September 16, 1987, is a Wednesday. A front-page story in the New York Times details the growing plagiarism scandal surrounding Delaware Senator Joseph Biden, who is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Commitee. Biden’s committee is holding confirmation hearings for Supreme Court appointee Robert Bork. Schools across the country celebrate the bicentennial of the Constitution. Pope John Paul II continues a visit to the United States; today, he’s in Los Angeles, where he celebrates mass at Dodger Stadium and stresses the need for religious communities to draw together “in a common concern for man’s earthly welfare, especially world peace.” President Reagan speaks on the steps of the Capitol at “A Celebration of Citizenship,” as school children across the country celebrate the bicentennial of the Constitution. The mayors of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and Hsin Tien, Taiwan, sign a sister-city proclamation. National Football League players and owners are eyeball-to-eyeball in a labor dispute; in six days, the players will go on strike, resulting in the cancellation of one week’s games and the playing of three others with replacement players. Bob Boone of the California Angels appears in his 1,919th game at catcher, which is a major league record.

Calvin and Hobbes decide to secede from their family. On CBS-TV tonight, it’s the premiere of Wiseguy, starring Ken Wahl. On NBC, the final season of St. Elsewhere begins. The New York Times reports that investment firm Smith Barney is dropping John Houseman from its TV ads; for several years, Houseman has told viewers that Smith Barney makes money the old fashioned way: “they ear-r-r-r-r-n it.” The current edition of Variety includes the obituary of TV star Lorne Greene (Bonanza), who died last week at age 72. Films set to open this coming weekend include Fatal Attraction, Hellraiser, and The Pick-Up Artist. Top movie last weekend: Stakeout, starring Emilio Estevez and Richard Dreyfuss.

The Grateful Dead plays Madison Square Garden in New York City, Pink Floyd plays Cleveland, Boston plays Nashville, and Bob Dylan plays Nuremberg, Germany, with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers opening. Michael Jackson tops the Cash Box singles chart for the week with “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You,” from the album Bad. It takes over the top spot from Los Lobos’ “La Bamba,” which drops to #2. Also in the top 10: Madonna (“Who’s That Girl“), George Michael (“I Want Your Sex”), Whitney Houston (“Didn’t We Almost Have It All”), Whitesnake (“Here I Go Again”) and “When Smokey Sings” by ABC, which cleverly incorporates the main riff from Smokey Robinson and the Miracles’ 1970 hit “Tears of a Clown.”

Perspective From the Present: Over the years, many public figures have said stupid things they couldn’t possibly believe, but one of the more ludicrous was George Michael’s assertion that “I Want Your Sex” was supposed to be about the joys of monogamy. Even after he put the words “explore monogamy” in the video and titled one version of the record the “Monogamy Mix,” youÁ¢€â„¢d have to be pretty thick to buy it. Promotion of monogamy aside, Michael’s primary purpose was to score a honkin’ big hit, which he did, even though Casey Kasem wouldn’t say the title and a lot of radio stations didn’t play the record at all.

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J.A. Bartlett

Writer, raconteur, radio geek, beer snob. There's more of this pondwater at

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