October 21, 1976: No Perspective

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(Pictured: Thurman Munson of the Yankees heads for home plate, defended by Johnny Bench of the Reds, during the 1976 World Series.)

October 21, 1976, was a Thursday. The Cincinnati Reds beat the New York Yankees 7-2 to sweep the World Series, giving them back-to-back championships. President Gerald Ford issues a statement expressing pride in the fact that Americans have won all five Nobel prizes: medicine, economics, physics, chemistry, and literature. Ford meets with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who reports that former vice-president Hubert Humphrey wants Ford to defeat Jimmy Carter in the upcoming presidential election. Later in the day, both Ford and Carter will campaign in New York before tomorrow night’s final debate in Williamsburg, Virginia. Carter’s brother Billy speaks to an audience in Georgia, telling them that his brother drinks Scotch, and that “I’ve never trusted a Scotch drinker.” A new Gallup poll shows Carter’s lead over Ford down to six points. Also today, Ford signs a bill mandating the expansion of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. With the nation preparing for the outbreak of swine flu, the Cass City Chronicle of Cass City, Michigan, publishes local residents’ memories of the 1918 flu epidemic. On the night of their season-opening game, the NBA’s New York Knicks retire the number of longtime center Willis Reed. Future actor Jeremy Miller and future pop singer Josh Ritter are born.

On TV tonight: Barney Miller (an episode set on Election Day), The Waltons, and Barnaby Jones. Aerosmith plays Erlangen, Germany, and Elvis Presley plays Kalamazoo, Michigan. The Eagles play the second night of a stand at the Los Angeles Forum; their performance of “Desperado” will later appear on the album Eagles Live. The Who plays Toronto. In London, Paul McCartney and Wings wrap up their “Wings Over the World” tour at the Empire Pool, Wembley. In New York City, George Michael is rockin’ the evening shift at WABC, taking over from the legendary Cousin Brucie Morrow. “Disco Duck” by Rick Dees is #1 on the station’s latest survey, knocking “A Fifth of Beethoven” by Walter Murphy out of the top spot. “If You Leave Me Now” by Chicago is at #3. New in the Top 10 are “Rock’n Me” by the Steve Miller Band and “She’s Gone” by Hall and Oates. “Fernando” by ABBA is at #29 on the survey. They lip-synch it on today’s episode of the long-running syndicated kids’ show Wonderama.

Perspective From the Present: When it comes to this particular date, and this particular season, I’ve got no perspective. Everyone, if they’re lucky, has a single season in which they’d live forever, given the opportunity. The fall of 1976 is mine. If I could keep it in perspective, it wouldn’t be what it is.

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October 1973: The Way We Were

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(Pictured: Gerald Ford speaks after Richard Nixon announces his appointment as vice president on October 14, 1973.)

Normally, this feature examines a single day. This time, we’ll look at several days from one extraordinary month—October 1973, when Egypt and Israel brought the world to the brink of war, Richard Nixon went nose-to-nose with the Constitution only to blink first, and Cheech and Chong had a hit single.

October 8, 1973, is a Monday. Two days after Arab forces led by Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack on Israel on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year, Israel launches an unsuccessful counterattack. The Soviet Union supplies arms to Egypt and Syria. Wayne Newton co-hosts The Mike Douglas Show; primetime TV shows tonight include The Rookies and Here’s Lucy. Scandal-plagued Vice President Spiro Agnew is on the cover of Newsweek.

October 10, 1973, is a Wednesday. Agnew makes a deal: He pleads no contest to tax evasion, agrees to repayments and a fine, and resigns the vice presidency. Nixon will appoint Congressman Gerald Ford of Michigan to replace him. Tensions rise further in the Middle East after the United States pledges unlimited military aid to Israel. Israeli counterattacks recapture some of the territory lost in the war’s first hours. Future actor and TV personality Mario Lopez is born. The New York Mets win the National League pennant, defeating the Cincinnati Reds.

October 16, 1973, is a Tuesday. After a tense week in which the Soviet Union threatened to intervene in the Arab-Israeli war on behalf of Egypt and Syria, and the United States continued to send aid to Israel, Egypt asks the Soviets to get the UN to order a cease-fire. OPEC cuts oil production and announces an embargo on sales to the West, especially the United States. The embargo will remain in place for five months and have a drastic effect on the American economy. Henry Kissinger wins the Nobel Peace Prize for the Vietnam peace accords. His North Vietnamese counterpart, Le Duc Tho, declines the award. Bette Midler plays Madison, Wisconsin, and the movies The Way We Were and The Paper Chase open in theaters.

