1980s

early 1980s logo
(click the logo to hear a jingle from the early 80s)

1980:

The number one song of the year was "Call Me" by Blondie

AT40 specials included: "Top 40 Book of Records"

News headlines from 1980 included: The 'Who Shot JR' craze from the TV show "Dallas", and Mt. St. Helens in Washington State erupts.

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1981:

The number one song of the year was "Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes

AT40 specials included: "Top 40 Hits of the Beatles"

News headlines from 1981 included: President Reagan is shot by a man obsessed with Jodie Foster on March 30, and on August 1, The birth of MTV, the 24 hour-a-day music television station .

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1982:

The number one song of the year is "Physical" by Olivia Newton-John. The song becomes the #1 song of the decade.

No AT40 specials aired during 1982.

News headlines from 1982 included: Michael Jackson's "Thriller" sells 20 million albums, and Larry Walters on July 2nd ties 42 weather balloons to a lawn chair and flies as high as 16 thousand feet before shooting the balloons with a pellet gun and landing about 90 minutes later. The FAA fined him $1,500.

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1983:

The number one song of the year is "Every Breath You Take" by the Police

AT40 specials include "Top 40 Acts of the 1980s (So Far)"

News headlines from 1983 included: Vanessa Williams becomes first African American Miss America, and Compact discs are first released.

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1984:

The number one song of the year is "Say Say Say" by Paul McArtney & Michael Jackson

No AT40 specials aired during 1984.

News headlines from 1984 included: On January 28, Michael Jackson's hair caught fire during the shooting of Pepsi commercial, and Run-D.M.C. are the first ever rap group to have an album certified gold


AT40 logo during the mid 80s
(click the logo to hear a jingle from the mid 80s. Here's another.)

1985:

The number one song of the year is "Careless Whisper" by Wham! f/ George Michael

No AT40 specials aired during 1985.

News Headlines from 1985 include: Madonna begins her first tour, and New Coke-a-Cola is introduced in April and quickly replaced with original Coke



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1986:

The number one song of the year is "That's What Friends Are For" by Dionne and Friends

AT40 specials include "Giants of Rock and Roll Special"

News headlines from 1986 include: Hands Across America, May 25, 1986 , and on January 28, the space shuttle Challenger explodes

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1987:

The number one song of the year is "Walk Like an Egyptian" by the Bangles

AT40 specials include "Top 40 Hits of the 80s"

News headlines from 1987 include: "Baby Jessica," Jessica McClure falls down the well and is later rescued (October 14-October 16), and World Population reaches 5 billion

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1988:

The number one song of the year is "Faith" by George Michael

AT40 specials include "Top 40 Newcomers of the 1980s" , and "Triathalon of Rock and Roll"

August 6, 1988 - The final American Top 40 with Casey Kasem Airs

August 13, 1988 - Shadoe Stevens debuts as American Top 40's new host, a job he keeps until AT40's original demise in 1995

News headlines from 1988 include: CDs outsell vinyl for the first time ever, and Bobby McFerrin tells everyone "Don't worry, be happy" during the same year Prozac is introduced as an anti-depressant.

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1989:

The number one song of the year is "Look Away" by Chicago

AT40 specials include "American Top 40 World Tour", and "Top 40 Book of Records"

News headlines from 1989 include: The fall of the Berlin wall on November 9th, and on October 17th an earthquake disrupts the third game of the world series between San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics