March 5, 1971: Another Day

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(Pictured: Margaret and Pierre Trudeau, 1971.)

March 5, 1971, was a Friday. Eastern Canada is digging out after an historic blizzard. Montreal received 17 inches of snow yesterday alone, setting a record that will stand until 2012. It is revealed today that Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau married Margaret Sinclair, the daughter of another prominent Canadian politician, in a secret ceremony yesterday in North Vancouver, British Columbia. He’s 51 years old; she’s 22. On Christmas Day, they’ll welcome a son and name him Justin. Hockey pioneer Punch Broadbent, who played for the Ottawa Senators, Montreal Maroons, and New York Americans between 1912 and 1929, dies at age 78. Future major league baseball players Brian Hunter, Jeffrey Hammonds, and Chad Fonville are born.

In Oakland, California, the Black Panther Party holds a Revolutionary Intercommunal Solidarity Day event honoring imprisoned Panthers co-founder Bobby Seale, controversial activist Angela Davis, and others. The event is also billed as a “Post-Birthday Celebration for Huey P. Newton,” recently released from prison. The program features “revolutionary singing by the Lumpen of the Black Panther Party backed by the Freedom Messengers,” plus music by the Vanguards and the Grateful Dead. As the Dead perform, the front of the hall is occupied by hippies, while the Panthers, who are less friendly to the Dead than the Dead are to them, stand in the back. Across the bay in San Francisco, Aretha Franklin opens a three-night stand at the Fillmore West. She is the first female performer to headline the Fillmore. Highlights of the shows will be released in May on Aretha Live at Fillmore West.

Ted Nugent and the Amboy Dukes play Des Moines with Mason Profitt, Badfinger plays Toledo, and Three Dog Night headlines Madison Square Garden in New York City with Stevie Wonder and Bloodrock. The Rolling Stones play Manchester Free Trade Hall in the UK. Led Zeppelin opens a spring tour of the UK at Ulster Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Their setlist includes the first public performances of several new songs, “Black Dog,” “Rock and Roll,” “Going to California,” and “Stairway to Heaven,” all of which will be on the album the band is currently recording.

Six games are on the NBA schedule. The league-leading Milwaukee Bucks get 34 points from Oscar Robertson and 26 from Jon McGlocklin to beat the Detroit Pistons 108-95. Dave Bing of the Pistons leads all scorers with 39. Five games are played in the American Basketball Association tonight, including a triple-overtime barnburner between the league’s two worst teams, in which the Texas Chaparrals beat the Denver Rockets 158-153. On TV tonight, ABC presents The Brady Bunch, Nanny and the Professor, The Partridge Family, That Girl, The Odd Couple, and Love American Style. CBS primetime features episodes of The Interns and The New Andy Griffith Show plus the 1968 theatrical movie The Biggest Bundle of Them All starring Robert Wagner and Raquel Welch. NBC airs episodes of The High Chaparral, The Name of the Game, and The Strange Report, a British import about a freelance criminologist starring Anthony Quayle. In the Poughkeepsie Journal, Vassar College student Meryl Streep gets a positive notice for her performance in the Vassar Experimental Theater production of the 1731 play The London Merchant by George Lillo.

At KJR in Seattle, “Timothy” by the Buoys is #1 on the new Fabulous Fifty survey. “Doesn’t Somebody Want to Be Wanted” by the Partridge Family is #2, followed by Tom Jones’ “She’s a Lady,” “Me and Bobby McGee” by Janis Joplin, and the Osmonds’ “One Bad Apple.” New entries in the Top 10 are “Woodstock” by Matthews’ Southern Comfort and “Chick-a-Boom” by Daddy Dewdrop. The hottest records on the chart include “Another Day” by Paul McCartney, up 15 spots to #19; “Stay Awhile” by the Bells, up 14 to #34, and “What Is Life” by George Harrison, up 13 to #19. Harrison’s double-sided hit “My Sweet Lord” and “Isn’t It a Pity” is still on the KJR chart as well, at #36. The highest debut on the chart is “Hot Pants,” a novelty record by Salvage, at #40. Also debuting this week is the new song by Three Dog Night, “Joy to the World.”

