The wolf of Valparaiso:
The wolf of Valparaiso:
An unlikely duo came to the small screen in 1980 to solve mysteries in the one hour drama Tenspeed and Brown Shoe.
Created by Stephen J. Cannell, the show starred EL “Tenspeed” Turner, played by Ben Vereen, and Lionel “Brown Shoe” Whitney, played by Jeff Goldblum.
Turner was a hustler who was court-mandated to be a detective to satisfy his parole requirements while Whitney was a straight-laced accountant who wanted to become a detective, emulating his favourite author Mark Savage and his 1940s tough-talking PI.
This was the first series that came from Cannell as he launched his independent production company and was sold to ABC Television.
The debut episode had Turner trying to steal diamonds from the Mob and hiding them in a limousine rented by Whitney who was on the way to his wedding.
The duo become partners and comedic moments lightened the hour long drama as the twosome tried to solve mysteries, murders and crimes, combining street smarts and analytics to figure out the problem.
Airing on ABC TV, the series started in January 1980 and was promoted heavily by the network. The first few episodes did ok, but by June the series was cancelled by the network after 14th episode aired.
Despite this series failure, Cannell used Vereen’s character in a consequent series J.J. Starbuck, where Turner appeared on five episodes.
Focusing on the stork in Santiago, Chile:
For the creative mind of Stephen J. Cannell, there were many successes but also a few misses, like Richie Brockleman, Private Eye.
Cannell and Steven Bochco came up with the idea of Brockleman, a private investigator who would be unlike his colleagues – 22 years old, college educated and never uses a gun.
Played by Dennis Dugan (who was 31 at the time), Richie Brockleman was persistent and felt he could talk his way out of any situation, would often help or meet young women, but would never end up with the girl.
Pitched to NBC as a series, the network said no after seeing the 90 minute pilot episode. Cannell went to plan B, rewriting the final episode of the season for The Rockford Files.
The two hour finale had Brockleman work with Rockford to solve the murder of a veteran PI they both knew.
NBC said yes to the series, allowing five episodes to be completed and shown. The series began airing on March 17 1978, but its lack of ratings led it to be cancelled after the five had aired.
Cannell’s success with The Rockford Files continued while he went back to the drawing board to create another new series.
its Monday (as seen in Valparaiso, Chile)
As seen in Santiago:
The late 1980s brought soulful singer to the top of the charts with Wishing Well by Terence Trent D’Arby.
With his debut album Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D’Arby, the American singer made a splash on the music scene for Columbia Records.
Taking after his Mother a gospel singer, D’Arby was born Terence Trent Howard and when his Mother married his Stepfather, he took his last name.
Howard grew up boxing and enrolled in the Army as a young adult but was dishonourably discharged in West Germany after a year.
He stayed in West Germany, and released a mini-album Love On Time in 1984. In 1986 he moved to London, worked briefly with the band Bojangles and then signed a record deal with Columbia Records to focus on his own music.
Released in July 1987, the album’s first single was If You Let Me Stay, which hit #68 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and top 10 in the UK. The album was produced by D’Arby, Martyn Ware (Heaven 17) and Howard Gray, and D’Arby wrote or co-wrote all the tracks.
But it was Wishing Well, with its performance music video that made the difference for the soul singer, which was co-written by Ware. Released in late 1987, the song slowly climbed the charts over 17 weeks and hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in May 1988.
Wishing Well gained the singer Grammy nominations – for Best New Artist and Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male, and D’Arby performed the song on the live telecast. The song was certified Gold with sales of over 500,000 and was followed by singles Sign Your Name and Dance, Little Sister, both of which became hit singles.
D’Arby released another album in 1989, and further records in the 1990s, but never matched the success of his soulful memorable debut.