Detroit Tigers: The Music of 1984

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 1984: Chet Lemon #34 of the Detroit Tigers hitting during Game 4 of the 1984 World Series against the San Diego Padres on October 13, 1984 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 1984: Chet Lemon #34 of the Detroit Tigers hitting during Game 4 of the 1984 World Series against the San Diego Padres on October 13, 1984 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Getty Images) /
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While we wait for the shortened baseball season to start, let’s take a look back around the music of 1984 that ties into key dates in the Detroit Tigers season.

With the lack of baseball so far this season, we here at Motor City Bengals are trying new and various ways to fill the content void. I am a fan of music of all types so I wanted to take the music of 1984 from not only a national perspective but a local one and tie it back to the Detroit Tigers.

If you remember VH1’s Pop-Up Video, the format will be simple. I will write what the number one song for the three dates on the season and “pop-in” random facts about bands and other songs that were charting at the time.  If you, at home, like this format, I can do it again with a different year. Here we go, let’s kick off the “countdown” of three dates.

April 8th, 1984

Jack Morris threw the first Tigers no-hitter since Jim Bunning in 1958 for the Tigers on the road in Chicago. The movie soundtrack for “Footloose” runs rampant throughout 1984 and it makes its first appearance on our “countdown” as Kenny Loggins’s “Footloose” was number one on Billboard’s Hot 100. It would spend three weeks at number 1.

Loggins was perfecting his soundtrack legacy. He had a hit with “I’m Alright” from the Caddyshack soundtrack in 1980. Kenny may not be your cup of tea but he knew how to write a hook. Instead of having Loggins, one of the legends of “yacht rock” stuck in your head all day, here’s the final out of Morris’s no-hitter.

May 24th, 1984

The Tigers would win on the road, beating the Angels 5 to 1 to start their season at 35-5. The number one song in Billboard’s Top 100 was brought to us again by the Footloose soundtrack.  The song was “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” by Deniece Williams. It would spend just a week a number one.  New on the Billboard charts that week was Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” and Corey Hart’s “Sunglasses at Night”, which would go on to be big singles that year.

However, a band from the complete opposite side of the dial would drop in on Detroit’s airwaves for a guest appearance. Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx and a very different looking Vince Neil stopped by 98.7 WLLZ’s Doug Podell’s show “The Beat”  that was hosted both on Channel 56 and on the radio Saturday nights at 11. The interview aired the week before the Tigers win. I mention this because  Detroit radio, as Michigan locals know, is very unique. Here they are in a short clip on the show,  promoting “Shout at the Devil” as they were getting ready to tour.

October 14th, 1984

The day the Tigers would win the World Series. Stevie Wonder’s hit  “I Just Called To Say I Love You” was the number one song in America. Prince and the Revolution had two songs charting in the Top 10 and Springsteen’s “Cover Me” rose from number eight to number seven on the chart. 1984 was a great year for the Tigers but a huge year for Prince.

The Purple Rain soundtrack would spend 24 weeks at number 1 on Billboard’s Top 200 when it was released on June 25th, 1984.  The baseball season is 26 and half weeks long and the Tigers were on top the entire time. So there’s a fun fact you can remember.

A tidbit I found out in my research and I hope our readers can assist with this. Tigers reserve right-fielder Rusty Kuntz had a bit on Detroit radio. The “Rusty Kuntz Comedy Hour” aired on 98.7 FM (Detroit’s Wheels!) that season. If anyone remembers it, please let us know. I would love to know if anyone remembers it.  On that note, I will leave you Kuntz’s funny moment from the 1984 World Series.