April 26, 1970: The Hands of Time

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(Pictured: Raquel Welch and Tom Jones pass the time backstage, 1970.)

April 26, 1970, is a Sunday. This morning at 2AM, clocks in most places across the country went forward one hour for this year’s start of Daylight Saving Time. Today, President Nixon issues a National Security Council Decision Memorandum authorizing US forces to operate in Cambodia. When the decision becomes public later in the week, the nation’s college campuses will explode in protest. In the Sunday papers, reporters and colunnists examine the aftermath of the aborted mission of Apollo 13 earlier this month and the first Earth Day, celebrated last week. Also this past week, the House of Representatives voted in favor of a Constitutional amendment abolishing the Electoral College in favor of direct election of the president by popular vote. The measure now goes to the Senate, where it faces an uncertain future. Another big story from the past week involves Florida’s U.S. Senate race, which took a turn when G. Harrold Carswell jumped in, leaving the federal bench to run for the Republican nomination to face Democratic incumbent Spessard Holland in the fall. Earlier this month, Carswell failed to win confirmation to a seat on the United States Supreme Court, the second of Nixon’s nominees to be rejected for the seat vacated by the resignation of Associate Justice Abe Fortas. In Yugoslavia today, Melanija Knavs is born. She will later modify the spelling of her name to Melania Knauss, pursue a career as a fashion model, and in 2005, marry New York real estate developer Donald Trump. In Des Moines, Iowa, Tionne Watkins is born. She will adopt the stage name T-Boz as part of the group TLC. Burlesque star Gypsy Rose Lee dies at age 59.

In the National Hockey League today, the Boston Bruins qualify for the Stanley Cup Final, completing a four-game sweep of the Chicago Black Hawks with a 5-4 win. The Pittsburgh Pengins beat the St. Louis Blues 2-1 to tie their semifinal series at 2. Game 5 will be in St. Louis on Tuesday night. In Chicago, Ron Santo’s sixth-inning grand slam propels the first-place Cubs to a 6-3 win over the Houston Astros. Ferguson Jenkins is the winning pitcher. Other winning pitchers on this day include Tom Seaver for the Mets, Luis Tiant for Minnesota, Mel Stottlemyre for the Yankees, Phil Niekro for Atlanta, and Bob Gibson for St. Louis. The NBA Finals will resume tomorrow night in New York; the Knicks took Game 1 over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, 124-112.

On a farm near Poynette, Wisconsin, the Sound Storm Festival concludes its three-day run with a performance by the Grateful Dead. In Providence, Rhode Island, Judy Collins closes Brown University’s Spring Weekend. Other stars performing at Brown this weekend included Ray Charles, the Jefferson Airplane, Delaney and Bonnie, James Taylor, and John Mayall. In Minneapolis, Rod Stewart and the Small Faces play the Labor Temple with Alice Cooper opening, Joe Cocker plays the Fillmore West in San Francisco, and Jimi Hendrix plays Sacramento, California. On TV tonight, Ed Sullivan welcomes Richie Havens, Lesley Gore, Jane Morgan, John Gary, Moms Mabley, Stiller and Meara, and Robert Klein, along with Victor Julian and his performing dogs. Also on CBS tonight, Raquel Welch stars in her first TV special, Raquel!. Guest stars are Tom Jones, John Wayne, and Bob Hope, who performs the Beatles’ “Rocky Raccoon” with Welch. At the movies this weekend, Patton tops the box office for the fourth week. Other popular movies include Airport, M*A*S*H, The Boys in the Band, and Woodstock.

At KYA in San Francisco, “Woodstock” by Crosby Stills Nash and Young has fallen out of the station’s Top 10 and is now at #11, and “Airport Love Theme” by Vincent Bell is at #24. The Jackson Five’s “ABC” is #1, and the Guess Who’s two-sided hit, “American Woman” and “No Sugar Tonight” is up to #2. “Turn Back the Hands of Time” by Tyrone Davis holds at #3. “Cecelia” by Simon and Garfunkel and “What Is Truth” by Johnny Cash make strong moves into the Top 10.

