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Flashback Fridays: October 1986

On this day in 1986, Andrew Lloyd Weber’s iconic interpretation of The Phantom of the Opera debuts at the West End theatre in London. Weber’s version of Phantom would go on to be incredibly successful, winning the 1986 Olivier Award and the 1988 Tony Award for best musical. Michael Crawford, the original phantom would win both the Olivier and Tony Awards for “Best Actor in a Musical.” These wouldn’t be the only awards Phantom would receive; the musical would win 24 of the 30 total nominations. The original soundtrack would go quadruple platinum in the U.S, alone.

As for the top album at the time, the Top Gun soundtrack led the charts. The film topped the box-office charts sporadically through 1986. The film’s soundtrack would go on to be one of the most successful soundtracks in film history. Hit singles from the film included Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone,” “Take My Breath Away” by Berlin, and Loverboy’s “Heaven in Your Eyes.” Speaking of hit songs, “When I Think of You” by Janet Jackson was the number-one song at the time. It would be the third hit single off her successful junior album, Control. The late John Lennon would’ve turned 46, as well.

Crocodile Dundee was the highest-grossing movie in theatres at the time. The film grossed over ten million at the box-office on the four-day weekend of October 13th, its third week at number one. In the world of entertainment, Fox launched on television. The Late Show with Joan Rivers was the network’s launch title. A frequent guest host on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Rivers would now compete head to head with the revered talk show host. Ultimately, it wasn’t meant to be; The Late Show would last a little over two years on the air. Guest host Arsenio Hall, however, would prove to be quite popular and would go on to host his own successful talk show.

The big name in politics was Claiborne. Harry E. Claiborne was a federal judge appointed under the Carter administration. He was found guilty of tax evasion in August of 1984, and would be the fifth person to be impeached by the United States Congress.

Writer: Lucas Hydock


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