October 19, 1973, is a Friday. After a long refusal to turn over tapes of his Oval Office conversations to Congressional investigators looking into the Watergate break-in, President Nixon offers to permit hard-of-hearing Senator John Stennis of Mississippi to review them. The Watergate special prosecutor, Archibald Cox, immediately refuses the offer and continues efforts to force Nixon to surrender the tapes. Bob Marley and the Wailers play San Francisco, the Rolling Stones wrap up their current tour in West Berlin, and the Steve Miller Band plays Dallas with Muddy Waters opening. The Who releases Quadrophenia. Among the shows on TV tonight: The Brady Bunch and The Odd Couple.

October 20, 1973, is a Saturday. On kids’ TV this morning: Sigmund and the Sea Monsters and The New Scooby Doo Movies. This evening, President Nixon orders Attorney General Elliott Richardson to fire Archibald Cox, but Richardson refuses and resigns in protest. Richardson’s deputy, William Ruckelshaus, is ordered to fire Cox, but when he refuses, Nixon fires him. Solicitor General Robert Bork finally fires Cox, and Nixon announces that he has abolished the office of special prosecutor. The events are quickly termed the Saturday Night Massacre. Oakland beats the Mets 3-1 to tie the World Series at three games each. (The A’s will win it tomorrow.) The Six Million Dollar Man premieres on ABC. New Riders of the Purple Sage and Commander Cody play Duke University, and Genesis plays London.

October 23, 1973, is a Tuesday. Eight impeachment resolutions against Nixon are introduced in the House of Representatives, and he agrees to turn over the Watergate tapes to the Justice Department. The UN passes a resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire in the Arab-Israeli War. It will go into effect tomorrow, but when fighting continues to flare, the Soviets will threaten to send troops to support Egypt. In response, American forces around the world, including nuclear forces, will be placed on a higher alert. Toyota officials hold their first-ever American press conference to tout the fuel efficiency of their vehicles, just days after the OPEC oil embargo has begun. Fleetwood Mac plays Greeley, Colorado, and Lynryd Skynyrd plays Athens, Georgia.

October 27, 1973, is a Saturday. The Arab-Israeli war does not escalate further; tomorrow, the two sides will begin talking about a resolution. Central Florida is hit by an earthquake, and a meteorite strikes in Colorado. Allan “Rocky” Lane, a cowboy actor of the 30s and 40s better known as the voice of TV’s Mister Ed, dies at age 69. Mott the Hoople plays Boston with Aerosmith opening, and Miles Davis plays Stockholm, Sweden. At WCFL in Chicago, “Angie” by the Rolling Stones takes over the #1 slot, knocking out “Half Breed” by Cher. The top album is Goats Head Soup by the Stones; Los Cochinos by Cheech and Chong is #2. The single from that album, “Basketball Jones,” is in WCFL’s Top Ten. It features guest appearances by George Harrison, Billy Preston, Carole King, Tom Scott, Nicky Hopkins, Darlene Love, and Michelle Phillips.

October 14, 1977: The Series

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(Pictured: Reggie Jackson swings and misses during a 1977 World Series game at Yankee Stadium.)

October 14, 1977, is a Friday. At the White House, President Carter meets with General Omar Torrijos and other Panamanian officials to clarify American military rights in the Canal Zone if the canal is turned over to Panama, as proposed in the Panama Canal Treaty signed last month. Later, Carter answers questions from a group of reporters and editors, meets author David McCullough, and attends a reception for Democratic Party fund-raisers, among his other daily activities. After a round of golf in Spain, singer and actor Bing Crosby dies at age 74. (He shot an 85.) Actor Keenan Wynn dies in Los Angeles. Speaking in Des Moines, Iowa, anti-gay activist Anita Bryant is hit in the face with a pie. The First National Bank of Chicago reports that a million dollars is missing from its vaults. “It’s possible that at some point we miscounted the cash,” says the bank’s senior vice president, “but as of now we are working on the assumption that it is a cash loss.” In 1981, $2,300 of the money will be recovered; the rest never will.