In Wisconsin, it’s a regular Sunday that will be far down the memory hole 49 years hence. A 10-year-old boy and his family most likely go to church and maybe for dinner at a restaurant afterward. Then it’s home to watch TV or play, maybe have homemade pizza for dinner and popcorn with TV in the evening, and then off to bed before another week in the fourth grade.

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April 19, 1987: Easter Bunnies

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(Pictured: Pat LaFontaine of the New York Islanders shoots and scores early in the morning of April 19, 1987.)

April 19, 1987, was Easter Sunday. Headlines on the Sunday papers include continuing nuclear-weapons control negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union and a brewing trade war between the United States and Japan in response to new American tariffs on certain Japanese goods. A feature story discusses the political future of Vice President George Bush. He’s assumed to be considering a run for president in 1988 but has yet to officially declare, even though other Republican hopefuls have done so. Bush has begun fundraising, however.

Early this morning, the New York Islanders won their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series over the Washington Capitals, taking Game 7 by a score of 4-3 at the Capital Center in Landover, Maryland. The game is decided in the fourth overtime on a goal by Pat LaFontaine after nearly 69 minutes of extra play. Today is the final day of the National Basketball Association’s regular season; the playoffs will begin on Thursday with the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics holding the top seeds. The Lakers finished the season with a league-best record of 65-and-17. In major-league baseball, the Milwaukee Brewers win their 12th straight game to open the season, coming from a 4-1 deficit in the bottom of the ninth on home runs by Rob Deer and Dale Sveum to beat the Texas Rangers 6-4. The Brewers’ win streak will reach 13 with a win over the Chicago White Sox tomorrow before the Sox snap the streak on Tuesday. Among the spectators at County Stadium in Milwaukee today is 16-year-old Craig Counsell, whose father works for the Brewers. Counsell will eventually play for and manage the team.

On TV tonight, Fox airs 21 Jump Street, Married . . . With Children, The Tracey Ullman Show, and two episodes of Duet, a sitcom about the romantic lives of two couples. The Tracey Ullman Show includes a cartoon short titled “Good Night.” It’s the first appearance of the animated Simpson family on TV. NBC airs the family drama Our House; an episode of Rags to Riches, a family comedy/drama in which the characters occasionally break into song; the holiday special Bob Hope and His Beautiful Easter Bunnies; and a one-off episode of This Is Your Life, in which host Ralph Edwards surprises Betty White and Dick Van Dyke with people from their pasts. On CBS tonight, 60 Minutes is followed by Murder She Wrote (which tops the night’s ratings) and a two-hour episode of High Mountain Rangers, an adventure series starring Robert Conrad and his sons Christian and Shane. ABC counters with its annual presentation of the 1956 movie The Ten Commandments.

Because it’s Easter Sunday, the concert calendar is fairly light. The Grateful Dead plays Laguna Hills, California, and Slayer plays Birmingham, England. Tina Turner plays Munich, Germany, and Kool and the Gang plays Denver. On the new Cash Box Top 100 that came out yesterday, “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” by the Starship is #1 for a third week. “I Knew You Were Waiting for Me” by Aretha Franklin and George Michael is up to #2. It swaps places with recent #1 “Lean on Me” by Club Nouveau, which is now #3. Three songs are new in the Top 10: Lou Gramm’s “Midnight Blue,” “The Finer Things” by Steve Winwood, and “Walking Down Your Street” by the Bangles. The biggest mover in the Top 40 is U2’s “With or Without You,” up seven spots to #15. Five songs are new in the Top 40 including “I Know What I Like” by Huey Lewis and the News, “If She Would Have Been Faithful” by Chicago, and Kim Wilde’s cover of “You Keep Me Hangin’ On.” Three songs among the Top 100 share the distinction of being around the longest, 23 weeks: “You Got It All” by the Jets, “Will You Still Love Me” by Chicago, and “Nobody’s Fool” by Cinderella, which is at #100 for the week.

