido Sarducci, stayed in retirement as he was not offered the Ed Mcmahan chair next to the pope. Netflix said that “streaming is the new thing and iTunes removed copyright protection from your purchases. There was a lot going on when Lady Gaga went #1 for the first time and Russia turned off the gas on the Ukraine!
Prince and the New Power Generation, Nov. 7, 1991\
The year was 1991. The month was November and the date was the 7th. We were still nine years away from Y2K and 12 years removed from The Artist formerly know as Prince’s first successful top-40 hit single, “I Want To Be Your Lover”.
Jimmy was being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Magic was shocking the world with the announcement that he had contracted the AIDS virus.
The Reagan Library was being dedicated and some guy named Geraldo, was kissing and telling about his sexcapades with the Devine Bette Midler and Michael Jackson was about to be “Dangerous”.
A father of three sons also left the world and a TV generation. Check out the podcast and explore what else was going on when Prince and the New Power Generation had the hit song: CREAM on Nov. 7. 1991
Will It Go ‘Round In Circles, Billy Preston, July 7’ 1973.
The summer was hot and sticky in Southern California and Billy Preston, “The original “fifth” Beatle” was topping the charts with “Will It Go Round In Circles! Disco was yet to be heard, Nixon had a few more months as President and you could be a calculator for $239 at Radio Shack. Most people still had antenna TV on the roof or rabbit ears if you didn’t. If you did any significant typing and wanted to be state of the art you used an IBM Selectric Typewriter–And you made corrections with Liquid Paper (Invented by Mike Nesmith (of the Monkees) mother. Mike went on to have a big part in getting MTV started, but that is another trivia story…The PC or Mac were still waiting to be born
Before she becomes Wonder Woman a few years later, Wonder Woman–Lynda Carter was from Tempe, Arizona and Miss World USA. The Watergate Break-in had just happened and no one knew this would lead to impeachment of Nixon. Sears had a cartridge TV (Pre-VCR) and it cost $1600 and only recorded a few hours. The Staple Singers had the highest selling and probably the best dance gospel tune of all-time: I’ll Take You There by the Staple Singers. Do you remember Marlee Matlin dancing to it in the movie: Children of a Lesser God?” June-’72, the ’60s are definitely over and in a few years disco would be king.