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11 '80s TV Stars Who Recorded Obscure Albums

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When these stars weren't acting, they were singing.

1. Scott Baio

To most of us, Baio’s finest credit will always be his performance as Bob Loblaw. But he was around long before that, achieving full '80s teen heart-throb status as Charles in Charles in Charge. Helping him along the way to later sex addiction were, no doubt, the two albums he released in the early '80s, one of which was 1983’s "The Boys Are Out Tonight."

2. Bruce Willis

Remember, before Bruce Willis was chasing terrorists barefoot through glass, and before it turned out he was dead the whole time, he was David Addison, the “fast-talking, fun-loving detective running the City of Angels Detective Agency” in the 1980s ABC dramedy Moonlighting. In the midst of the show's reasonably successful run, Willis put out 1987’s Bruce Willis ‎– The Return Of Bruno.

3. Tina Yothers

Tina Yothers was the blonde daughter in Family Ties who never got to say anything funny or important after she outgrew her cute years. But she used her voice in other ways, launching a singing career with this Tiffany-style bubble pop album, Over and Overin 1987. 

4. Lisa Whelchel

When the producers of Facts of Life wanted a story arc in which one of the girls lose their virginity, their first choice was Blair, the snooty rich girl, played by Lisa Whelchel. Whelchel wouldn’t do it, as it conflicted with her Christian values. What didn’t conflict was the 1984 Contemporary Christian Album All Because of You. It received more relative success than most '80s sitcom crossover albums, reaching number No. 17 on CCM charts, and was nominated for an Inspiration Music Grammy.

5. Kim Fields

The Facts of Life was a hotspot of budding talent (George Clooney came from there!) with adorable Tootie (Kim Fields) releasing two singles in 1984. One, a cover of Michael Jackson’s "Dear Michael," and the other the disco-delic dance track "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not."

6. Vicki Lawrence

You may remember Vicki Lawrence as the perpetually pissed-off matriarch Thelma Harper, whom she portrayed in the inexplicably creepy family sitcom Mama’s Family. But she was a woman of many talents. Her murder ballad "The Night The Lights Went Out in Georgia," off the album of the same name, reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard charts in 1973. In other news, “murder ballad” is a genre!

7. Alyssa Milano

Did you know Alyssa Milano had a huge recording contract, producing four studio albums plus a greatest hits compliation? If you did, then you’re probably much, much too interested in Japanese '80s pop culture. A Japanese record executive saw Milano’s performance in Commando (made when she was 12) and immediately offered her a record deal. Her albums were never released in America, but you can listen to a sample of her work above. 

8. Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen

This happened. But there is no need to dwell on it. 

9. John Schneider

The Dukes of Hazzard used to stand for something, before it was disgraced with the 2005 film. The General Lee used to jump hay trucks for justice. John Schneider (Bo Duke…the hot one) understood the power of Hazzard County. He used his fame to launch a country music career, producing 10 albums in the 1980s alone. None of which can ever be as awesome as the Dukes of Hazzard Theme Song.

10. Mr. T

Mr. T is against children using drugs, talking to strangers, and shunning homework. He made a rap album in 1984 to tell them this. Ice-T is listed on the album as “rap director” for tracks 2, 3, 6, and 7.

11. Phylicia (Allen) Rashad

Before she was Claire Huxtable, the best mom/hottest wife/smartest lawyer in the world, she sang disco, and had the fro to prove it! Her album, Josephine Superstar, was a tribute to Josephine Baker.

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Pop Culture
How to Perform the Star Wars Theme—On Calculators
Star Wars © & TM 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Star Wars © & TM 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

The iconic Star Wars theme has been recreated with glass harps, theremins, and even cat meows. Now, Laughing Squid reports that the team over at YouTube channel It’s a small world have created a version that can be played on calculators.

The channel’s math-related music videos feature covers of popular songs like Luis Fonsi’s "Despacito," Ed Sheeran’s "Shape of You," and the Pirates of the Caribbean theme, all of which are performed on two or more calculators. The Star Wars theme, though, is played across five devices, positioned together into a makeshift keyboard of sorts.

The video begins with a math-musician who transcribes number combinations into notes. Then, they break into an elaborate practice chord sequence on two, and then four, calculators. Once they’re all warmed up, they begin playing the epic opening song we all know and love, which you can hear for yourself in all its electronic glory below.

[h/t Laughing Squid]

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holidays
Bleat Along to Classic Holiday Tunes With This Goat Christmas Album
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Feeling a little Grinchy this month? The Sweden branch of ActionAid, an international charity dedicated to fighting global poverty, wants to goat—errr ... goad—you into the Christmas spirit with their animal-focused holiday album: All I Want for Christmas is a Goat.

Fittingly, it features the shriek-filled vocal stylings of a group of festive farm animals bleating out classics like “Jingle Bells,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.” The recording may sound like a silly novelty release, but there's a serious cause behind it: It’s intended to remind listeners how the animals benefit impoverished communities. Goats can live in arid nations that are too dry for farming, and they provide their owners with milk and wool. In fact, the only thing they can't seem to do is, well, sing. 

You can purchase All I Want for Christmas is a Goat on iTunes and Spotify, or listen to a few songs from its eight-track selection below.

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