Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Music Column – The Breakfast Show with William Price King and Sally Cronin – Chart Hits 1981 Part Two- Kim Carnes, Grover Washington and Bill Withers, Queen/David Bowie, Bucks Fizz

Each week William and I select two top hits from the charts in the US and UK starting with 1960 for two weeks followed by 1961 etc..through to 1985. We will also include some of the notable events in those years for the up and coming stars who were centre stage at the time. We are now in the 1980s.

Welcome to our show and we are excited to share decades of music with you in 2021. Here is my seond selection of top 1981 hits which I hope you will enjoy.

News Event: May 11th Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical “Cats” (based on poetry by T. S. Eliot) directed by Trevor Nunn first premieres in the West End, London

Kim Carnes  –  Bette Davis Eyes 

“Bette Davis Eyes” was written and composed by Donna Weiss and Jackie DeShannon. Kim Carnes’ version of this song spent nine non-consecutive weeks on top of the US Billboard Hot 100 and became Billboard’s biggest hit of the year. It peaked at #2 in Canada and #10 in the UK and won the Grammy Awards for “Song of the Year” and “Record of the Year.” It also ranked at #12 on Billboard’s list of the Top 100 songs in the first 50 years of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

News Event: May 21st Reggae musician Bob Marley receives a Jamaican state funeral

Grover Washington and Bill Withers

“Just the Two of Us” was composed by Bill Withers, William Salter, and Ralph MacDonald and was originally released on Grover Washington’s album “Winelight.” It peaked at #2 on Billboard’s Hot 100, remaining there for three weeks and won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Song. Bill Withers released an edited version of the song in his compilation “Bill Withers’ Greatest Hits.”

News Events:  August 1st “Endless Love” single released by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie (Billboard Song of the Year 1981, Billboard Greatest Song Duet of All-Time)

Now time for my second picks from 1981 which would prove to be a spectacular year and I hope you will enjoy my selection.

Queen and David Bowie – Under Pressure

“Under Pressure” is a song by the British rock band Queen and singer David Bowie. Originally released as a single in October 1981, it was later included on Queen’s 1982 album Hot Space. The song reached number one on the UK Singles Chart, becoming Queen’s second number-one hit in their home country and Bowie’s third, and also charted in the top 10 in more than ten countries. QueenHouse85

News Event: December 30th “That Girl” single released by Stevie Wonder (Billboard Song of the Year 1982)

Bucks Fizz – Making Your Mind Up

“Making Your Mind Up” is a song by the British pop group Bucks Fizz. It was the winner of the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest and was composed by Andy Hill and John Danter. Released in March 1981, it was Bucks Fizz’s debut single, the group having been formed just two months earlier. Following its win in the contest, the song reached No. 1 in the UK and several other countries, eventually selling in excess of four million copies. It launched the career of the group, who went on to become one of the biggest selling acts of the 1980s and featured on their debut, self-titled album.  BucksFizzVEVO

Additional sources: On This Day – Music – Hits of the 70s: Playback FMWikipedia

Your Hosts for The Breakfast Show

William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.

His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour.

While touring Europe he met a lovely French lady, Jeanne Maïstre, who, a year later became his wife. King left the group ‘Au Naturel’ and settled in the south of France where he started a new life on the French Riviera, opening his own music school – the “Price King Ecole Internationale de Chant.” He has had the pleasure over the years of seeing many of his students excel as singers on a professional level, and some going on to become national celebrities. He continues to coach young singers today, in his spare time.

Blog– IMPROVISATION William Price King on Tumblr – Buy William’s music: William Price King iTunes – FacebookWilliam Price King – Twitter@wpkofficial
Regular Venue – Cave Wilson

Sally Cronin is an author, blogger and broadcaster who enjoyed four years as part of the team on Onda Cero International’s English speaking morning show in Marbella and then for two years as a presenter on Expressfm the local radio station in Portsmouth. She co-presented two ‘Drive Time’ shows a week with Adrian Knight, hosted the live Thursday Afternoon Show and The Sunday Morning Show guests including musicians and authors. Following this she became Station Director for a local internet television station for two years, producing and presenting the daily news segment, outside broadcasts and co-presenting the Adrian and Sally chat show live on Friday evenings.