Perspective From the Present: We most likely took it easy around our two-bedroom apartment in Davenport, Iowa, on this day, probably watching the Chicago Cubs lose 3-1 to the Montreal Expos. The Cubs were without announcer Harry Caray, who had suffered a stroke in February. A series of guest announcers filled in until he returned in May. The previous Monday, Detroit Tigers announcer Ernie Harwell called a near-no-hitter by Cubs pitcher Jamie Moyer. Bill Murray made his famous appearance on Friday; on this day, Chicago TV and radio personality Bob Sirott took Harry’s spot.

April 15, 1962: Knock Yourself Out

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(Pictured: Louis Armstrong on stage, 1962.)

April 15, 1962, is Palm Sunday. Making headlines on the newspapers today is Fidel Castro’s decision to release for health reasons 60 prisoners held since the Bay of Pigs invasion last year. The released prisoners will be flown from Havana to Miami. Over 1,100 rebels still remain in custody. Georges Pompidou is the new prime minister of France; he took office yesterday following the resignation of Michel Debré. Debré left office at the request of French president Charles de Gaulle. Today in Chicago, firefighters are busy with three separate blazes. One of them, at a garage where ice-cream trucks are serviced, does $400,000 in damage, and over 100 firefighters are affected by fumes from the refrigerant used in the trucks. Six people are injured and 20 have to be rescued from a fire at the Tivoli Hotel, and a third fire damages an auto-parts store and a bar adjacent to it. Clara Blandick, who played Auntie Em in The Wizard of Oz, dies at age 85. In Monroe, Wisconsin, a two-year-old who will grow up to waste his time with not one but two blogs now has a brother, born yesterday.

The baseball season is one week old. The National League’s Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals remain unbeaten; the best record in the American League belongs to the Los Angeles Angels, who are 3-and-1 after a 6-3 win over the Minnesota Twins today. The Twins use three pitchers in the game, including 18-year-old Jim Manning, who pitches three scoreless innings in his major-league debut. Manning will pitch in four more games with the Twins in the next three weeks, including one start. They will be his only big-league appearances. Back in the National League, the Milwaukee Braves get their first win, beating Sandy Koufax and the Dodgers 6-3 in Los Angeles. In Milwaukee, Braves fans attend an open house at Milwaukee County Stadium, where they tour the clubhouses, press box, and team offices before the home opener later in the week. The stadium has a new scoreboard this season, and fans will get there on a new expressway. The Chicago Black Hawks beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-0 in Chicago, but the Leafs still lead the Stanley Cup Final two games to one. It’s an off-day in the NBA Finals. Yesterday, the Los Angeles Lakers took a 3-1 lead with a 126-121 win over the Boston Celtics. Elgin Baylor scored 61 points for the Lakers, a playoff record that will stand until 1986. Game 6 will be tomorrow night in Boston.

Tomorrow, CBS will launch a new evening news broadcast titled Walter Cronkite With the News. Cronkite, who will double as managing editor, is taking over the anchor chair from Douglas Edwards, who has anchored the evening news on CBS since 1947. Shows on TV tonight include Lassie, Dennis the Menace, Maverick, The Bullwinkle Show, The Ed Sullivan Show (featuring Liberace, Sophia Loren, and Teresa Brewer), Bonanza, The Jack Benny Program, General Electric Theater, Candid Camera, What’s My Line, and Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color. Among the acts featured on the latter is a family group called the Osmond Brothers, who are making their national TV debut, along with Annette Funicello, Bobby Rydell, and Louis Armstrong. The performances are recorded; on this night, Armstrong is performing with his All-Stars in Berlin, Germany. Ray Charles plays the Apollo Theater in Harlem and Frank Sinatra opens a world tour in Mexico City. Proceeds from the 30-date, two-month tour will benefit children’s charities.

