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Tuesday, August 02, 2016

August 2, 1986

Welcome to another exciting (well, exciting to me anyway) edition of the Tuesday Timeline.  It's the day where I go back in time a few years or centuries and pick out a topic of interest to discuss.

It's just too bad that August 2 is one of those dates where not a whole lot happened - or if something was of interest, I already did a blog on it.  But like any other day where I have had issues with finding topics, I just had to think outside the box for this one.

I believe I've succeeded in that.  But before we have a look at that, let's have a look at the topics that I didn't select.

1274 - Edward I of England returns from the Ninth Crusade and is crowned King seventeen days later on August 19, 1274

1610 - Henry Hudson discovers the body of water that would come to be known as Hudson Bay

1776 - The Declaration of Independence is signed

1790 - The first U.S. Census is taken

1870 - The first underground tube railway opens in London, England

1873 - The first of many cable cars is launched in San Francisco, California

1914 - German troops invade the nation of Luxembourg during World War II

1916 - Italian battleship "Leonardo da Vinci" sinks off the coast of Taranto as a result of sabotage from the Austrians

1918 - The first general strike in Canadian history occurs in the city of Vancouver, British Columbia

1922 - A large typhoon strikes Shantou, China, killing over 50,000 people

1923 - Following the death of President Warren Harding, Vice-President Calvin Coolidge becomes President of the United States

1924 - Actor/director Carroll O'Connor (d. 2001) is born in Manhattan, New York

1932 - British actor Peter O'Toole (d. 2013) is born

1934 - Following the death of Paul von Hindenburg, Adolf Hitler becomes the Fuhrer of Germany

1937 - Marijuana is declared an illegal substance in the United States following the passage of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937

1939 - Director/screenwriter Wes Craven (d. 2015) is born in Cleveland, Ohio

1943 - Future President of the United States John F. Kennedy manages to save all but two people on his crew after a Japanese destroyer sinks the torpedo boat they are on

1951 - Singer-songwriter Andrew Gold (d. 2011) is born in Burbank, California

1959 - Singer-songwriter Johnny Kemp (d. 2015) is born in the Bahamas

1973 - 51 people are killed at the Isle of Man's Summerland Amusement Centre after a flash fire occurs

1980 - A bomb detonates in the middle of a railway station in Bologna, Italy which kills 85 and injures more than 200

1985 - 137 people lose their lives when Delta Air Lines Flight 191 crashes at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

1990 - Iraqi troops invade Kuwait, leading to the commencement of the Persian Gulf War

1998 - Puppeteer and ventriloquist Shari Lewis passes away at the age of 65

2005 - A plane bursts into flames shortly after landing at Toronto's Pearson International Airport, but fortunately no fatalities were reported

And celebrating a birthday today are the following famous faces; John McCormack, Garth Hudson, Joanna Cassidy, James Howe, Dennis Prager, Lance Ito, Joe Lynn Turner, Butch Vig, Victoria Jackson, Apollonia Kotero, Linda Fratianne, Mary-Louise Parker, Kevin Smith, Jacinda Barrett, Phil Williams, Michael Weiss, Sam Worthington, Edward Furlong, Kerry Rhodes, and Hallie Kate Eisenberg.

So after all the struggling of trying to come up with a topic for today, what date did I eventually settle on?  

Well, I went back in time thirty years.  To August 2, 1986.

And, in mid-1986, there were two events that took place in pop culture history that lead to today's event taking place.

Do any of you remember the 1984 film "The Karate Kid"?  It was a fantastic movie starring Ralph Macchio and Pat Norita that had a lot of heart, warmth, and brought us the catchphrase "Wax on, wax off" that people chanted well into 1986!

That movie became so successful that a sequel was commissioned, "The Karate Kid Part II", released on June 20, 1986.  And, I'll be the first to admit that the sequel to "The Karate Kid" was not quite as good as the original - though it was still a million times better than the remake of the original that featured Jaden Smith.  But still, it did fairly well at the box office (it made more than its predecessor) and was an okay film plotwise.

At the same time, rock band Chicago was undergoing some major changes as well.  From the beginning, Peter Cetera was one of the band's lead singers, and with the accidental suicide of former lead singer Terry Kath in 1978, Cetera really stepped up in his absence.  It's Cetera's voice that you hear on such songs as "If You Leave Me Now", "Hard Habit To Break" and "You're The Inspiration".  All classic hits by the group.

Well, in 1986, Peter Cetera decided that he wanted some Solitude and went Solitaire in the next chapter of his career.  He left Chicago behind and released a solo album "Solitude/Solitaire" that same year.  Cetera tried to work out a deal with the band to launch a solo career while still being a member of the band - similar to what Phil Collins did with Genesis when he was embarking on his own solo projects.  But when the band and the band's management declined Cetera's suggestion, he decided that his time with Chicago would come to an end.

So, how do the stories of Peter Cetera leaving the band Chicago and the release of "The Karate Kid Part II" intertwine, giving us our Tuesday Timeline date for today?

Well, as it turns out, the producers of "The Karate Kid Part II" were looking for a song to act as the main theme for the movie.  And Peter Cetera had a song that was readily available.  Truth be told, the song was actually written and recorded a year earlier for use in another film, "Rocky IV".  But the producers of "Rocky IV" decided that they go a different route with the film's soundtrack, and opted not to use it. 

And here is that song...a song that hit the top of the Billboard charts exactly thirty years ago today.

ARTIST:  Peter Cetera
SONG:  Glory of Love
ALBUM:  Solitude/Solitaire

Ah..."Glory of Love".  This was a song that was very dominant throughout my early childhood.  Every radio station played this song at least once a day until I was around ten or eleven, and I must admit...I probably watched the Karate Kid movies at least half a dozen times when I was younger.

And the song certainly was a huge hit for Cetera.  Not only was it a chart-topper in the summer of 1986, but it was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song!  Unfortunately, Cetera lost to Berlin's "Take My Breath Away" from the movie "Top Gun".  

Perhaps one final note to mention.  It can be argued that Peter Cetera left Chicago under not the most friendliest of circumstances and that he really tried to make an effort to balance a solo career with his commitment with Chicago but was turned down.  Well, the same year Peter Cetera left Chicago, the band debuted their new lead singer Jason Scheff with their single "Will You Still Love Me" - which I readily admit is another song that I absolutely adore.

Here's the kicker.  Cetera's first solo hit after leaving Chicago became a #1 single.  Chicago's first single without Cetera only peaked at #3.  I'm sure Cetera got a little bit of a kick out of that one.

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