She and her husband David have now returned to Ireland where they live on the Wexford Coast where she blogs and continues to write books.

Books :Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – More reviews: Goodreads – blog: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Twitter: @sgc58 – Facebook: Sally Cronin – LinkedIn: Sally Cronin

Next week 1982 Part One. We hope you will tune in.. as always we love to hear from you.. thanks William and Sally.

72 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Music Column – The Breakfast Show with William Price King and Sally Cronin – Chart Hits 1981 Part Two- Kim Carnes, Grover Washington and Bill Withers, Queen/David Bowie, Bucks Fizz

    • Thanks Will So many on both sides of the Atlantic didn’t cross over.. it was like Christmas when we lived in Texas for two years.. and I brought a great many tapes back with me and introduced to our friends. Thankfully today with the technology we have and Youtube not such a problem but it is still the dream for UK artists to make it in the US charts and still not a given.. xx


  1. Queen is always wonderful, and David Bowie too. I had to confess, in my youth i was so far away from contemporary music. Viewing back its an horror. Now i am once again very far away from contemporary music. Lol But i love this one. Thanks for sharing, and have a nice week! xx Michael

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It took a while for Bette Davis to open her eyes today!
    YouTube being very slow?
    I suppose together with ‘Just the two of us’, maybe the song choices matched the slow You tube.
    But then it got going ‘Under Pressure’.
    Enjoyed todays choices.
    Bucks Fizz was a Eurovision winner so I knew it well.
    Cheryl Baker went on to become a well known TV presenter here.
    Mike Nolan from the group was badly injured in their tour bus crash.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’d forgotten about Bette Davis Eyes, and Queen with Bowie, and so it was nice to be reminded about them here. The acts that didn’t make it across the pond are often a surprise to me. Liz mentioned The Cars and I didn’t come across them until their track Drive was used on that heart-wrenching bulletin about the famine in Ethiopia that triggered Live Aid. Thanks to both of you. x

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you for today’s choices. Not exactly sure why, but when I hear “Just the Two of Us” the instrumentals remind me of “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”. Interesting, since their stories are very different! One day I’ll get round to listening to both of them one after the other in order to prove to myself whether they are really similar or not. 🙂
    Love the Queen/Bowie video.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You have a very good ear, Wendy. Bravo! For the verses of “Two ways . . . “ there is a chord progression that is reminiscent of “Just the two of us,” not necessarily harmonically but rhythmically, and instrumentally you have the same “basics” : keyboards, bass, drums. You would have been a good music critic had you chosen that job. Thanks. Hugs

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  5. I don’t recall ever hearing Bucks Fizz. They won after Abba, right? Sort of look like a younger version. Under Pressure is a GREAT song. I see Abba is releasing a new album and is going to tour, but virtually, as avatars of their younger selves. Go figure!

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  6. Interesting collection, Bucks Fizz, still going. Worked with Bobby back in the mid-1990s, recording. Toured and recorded with Roger Taylor (Queen) and Under Pressure was one of the tracks we did on tour with him. Grover Washington was never on my radar. Back in the day, Eurovision was the kiss of death for songwriters and I still have no idea why anyone would do it. The days of ABBA and pop songs have long gone. I think many songwriters still submit under other names and not their own. Not watched it since Cliff chanced his arm. Too political as well. Australia? Europe? I must re-educate myself on Geography. Fab list thanks both.

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  7. In the glory days, we used to sit glued to the Eurovision and then it was downhill at a pace…sigh…What a catchy tune I loved Bucks Fizz so happy and joyous maybe I should put it on repeat at the moment…sigh Good song choices from you both and I love “The Cars” Hugs xxx

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  8. I agree he grates on me.. Thats such a shame if they did it properly they could turn a profit but in the scheme of things I have little to no interest in the Eurovision.. ❤️

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  9. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – October 31st – November 6th 2021 – Birds, Chart Hits 1981, Memories, Book Reviews, Blogger Aces, Health and Funnies | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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