At WOHO in Toledo, Ohio,”Soldier Boy” by the Shirelles is #1, ahead of “Stranger on the Shore” by Mr. Acker Bilk and Elvis Presley’s “Good Luck Charm.” Dee Dee Sharp has two songs on the chart: “Slow Twistin'” with Chubby Checker at #4 and her own “Mashed Potato Time” at #12. Two young stars of TV’s The Donna Reed Show have hit records:  “Johnny Angel” by Shelley Fabares at #8 (it’s currently #1 on the Billboard Hot 100) and “She Can’t Find Her Keys” by Paul Petersen at #30. Also charted: “Don’t Break the Heart That Loves You” by Connie Francis, “Shout! Shout! (Knock Yourself Out)” by Ernie Maresca, Jimmy Dean’s “P.T. 109,” “You Better Move On” by Arthur Alexander, and “Uptown” by the Crystals. With the twist remaining a national craze, WOHO is charting several twist record, including its own “Wally Wo-Ho Twist” by the Tip Top Twisters. Wally Wo-Ho is the station’s mascot; the record is produced by the jingle company Richard H. Ullman Inc., so the Tip Top Twisters may in fact be the Johnny Mann Singers.

April 9, 1959: It’s Just a Matter of Time

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(Pictured: the Boston Celtics celebrate winning the NBA championship on April 9, 1959.)

April 9, 1959, was a Thursday. NASA names seven military test pilots as the first group of astronauts for its Mercury program: Air Force pilots Gus Grissom, Gordon Cooper, and Deke Slayton, Navy men Alan Shepard, Scott Carpenter, and Wally Schirra, and Marine John Glenn. Over 500 names were originally submitted from all four branches of the service. The number was eventually winnowed to 25 finalists; of the 18 who didn’t make the final cut, three will eventually join the astronaut corps: Pete Conrad, Jim Lovell, and Edward Givens. Tonight, Massachusetts senator John F. Kennedy speaks at the Gridiron Club dinner in Milwaukee. He tells the audience that brainpower is more important than atomic, military, or industrial power. “The dinosaur was bigger and stronger than anyone else . . . but he was also dumber. And look what happened to him.” Speaking to a religious group in Washington, Minnesota senator Hubert Humphrey says, “It is impossible to win a war with the Communists by military and economic means—it has to be won by spiritual zeal.” CIA director Allen Dulles gives a speech in Lubbock, Texas, titled “Alert to the Communist Challenge.” Architect Frank Lloyd Wright dies at age 91.

The Boston Celtics win the NBA championship, completing a four-game sweep of the Minneapolis Lakers with a 118-103 win. It’s the second title in the last three seasons for Boston. They will win the next seven in a row. The National Hockey League Stanley Cup final opens tonight; Montreal beats Toronto 5-3. The Canadiens will take the series in five games to claim their fourth straight championship. In baseball, it’s Opening Day. At Crosley Field in Cincinnati, the Reds win the traditional National League opener 4-1 over Pittsburgh. Bob Purkey gets the complete-game win; Frank Robinson goes 2-for-4 with a home run and three runs batted in. In the American League, the Washington Senators beat Baltimore 9-2 on the strength of a four-run fourth inning that includes home runs by Harmon Killebrew and Reno Bertoia. In the bottom of the fifth, the Orioles turn a triple play. Game-time temperature in Washington is 89 degrees. For the first time since taking office in 1953, President Eisenhower does not throw out the first pitch at the Senators’ home opener. Vice President Nixon substitutes for him.

On TV tonight, ABC’s lineup includes Leave It to Beaver, The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom, The Real McCoys, and Zorro. The CBS lineup includes December Bride, Playhouse 90, Yancey Derringer, and Zane Grey Theater. NBC’s offerings tonight include The Ford Show (sponsored by the Ford Motor Company and hosted by Tennessee Ernie Ford) and You Bet Your Life with Groucho Marx. The Ford Show is broadcast in color. Opening tonight at the Shoals Theater in Florence, Alabama, are The Party Crashers starring Connie Stevens, “Prying the lid off the TEENAGE problem!” and As Young As We Are, starring Robert Harland and Pippa Scott, “TEEN-AGE shocker with a DIFFERENT TWIST!”

