I am participating in the A-to-Z Blog Challenge this month. My theme is...the music of my life.
In 1983, director Mark Rydell and a movie crew from Universal Pictures moved into Kingsport, Tennessee and the surrounding areas to film the movie, The River, starring Mel Gibson and Sissy Spacek. This was a really big deal in a small town like ours, and to have actors, directors, and producers from a big-name film company like Universal made people feel like our town had been put on the map. I auditioned for the role of one of the children even though I was much older than what they were looking for (I was eleven and they were looking for a six-year-old, but I figured it was worth a shot).
Many people’s homes in our area were rented out by members of the crew. I remember trick-or-treating at the home where the director was living. He wasn’t candy-ready, so he gave us fifty-cents a piece. Locals helped coach baseball and showed the actors how the other half lived. We showed up to watch scenes with Mel Gibson being filmed, and Sissy Spacek kept her horses at the same barn as ours. I even got to sing a song for her while sitting in her white BMW with her husband and eighteen-month-old daughter looking on. She was a lovely person. It was a really exciting time.
The River came out in 1984, and a lot of other interesting things were happening for me during that time. I was cast in a small-town production of Annie—nothing too exciting…I played an orphan—and this little foray into theater solidified a desire in me to act and sing (a passion of mine for many years thereafter). My stepmother gave birth to the first of two younger sisters, and Mom, her new husband, and I made plans to move to Washington, DC.
I turned twelve in 1984, and all sorts of wonderful movies were in the theaters like Ghostbusters, Footloose, and Sixteen Candles. The billboard charts were full of classic—80s songs like Huey Lewis and the News, Madonna, Pat Benatar, Night Ranger, and Eurythmics. Actually, there were too many good songs to mention them all. This was one of my favorite times of my life, and one of my favorite times for music.
What were some of your favorite 80s tunes?