June 2, 1976: Love Letter

(Pictured: the Bay City Rollers on The Midnight Special, 1976.)

June 2, 1976, is a Wednesday. In yesterday’s presidential primaries, Jimmy Carter won South Dakota and placed second in Rhode Island to add to his lead in the Democratic delegate totals. In Rhode Island, the winner was “uncommitted,” which is widely interpreted as a win for California governor Jerry Brown, who was not on the ballot there. Idaho Senator Frank Church won big in Montana. On the Republican side, President Gerald Ford won in Rhode Island, but lost to challenger Ronald Reagan in South Dakota and Montana. Today, Ford welcomes King Juan Carlos of Spain to the White House. He is making a state visit in honor of the Bicentennial. Arizona Republic reporter Don Bolles is the victim of a car bombing in Phoenix. He will die of his injuries later in the month; two men will be convicted of the bombing, reportedly ordered because Bolles had uncovered wrongdoing by a prominent businessman. According to the Associated Press, a French journalist has confirmed that the Khmer Rouge have massacred over a million people in Cambodia since taking power in 1975. Another AP story quotes Senator Church as confirming that both the FBI and CIA withheld information from the Warren Commission during its investigation of the assassination of President Kennedy.

At Eagle supermarkets in Wisconsin, bone-in beef round steak is $1.17 a pound, and ground beef is 75 cents a pound. A 23-ounce can of Funny Face drink mix in strawberry, grape, lemonade, or cherry is $1.09, and a box of Fiddle Faddle is 52 cents. On TV tonight, some viewers will find their regular programming pre-empted by a broadcast of evangelist Billy Graham’s crusade in Taiwan. On ABC tonight, it’s The Bionic Woman, Baretta, and Starsky and Hutch. CBS airs Game 4 of the NBA Finals, in which Phoenix evens the series at two games each by beating Boston in overtime, 109-107. At a wrestling match in Philadelphia, Muhammad Ali jumps into the ring and begins taunting Gorilla Monsoon, who responds by body-slamming Ali to the mat. It’s unknown whether the event was staged or real.

The Rolling Stones play Cologne, Germany, and KISS plays Zurich, Switzerland. Elvis Presley plays El Paso, Texas, and ZZ Top’s Worldwide Texas Tour plays Norfolk, Virginia. At WLS in Chicago,“Silly Love Songs” by Wings has taken over the #1 spot on the singles chart. “Shop Around” by the Captain and Tennille continues to blast up the chart, moving from #20 to #10. “Rock and Roll Love Letter” by the Bay City Rollers is also flying fast, moving from #24 to #12, as is the Rolling Stones’ “Fool to Cry,” moving from #33 to #20. The top album at WLS is Wings at the Speed of Sound, knocking Led Zeppelin’s Presence to #2.

In Monroe, Wisconsin, it’s going to be a pleasant day, with a high temperature in the low 70s. Tomorrow is the last day of school. It will also be the night the baseball team hands out its awards. A sophomore who has been team manager expects to earn a letter, which he does. The letter will be proudly affixed to a letterman’s jacket, which he will wear for the next several years. Many years hence, it will continue to hang in his closet, and every once in a while, he’ll take it out and look at it. And many years hence, he will unashamedly admit he digs “Rock and Roll Love Letter,” for its combination of relentless drive, boy-band bubblegum, and the way the singer promises to “keep on rock and rollin’ til my jeans explode.” And how, at the end of the instrumental break, they do.

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3 thoughts on “June 2, 1976: Love Letter

  1. The Vistalite drum set is a quintessential bit of ’70s musical kit.

    Vox pop question: Is it proper for a fortysomething man to wear his high school letter jacket in public?
    I wear mine in the spring and fall to do yard work and go for walks. I mean, I’ve got the damned thing, and it’s a good weight for the season, and just hanging it up in the closet feels too reverential.
    Plus, it’s not a garment that’s going to mean anything to anyone else, so no sense preserving it for kids or collectors or whoever. May as well go out and sweat in it.
    And yet, I don’t see too many other men my age in theirs.

    Like

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