A Young R.E.M. Play ‘Radio Free Europe’ During Their 1983 TV Debut on ‘Late Night with David Letterman’

In 1983, a young band from Athens, Georgia called R.E.M. made their national television debut on Late Night With David Letterman. A baby-faced, curly-haired Michael Stipe stepped up to the microphone and with his distinct voice along with the talent of the band, performed an incredible version of “Radio Free Europe off their new Murmur album.

Host David Letterman appeared to be quite impressed with the band, chatting with them before their second song. When Letterman asked the name of the song, Mike Mills and Peter Buck simply stated that it was too new to have a name, but it was beautiful. The song is now known as “South Central Rain”.