In Mason City, Iowa, a pair of eyeglasses is found in the cornfield where Buddy Holly’s airplane crashed in February. It’s determined that the glasses belonged to Holly, and they’re given to the county sheriff. On the new Cash Box Top 100 that will come out on Saturday, Holly’s “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” is at #30, up from #31 last week. “Come Softly to Me” by the Fleetwoods is the new #1 song, ending the five-week run of Frankie Avalon’s “Venus” at #1. “Venus” is #2 this week, ahead of “Pink Shoe Laces” by Dodie Stevens, “It’s Just a Matter of Time” by Brook Benton, and “A Fool Such as I” by Elvis Presley. Elvis has a second hit in the Top 10: “I Need Your Love Tonight” is #8 in its third week on the chart. Ricky Nelson also has two hits high on the chart: “Never Be Anyone Else” at #6 and “It’s Late” at #11. “It’s Late” is one of three songs to drop out of the Top 10 this week; the other two are “Tragedy” by Thomas Wayne, now at #12, and “Alvin’s Harmonica” by David Seville and the Chipmunks, now at #16. Eight songs are new in the Top 40 including two by the Everly Brothers, “Poor Jenny” and “Take a Message to Mary,” at #35 and #38 respectively.

Perspective From the Present: The name of astronaut Edward Givens is not familiar to you because he died in a 1967 traffic accident before he could fly in space. Buddy Holly’s glasses remained in the files of the Cerro Gordo county sheriff’s department in Iowa until 1980, when they were returned to Holly’s widow. The Fleetwoods, atop the chart on this day, would hit the Top 10 with a version of “Tragedy” in 1961.

April 1, 1975: Your Mama

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(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.

April 28, 1969: Outcasts and Sit-Ins

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(Pictured: Don Murray and Otis Young in The Outcasts, a western that aired on ABC in 1968 and 1969.)

April 28, 1969, is a Monday. Yesterday, voters in France rejected a referendum that would have modernized the country’s armed forces. Today, President Charles de Gaulle, who had backed the referendum, resigns from office. De Gaulle, who led the Free French during World War II, served briefly as president in 1945 and 1946, but his current term began in 1958. Among his official communications today, President Nixon sends a message to De Gaulle, and condolences to Bolivia following the death of that country’s president. He also asks Congress to create a commission to develop a plan for “meaningful self-government” in the District of Columbia. In a Rose Garden ceremony, Nixon presents the National Teacher of the Year Award to English teacher Barbara Goleman of Miami.

Around the country, college students stage a variety of protests. An armed group takes over the administration building at Voorhees College, a historically black institution in Denmark, South Carolina. The students’ list of demands includes the establishment of a black studies program, raises for non-academic staff members including cooks and janitors, and a rule that no student should be compelled to attend classes. The standoff will end tomorrow with the arrest of approximately 25 protesters, although only seven will be charged. At St. Louis University, members of the Association of Black Collegians peacefully occupy a campus building for about 12 hours. Although school policy is to disperse such protests by force, university president Paul Reinert chooses to negotiate. He says the school will address the students’ concerns, including investigating the harassment of black students, hiring more black maintenance personnel and security officers, and establishing an office of black student affairs. At Memphis State University, more than 100 students, both black and white, are arrested after a sit-in at the university president’s office. The president had refused student requests to invite controversial New York Congressman Adam Clayton Powell to speak on campus.

Michigan representative Gerald Ford gives a speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, where he tells the following joke: “You know what an atheist is, don’t you? It’s a guy who doesn’t care how the game between Notre Dame and Southern Methodist comes out.” In today’s Peanuts strip, Charlie Brown is confident about the outcome of a baseball game. In Santa Rosa, California, Redwood Empire Ice Arena opens with a show featuring Olympic figure skater Peggy Fleming, the Vince Guaraldi Trio, the cast of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and master of ceremonies Joe Garagiola. The arena is owned by Peanuts cartoonist Charles Schulz. Joe Burg, who played in 13 games for the National League’s Boston Doves (later the Braves) in 1910, dies at age 86. Eight games are played in the majors today. The Chicago Cubs beat Philadelphia 2-1 in 10 innings to run their record to 15-and-6, the best in major league baseball. In the American League, the Baltimore Orioles also have 15 wins, but their game tonight in Cleveland against Indians is postponed due to a forecast of rain. The Indians have dropped 10 in a row on the way to a 1-and-15 start.

