There is a song that I still love – that “takes me away,” and there is a strange history behind it. I was reading about how it hit number one on the music charts on August 30, 1980. I was amazed at MTV and watched it with friends sometimes. It was changing music and how we thought of music. Some wrote of how MTV killed a radio star. The music video that played during MTV’s first minutes on the air was “Video Killed The Radio Star,” by the British synth-pop duo The Buggles. Four weeks later, a young American singer-songwriter named Christopher Cross completed his rise from obscurity when his hit ballad “Sailing” reached the top of the Billboard pop chart on this date in 1980. Many music observers have linked MTV’s introduction to the eventual decline of Chris Cross who just seemed to sail away.
Take a listen, if you want – here is a link:
When Cross released his first album (we actually still had albums) in January 1980, it was one of the biggest hits of all time. The album featured memorable backup vocal by Doobie Brothers singer Michael McDonald. “Sailing” was the follow-up single, and it rose even faster and higher, hitting #1 on August 30, 1980. Cross swept the 1981 Grammy Awards, where “Sailing” won Grammys for Best Record and Best Song, and Best Album. Cross himself won for Best New Artist. Cross won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 1981 (with co-composers Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager andPeter Allen) but then seemingly disappeared.
He still writes and tours and of course has a web site. But all this happened thirty-three years ago today.
“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 ESV