Charlie Sloth

On Air Now 16:00 – 17:45

What happened in 1979

  • There are riots in Southall between demonstrators and police after protesting against a National Front campaign meeting.
  • 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.
  • The Caribbean islands of St Lucia and St Vincent reclaimed their independence from Great Britain.
  • In the USA, Carter asked congress to make a Martin Luther King's Birthday a national holiday.

In the music

  • The Sugar Hill Gang released Rapper's Delight which borrowed the break from Chic's Good Times. It became a worldwide hit, eventually selling over eight million copies, marking the first ever commercial rap record.
  • Michael Jackson released his phenomenal album Off The Wall. This was Jackson's breakthrough LP that established him as a solo artist in his own right.
  • Kurtis Blow becomes the first rapper to sign to major label Mercury.
  • Janet Kay releases the hit Silly Games which reached No 2 in the UK charts. She becomes the first British female to have a reggae song in the charts.
  • In March, James Brown performed at the Grand Ole Opry.
  • Donna Summer's Bad Girls hits No 1 on the US charts, and stays there for five weeks.
  • Frustrated by sluggish reggae sales, Lee Scratch Perry goes AWOL and is spotted wandering aimlessly around Kingston wielding a hammer. Two days later, his Black Ark studio is burnt to the ground. Perry was suspected of arson, but was released without charge, due to lack of evidence.
  • On July 12 1979, Chicago radio DJ Steve Dahl and baseball promoter Mike Veeck organized an event dubbed Disco Demolition Night. People were invited to bring disco records to a baseball game and have them blown up. This caused a near-riot forcing the cancellation of the game.

Key Releases



Grammy awards


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