Tonight, ABC-TV airs western series The Big Valley and The Outcasts. The latter is a post-Civil War drama starring Otis Young and Don Murray as a freed slave and a former Confederate soldier who form a partnership as bounty hunters. NBC airs a variety special called The Spring Thing, hosted by Noel Harrison and Bobbie Gentry and starring, among others, Goldie Hawn, Rod McKuen, Shirley Bassey, and Harpers Bizarre. Tonight’s CBS schedule includes an episode of The Carol Burnett Show.

The Who plays in Sunderland, England, and the Doors tape a performance in New York City. It will be part of a profile of the band to be broadcast June 25 on the public television series PBS Critique. At KDWB in Minneapolis, “Hawaii Five-O” by the Ventures shoots to #1 on the station’s new survey from #15 last week. “Hair” by the Cowsills falls from #1 to #2, and “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show” by Neil Diamond holds at #3. Also hot: “Will You Be Staying After Sunday” by Peppermint Rainbow, up to #4 from #14. “It’s Your Thing” by the Isley Brothers is also new in the Top 10 at #10, while “Do Your Thing” by Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band is at #12, up from #22. New songs among the Top 30 include “Pinball Wizard” by the Who and “Love (Can Make You Happy)” by Mercy.

Perspective From the Present: “Love (Can Make You Happy)” is another record about which I’m  completely irrational. Mercy was from Florida, and their song came out on a local Tampa label sounding half-amateurish and all great.

 

April 22, 1977: Get Next to You

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(Pictured: the Captain and Tennille.)

April 22, 1977, is a Friday. In the morning papers, it’s reported that Social Security recipients will get a 5.9 percent increase effective July 1. Members of Congress and leaders of the postal unions criticize a proposal to cut mail service from six days a week to five. This morning, President Jimmy Carter holds a press conference. He is asked mostly about energy policy, and he suggests that if Congress doesn’t adopt his energy plan, he could use his presidential powers to mandate gas rationing. Shimon Peres becomes acting prime minister of Israel after Yitzhak Rabin steps down. Late last night and early this morning, people in Dover, Massachusetts, claim to have seen an unidentified creature with glowing eyes that will be nicknamed the Dover Demon.

Cleveland TV station WJW-TV becomes WJKW. On TV today, Dinah Shore welcomes Pearl Bailey, Mel Tillis, and Mel Torme and their children to Dinah! Sonny and Cher announce that they will end the current reincarnation of their variety show at the end of the current TV season. David Frost and Richard Nixon tape their final interview to be broadcast this summer. Future FC Barcelona soccer player Mark Van Bommel is born, and former major league pitcher Rube Yarrison, who pitched in 21 games for the Philadelphia Athletics and Brooklyn Dodgers over two seasons in the 1920s, dies. Movies in the theaters include Rocky, Airport 77, Slap Shot, Taxi Driver, and All the President’s Men.

The Grateful Dead plays Philadelphia, Boston plays Greensboro, North Carolina, Rush plays Binghamton, New York, Elvis Presley plays Detroit, AC/DC and Black Sabbath play Goteborg, Sweden, and Pink Floyd opens its “In the Flesh” tour with a show in Miami. At WLS in Chicago, “Rich Girl” by Hall and Oates tops the new survey that will come out tomorrow. “Don’t Give Up on Us” by David Soul makes a strong move from #7 to #2; “Southern Nights” by Glen Campbell moves from #9 to #3. New in the Top 10 is “When I Need You” by Leo Sayer, moving to #8 from #11. The biggest movers are “I Wanna Get Next to You” by Rose Royce, up 11 spots, and “Lido Shuffle” by Boz Scaggs and “Can’t Stop Dancin’” by the Captain and Tennille, up nine. The top two albums are unchanged for the sixth straight week: the soundtrack from A Star Is Born is #1 (for the ninth week overall), Hotel California by the Eagles is #2.

In Wisconsin, a high-school junior and his girlfriend (who very much likes the Captain and Tennille, to her boyfriend’s great chagrin) celebrate her birthday. Years later, he won’t be able to remember what they did that night, but it’s enough to guess.

April 15, 1990: Lead You Back

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(Pictured: Greta Garbo, 1931.)

