Jordan Peele's 'Us' is a Creepy Tale That Sadly Mirrors Our Reality

On May 25, 1986, approximately 6.5 million Americans stood hand in hand forming a human chain that stretched from New York to California for an event called Hands Across America. It was a fundraiser project from USA for Africa (the same people who produced the “We Are the World” single the year before) in hopes of raising $100 million to fight hunger and homelessness. The hope was that everyone who participated would donate $10 for the cause. Families stood and sang together for 15 minutes. And then it was over.

I had trouble remembering if Hands Across America really happened or if it was a gimmick for the film when the original commercial for the event flashed on the big screen during the opening of Us. I only vaguely remember the event, which might have to do more with the fact that I have lived in Washington State my whole life and we weren’t involved in the project. I doubt that I’m the only one and I suspect that was also some of Jordan Peele’s reasoning as well whe…

This Day in Pop Culture for July 12

Sandi Patty was born on July 12, 1956.

Sandi Patty is Born

It was on this day 1956 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma that Sandra Faye "Sandi" Patty was born to a family of musicians. Her father was a minister of music while her mother served beside him as the church pianist. It is no surprise that her “performance” was in her family’s church, Phoenix First Church of God in Anderson, Indiana at the age of two. She later performed with her brothers and parents as part of “The Ron Patty Family” during the summers. While attending Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana, Patty sang a commercial jingle for Juicy Fruit gum. She recorded her first album, For My Friends before signing on to Singspiration! Records in 1979 where she recorded her first profession album, Sandi’s Song. She won her first two GMA Dove Awards in 1982, headlined her own tour in 1984 and became known nationally when she sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” during the Statue of Liberty re-dedication broadcast for ABC in 1986. It has been reported that during the peak of her career, Patty averaged over 200 concerts a year and was the highest-paid Christian singer at the time. In 1992 she shook the Christian music community with news that she was divorcing from her manager/husband, John Helvering which was due to an extramarital affair with her back up singer, Don Peslis. She and Peslis married in 1995. Patty expressed her remorse and took responsibility for the marriage breakup in both interviews and in her autobiography, Broken on the Back Row. In 2004, Patty was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. In 2012, she took to the stage playing Dolly Levi in Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s concert stage version of Hello Dolly. In 2015, she announced her retirement from touring and finished her farewell tour in March of 2017.

The infamous "Disco Demolition" was held on July 12, 1979.

The Day the [Disco] Music Died

On the day in 1979, disco music had a death blow as DJ’s Steve Dahl and Garry Meier from Chicago’s WLUP FM created the “Disco Demolition Night” at Comiskey Park for the purpose of "the eradication and elimination of the dreaded musical disease." During the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers double header, the organizers offered 98-cent discount tickets to any fan who arrived with disco album. The plan was to place all of the records in an explosive-rigged dumpster in center field. Over 40,000 people stormed the park with as many outside the stadium. Many of the records were not collected, thousands of fans stormed the field lighting vinyl bonfires and throwing the discs while the scoreboard begged the crowd to go back to their seats. In the end, 39 people were arrested, at least nine were injured and the second game was cancelled. The Detroit Tigers were awarded a win by forfeit.

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