(Note to Patrons: the recent poll about what you’d like to read here showed overwhelming interest in the 70s, some interest in the 60s and earlier, less interest in the 80s than I expected, and no votes at all for posts covering dates in the 90s or the new millennium. Since that largely reflects my own interests, I think we’ll probably carry on as we’ve been doing. If there’s a particular date you’d like to read about, send it along no less than a couple of weeks out and I’ll fulfill your request.)

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October 29, 1971: A Space in Time

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(Pictured: Duane Allman.)

October 29, 1971, was a Friday. News headlines this morning include the British Parliament’s vote yesterday to join the European Common Market. An Associated Press story appearing in newspapers around the country today discusses the political future of Vice President Spiro Agnew. There’s been speculation that President Nixon might want to replace Agnew in 1972 with Treasury Secretary and former Texas governor John Connally. Agnew wants Nixon to decide “in a cold and practical political way” whether to keep him. Agnew also says he believes Nixon can’t make a decision yet. In Macon, Georgia, guitarist Duane Allman of the Allman Brothers Band dies in a motorcycle accident. In Winona, Minnesota, future actress Winona Ryder is born. Seven games are played in the National Basketball Association tonight. After seven straight wins to open the season, the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks lose their first, 125-114 to the Boston Celtics. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the former Lew Alcindor, who has adopted his new name with the new season, leads all scorers with 43 points. Dave Cowens leads the Celtics with 37.

On TV tonight, ABC presents The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, Room 222, The Odd Couple, and Love American Style. After the late local news on ABC, guests on The Dick Cavett Show include United Nations ambassador George Bush, U.S. senator Edmund Muskie, and actress Gloria Swanson. CBS starts its night with a sitcom set during Prohibition, The Chicago Teddy Bears, and the crime drama O’Hara: US Treasury starring David Janssen. Also on CBS tonight: the TV movie Murder Once Removed starring John Forsythe and Barbara Bain. NBC’s highlight tonight is a special celebrating the October 1 opening of Walt Disney World in Florida, which stars Julie Andrews, Glen Campbell, Jonathan Winters, and Buddy Hackett, with a special appearance by Bob Hope.

In Orono, Maine, Sampson’s Supermarkets have special prices on ham (58 cents a pound), pork chops (68 cents a pound), and oysters (99 cents a pound. A 50-pound bag of #1 winter keeper potatoes is $1.49. In Bowling Green, Ohio, the Big N department store is having an anniversary sale, with albums priced at $3.99 including A Space in Time by Ten Years After, Master of Reality by Black Sabbath, and Every Good Boy Deserves Favour by the Moody Blues. Sale eight-tracks are priced at $2.27, including Iron Butterfly’s Ball and Cream’s Wheels of Fire. At Discount Records in Carbondale, Illinois, albums priced at $5.99 or higher are one-third off today only, including Chicago at Carnegie Hall, Cahoots by the Band, Steve Miller’s Rock Love, and Meddle by Pink Floyd. Customers can pre-order the forthcoming album by Sly and the Family Stone, There’s a Riot Goin’ On. The student newspaper at the University of Cincinnati reports that fewer rock concerts may be coming to campus in the future due to financial losses at past shows. The university’s cultural events coordinator says, “This whole rock business is not very stable or very ethical.” For example, a Jethro Tull concert scheduled on campus for November 12 had to be rescheduled when a promoter scheduled Three Dog Night for an appearance in town the very same night. The Ike and Tina Turner Revue will play the university’s fieldhouse tonight; Tull plays Portland, Maine.

At WRKO in Boston, “Gypsies Tramps and Thieves” by Cher and “Imagine” by John Lennon hold at #1 and #2. “Theme From Shaft” by Isaac Hayes is up to #3. Chicago’s “Questions 67 and 68” is up to #4 from #10, and two other songs make big moves to reach the Top 10: “Baby I’m-a Want You” by Bread (to #9 from #19) and “Two Divided by Love” by the Grass Roots (to #10 from #17). They take the places of “I’d Love to Change the World” by Ten Years After (down to #17 from #9) and “Yo Yo” by the Osmonds (down to #20 from #7). Two songs debut in the Top 30: “Behind Blue Eyes” by the Who and “Family Affair” by Sly and the Family Stone. WRKO’s top albums are John Lennon’s Imagine, Santana III, and Cat Stevens’ Teaser and the Firecat.

