Charlie's 80s Blog

This Day In 80s Music, September 19th

On this day in 1981: Simon & Garfunkel reunited for a concert in New York’s Central Park. Over 500,000 fans attended the show. The performance was recorded for a record and video release.

A film of the event was shown on TV and released on video. Proceeds went toward the redevelopment and maintenance of the park, which had deteriorated due to lack of municipal funding. The concert and album marked the start of a three-year reunion of  Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel.

The concept of a benefit concert in Central Park had been proposed by Parks Commissioner Gordon Davis and promoter Ron Delsener. The cable television channel HBO agreed to carry the concert, and worked with Delsener to decide on Simon and Garfunkel as the appropriate act for this event. Besides hit songs from their years as a duo, their set-list included material from their solo careers, and covers. The show consisted of 21 songs, though two were not used in the live album. Among the songs performed were the classics “The Sound of Silence”, “Mrs. Robinson”, and “The Boxer.” The event concluded with a reprise of Simon’s song “Late In the Evening.” Ongoing personal tensions between the duo led them to decide against a permanent reunion, despite the success of the concert and a subsequent world tour.

Also on this day in 1981: The Rolling Stones album ‘Tattoo You’ started a nine-week run #1 on the U.S. albums chart, the band’s ninth U.S. #1 album.

On this day in 1987: Michael Jackson went to #1 on the U.S. singles chart with “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You.” It would spend one week in the top spot.

“I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” is a duet ballad performed by Michael Jackson and Siedah Garrett, and was the first single released from his seventh album, ‘Bad.’ The song was written by Jackson, and co-produced by Jackson and Quincy Jones. The presence of Garrett on the track was a last-minute decision by Jackson and Jones, after Jackson’s first two choices for the duet, Barbra Streisand and Whitney Houston, both decided against participating. Garrett, a protégé of Jones’s who co-wrote another song on Bad, ‘Man In The Mirror’, did not know that she would be singing the song until the day of the recording session. It became her first hit since Dennis Edwards’ 1984 song “Don’t Look Any Further.”

“I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, R&B Singles, and Adult Contemporary charts, making it the first in a string of five #1 singles from Bad. It was Jackson’s second #1 song on the Adult Contemporary chart after “The Girl is Mine” with Paul McCartney. “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” was released without an accompanying music video.

Here’s a look at the Top 20 on the U.S. singles chart from this day back in 1987:

1 2 I JUST CAN’T STOP LOVING YOU –•– Michael Jackson & Siedah Garrett (Epic)-7 (1) (1 Week at #1)
2 3 DIDN’T WE ALMOST HAVE IT ALL –•– Whitney Houston (Arista)-8 (2)
3 1 LA BAMBA –•– Los Lobos (Slash)-13 (1)
4 4 HERE I GO AGAIN –•– Whitesnake (Geffen)-12 (4)
5 8 WHEN SMOKEY SINGS –•– ABC (Mercury)-12 (5)
6 7 DOING IT ALL FOR MY BABY –•– Huey Lewis & The News (Chrysalis)-10 (6)
7 6 CAN’T WE TRY –•– Dan Hill & Vonda Shepard (Columbia)-16 (6)
8 10 I HEARD A RUMOUR –•– Bananarama (London)-10 (8)
9 16 LOST IN EMOTION –•– Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam (Columbia)-8 (9)
10 11 TOUCH OF GREY –•– Grateful Dead (Arista)-9 (10)

11 17 CARRIE –•– Europe (Epic)-8 (11)
12 13 WIPE OUT –•– Fat Boys & Beach Boys (Tin Pan Apple)-11 (12)
13 5 ONLY IN MY DREAMS –•– Debbie Gibson (Atlantic)-20 (4)
14 14 I NEED LOVE –•– L.L. Cool J. (Def Jam)-8 (14)
15 20 U GOT THE LOOK –•– Prince with Sheena Easton (Paisley Park)-8 (15)
16 19 WHO FOUND WHO –•– Jellybean Featuring Elisa Fiorillo (Chrysalis)-11 (16)
17 21 ONE HEARTBEAT –•– Smokey Robinson (Motown)-10 (17)
18 22 WHO WILL YOU RUN TO –•– Heart (Capitol)-6 (18)
19 23 PAPER IN FIRE –•– John Cougar Mellencamp (Mercury)-6 (19)
20 9 WHO’S THAT GIRL –•– Madonna (Sire)-11 (1)