(Pictured: Leo Sayer on stage in Atlanta on April 1, 1975.)
April 1, 1975, was a Tuesday. The government of South Vietnam is collapsing. North Vietnamese forces captured Da Nang last week; yesterday, the US Army Chief of Staff, Frederick Weyand, gave a pessimistic assessment of the situation on the ground, while a colonel at the US Embassy told reporters that without strategic Amerian bombing of North Vietnamese forces, South Vietnam would be defeated within 90 days. North Vietnamese commanders have seen their timetable for capture of Saigon moved up from 1976 to six weeks from now. In Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge are nearing capture of the capital city, Phnom Penh; today, the country’s president, Lon Nol, flees his homeland for exile in Hawaii. As of today, young American men are no longer required to register with the Selective Service System. Registration had remained mandatory even after the draft was suspended in 1973.
President Ford is on vacation in Palm Springs, California. After morning meetings with aides, he plays a round of golf, briefly visits an antique shop for an appearance with Mrs. Bob Hope and Mrs. Phil Harris, then returns to his vacation residence for more meetings. Tonight the Fords host a private dinner attended by the Hopes, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Annenberg, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Capra, various California business leaders, and Eva Gabor. It is Election Day in a number of cities and states; in Chicago, Mayor Richard Daley is elected to a record sixth term with 77 percent of the vote. The Freedom Train begins its Bicentennial tour in Wilmington, Delaware; seven million people will see the train and tour its exhibits on American history before the tour ends in Miami on December 31, 1976. The midwestern United States braces for a late-season snowstorm, which will drop up to a foot of snow tomorrow and on Thursday. In Canada, weather forecasts and measurements switch to the metric system. In Adelaide, Australia, a TV news program reports that the country is switching to a metric calendar, in which seconds will become millidays, minutes become centidays, and hours become decidays. South Australia’s deputy premier appears on the program to explain the change, which turns out to be an April Fool’s Day prank. Future professional tennis player Magdalena Maleeva is born.
Last night, UCLA won its tenth men’s college basketball championship in 12 years, beating Kentucky 92-85. It’s the final game on the bench for UCLA coach John Wooden, who has coached the Bruins since 1948. Also last night, CBS aired the final first-run episode of Gunsmoke, which premiered in 1955. Tonight, the CBS lineup includes Good Times, M*A*S*H, Hawaii Five-O, and Barnaby Jones. Lorne Michaels, who has been working as a TV writer in Los Angeles for several years, signs a contract with NBC to produce a new late-night comedy show that will air live on Saturdays starting in the fall.
Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band play Ann Arbor, Michigan. Elvis Presley closes a two-week engagement at the Las Vegas Hilton with two shows tonight at 8:15 and midnight. In Burbank, California, KISS tapes a performance for future airing on The Midnight Special. Lynryd Skynyrd plays Lake Charles, Louisiana, and 10cc plays Manchester, England, while Leo Sayer plays Atlanta and Alice Cooper plays Chicago Stadium with Suzi Quatro opening. At KQV in Pittsburgh, Leo Sayer holds at #1 with “Long Tall Glasses” and Suzi Quatro holds at #6 with “Your Mama Won’t Like Me” on the new survey to be released tomorrow. Elton John’s “Philadelphia Freedom” is at #2 again this week. The hottest songs on the KQV Master Playlist include “Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” by B. J. Thomas, up to #9 from #25, “Killer Queen” by Queen, which is up 26 spots to #13, “Jackie Blue” by the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, up to #18 from #40, and “Dynomite” by Bazuka, up to #21 from #37.
Perspective From the Present: I am not sure whether the Master Playlist was a published list or an internal KQV list. In any case, it’s fairly adventuresome, and not just because of the clavinet-heavy “Your Mama Won’t Like Me,” which failed to make the Hot 100. It’s got lesser-known tracks by big stars (such as “Live Your Life Before You Die” by the Pointer Sisters and “Someone Take My Heart Away” by Edgar Winter) and people you may never have heard of (among them Dooley Silverspoon, Tamiko Jones, and the Crescent Street Stompers). It will take a high-school kid who was a freshman in 1975 44 years to catch up with them.