Perspective From the Present: I was two months into the sixth grade at Northside School, in Mr. Schilling’s class. He was a very large, very loud, and—I am guessing now—very young man. Academic subjects are pretty easy for me; I get all A’s in the first quarter of the year except in math. I do less well in art, music, and physical education, and a note on my report card says I need to improve my self-control.

I already know I want to be on the radio someday.

January 25, 1971: Don’t Just Let That Lie

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(Pictured: Elton John.)

January 25, 1971, was a Monday. In Los Angeles, Charles Manson and three members of his “family,” Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Houten, and Patricia Krenwinkel, are found guilty in the 1969 murders of actress Sharon Tate and six others. They will be sentenced to death, but the sentences will be commuted. Atkins will die in prison in 2009; in 2017, Manson will die; in 2018, Krenwinkel and Van Houten will still be in prison. Ugandan president Milton Obote is attending an international conference in Singapore; at home, General Idi Amin takes control of the government before troops loyal to Obote can arrest him, as the president had ordered. Police officers remain on strike in Milwaukee; they walked off the job on Saturday after contract negotiations with the city broke down. A judge will order the striking officers back to work on Wednesday. The U.S. Supreme Court rules that Wisconsin’s “posting” law is unconstitutional. It allows police to forbid the sale of intoxicating beverages to an individual simply by posting announcements in retail liquor establishments that alcohol is not to be served or sold to that person. It’s used in cases when police believe a person puts themselves, their family, or the community at risk by drinking. Sixteen states have such laws on the books; Wisconsin’s has been in place for more than 40 years. Dissident priests Philip and Daniel Berrigan are on the cover of Time magazine. In a diary entry, White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman notes that President Nixon is concerned about what he perceives as a change in attitude toward his administration at Time; Haldeman says Nixon has urged him to develop “a plan for attack on them and not just let that lie.” Elsewhere in the White House, Nixon aide Chuck Colson and another staffer begin compiling a list of anti-Nixon people and organizations, which will eventually be known as the “enemies list.” The United States Senate begins using a new sound system in its chamber today, which will allow senators to be more easily heard.

In today’s Peanuts strip, Schroeder and Lucy talk about what brings people together. Prototypes of a new U.S. dollar coin with the face of former president Dwight D. Eisenhower are struck at the Philadelphia mint. The coin will go into general circulation on November 1. In Martin, Tennessee, the Harlem Globetrotters take the floor against their usual foe, the Washington Generals, although the Generals are wearing an alternate uniform and are called the New Jersey Reds. On this night, the Reds win the game, 100-99. Although official records are scarce, it’s thought to be the first Generals win since 1957. The team will fold in 2015 without winning another.

Shows on TV tonight include The Newlywed Game and the second episode of The Reel Game, which requires contestants to answer questions involving movie clips. Also tonight: Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, Gunsmoke, The Lucy Show (featuring a guest appearance by the UCLA Marching Band), Mayberry RFD, The Doris Day Show, and The Carol Burnett Show. In San Francisco, Grace Slick and Paul Kantner of the Jefferson Airplane welcome a daughter. At first, they name her god (with a lower-case g), but she is later renamed China. In New York City, James Taylor plays two shows at the Fillmore East, and Captain Beefheart plays a theater called Ungano’s. T. Rex plays London. Yes and Iron Butterfly play Copenhagen, Denmark, and the two bands close the show by jamming together.

At WLS in Chicago, Dave Edmunds’ “I Hear You Knocking” holds at #1. Elton John’s “Your Song” is #2. Only one song is new in the Top 10, “1900 Yesterday” by Liz Damon’s Orient Express. It’s at #10, tucked in behind Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song.” Three new songs have cracked the Top 20: “Most of All” by B. J. Thomas, “Watching Scotty Grow” by Bobby Goldsboro, and “We Gotta Get You a Woman” by Runt, at #18, #19, and #20 respectively. The hottest record on WLS is at #21, “Mama’s Pearl” by the Jackson Five, up from #28 the week before.

Perspective From the Present: “1900 Yesterday” is a record we have dug around here since always. And you’re going to want to click that link about the New Jersey Reds beating the Globetrotters. It’s quite a story.

November 24, 1971: Dan Cooper, Phone Home

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(Pictured: Cher, onstage.)

