Daily Dirt: Kim’s still got Bette Davis Eyes, the Supremes were a warm-up act? … and remembering Mary Tyler Moore

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Bette Davis (actual) Eyes

Daily Dirt for Dec. 17, 2021


Joan Jett and Belinda Carlisle are 63 years old? Where did all the time go? … and on that note, welcome to the three thoughts that make up Vol. 160 of the Daily Dirt.
1. Wanna feel old? Really old? The following songs are celebrating their 40th birthday this year. Here are 10 of the best that made huge impacts way back in 1981:

Kim Carnes and her Bette Davis Eyes.
  • “Bette Davis Eyes,” Kim Carnes: The raspy-voiced Carnes made this the song of the year, and one of the best of the entire decade.
  • “Start Me Up,” Rolling Stones: Interestingly, the Stones actually recorded this monster hit three years earlier.
  • “I Love Rock and Roll,” Joan Jett and the Blackhearts: It’s hard to accept that Joan Jett is now 63 years old. But she still loves rock and roll.
  • “Lady,” Kenny Rogers: It’s hard to explain to someone who was not around in the 1980s how big of a personality Kenny Rogers was at that time.
  • “Our Lips Are Sealed,” Go-Go’s: Belinda Carlisle could sing, and like Joan Jett, it’s hard to accept that she is now 63.
  • “Physical,” Oliva Newton-John: At the time, this was a highly controversial video by the girl with a pure-as-snow reputation.
  • “Who’s Crying Now,” Journey: Journey is probably one of the 10 most underrated groups of the soft-rock era.
  • “Super Freak,” Rick James: Funk legend Rick James saw his career come apart at the seams due to drug use and other legal woes that saw him wind up in prison. He died at age 56 in 2004.
  • “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks: I have always wanted to see/hear a Stevie Nicks/Rod Stewart duet.
  • “Elvira,” Oak Ridge Boys: The Oak Ridge Boys have long been my all-time favorite country group, but I cannot begin to tell you how much I detest this particular song. Maybe Michael Buble could remake this dreadful song and change my mind?

2. Some notable doings on Dec. 17 through the years:

  • 1903: Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first successful man-powered airplane flight, near Kitty Hawk, N.C.
  • 1964: The James Bond film “Goldfinger,” starring Sean Connery as Agent 007 and Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore, premiered in London.
  • 1965: The Astrodome opened in Houston with a Judy Garland concert. The opening act? Diana Ross and the Supremes.
  • 1989: “The Simpsons” premiered on the Fox Network.


3. Some holiday birthdays to remember:

  • Denzel Washington: One of the finest actors of any generation, Washington will be 67 on Dec. 28.
  • Savannah Guthrie: Those who watch early morning news shows — I am not one of those, by the way — find the popular Guthrie on NBC. She turns 50 on Dec. 27
  • Sandy Koufax: The best left-hander in MLB history turns 86 on Dec. 30. Koufax is still active with the Dodgers organization.

And for those no longer with us, but not forgotten:

  • Barbara Billingsley: Early 1960s TV fabs know her as June Cleaver, mother of Beaver Cleaver (Jerry Mathers). She died at age 94 in 2010. Billingsley was born Dec. 22, 1915.
  • Ty Cobb: One of the nastiest — and most talented MLB players of all-time, Cobb was born Dec. 18, 1886. He died at age 74 in 1961.
  • Mary Tyler Moore: Everyone’s TV sweetheart was 80 when she died in 2017. She was born Dec. 29, 1936. When MTM passed away four years ago, so did a small part of me. I had loved Mary Tyler Moore, by my unofficial count, for 56 years.

Steve Fact O’ The Day Steve once interviewed Jerry Mathers. He’s even shorter than you might think.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. He is our Wally Cleaver.

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