On TV tonight, ABC carries Game 3 of the World Series, to be played in Los Angeles. The Yankees beat the Dodgers 5-3 to take a 2-1 lead in the series. Yankee stars Reggie Jackson and Thurman Munson play in the game, after threatening to sit out in a dispute over seats provided to their family and friends at Dodger Stadium. In the Chicago Tribune, TV critic Gary Deeb blasts ABC for turning this week’s edition of its nightly newscast, anchored by Harry Reasoner and Barbara Walters, into a promotional vehicle for the network’s coverage of the Series, which ABC is carrying for the first time. Opposite the baseball game, CBS broadcasts Wonder Woman and Smile, a 1975 theatrical comedy about beauty pageant organizers, starring Bruce Dern and Barbara Feldon; NBC airs the Sanford and Son spinoff The Sanford Arms, Chico and the Man, The Rockford Files, and Quincy.

Before tonight’s World Series game, Linda Ronstadt sings the National Anthem. Ronstadt is also featured in the current edition of New Times magazine, and has two new singles out, “Blue Bayou” and “It’s So Easy.” The Grateful Dead plays Houston, Renaissance plays the Royal Albert Hall in London, Steppenwolf plays St. Louis, Keith Jarrett plays Paris, Rush plays Tulsa, and the Steve Miller Band plays Ann Arbor, Michigan. KISS Alive II is released. On the new Cash Box magazine chart, which will come out officially tomorrow, the top four are unchanged from the previous week: “You Light Up My Life” by Debby Boone is in its second week at #1, followed by “Keep it Comin’ Love” by KC and the Sunshine Band, “Nobody Does it Better” by Carly Simon, and Meco’s “Star Wars/Cantina Band.” New in the Top 10: “I Feel Love” by Donna Summer and “Cold as Ice” by Foreigner. New in the Top 40: “How Deep Is Your Love” by the Bee Gees, “I Just Want to Make Love to You” by Foghat, and “Send in the Clowns” by Judy Collins.

In Wisconsin, the leaves change and then they fall; the world gets a little bit colder every day. The radio talks to a guy who can’t help but listen, because it knows his life better than he does.

October 7, 1978: First Edition

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(Pictured: Bob Seger, rockin’ a Springsteen T-shirt, 1978.)

(This post is a historic one, as it’s the very first One Day in Your Life post I ever wrote at The Hits Just Keep on Comin’. The first few editions looked a lot different than the later ones would. Although I have revised most of the early ones that have and will appear here, I’m gonna put this one up almost exactly as it appeared back on October 7, 2004. I’ve made some cosmetic edits and added a link, plus Perspective From the Present at the very end. If I’m recalling correctly, I wrote the original on some public library computer while killing a morning on the road. )

Any given day can be filled with historic events, but some time has to pass before we recognize them as such. October 7, 1978, was one of those days. The Los Angeles Dodgers advanced to the World Series that night, and after the game was over, we turned on the radio.

Bob Seger’s “Hollywood Nights” peaked at #12 on the singles chart that day. It’s the quintessential Bob Seger record—a smart lyric about making your way in a world that wants to steal your money and break your heart, delivered with Seger’s trademark crunch. All-time classic lines: “She had been born with a face that would let her get her way / He saw that face and he lost all control.” Boston’s “Don’t Look Back” peaked at # 4. We would have been surprised to know that it would be their last major hit for eight years, until “Amanda” in 1986.

The Rolling Stones performed “Beast of Burden” and “Respectable” on Saturday Night Live. [Editor’s note: And also “Shattered.”] This was the night Mick grossed out America by licking Ron Wood’s cheek in mid-solo.

Toto’s first single, “Hold the Line,” was released debuted on the Hot 100 at #84. [I stopped using release dates in these posts fairly early on because a large percentage of Internet resources get them wrong, and chart dates are better anyhow.—ed.] Can you think of an artist that sold more records and got less love than Toto? “Hold the Line” became a radio hit because it sounded like it should be one—perfect for both Top 40 and album-rock formats.

John Mellencamp celebrated his 27th birthday. It would be the last time he celebrated a birthday without having it mentioned on lists of notable birthdays, because by the time he would turn 28, the album Nothin’ Matters and What If It Did would be out, and the single “I Need a Lover” would be on its way up the charts.

