Airdate – Jan 29, 2023
Daytime dramas were a staple in the early days of television. They got the nickname “soap operas” because the first advertisers on TV were soap companies. The genre came to primetime in 1964 with “Peyton Place,” starring Ryan O’Neal and Mia Farrow.
However, it was in the late 70s/early 80s that this genre found its greatest success in primetime with no less than three of these soap operas ranking amongst the longest running shows in the history of TV drama.
In fact, one of these shows was so impactful that it resulted in the Billboard charting of a song recorded in 1980 that revolved around the ending of its third season …
In order of appearance on TV, the three primetime soaps that ruled TV land were ‘Dallas” (1978 – 13 years), “Dynasty” (1981 – 9 years), and “Knots Landing” (1979 – 1993 – 14 years).
It was the shooting that took place in the final scene of the third season of Dallas, that was the catalyst for the creation of a novelty tune about this very first cliffhanger on primetime TV.
Trying to guess “whodunit” became a worldwide obsession. The episode that revealed the answer sent ratings higher than anything TV had ever seen, with numbers that even beat the Super Bowl.
According to a London, England Nov 12, 1980 UPI release, fans worldwide bet $360,000 in two days on who they thought did the shooting based on odds established for each character in the show.
Meanwhile, radio personality, Gary Burbank, while working at WHAS in Louisville, Kentucky gained notoriety by recording and releasing a record with Band McNally that fueled this obsession because everybody was dying to know, “Who Shot J.R.?”, this week’s Tom Locke moment in time.
YouTube video of this song:
This “Moments In Time” story is yet another example of a “golden oldie” or forgotten favorite that earned its place in the evolution of Rock & Roll.