On this day in music history: August 11, 1984 – “Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker, Jr. hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 3 weeks, also topping the R&B singles chart for 2 weeks on August 25, 1984. Written and produced by Ray Parker, Jr., it is the biggest hit for the Detroit, MI born singer, songwriter and musician. In the Spring of 1984, musician Ray Parker, Jr. is approached by producer and director Ivan Reitman (“National Lampoon’s Animal House”, “Stripes”, “Meatballs”) to write a theme song for his film “Ghostbusters” starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson. Under an extremely tight deadline to make the film’s early June opening, Reitman gives Parker only a few days to write and record the song. The musician quickly gets to work, recording the track and playing all of the instruments himself at his Ameraycan Recording Studios in North Hollywood, CA. The film becomes the highest grossing film of 1984 at the box office, with the song also becoming an instant across the board smash upon its release. Entering the Hot 100 at #68 on June 16, 1984, it climbs to the top of the chart eight weeks later. The single wins Ray Parker, Jr. a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance, as well as receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song in 1985. However, Parker loses the Oscar to his former boss Stevie Wonder, who wins for “I Just Called To Say I Love You”. Along with the huge success of “Ghostbusters”, there is controversy. Huey Lewis along with his manager Bob Brown file a copyright infringement lawsuit against Ray Parker, Jr. and Columbia Pictures, claiming that “Ghostbusters” is too close in structure to Huey Lewis And The News’ hit “I Want A New Drug”. It later comes to light that Reitman had been using “I Want A New Drug” as a temporary music track during the editing of the film. The matter is settled out of court, but Parker ends up countersuing Lewis when he makes mention of the lawsuit during an interview for the VH-1 series “Behind The Music”, violating the original settlements confidentiality agreement. In April of 2014, Sony/BMG’s Legacy reissue division issues a limited edition 10" glow in the dark reissue vinyl pressing of “Ghostbusters”, on Record Store Day", to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the film. A 12" white vinyl disc titled the “Stay Puft Edition” is released in October of 2014, with Parker’s original version on one side, and Run-DMC’s song (a different song than the original theme) recorded for “Ghostbusters II” in 1989. The 12" comes in a custom white “puffy” vinyl sleeve with still photos of Mr. Stay Puft from the original film, and is marshmallow scented. “Ghostbusters” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
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