Perspective From the Present: On the Billboard Hot 100 dated 10/7/78, the top two were the same as the previous week: “Kiss You All Over” by Exile and former #1 hit “Boogie Oogie Oogie” by A Taste of Honey. Nick Gilder’s “Hot Child in the City” was up to #3 in its 18th week on; three weeks hence it would finally take out “Kiss You All Over” and set a record for the slowest-cooking #1 hit of all time. “How Much I Feel” by Ambrosia made the biggest leap within the 40, from #29 to #16; “Double Vision” by Foreigner went from #38 to #26. New songs in the 4o were “Took the Last Train” by David Gates, “Ready to Take a Chance Again” by Barry Manilow, and “Sweet Life” by Paul Davis. In addition to “Hold the Line,” eight other records debuted on the Hot 100, all between #80 and #90. Other than “Hold the Line,” Justin Hayward’s “Forever Autumn” (#82) and Chaka Khan’s “I’m Every Woman” (#86), the rest of them remained obscure. If you remember “Martha” by Gabriel (the highest debut of the week at #80) or “Mellow Lovin'” by Judy Cheeks (#88), maybe you should be writing this blog.

October 6, 1981: Sensation

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(Pictured: Pat Benatar, circa 1981.)

October 6, 1981, was a Tuesday. Egyptian president Anwar Sadat, reviewing a parade in Cairo, is assassinated by Muslim extremists after 11 years in office. President Reagan makes a brief televised speech about the Sadat assassination after attending a luncheon in honor of the visiting prime minister of Thailand. He also proclaims October 9 to be Leif Erickson Day. The Progressive Conservative Party wins a majority in general elections in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. The Mall of Memphis opens in Memphis, Tennessee.

The major-league baseball playoffs open, with an unusual format made necessary by the players’ strike earlier this season. Nolan Ryan of the Houston Astros outduels rookie sensation Fernando Valenzuela of the Los Angeles Dodgers in one game; in the other, Oakland defeats Kansas City. Two more series will open tomorrow: New York Yankees at Milwaukee and Philadelphia at Montreal. Actor Gary Coleman tells producers of Diff’rent Strokes that he wants a new contract; he will not appear on new episodes of the show until the dispute is resolved. Shows on TV tonight include Hart to Hart, Three’s Company, and the TV movie Return of the Beverly Hillbillies.

The Grateful Dead play the Rainbow Theatre in London, AC/DC plays Newcastle, England, and Motorhead plays live on the BBC. The Dead Kennedys play Rome, and the Police play Russelsheim, Germany. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Stevie Nicks, and the Joe Ely Band share a bill in St. Petersburg, Florida, and Pat Benatar plays Austin, Texas. At WLS in Chicago, the top album is Tattoo You by the Rolling Stones, which has knocked Journey’s Escape from #1. The live album Nine Tonight by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band leaps from #12 to #5; Dan Fogelberg’s The Innocent Age also enters the Top 10, moving to #8 from #25. The soundtrack of the R-rated, animated sci-fi movie Heavy Metal is at #11. Two songs from the soundtrack are new on the WLS singles chart: Devo’s cover of “Working in the Coal Mine” is at #40 and the title song, recorded by Don Felder of the Eagles, is at #41.

Perspective From the Present: It was the fall of my senior year in college. A group of us decided to watch the afternoon baseball playoff game in the student center bar. At 6:00, we decided to skip our evening class to watch the second game and drink more beer. At 10:00, my girlfriend (now The Mrs.) pulled me out of the bar, reminding me that I had to be on the air the next morning in Dubuque at 5AM. Because she was sure I would never get there by myself, she put me to bed on her couch, rousted me at 3AM, and drove me to work. I was still half-intoxicated, and the other half of me was hung over. I lasted until 7:30, when a friendly colleague took pity on me and sent me home. It is to the man’s eternal credit that he didn’t report my condition to our boss, because I would surely have been fired, and justifiably so. But he didn’t like the guy any more than I did, so it remained our little secret.

October 3, 1975: Get Down

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(Pictured: KC and the Sunshine band, getting down tonight.)

