Charlie's 80s Blog

This Day In Music, February 21st

On this day in 1981: Dolly Parton started a two week run at #1 on the U.S. singles chart with ‘9 to 5’, her first #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“9 to 5” was written for the 1980 comedy film of the same name. In addition to appearing on the film soundtrack, the song was the centerpiece of Parton’s album ‘9 to 5 and Odd Jobs’, released in late 1980. The song was released as a single in November 1980.

The song earned Parton an Academy Award nomination and four Grammy Award nominations, winning her the awards for Best Country Song and Best Country Vocal Performance, Female. For a time, the song became something of an anthem for office workers in the U.S., and in 2004, Parton’s song ranked #78 on the American Film Institute’s ‘100 Years, 100 Songs’.

The song was accompanied by a music video that featured footage of Parton and her band performing, intercut with scenes from the film.

This song is one of the few Billboard chart songs to feature the clacking of a typewriter. Parton has stated in a number of interviews that when she wrote the song, she devised the clacking typewriter rhythm by running her acrylic fingernails back and forth against one another.

With “9 to 5”, Parton became only the second woman to top both the U.S. country singles chart and the Billboard Hot 100 with the same single (the first being Jeannie C. Riley, who had done so with “Harper Valley PTA” in 1968).

Here’s a look at the complete Top 20 on the U.S. singles chart from this day back in 1981:

1 2 9 TO 5 –•– Dolly Parton (RCA)-13 (1 week at #1) (1)
2 3 I LOVE A RAINY NIGHT –•– Eddie Rabbitt (Elektra)-16 (2)
3 1 CELEBRATION –•– Kool and the Gang (De-Lite)-18 (1)
4 6 WOMAN –•– John Lennon (Geffen)-6 (4)
5 4 THE TIDE IS HIGH –•– Blondie (Chrysalis)-15 (1)
6 8 KEEP ON LOVING YOU –•– REO Speedwagon (Epic)-13 (6)
7 12 THE BEST OF TIMES –•– Styx (A&M)-5 (7)
8 9 GIVING IT UP FOR YOUR LOVE – Delbert McClinton (Capitol/MSS)-12 (8)
9 11 SAME OLD LANG SYNE –•– Dan Fogelberg (Epic / Full Moon)-11 (9)
10 10 HEY NINETEEN –•– Steely Dan (MCA)-13 (10)

11 5 PASSION –•– Rod Stewart (Warner Brothers)-14 (5)
12 15 THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL –•– Abba (Atlantic)-14 (12)
13 7 (Just Like) STARTING OVER –•– John Lennon (Geffen)-17 (1)
14 16 I AIN’T GONNA STAND FOR IT –•– Stevie Wonder (Tamla)-11 (14)
15 17 CRYING –•– Don McLean (Millennium)-5 (15)
16 13 EVERY WOMAN IN THE WORLD –•– Air Supply (Arista)-18 (5)
17 20 HELLO AGAIN –•– Neil Diamond (Capitol)-4 (17)
18 19 TOGETHER –•– Tierra (Boardwalk)-16 (18)
19 32 RAPTURE –•– Blondie (Chrysalis)-4 (19)
20 14 MISS SUN –•– Boz Scaggs (with Lisa Dal Bello) (Columbia)-13 (14)

On this day in 1986: Metallica released their third album, the highly influential album, ‘Master of Puppets’, considered by many in the metal community to be the best metal album of all time. This was the last Metallica album with bassist Cliff Burton who was killed when the group’s tour bus over-turned in southern Sweden while touring to promote the album.

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