November 24, 1971, is a Wednesday. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. Headlines on the morning’s newspapers include passage of a major defense bill by the United States Senate and the ongoing tensions in south Asia, where India and Pakistan are on the brink of war. In Madison, Wisconsin, hungry pre-Thanksgiving shoppers can get a spaghetti dinner with salad, roll, and beverage for 95 cents at the lunch counter of their neighborhood Rennebohm Rexall Drug Store. Future actress Lola Glaudini, who will appear on NYPD Blue, The Sopranos, and Criminal Minds, is born, and so is future professional hockey player Keith Primeau. Radio relay operator Rick Holt of Dundalk, Maryland, with less than 30 days remaining on his hitch in Vietnam, writes two letters home. Tonight, a Northwest Airlines flight from Portland to Seattle will be hijacked by a man who claims to have a bomb in his briefcase. He demands $200,000 and two parachutes. The plane lands to release the other passengers and get the hijacker his money, then takes off again. Somewhere over Washington state, the man jumps out of the plane, and he is never seen again. Although he’s on the passenger list as Dan Cooper, his name will be reported by the media, and he will be remembered forever after, as D. B. Cooper.

In today’s Doonesbury strip, documentarian Mark intrudes on B. D.’s football huddle. The CBS-TV lineup tonight features The Carol Burnett Show, Medical Center, and Mannix; on NBC, it’s Adam-12, McCloud, and Night Gallery. In the UK, George Harrison is a guest on The David Frost Show. Led Zeppelin plays Manchester, England. The Doors, minus the late Jim Morrison, play at the University of Pennsylvania, while King Crimson and Yes play the Academy of Music in New York City. At WWDJ in Hackensack, New Jersey, there’s lots of movement at the top of this week’s chart: “Family Affair” by Sly and the Family Stone leaps from #9 to #1, and “Got to Be There” by Michael Jackson jumps from #17 to #2. Last week’s #1, “Gypsys Tramps and Thieves” by Cher falls to #3. Also moving up: “Superstar” by the Temptations, from #16 to #11, and “I Know I’m Losing You” by Rod Stewart from #21 to #14. New on the chart this week are David Cassidy’s “Cherish,” “Scorpio” by Dennis Coffey, and “Hallelujah” by Sweathog.

A sixth-grader in Wisconsin (who will soon buy “Scorpio” on a 45)  looks forward to Thanksgiving Day, eating a big dinner, and watching football with the men of his extended family, not just the traditional NFL games in Detroit and Dallas, but the #1 vs. #2 showdown in college football between Nebraska and Oklahoma. The day will end too early, as such days often do.

July 16, 1971: Stone Age

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(Pictured: planet Earth in the summer of 1971, photographed from Apollo 15.)

July 16, 1971, was a Friday. Life magazine reports on the three Soviet Soyuz 11 cosmonauts who died during re-entry on June 29; consumer advocate Bess Myerson is on the cover. Preparations continue for the Apollo 15 moon mission, which will launch in 10 days. Maryann Grelinger of Kansas City, Missouri, sends President Nixon a telegram in response to the announcement yesterday that he will visit China. It says, “Have fun in Red China. Hope they keep you.” At the Western White House in San Clemente, Nixon meets with the National Security Council to discuss the Middle East and South Asia. Demographers estimate that the population of the world has passed the four billion mark. Future actor Corey Feldman is born. During his year in Vietnam, radio relay operator Rick Holt of Dundalk, Maryland, writes his parents nearly every day, sometimes more than once. Today he writes another letter. Jeanne M. Holm, director of Women in the Air Force, is promoted to brigadier general, becoming the first woman in the U.S. military with that rank.

NBC Nightly News reports the discovery of the Tasaday, a Stone Age people living in an isolated part of the Philippines. (Years later, some anthropologists accuse the discoverers of the Tasaday of perpetrating a hoax.) A paper titled “Fiber Digestion in the Beaver” is accepted for publication by the Journal of Nutrition. New movies for the weekend include The Hunting Party starring Candice Bergen and Gene Hackman and The Devils, directed by Ken Russell and originally given an X rating before cuts were made. Top movies already out include Shaft, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and McCabe and Mrs. Miller.