October 3, 1975, was a Friday. President Gerald Ford vetoes a bill intended to expand food programs for needy children, claiming it would give aid to families above the poverty line; next week, Congress will override the veto. In California, the arraignment of Symbionese Liberation Army members Bill and Emily Harris on charges stemming from their crime spree with Patty Hearst is delayed so Emily Harris can find a new lawyer. Future singer India Arie and future rapper Talib Kweli are born. The emperor and empress of Japan are in the United States on a state visit; President Ford will host a state dinner in their honor tonight. Scientists in the Soviet Union recover an unmanned military spacecraft that had lost contact with controllers shortly after launch on Monday. The campus newspaper at Marquette University in Milwaukee reports on the activities of Barry McArdle, who’s been traveling around Wisconsin and elsewhere selling real estate on the moon. A Navy submarine commander is admonished for having permitted a topless dancer to perform on board his sub.

On daytime TV today, celebrity guests on The $10,000 Pyramid are Adrienne Barbeau and Peter Lawford, and Jim Stafford is celebrity co-host of The Mike Douglas Show. Shows in primetime tonight include M*A*S*H, Barnaby Jones, Hawaii Five-O, Sanford and Son, Chico and the Man, and The Rockford Files. ABC broadcasts a late-night special featuring episodes of Monty Python’s Flying Circus; in December, the Python troupe will sue to keep ABC from broadcasting a second special, citing the “mutilation” of their work when ABC edits the episodes to make room for commercials and to remove what it calls “offensive” material.

Gentle Giant plays White Plains, New York, and KISS plays Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. Bonnie Raitt plays Seattle with Tom Waits opening. The Who plays Stafford, England, and releases The Who By Numbers in the UK. Also released in the UK today: Extra Texture by George Harrison. At WJET in Erie, Pennsylvania, “You,” the lead single from Harrison’s album, moves to #23 from #27. “Fame” by David Bowie tops the chart, dethroning “Get Down Tonight” by KC and the Sunshine Band, which slips to #2. The two hottest records on the chart are “I Only Have Eyes for You” by Art Garfunkel, jumping from #15 to #5, and Morris Albert’s “Feelings,” taking an even greater leap from #21 to #6.

In Wisconsin, a teenage music geek couldn’t possibly know that years from now, current hits like “Games People Play,” “Bad Blood,” “Miracles,” “Lady Blue,” and “Lyin’ Eyes” will still be encoded with the late-afternoon light that bathes his world as he gets off the school bus, heads into the house, and hurries to turn the radio on.

October 1, 1982: Fast Times

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(Pictured: John Cougar on American Bandstand, 1982.)

(Note to patrons: now that October is here, there are going to be lots of posts on this blog, as I have lots of October days to draw from.)

October 1, 1982, is a Friday. In Orlando, Florida, EPCOT Center opens, on the 11th anniversary of the opening of Walt Disney World. In Chicago, more deaths are reported from cyanide-laced Tylenol capsules hidden on store shelves, bringing the total to seven. The crime will never be solved. West German chancellor Helmut Schmidt loses a vote of confidence in Parliament and will be replaced by Helmut Kohl. President Ronald Reagan attends a luncheon marking the start of the 1982 term of the Supreme Court, which will begin on Monday. He also writes to Republican Congressional leaders to reiterate his support for a Constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget, which is nevertheless defeated in the House of Representatives today. The Nordic Association for Clinical Sexology wraps up its fifth conference in Sigtuna, Sweden. In Michigan, a new law takes effect regulating the activities of rendering plants and other matters related to the disposal of dead animals. The Baltimore Orioles take both games of a doubleheader from the Milwaukee Brewers, 8-3 and 7-1, cutting the Brewers’ lead in the American League Eastern Division to one game with two to play.

Shows on TV tonight include the premiere episode of Remington Steele, the second episode of Knight Rider starring David Hasselhoff, and the sixth-season opener of Dallas. New movies in theaters for the weekend include My Favorite Year and Sorceress. The top-grossing movies are E.T., An Officer and a Gentleman, Amityville II: The Possession, and Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

