Michael Jackson's death reminded me of a big thing back in the eighties. Back then, all shows used songs to enhance a storyline. Who could forget Lisa Hartman belting out "Never Surrender" for a religious show for Knots Landing, Ken George Jones writing the ballad "Jillian" for Jill Coleridge on Ryan's Hope, or Bruce Willis singing "Do Wa Diddy Diddy to Cybill Shepherd on Moonlighting? I mentioned a couple of weeks ago how Guiding Light used musical groups for storylines; now let's remember some of the music that shaped the show as well.
"Enough is Enough." When Rita (Lenore Kasdorf) saw a presumed dead Roger Thorpe (Michael Zaslow) at a carnival, she ran into a house of mirrors. Wearing a clown mask, Roger slowly walked around Rita, terrifying her for she didn't know who the real Roger was or Mirror Roger, while Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer sang Enough is enough/ I can't go on I won't go on.
"You Needed Me." John Wesley Shipp sang this Anne Murray gem when Alan (Christopher Berneau) married Hope (Elvera Roussel). It became his song when he became involved with young Morgan Richards (Kristen Vigard, Jennifer Cooke) When they married during the summer of 1981, a choir sang the song as Morgan walked down the aisle. If that doesn't make a person misty, I don't know what will.
Speaking of misty...
"Misty." This Johnny Mathis/piano bar staple became a plot point in this scene: Jennifer Richards (Geraldine Cooke) is taking a break and playing "Misty" on the piano alone in the Wexler mansion where she works as a housekeeper. Lucille Wexler (Rita Lloyd) comes in, holding a letter opener, ready to stab Jennifer. No, not because Lucille doesn't like Johnny Mathis! She just found out Jennifer is the bio mother of Lucille's adopted daughter Amanda! Before Jennifer can start humming she's as helpless as a kitten in a tree, there's a struggle, and Lucille finds herself the wrong end of the letter opener.
"Pachelbel's Canon." Nola Reardon (Lisa Brown) was the bad girl who tried to break up Kelly and Morgan. Quinton McCord (Michael Tylo) was the mysterious archeologist. These two were meant for each other. You knew it. They were an offbeat couple for sure, so they couldn't have any old song. Hence, Pachelbel's Canon would play when they were together. When they were married, it was played at their wedding. Even now, when I hear it, I think of Quint and Nola, and smile.
"Truly." Before he was Nicole Richie's dad, Lionel Richie was known to belt out a ballad. "Truly" was one of his best, and when Phillip Spaulding (Grant Aleksander) and Beth Raines (Judi Evans) were crowned king and queen of their Senior Prom, "Truly" was played while they danced.
"The Wedding Song (There is Love)." To escape Beth's stepfather Bradley, Phillip, and Beth ran away to New York where they sold Beth's paintings and dressed up as clowns. One day they dressed up as Romeo and Juliet and said wedding vows. During their "wedding reception" they danced to this song by Paul Stookey. If I ever get married, I want it played at my wedding.
"Almost Paradise." Beth and Phillip, in the meantime, was split apart; and she met his cousin Lujack (Vincent Irizarry). Torn between two men who loved her-wow, some women want this problem-Beth went to a beach to think things out. Lujack came on his motorcycle to find her. They walked on the beach, rode a horse, and kissed, all the time while Mike Reno and Ann Wilson sang about people could see forever in their eyes. Sigh. (If you're thinking Beth and Lujack were my all time fave couple, you would be right)
"Aubrey." Folk singer Locke Wallis came into Springfield to talk to Lujack about the downside of being a rock n' roll star. Locke had a relationship with Lujack's mother Alexandra (Beverlee McKinsey) back in the day, and they told Lujack that Locke wrote the song "Aubrey" for Alexandra. First off I had to forget the fact that David Gates from Bread wrote this song. When I did that, I got a lump in my throat when Locke later died in Alexandra's arms while "Aubrey" was playing. I loved this song so much I named my cat Aubrey.
There are other songs that were a part of the show, but right now I'm drawing a blank. Hopefully I've created enough earworms for you all this week. As Casey Kasem would say, keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars!
Causes Jennifer Gibbons Supports
Gilda's Club, Greenpeace, Rosie's Broadway Kids,Westwind Foster Family Agency, Amber Brown Fund, Linda Duncan Fund for Contra Costa Libraries