(Pictured: Ken Norton ducks a punch from Muhammad Ali on September 10, 1973.)
September 11, 1973, was a Tuesday. Headlines this morning include the Nixon Administration’s acknowledgment that American bombers flew missions in support of the government of Cambodia during 1970 and 1971 and kept the missions secret by falsifying records. Today, Senate confirmation hearings continue for Henry Kissinger as Secretary of State; Foreign Relations Committee chairman J. William Fulbright wants more information on Kissinger’s wiretaps of officials and reporters between 1969 and 1971. Also today, armed forces in Chile combine to overthrow the government of Salvador Allende, who reportely commits suicide. In future years, the CIA will acknowledge having had advance knowledge of the coup but no involvement in it and the agency’s claim of non-involvement will be disputed.
Sports fans are talking this morning about Muhammad Ali’s split-decision victory over Ken Norton in last night’s rematch in Los Angeles. Ali had lost a split decision to Norton in March. Fans also look forward to the opening of the NFL regular season this Sunday, and to the tennis Battle of the Sexes between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs at the Houston Astrodome on September 20. In May, the 55-year-old Riggs defeated 30-year-old Margaret Court, the #1 ranked female player in the world. Court had accepted Riggs’ challenge after King declined it.
Twelve games are scheduled in Major League Baseball. In the National League East, the St. Louis Cardinals maintain a half-game lead on the Pittsburgh Pirates after both teams lose today. Burt Hooton of the Chicago Cubs throws a complete-game 2-0 shutout against the Pirates this afternoon. The Cardinals lose to Montreal at home tonight, 4-1, and they lead the division with a record of 72-and-72. The other National League division leader, Cincinnati, wins, as do American League leaders Baltimore and Oakland. In New York, Gaylord Perry goes the distance for Cleveland in a 7-3 win over the Yankees to run his record on the season to 16-and-19.
On TV tonight, CBS presents the season premieres of Maude and Hawaii Five-O, along with a first-run TV movie, Coffee, Tea, or Me?, starring Karen Valentine as a flight attendant with two husbands, one in Los Angeles and one in London. On ABC, the season premiere of the ABC Tuesday Movie of the Week features Deliver Us From Evil, a plane-hijack drama starring George Kennedy. Following the movie, it’s the season premiere of Marcus Welby, M.D. NBC’s lineup includes the premiere of the detective drama Chase, starring Mitchell Ryan, and another TV movie, Drive Hard, Drive Fast, about a race-car driver who is entranced by a beautiful woman and menaced by a psychopath. Although the movie, which stars Joan Collins, was filmed in 1969, this is its first broadcast.
Bette Midler, with her pianist and musical director Barry Manilow, tapes a performance of three songs, including her recent hit “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” for broadcast on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson tomorrow night. The Grateful Dead plays at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and Frank Zappa plays Liverpool, England. Jethro Tull plays Pittsburgh and Uriah Heep plays Norfolk, Virginia. Uriah Heep’s opening acts tonight are Earth Wind and Fire and Tucky Buzzard, a British band whose albums are produced by Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones. Uriah Heep has been joined on several other shows this summer by ZZ Top and/or Rory Gallagher. Albums released today include Angel Clare, the first solo album by Art Garfunkel, and The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle by Bruce Springsteen.
At KHJ in Los Angeles, “Delta Dawn” by Helen Reddy holds the #1 spot on the new survey out today. “Half Breed” by Cher is up to #2. Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” is #3. There’s not much movement in the Top 10 except for “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” by Elton John, which leaps to #8 from #16. The only other new song in the Top 10 is “Higher Ground” by Stevie Wonder, up from #12 to #10. The biggest mover on the chart is “Angie” by the Rolling Stones, up 10 spots to #18. Also making a strong move is “Jimmy Loves Mary Anne” by the Looking Glass, up from #23 to #16. Three songs debut on KHJ’s chart: “China Grove” by the Doobie Brothers, “Keep on Truckin'” by Eddie Kendricks, and “Midnight Train to Georgia” by Gladys Knight and the Pips.
(Note to Patrons: if you are interested in more stuff about 1973, click “1973” under “The Times of Our Times” in the right-hand column, and/or visit Tales of ’73 at my other blog.)