Arsenio Hall Show Debuts With Luther Vandross Singing A Soul Classic

“The Arsenio Hall Show” debuted today (January 3, 1989), and featured a number of guests, including Brooke Shields, Nancy Kulp, actor Leslie Nielsen and soul singer Luther Vandross.

The late-night talk-show had been picked up by 135 stations when it debuted, thanks to Arsenio Hall’s previous, temporary gig as a host on “The Late Show.”

For his performance, Luther picked a Philadelphia soul classic to sing on The “Arsenio Hall Show’s” opening night.

Luther tackled Major Harris’ classic tune “Love Won’t Let Me Wait,” which was a #5 hit in 1975.

But Luther Vandross was self-conscious about doing the show in front of a national audience, because it was his first television appearance since gaining a significant amount of weight.

Luther was riding the success of his Any Love album, in addition to receiving two Grammy nominations for the release.

“I’d like to finally get a Grammy,” Luther Vandross said during the show. “I’ve been nominated…and although that’s acknowledgment in itself, I’d like to win one.”