This Month In Retro is a monthly article where we look back on the current month as it happened during the 1980's. Learn, reminisce, and stay retro.
John Travolta was fresh off the heels of the extremely successful Saturday Night Fever and Grease when he starred in the film Urban Cowboy. This film was to late 70's / early 80's country what Fever was to disco. While it doesn't have the surprising grittiness of that film, it is one of the more serious PG movies out there.
The Blues Brothers, arguably the best film based on an SNL skit, was released. The film is so enduringly popular that many people are familiar with scenes or moments from it without having actually seen it. It has become engrained in the zeitgeist. It was the 10th highest grossing film of the year, despite the fact that its initial release was somewhat limited due to concerns by executives.
The Sony Walkman was released in North America in June of 1980. The device itself would go on to become iconic and represent the decade. Despite the initial disdain that listening to headphones in public encouraged, the idea of allowing music to be something completely privately enjoyed regardless of location is huge. No matter where you were, you were now able to create your own world, populated by just, your music, and the judgmental people on the subway.
Do you like Huey Lewis and the News? Their debut album, which Patrick Bateman finds a little too new wave, was released on June 25, 1980. Though the album does not have the unbelievably amazing (and yes I'm being sarcastic, but also kind of not sarcastic at all) tracks "Hip to be Square" or "The Power of Love" that brought the band massive success later in their career, but it is a solid release in its own right.
Billboard #1 Song of June 1980: "Funkytown" by Lipps Inc.
CNN, the very same news network that brought you this:
…on the same day that Net Neutrality and the internet was freaking out over THE DRESS WAS BLUE AND BLACK GET OVER YOURSELF, was first broadcast on June 1st of 1980. I wonder what Larry King is up to right now.
Later in the month, The David Letterman Show premiered. This isn't the Letterman show you might be thinking of. This was the daytime precursor to his later decades-spanning nighttime hosting streak. The show was edgier than most daytime audiences were accustomed to, earning Letterman the respect of critics at the expense of viewers.