“Peeps’ Friday ’80s Flashbacks”‏

The weekend is here and I hope you have fun plans.  I’m heading to northwestern Iowa for Ray’s 30th high school reunion.  Meanwhile, many of my friends will be taking part in Market Days in Chicago, one of the largest two-day outdoor street festivals in the Midwest.  It’s a great time.

It features three stages with some of biggest names in the music business over the past 30 years, which fits perfectly into my “Peeps’ Friday ’80s Flashbacks”‏.

The festival also features local gay talent and tribute bands of ABBA, No Doubt, and The B-52s.  This year, organizers have lucked out with the duo, Karmin, which recently scored a top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and their new song is currently racing up the chart and you’ll be hearing “Hello” at radio soon.  Although it’s not an ’80s song, I’ll feature “Brokenhearted” in today’s blog as a bonus, just because they’re in Chicago at Market Days.

The three acts that I’m featuring that will be playing at Market Days this weekend have 60 Top 40 hits between them!

“Automatic” — The Pointer Sisters

Back in the 1980’s, June, Anita, and Ruth Pointer, known collectively as The Pointer Sisters. scored their first hit in 1978 with a remake of Bruce Springsteen’s “Fire”.  It made it all the way up to #2.

They also scored big in the 1980s with “He’s So Shy” (#3), “Slow Hand” (#2), and then they exploded all over radio with four consecutive top ten hits from their 1983 album, “Break Out”.

Up first was the #5 hit that I”m featuring today, “Automatic”, which also won the group one of their four Grammy Awards.  It reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was followed by “Jump (For My Love)” (#3), “the #9 hit “I’m So Excited”, and “Neutron Dance” that peaked at #6.

The band had a  total of 18 top 40 hits and 8 reached the top ten.

While they never scored a #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 as The Pointer Sisters, they were part of USA for Africa’s “We Are The World”, that did reach #1.

The Pointer Sisters will be performing Saturday night at 9:05 on the North Stage at Market Days.
“Telefone (Long Distance Love Affair” — Sheena Easton

I have so many favorite songs from Scottish singer Sheena Easton, who will be on the Roscoe Stage at Market Days Sunday at 5:30 p.m.

She scored her first American hit in 1980 with “Modern Girl”, that reached #18.  The follow-up, ” 9 to 5 (Modern Girl)”, which hit the top of the charts made her a star.

Sheena would go on to score 15 top 40 hits with 8 of them reaching the top ten, including the theme to the James Bond movie, “For Your Eyes Only”, and duets with Kenny Rogers and Prince.  Those duets were two of her top ten hits.

“Telefone (Long Distance Love Affair) reached #9 in 1983.

“Xanadu” — Olivia Newton-John

English-born, Australian raised singer Olivia Newton-John first made her mark on the United States in 1971 with the #25 pop hit, “If Not For You”.

However, it was double whammy of scoring five consecutive top ten hits on the pop and country charts at the same time beginning in 1973 that made her an international superstar.

Olivia’s 1981 hit, “Physical” is one of the biggest songs of all-time.  It stayed at the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for ten weeks.  This came after her huge success in the movie, “Grease”, which made $394.5 million in 1978 and the soundtrack spawned three top 5 hits.

Olivia would go on to hit the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 27 times with 15 of those songs reaching the top ten.  She reached the #1 spot on the Hot 100 with “I Honestly Love You) in 1974, “Have You Never Been Mellow” in 1975, “You’re The One That I Want” with John Travolta from “Grease” in 1978, “Magic” in 1980, and “Physical”.

Olivia also dominated the country charts with 13 top 40 hits.

Her last top ten song on the Hot 100 was the title track from the movie, “Twist of Fate” in 1983.  It peaked at #5.

While I could not pick my favorite Olivia song because I love the country songs, the pop songs, and the dance songs, the one that always make me smile and sing along was the #8 title track from her 1980 movie, “Xanadu”.  The song featured the Electric Light Orchestra.

Olivia will be performing Sunday night at 9:05 on the North Stage at Market Days.


Karmin will be the act playing just before Olivia Sunday night.


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