Charlie Sloth

On Air Now 16:00 – 17:45

What happened in 1988

  • Toni Morrison won the Pulitzer Prize for her novel Beloved which was later adapted into a film starring Oprah Winfrey and the UK's Thandie Newton.
  • At age 18 Naomi Campbell became the first black female to grace the cover of French Vogue. It helped catapult her to supermodel status.
  • Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson beat defending champion Carl Lewis in the 100 metre sprint at the Olympics in Seoul, Korea. Two days later Johnson was stripped of his gold medal and sent packing by the authorities when his post-race drug test indicated steroid use. Lewis was named the winner.
  • Also in the Olympics, US runner Florence Griffith Joyner (Flo Jo) claimed four medals - gold in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay, and silver in the 4x400m relay.
  • The film Colors opened in cinemas bringing America's gang problems into the spotlight for the first time. The story was set against the backdrop of the LA gangs Bloods and Crips.

In the music

  • This was the year the acid house movement exploded in the UK. People of all races and backgrounds found themselves raving together all over the country, at huge parties like Genesis, Biology and Sunrise.
  • Detroit-based Kevin Saunderson formed Inner City with Paris Grey and released tracks such as Good Life and Big Fun. The house & techno revolution set the foundations for jungle and later UK garage.
  • CDs outsold vinyl for the first time, though the birth of the rave scene was to inject new life into the vinyl format.
  • There's an explosion of UK talent with the music collective known as Soul II Soul releasing the street smash, Fairplay, that sows the seeds for their later commercial success.
  • Yo! MTV Raps hosted by Fab 5 Freddy premiered, giving hip hop culture global exposure.
  • Michael Jackson purchased a ranch in Santa Ynez, California. He called his new home Neverland.
  • DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince became the first duo to win a Grammy for best rap song, but they, along with the other nominees for the new rap category, refused to attend the awards because they were not going to be televised.
  • Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons parted ways. Simmons retained control of Def Jam while Rubin moved on to start Def American Records.
  • Bobby Brown released his second album Don't Be Cruel. Produced by the New Jack Swing innovator, Teddy Riley and with songs by L.A. Reid and Babyface, it sold seven million copies.

Key Releases



Grammy awards


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