Creedence Clearwater Revival plays in Boston. Duke Ellington plays at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. Top 40 fans are enjoying a harmonic convergence of great radio records and superb summer songs pumping out of AM radios everywhere. At WLS in Chicago, Carole King’s “It’s Too Late” tops the chart for a fourth week; James Taylor’s “You’ve Got a Friend” (which King wrote, and on which she plays) holds at #2.

Also charting near the top this week: “Don’t Pull Your Love” by Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds, “Draggin’ the Line” by Tommy James, “Sooner or Later” by the Grass Roots, and “Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again” by the Fortunes. Classic one-hit wonders are afoot, like “Funky Nassau” by Beginning of the End, and “Rings” by Cymarron. The Doors’ “Riders on the Storm” is in its first week on the chart. An eleven-year-old music fanatic in southern Wisconsin lives with the radio on every waking moment, absorbs it all, and will never forget it.

March 19, 1971: Obsession

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(Pictured: Vice President Spiro Agnew, famed for saying things his boss, Richard Nixon, could not.)

March 19, 1971, was a Friday. Headline stories in the morning papers around the country include an antiwar protest in Boston outside a hotel yesterday, where Vice-President Spiro Agnew gave a fiery anti-media speech at a Republican fundraiser. A crowd estimated at 3,500 clashed with a group of hard-hats before being pushed back by police. Today, the prime interest rate is adjusted down, from 5.38 percent to 5.25 percent. (It will go back up in April.) In Texas, Amarillo Air Force Base closes. In the current edition of Life, TV critic John Leonard eviscerates the CBS-TV series All in the Family, which premiered in January, calling it “a wretched program” and “insulting.” The Life cover story, written by Norman Mailer, is about the Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier fight of March 8, won by Frazier. Ali is also on the cover of the current Rolling Stone.

In Wisconsin, the state high school basketball tournament continues at the UW Field House. Semifinal games are won by Janesville Parker and Milwaukee Rufus King. Tomorrow, Parker will defeat King 79-68 for the championship. It’s the final one-class tournament; next year, the state’s high schools will be divided into two classes for tournament play. The Illinois tournament opens with four quarterfinals; Thornridge, led by future college star, NBA player, and TV broadcaster Quinn Buckner, defeats Kewanee 63-58, and will win the state crown tomorrow. In college hockey, Minnesota overcomes a 4-1 deficit to beat Harvard 6-5 in overtime and advances to the NCAA national championship game against Boston University. Tomorrow, Boston U will win the title, 4-2.

Shows on ABC tonight include The Partridge Family and The Odd Couple, plus the last original episode of That Girl, ending its run after five seasons. On NBC, The Name of the Game airs its final original episode. A Grateful Dead show scheduled for the former Chicago Coliseum (recently renamed the Syndrome) is scrapped when the venue abruptly closes. Fleetwood Mac plays Detroit and Grand Funk Railroad plays Fort Lauderdale. Led Zeppelin plays Manchester University in England. Sugarloaf, fresh off a post-show gig at the Grammys earlier in the week, continues a lengthy stand at the Whisky in Los Angeles. Keith Jarrett plays Minneapolis and Elvin Bishop plays San Francisco. Released today: The Yes Album and Aqualung by Jethro Tull.

At WLS in Chicago, “Doesn’t Somebody Want to Be Wanted” by the Partridge Family will be knocked from the #1 slot on Monday, when the new survey comes out, by the Temptations’ “Just My Imagination.” “She’s a Lady” by Tom Jones moves to #2, and “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye hits #3.The hottest record on the chart is “I’m Eighteen” by Alice Cooper, blasting from #30 to #16. Also up big: “Another Day” by Paul McCartney (from #23 to #12) and “We Can Work It Out” by Stevie Wonder (from #28 to #17). Among the new songs on the survey are “If” by Bread and “Joy to the World” by Three Dog Night.

An 11-year-old kid in Wisconsin listens to WLS constantly, when he’s not watching sports on TV. He also watches The Partridge Family, and he bought “Doesn’t Somebody Want to Be Wanted” long before it was featured on the March 12 episode of the show. In years to come, he will consider “Just My Imagination” to be among his favorite songs of all time.

Perspective From the Present: I had my very own copy of the WLS survey from that week. A million years later, the songs on it are the sound of an obsession being born. I had already decided, on or around my 11th birthday, that I wanted to do what I heard the jocks on WLS doing.

I still do.