One of the first things I learned about WMPG community radio in Portland, Maine when I started my little 80s radio program, STUCK IN THE 80s, there in 1996 was the Begathon. WMPG gets approximately 1/3 of its funding from the University of Southern Maine, approximately 1/3 from underwriting, and approximately 1/3 from listener donations. A large chunk of the latter comes from the Begathon. What started out as a 2-week pledge drive in which volunteer radio hosts would “beg” to raise money for the station is now split up into two 1-week pledge drives, one in the Spring and one in the Fall. It’s come a long way since my first Begathon in the Fall of 1996. My very last Begathon for WMPG will be on Sunday, 9.25.2016.
Between late 1979 and the end of 1989, there were nearly 500 (real) one-hit wonders of the 80s that reached the BILLBOARD Hot 100 just one time, a list that includes Soft Cell, Gary Numan, Timbuk 3, The Church, Bronski Beat, Nik Kershaw, The Buggles, The Waitresses, Ultravox and two different bands named The Silencers. Once a week, I’ll highlight a (real) one-hit wonder for you.
When I was preparing this post last night, I chose “Money (That’s What I Want)” by The Flying Lizards as the “(real) one-hit wonder of the week,” not realizing I had already highlighted it as a “song of the day” the week of the March Begathon pledge drive. So, I deleted the post I was putting together last night, and instead, I will re-post the last four paragraphs of the original post – not as a “song of the day,” but as a (real) one-hit wonder of the 80s. I don’t think folks will mind. It’s such a great song, and one more time, I’ll be proud to play “Money” to start a Begathon show on STUCK IN THE 80s…
“Money (That’s What I Want)” was originally a 1959 hit for Barrett Strong, co-written by Motown Records founder Barry Gordy and covered by The Beatles in 1963.
The Flying Lizards’ 1979 New Wave cover of “Money” was a Top 10 hit in Canada, New Zealand, and their U.K. homeland, plus it reached the Top 40 in five other countries. Here in the U.S., “Money” spent a week at No. 50 on the BILLBOARD Hot 100 in January 1980, and reached No. 22 on the BILLBOARD Dance chart.
For me, in addition to being a cool cover song, The Flying Lizards’ version of “Money (That’s What I Want)” has been a part of STUCK IN THE 80s for a long time. And, if it helps raise some money to support the radio station I’ve called a second home for 20 years, then yeah, that’s what I want…
If you’re interested in learning more about WMPG community radio, go to WMPG.org, and if you’re interested in supporting WMPG, you can make a safe donation online via PayPal, with my thanks. Tell them Ron sent you!