“The music has magic.
You know you can catch it.
If you let the songs take control,
the sound starts to glisten,
the more that you listen,
and slowly it turns into gold.”
Solid Gold 80s TV
80s TV would have been nothing without the weekly top ten music countdown that was Solid Gold. Few other 80s TV shows captured the essence of the 80s the way Solid Gold did, featuring hit 80s music, hot Solid Gold dancers, performances from the biggest artists of the decade, and some of the most popular 80s music videos.
The show started out as a one-time special in 1980, with a countdown of the top 40 songs from 1979. It was such a huge hit that a regular, weekly show launched, featuring a countdown of the top ten hits of each week. Most songs were played in clips as the famous and totally sexy Solid Gold dancers performed awesome choreographed routines. Each week, special guests came to perform their hit songs and all the biggest 80s stars stood on the Solid Gold stage during the course of the show’s run.
There were also Solid Gold specials throughout the year, which gave credence to older pop hits but followed the show’s regular format. An annual special honored the show’s humble beginnings with a yearly top 40 countdown. Unfortunately, Solid Gold came a end in 1988, which was the show’s final season.
Solid Gold Dancers
There were plenty of other 80s TV shows that mimicked Solid Gold – other countdown shows and programs that featured popular artists performing their latest hits – but none could rival the show’s truly golden offering: the Solid Gold dancers.
Their routines were complex and their outfits were risqué. They were total 80s icons, with big hair, leotards, and sometimes leg warmers. They danced to the hits and to the artists’ performances. They even danced in the show’s opening and closing segments. Every little girl (including me) wanted to grow up to be a Solid Gold dancer, but none had the chance since the show went off the air before the decade was over (and before we were all grown up).
Ironically, the Solid Gold dancers gave their final performance together, not on Solid Gold, but in the 1988 motion picture, Scrooged, which was filmed before the show had officially been canceled.
Solid Gold Hosts and Solid Gold Theme Song
According to Wikipedia:
At the start of Solid Gold’s first season (1980), Michael Miller was chosen by Dionne Warwick to be the show’s Musical Director – a role he continued on with for the entire run of the series. Michael also composed the Solid Gold theme song, along with Academy Award-winning lyricist, Dean Pitchford, who wrote the theme’s words.
Dionne Warwick and Marty Cohen hosted most of the first season, setting the stage for a revolving door of Solid Gold hosts. During the 1982-1983 season, hosting duties were transferred to Marilyn McCoo (of the Fifth Dimension) and Andy Gibb. McCoo hosted the following season solo. Other hosts that appeared included Rick Dees, Arsenio Hall, and Nina Blackwood, who later went on to become an MTV veejay.
Lip Syncing on 80s TV Shows
Live performances were unheard of on Solid Gold. Other 80s TV shows may have offered a venue for performing a song live, but Solid Gold wanted audiences to hear the hits just as they sounded on the radio. So, artists lip synced their performances – all artists except one. Stevie Nicks refused to lip sync and instead did her two Solid Gold performances (Stand Back and Nightbird) live. She even brought in her own dancers.
NOTE: One commentator stopped by to say that he was the musical director for Solid Gold and wanted to clarify that about half of the performances were, in fact, live. Scroll down to view the comment.
Mad Love for 80s TV Shows
If we were counting down the top ten shows of the 80s – or the top 40 80s TV shows for that matter – Solid Gold would totally be number one. The music. The dancers. The hosts and the videos! The theme song and the special guests. We loved all of it back then and we totally still do. Long live 80s TV!