Sony’s first consumer CD player, the CDP-101, goes on sale in Japan. When it hits the American market next year, the list price will be $800, unless you want a remote control—then it’s $1000. Warren Zevon plays the Capitol Theater in Passaic, New Jersey, and AC/DC plays Leeds, England. In California, Olivia Newton-John plays Oakland and Metallica plays Anaheim. On the new Billboard Hot 100, which comes out tomorrow, “Jack and Diane” by John Cougar takes the #1 spot, knocking “Abracadabra” by the Steve Miller Band to #2. (Cougar’s “Hurts So Good” is at #10.) The songs in positions 3 through 8 hold from the previous week. (In fact, 21 of the week’s top 40 songs hold the same positions as the previous week.) The lone new entry in the Top 10 is “I Keep Forgettin'” by Michael McDonald at #9—it replaces “Love Is in Control” by Donna Summer, which plunges all the way to #59. (Last week’s #11 song, “Take It Away” by Paul McCartney, takes an even bigger fall to #66.) The biggest move within the Top 40 is enormous: Olivia Newton-John blasts from #39 to #13 with “Heart Attack.” Juice Newton’s “Break It to Me Gently” is up 12 spots from #27 to #15. The highest debut within the Top 40 is “Heartlight” by Neil Diamond at #35. “Up Where We Belong” by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes is new at #36.

In Dubuque, Iowa, the afternoon jock at KDTH looks forward to Sunday, when he will be at Wrigley Field in Chicago for the Cubs’ season finale against the St. Louis Cardinals. He and his friends will watch the scoreboard to see if the Brewers can hold off the Orioles and win the division championship. (They do.) Always conscious of his regrets, he has noticed that “Wasted on the Way” by Crosby, Stills and Nash, which is at #92 after spending most of the summer on the radio, sounds particularly appropriate now that autumn has arrived.

September 28, 1970: Don’t You Know

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(Pictured: a group of travelers arrives at the airport in Rome on September 28, 1970.)

September 28, 1970, was a Monday. It’s the first day of the fall semester at Kent State University in Ohio, where four anti-war protesters were killed by National Guardsmen in May. Folk singer Phil Ochs headlines a memorial event that includes speeches by civil rights activist Dr. Ralph Abernathy and Thomas Grace, a student wounded in May. Last week, the Scranton Commission investigation into the shootings determined that even if the Guardsmen believed they were in danger, the situation did not call for lethal force. Thirty-two Americans taken hostage three weeks ago in a series of airplane hijackings in the Middle East arrive in Cyprus on their way home; six more former hostages are free in Jordan but yet to start for home. Time‘s cover story this week is about Palestinian guerillas and the Jordanian civil war. Egyptian president Gamel Abdel Nasser dies of a heart attack at age 52 and is succeeded by Anwar Sadat; author John Dos Passos dies at age 74. Running for reelection in California, Governor Ronald Reagan visits a Honda car plant in Gardena. President and Mrs. Nixon visit Pope Paul VI during their trip to Rome. Also in Rome today: the Rolling Stones, who arrive from Vienna for a concert tomorrow night.

This week’s Sports Illustrated features a cover foldout with pictures of major league managers Danny Murtaugh of Pittsburgh, Leo Durocher of the Chicago Cubs, and Gil Hodges of the New York Mets. Inside, the magazine reports on the controversy surrounding eight black football players at Syracuse University who have been suspended for the season over their discrimination complaint against the university. In today’s Peanuts strip, Lucy wonders why Schroeder never gives her flowers. On TV tonight, ABC’s second broadcast of Monday Night Football stars the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, who race to a 31-0 lead in the second quarter on the way to beating the Baltimore Colts, 44-24. The Colts will lose only one more game this season on their way to a Super Bowl win. Major sponsor Ford promotes the new 1971 Mustang, LTD, Maverick, and Torino models among the game’s commercials. CBS counters with Gunsmoke, The Lucy Show, Mayberry RFD, The Doris Day Show, and The Carol Burnett Show. NBC’s lineup includes The Red Skelton Show (new on NBC after 19 seasons on CBS), Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, and the theatrical movie The Lost Man, a 1969 film starring Sidney Poitier as a revolutionary on the run from the police.

Findings of a coroner’s inquest into the death of Jimi Hendrix on September 18th are announced in London. Hendrix choked to death while intoxicated on barbiturates. Badfinger plays at Eastern Washington College in Cheney, Washington; Yes plays at Aberystwyth University in Wales. The Moody Blues play the Spectrum in Philadelphia. At WDBQ in Dubuque, Iowa, “Cracklin’ Rosie” by Neil Diamond spends another week at #1 according to the station’s new music survey. New in the Top 10 are “Joanne” by Michael Nesmith, “Groovy Situation” by Gene Chandler, and “Indiana Wants Me” by R. Dean Taylor. The biggest mover on the chart is “Candida” by Dawn. Among the new songs on the survey are the latest hits by Mark Lindsay, Melanie, and Linda Ronstadt, along with last week’s Premier Single, “Don’t You Know” by Beefcake.

