Charlie Sloth

On Air Now 16:00 – 17:45



  • The New York Times published their first article on graffiti focusing on writer Taki 183 who was tagging up everywhere he went. The appearance of this unusual name and numeral sparked curiosity and marked the first public interest in graffiti. He was by no means the first writer or even the first king, he was however the first to be recognized outside the newly formed subculture.


  • Atari introduces the arcade version of Pong, the first video game.


  • Britain's first McDonalds fast food restaurant opens in South London on October 1st.
  • Former gang leader Afrika Bambaata creates the Zulu Nation - a collective of DJs, breakdancers and graffiti artists - as a positive alternative to street violence.


  • Home videotape systems (VCRs) are developed in Japan by Sony (Betamax) and Matsushita (VHS).


  • Sony introduces the Walkman, the first portable stereo.
  • Harriet Tubman becomes the first black woman to be honoured on a US stamp. She escaped from slavery in Maryland in the late 1800s. After freeing herself from slavery, she returned to lead more than 300 people to freedom in North America.


  • The first Nike Air trainers become available in stores. Other must have accessories included Kangol hats, nameplate belts buckles, Adidas shell top trainers and hooded sweatshirts.


  • Unemployment in the UK had reached almost two million.
  • Kicker shoes, Fruit of the Loom t-shirts and stone washed, & paint splattered straight jeans were cool.


  • IBM introduced the first personal computer. E-mu - the first music sampling machine also hits US stores. The video game Pac-Man swept the UK.
  • On 5 June 1981 a medical journal reported a mysterious illness that had killed five young gay men in Los Angeles. It was the first mention of what later became known as Aids.


  • Sony developed the world's first CD. The system represented an exciting change for the declining audio equipment industry. News reports touted it as "the arrival of the digital age".


  • Compact discs began to sell in high street stores but most serious record collectors dismissed them as a passing fad like the eight track.
  • The UK singles chart started to use electronic terminals in selected stores to gather sales information.
  • Technics introduced the first SL-1200 MK11 turntable. Precise, responsive and indestructible, it was to become the undisputed DJ standard for 20 years.


  • The famine in Ethopia prompted Bob Geldolf to form Band Aid and release Do They Know it's Christmas. The proceeds of the UK No 1 single went to feed the starving people in Africa.
  • Apple introduced the Macintosh personal computer.
  • BMX mania hit the UK.


  • Bob Geldof organised Live Aid: two massive concerts to raise money for starving people in Ethopia. Two massive events were held in London and Philadelphia and raised up to £50 million. US artists including Ray Charles, Michael Jackson, Willie Nelson, Lionel Richie, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, Tina Turner and Stevie Wonder recorded the song We Are The World for charity. Released under the name USA For Africa, the single was a huge hit. The accompanying album sold three million copies and the project raised $50 million for families in Africa.
  • In-ear headphones, CD-ROMs, Hi-8 camcorders and taxis with carphones hit the streets of the UK.


  • Mirroring Band Aid, an estimated 30 million people came together for Sport Aid. The event raised £100 million for starving people in Africa. The whole event was kicked off by Sudanese runner Omar Khalifa at the UN HQ in New York. He carried a torch lit in Khartoum in Sudan.
  • This year also saw millions of people come together for charity in the Hands Across America. In the event, millions of people held hands for 15 minutes along a path across the continental United States. Participants paid ten dollars to reserve their place in line; the $100million profits were donated to local homeless charities.


  • The first hamburger restaurant in either black Africa or the Arab world opened in Casablanca, Morocco.


  • More than 1 billion people across the world - one-sixth of humanity - logged on to three overlapping Netaid pop concerts in London, New York City and Geneva, broadcast live on the internet at All the stars, including Puff Daddy, performed free with £7.5 million from the event given to help refugees in Kosovo and Sudan.

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