(Pictured: Blue Swede.)
March 13, 1974, was a Wednesday. King Hussein of Jordan is in the United States. Vice President Ford hosted a state dinner in his honor at the White House last night; today, the king and his prime minister meet privately with Ford. A plane carrying the cast and crew of the documentary TV series Primal Man crashes in California, killing 36 people including actor/stunt man Janos Prohaska, who is best-known for playing animals and monsters. He had a recurring role as Cookie the Bear on The Andy Williams Show and was also seen as a gorilla on Gilligan’s Island. Future professional tennis player Thomas Enqvist is born.
In today’s Doonesbury strip, journalist Roland B. Hedley tells Mike and Zonker who they are. On TV tonight, NBC opens with an episode of Adam-12, followed by the TV movie The Execution of Private Slovik, starring Martin Sheen as the only American soldier to be shot for desertion since the Civil War, in 1945. ABC carries an episode of The Cowboys followed by the TV movie The Hanged Man, a western starring Steve Forrest. CBS airs We Live With Elephants, a documentary following a Scottish scientist and his family who spent five years studying a herd of 500 elephants in Tanzania. It’s followed by episodes of Cannon and Kojak. After the late local news, Don Rickles sits in for Johnny with guests Jack Klugman and Charo. ABC’s Wide World of Entertainment presents Honeymoon Suite, which stars comedian Alan King in a set of stories all taking place in the same suite of a hotel. The CBS Late Movie is Gun Glory, a 1957 western starring Stewart Granger and Rhonda Fleming.
Late last night or early this morning, John Lennon and Harry Nilsson were kicked out of the Troubadour in Los Angeles after drunkenly heckling the Smothers Brothers, who were performing. Troubadour staffers also claim Lennon punched a waitress and kicked a valet. It’s not the first time Lennon has caused a scene at the Troubadour. Fans in Hamburg, Pennsylvania, attend a show supposedly starring Fleetwood Mac. However, it’s actually a band of entirely different musicians assembled by Fleetwood Mac’s manager, Clifford Davis. Davis tells Rolling Stone, “I want to get this out of the public’s mind as far as the band being Mick Fleetwood’s band. . . . I’ve always been sort of the leader. I’ve always sort of picked who was going to be in it and who wasn’t.” He claims Fleetwood was supposed to be the drummer on this tour, but dropped out at the last minute. Bob Welch denies the entire Davis story, and says he, Fleetwood, John and Christine McVie, and guitarist Bob Weston will meet with lawyers to sort things out. Elvis Presley plays Greensboro, North Carolina, and Jackson Browne plays Worcester, Massachusetts. Barry Manilow plays Philadelphia, and Deep Purple plays Madison Square Garden in New York. Jimmy Buffett plays Nashville, and Humble Pie plays Buffalo with Spooky Tooth and Montrose.
At WAKY in Louisville, “Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede leaps from #10 to #1 on the new music survey. Last week’s #1, “Seasons in the Sun” by Terry Jacks, slips to #2. “Looking for a Love” by Bobby Womack and “Bennie and the Jets” by Elton John are new in the Top 10. The hottest song on the survey is “T.S.O.P” by MFSB, up to #15 from #30 last week. Also making a big move is “Dark Lady” by Cher, up eight spots to #11. Charlie Rich has two hits among the Top 30: “A Very Special Love Song” at #4 and “There Won’t Be Anymore,” on its way out of the survey at #25. Two songs are new on the chart: “Mighty Love” by the Spinners and “Would You Lay With Me (In a Field of Stone)” by Tanya Tucker. WAKY’s Big Track Albums this week are Tales From Topographic Oceans by Yes, Piano Man by Billy Joel, High on the Hog by Black Oak Arkansas, and Bob Dylan’s Planet Waves.
Tonight, a Wisconsin eighth-grader watches The Execution of Private Slovik. Afterward, he goes off to bed, probably with the radio on for a little while before the light goes out.