Category: Berlin

On this day in music history: September 13, 19…

On this day in music history: September 13, 1986 – “Take My Breath Away” by Berlin hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week. Written by Giorgio Moroder and Tom Whitlock, it is the biggest hit for the new wave pop-rock band from Los Angeles, CA fronted by lead singer Terri Nunn. Having written Oscar winning music for films such as “Midnight Express” and “Flashdance”, composer and producer Giorgio Moroder is asked by film producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer to contribute to the soundtrack of their film “Top Gun” starring Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, and Anthony Edwards. Paired with lyricist Tom Whitlock, they write the soundtracks two biggest hits “Danger Zone” and “Take My Breath Away”. Both songs are offered to Berlin. Initially, “Danger Zone” (#2 Pop) is planned as a duet, but is passed on to Kenny Loggins when the band declines to record it. Used as the “love theme” for the film, “Take My Breath Away” is an immediate hit with film audiences and record buyers. Entering the Hot 100 at #96 on June 21, 1986, it climbs to the top of the chart twelve weeks later. The song wins the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1987, earning Moroder his third Oscar and becoming the thirteenth song in the rock era to achieve that honor. The success of Berlin’s single propels the “Top Gun” soundtrack to number one for five weeks (non-consecutive) on the Billboard Top 200, and going 9x Platinum in the US. “Take My Breath Away” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

Marlene Dietrich, Anna May Wong and Leni Riefe…

Marlene Dietrich, Anna May Wong and Leni Riefenstahl at the Pierre Ball in Berlin, 1928.  

Photos by Alfred Eisenstaedt

Born on this day: June 26, 1961 – Singer and a…

Born on this day: June 26, 1961 – Singer and actress Terri Nunn of Berlin (born Terri Kathleen Nunn in Baldwin Hills, CA). Happy 57th Birthday, Terri!!

Keith Haring painting a mural on the Berlin …

Keith Haring painting a mural on the Berlin Wall nearby Checkpoint Charlie on October 23, 1986.

On August 31, 1961 construction started on the Berlin Wall, tearing apart the German capital. Until its demolition in 1989, the Wall was a symbol of Soviet oppression and a literal representation of the ‘Iron Curtain’ between East and West. During the rise of the graffiti art movement in the 1980s, the West Berlin side of the Wall became a Mecca for street artists. Keith Haring, the New York artist credited with bridging the gap between the street and the gallery, was invited by the Director of the Checkpoint Charlie Museum to paint on the Wall. Haring created a 350-foot mural, intended to symbolism the solidarity of the divided peoples of Berlin.

In Haring’s words: “I decided on a subject, which is a continuous interlocking chain of human figures, who are connected at their hands and their feet – the chain obviously representing the unity of people as against the idea of the wall. I paint this in the colors of the German flag – black, red and yellow.”