Marc Daniels: 1984 Was The Greatest Summer Ever


XXIII Olympic Summer Games

Photo: Getty Images

In 1984, I was 17 years old and it was the summer before my senior year of high school. It was the best year and summer of my years growing up. It was also maybe the best few months a year could ever have because of everything going on in sports, music, movies and more.

Author Jon Wertheim has a new book out called "Glory Days" which chronicles that summer of 1984.(Wertheim is a guest on the show today at 10:45a). He tells the many stories of three magical months and how so many moments have impacted some of the biggest names and events that resonate today.

Here are some of the sports events and stories from the summer of 1984:

--USA Olympic Basketball team with coach Bob Knight trains in Indianapolis and featured Jordan, Ewing, Mullin and Jeff Turner

--The 84' Olympics in LA became the first true corporate Olympics and a celebration of sports in America

--Michael Jordan signs his historic deal with Nike after turning down adidas

--David Stern convinces players to attend the NBA Draft in New York. That had never been done before

--Donald Trump buys the New Jersey Generals in the USFL

--ABC buys ESPN and sports on cable begins to take off

--Vince McMahon begins to take WWE to a new level with a wrestler named Hulk Hogan

Music:

--Prince releases Purple Rain the album

--Springsteen releases Born in the USA

--The Jackson's release Victory and go on tour-as Wertheim writes- the tour plays a role in Bob Kraft buying the Patriots

--Red Hot Chili Peppers release their first album

--Van Halen finishes the tour for their album 1984

--Ricky Martin joins Menudo- yes I saw Menudo in concert

Movies:

--Purple Rain

--Ghostbusters

--Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

--Gremlins

--The Karate Kid(Wertheim writes how this movie in a way kick starts MMA)

--Sixteen Candles

--Other movies this summer: Top Secret, Revenge of the Nerds, The Natural, Streets of Fire, Bachelor Party, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Breakin'(huge break dancing hit)

Pop culture:

--MTV Music Awards debut and Madonna's famous "Like A Virgin" performance

--Sony introduces CD players(look it up)

--Vannesa Williams loses Miss America title when nude photos appear of her

--Wendy's rolls out new commercial campaign: "Where's the Beef?"

--Miami Vice, Cosby Show and Night Court premier on NBC

For me, that summer was insane. I bagged groceries at Publix and worked at Camelot Records(look it up). I had money in my pocket and worked with some of my best friends. We drove around in my 79' Monte Carlo and one of my best friend's 75 white cadillac. We worked during the day and cruised Fort Lauderdale by the afternoon. I played on two summer baseball teams that dominated anyone we played. We pretended to be cool and hung out at house parties with a red solo cup filled with something not very strong but pretended it was. I went to concerts and saw most of those movies listed above. I watched those sporting events of that summer and remember just how huge the LA Olympics was and I played the McDonalds Olympics game that rewarded you with free items based on the USA team's success. We went to Pete and Lenny's nightclub because no one was ever carded. By the time that summer ended, I was ready for a senior year of high school but I always knew it would be hard to top the summer of 1984. It was truly the best time ever growing up...

Final thought: Prince's "When Doves Cry" was the number one song on Billboard's Top 100 for 1984. It was number for five weeks that summer and prevented Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark" from reaching the top spot.


Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content