Song: “Hello” by Lionel Richie
Reached #1: May 12, 1984 (his third, 2 weeks)
It was the video, of course, that was really memorable about “Hello”. While it was a pretty love song, it was the somewhat creepy vibe of Lionel Richie all-but-stalking a young student – yes, we find out she’s almost as creepy at the end of the video – that brought the song to the top of the charts, I think.
Oh, and did I mention that the student is blind?
Richie got his start in music at Tuskegee, where he helped found the Commodores in the late ‘60s. He stayed with them for about 15 years, before breaking off to the solo career that was already established by the time “Hello” was released (he’d had two previous #1 hits from his first album) off the Can’t Slow Down album.
As to the actress who played the student? Laura Carrington would go on to play Dr. Simone Hardy on General Hospital in the mid-‘80s… then leave acting to raise her family.
But her name lives on – there’s no way of knowing if the screenwriters of the 2011 romantic comedy flop New Year’s Eve were thinking of her at all, but Katherine Heigl’s character in that flick was named… yes, Laura Carrington. The things you learn on a Google walk…
Lionel Richie, meanwhile, has gone country – his album of duets with some of today’s hottest country stars, Tuskegee, came out in early 2012. The album must be doing well, as it allowed him to walk away from a spot on ABC’s new singing-competition show, Duets, that was filled by John Legend.
Tomorrow, a second appearance by a somewhat-controversial R&B star…
Other songs that reached #1 on May 12:
1958 – “All I Have To Do Is Dream/Claudette” by the Everly Brothers (their second, 6 weeks, Best Sellers chart)
2007 – “Makes Me Wonder” by Maroon 5 (their first, 3 weeks)