Perspective From the Present: Moody Blues flutist Ray Thomas fell off a stage platform just before the Spectrum show, breaking two toes—and his flute. He asked if anyone in the audience happened to have a flute he could use, and someone did. Whether this happened on September 28 or the night before isn’t clear; neither is it clear whether the Moodys played on back-to-back nights at the Spectrum or just one, and whether Thomas asked for a replacement flute on the first night or the second night. As for the band Beefcake, our friend Larry Grogan suspects it may be made up of songwriters Chris Arnold, David Martin, and Geoff Morrow, who recorded under several different names, and who wrote dozens of songs for acts from Elvis on down, including “Can’t Smile Without You,” made famous by Barry Manilow.

And as for the bigger hits from the fall of 1970, you know how I am about all that.

(Programming note: because I have written about many, many October days over the years, this blog will be busy in the coming month. You should subscribe, in the right-hand column, if you haven’t already.)

September 25, 1966: Brand New Model

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(Pictured: the Supremes on stage, 1966.)

September 25, 1966, was a Sunday. A Minnesota man is being held for questioning in the murder of Valerie Percy, the 21-year-old daughter of U.S. Senator Charles Percy of Illinois earlier this month. (Fifty-one years later, the case will remain unsolved.) People from Virginia to Wisconsin are still abuzz over the unexplained bright lights seen in the sky early yesterday morning. NASA says it ejected chemicals into the atmosphere as part of a missile test, and the lights must have had something to do with that.  In the Chicago suburb of Alsip, the village holds an open house to show off the new garage built to house its municipal vehicles. Newspapers around the country carry the first ad for the Chevrolet Camaro, a brand-new model for 1967, which will go on sale on Thursday.

Ken Holtzman of the Chicago Cubs takes a no-hitter into the ninth inning at Wrigley Field against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Holtzman will lose the no-hitter and the shutout but win the game 2-1. The losing pitcher is Sandy Koufax, who also pitches a complete game. The game takes one hour and 50 minutes to play. The Dodgers will clinch the National League pennant this week; the Cubs will finish dead last with 103 losses; after the Dodgers lose the World Series, Koufax will retire. The American League cellar-dwellers, the New York Yankees, finish their home schedule with a 3-0 win over the Red Sox in front of a crowd of about 16,000; the previous Thursday, attendance for a game against the White Sox was announced as 413. Jim Stevens, who played two games for the Washington Senators in 1914, dies in Baltimore at age 77, and Army PFC Gary Dopp of Almond, Wisconsin, is killed in Vietnam. The Green Bay Packers win their third game of the season, beating the Los Angeles Rams 24-13.

On TV tonight, ABC airs the 1957 film Bridge on the River Kwai and almost 28.5 million homes tune in. It’s the highest rated movie in TV history, and a good thing, too. ABC paid a record $2 million to Columbia Pictures for the right to show it. NBC has Bonanza and The Andy Williams Show, with special guests Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. On CBS, Ed Sullivan welcomes the Supremes and Ethel Merman.  In Wisconsin, a first-grader is watching The Ed Sullivan Show on the new color TV at his grandparents’ house when he is called to the telephone—a very rare occurrence. It’s his father, who tells him that his new baby brother was born today.

At the Empire Theater in Liverpool, the Rolling Stones are on their biggest tour of Britain to date, headlining with the Yardbirds, and Ike and Tina Turner. Because it’s a Sunday, the bands play shows. The Jefferson Airplane, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and Muddy Waters wrap up a three-day stand at the Fillmore in San Francisco with an afternoon show. The Kinks play Vienna, Austria. Gordon Lightfoot wraps up a three-night stand at Canterbury House in Ann Arbor, Michigan, a venue that seats 150 people. At WLS in Chicago, the top 3 songs on the latest Silver Dollar survey are unchanged from the previous week: “Cherish” by the Association, “Sunshine Superman” by Donovan, and “You Can’t Hurry Love” by the Supremes (which they perform on The Ed Sullivan Show tonight). New in the top 10 is “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” by the Beach Boys; the biggest movers are “Mr. Dieingly Sad” by the Critters and “Cherry Cherry” by Neil Diamond. Among the new songs on the survey this week: “Reach Out I’ll Be There” by the Four Tops and “Poor Side of Town” by Johnny Rivers.

Perspective From the Present: My four-year-old brother and I were rousted in the wee hours of what was probably Saturday morning to go along when Dad took Mother to the hospital. He parked the car at curbside and took her in, leaving us in the back seat by ourselves. (It was a different time.) Sleepily, my brother asked me, “What’s going on?” “Mom’s gonna have a baby,” I told him. I remember being quite proud to have a baby brother. He’s still my baby brother today, and although he’s not nearly as cute as he used to be, his own kids have made up for it.

And sweet fancy Moses, the music in September 1966. Unbelievable.

September 21, 1982: I Got the Shaft

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(Pictured: Frank Zappa sits for a portrait, 1982.)

September 21, 1982, was a Tuesday. It is the first observance of World Peace Day. Following last night’s NFL game (a 27-19 Green Bay Packers win over the New York Giants), players go on strike. The impasse will last 57 days before games resume in November. In San Francisco, the iconic cable car system closes for a renovation project. The project will be completed in June 1984. In Lebanon, Amin Gemayel is elected president, succeeding his brother Bashir, who was elected last month but was assassinated before he could take office. Reagan has announced that in response to the ongoing crisis in Lebanon, U.S. Marines will be sent back to Beirut as peacekeepers. Today, Reagan meets with American negotiators about to depart for arms reduction talks in Geneva and Vienna, and he appoints six members to the Board of Trustees of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, including actors Cary Grant and Dina Merrill. He also speaks at a fundraising luncheon for Republican U.S. Senate candidate David Emery of Maine.

Fifteen games are played in the majors, including two doubleheaders in New York, where the Yankees split with Cleveland and the Mets split with Montreal. Attendance for the latter is announced at 2,251. At the end of the day’s action, the California Angels lead the American League West by two games over Kansas City; the Milwaukee Brewers lead the AL East by two over Baltimore. Division leaders in the National League are Los Angeles in the West and St. Louis in the East. The Cardinals lose to the Phillies tonight 5-2 as Phillies ace Steve Carlton wins his 21st game.

Frank and Moon Zappa appear on Good Morning America to discuss the “Valley Girl” phenomenon. Cartoon Express premieres on USA Network. It’s a daily late-afternoon block of Hanna-Barbera reruns, and will air in various forms until 1996. The network TV lineups tonight are almost entirely reruns: ABC airs Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Three’s Company, Too Close for Comfort, and Hart to Hart; CBS shows The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie and the theatrical movie Hero at Large, starring John Ritter. On NBC, a two-hour episode of Father Murphy, starring Merlin Olsen, is followed by a news special called The Man Who Shot the Pope, about the 1981 attack on John Paul II and its possible terrorist connections. Later on NBC, Johnny Carson welcomes actor Richard Harris and comedian Charlie Callas. Callas fails to get many laughs, so Carson whistles a “bomb” sound, and in response, Callas gives him a shove that’s intended to be playful. Johnny doesn’t take it that way, and tells Callas on the air that he will never be invited back on the show. And he won’t be.

The Grateful Dead play Madison Square Garden, Van Halen plays Oklahoma City, Rush plays Salt Lake City, the Go Gos play Lakeland, Florida, and Judas Priest plays Chicago. The Harvard Crimson publishes a review of Elvis Costello’s latest album, Imperial Bedroom. In the Los Angeles Times, critic Robert Hilburn takes a nostalgic look back at the Whisky A Go-Go; the legendary nightspot closed on Sunday night. In today’s Peanuts strip, Charlie Brown has a question for Linus.

At WBEN in Buffalo, the top four songs on the station’s survey are unchanged from the previous week: “Jack and Diane” by John Cougar, “You Should Hear How She Talks About You” by Melissa Manchester, “Jump to It” by Aretha Franklin, and “I Keep Forgettin'” by Michael McDonald. “Love Come Down” by Evelyn “Champagne” King debuts at #5. The only other song new in the Top 10 is “Somebody’s Baby” by Jackson Browne. “Heart Attack” by Olivia Newton-John and “Heartlight” by Neil Diamond are both up 14 spots for the week, sitting at #11 and #12. Halfway across the country at KDTH in Dubuque, Iowa, the afternoon jock is not playing any of these. His show is more likely to feature the nation’s current #1 country hit, “She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft)” by Jerry Reed.

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