April 15, 1990, is Easter Sunday. The nuclear-armed nations of India and Pakistan remain nose-to-nose over the disputed province of Kashmir. At Cape Canaveral, preparations continue for the April 24 launch of the space shuttle Discovery, which will deploy the Hubble Space Telescope. Eruptions continue at Mount Redoubt, a volcano in Alaska. This series of eruptions will be the second-costliest in American history behind Mt. St. Helens in 1980. The New York Times publishes data showing that the median price of a house in the United States was $95,400 in February. A world record for tallest sand sculpture (17 feet, 5 3/4 inches) is set in Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia.

Movie icon Greta Garbo dies at age 89, and U.S. Senator Spark Matsunaga of Hawaii dies at age 73; future Harry Potter actress Emma Watson is born. The top movies at the box office this weekend are Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Pretty Woman, The Hunt for Red October, and Ernest Goes to Jail. The Miss Universe pageant is held in Los Angeles; the winner is Miss Norway, Mona Grudt; Miss USA Carole Gist is first runnerup. Payne Stewart wins the MCI Heritage Golf Classic, but Greg Norman continues to lead the world golf rankings; Nick Faldo, who won the Masters last Sunday, is ranked second. All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum tops the paperback best-seller lists.

The sketch comedy series In Living Color premieres on Fox. Also on Fox tonight, The Outsiders, a series based on the S. E. Hinton novel, the 21 Jump Street spinoff Booker starring Richard Grieco, and The Simpsons. NBC airs an episode of The Magical World of Disney. In the first-ever Sunday night baseball game broadcast on ESPN, the Montreal Expos beat the New York Mets 3 to 1. On MTV, 120 Minutes features videos by Depeche Mode, the Cure, and Stone Roses. On the radio, The Dr. Demento Show features music and comedy bits about television, but the top song on the weekly Funny Five is, once again, “Fish Heads” by Barnes and Barnes.

Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan play in suburban Detroit. Madonna’s Blonde Ambition tour continues its opening stand in Tokyo. Paul McCartney plays Miami, and Fleetwood Mac plays Sydney, Australia. Janet Jackson plays Houston. On the current Billboard Hot 100, the new #1 song is “I’ll Be Your Everything” by Tommy Page, taking out Taylor Dayne’s “Love Will Lead You Back,” which falls to #5. Also among the Top 5: “Don’t Wanna Fall in Love” by Jane Child, “All Around the World” by Lisa Stansfield, and “Nothing Compares 2 U” by Sinead O’Connor. The lone new song in the Top 10 is “I Wanna Be Rich” by Calloway, moving to #6 from #11. The highest-debuting song of the week within the Top 40 is “All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You” by Heart, which comes in at #26 from #41. Madonna’s “Vogue” makes its Hot 100 debut at #39.

The new jock at a tiny radio station in small-town Iowa has to go back to work tomorrow. He’s been there about three weeks. It’s a job he needed more than he wanted, although it will eventually have its satisfactions.

April 9, 1976: Winners and Losers

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(Pictured: Helen Reddy, circa 1976.)

April 9, 1976, is a Friday. Frisch’s Big Boy Restaurants in the greater Cincinnati area invite you in for fish fillets tonight with fries, salad, and a roll for $1.60. It’s the second day of the major-league baseball season, but only two games were played yesterday; 16 teams open their seasons today, including the Chicago Cubs, who lose to the Cardinals 5-0 in St. Louis. On a trip to Texas, President Ford visits the Alamo in San Antonio during the morning and then goes to Dallas. He throws out the first pitch at the Texas Rangers’ season opener, staying only for the first inning. In the first pro sports event at the new Seattle Kingdome, Pele scores two goals as the New York Cosmos defeat the Seattle Sounders in pro soccer, 2-1. Folksinger Phil Ochs, most famous for “I Ain’t Marching Anymore,” hangs himself; he was 35. A strong earthquake kills eight people in Ecuador. In Nagoya, Japan, a 13-year-old boy takes a series of photos that seem to show a UFO. In Syracuse, New York, the Onondaga County Public Library unveils its new logo. In Madison, Wisconsin, the first edition of a new weekly newspaper, Isthmus, is laid out in the living room of one of its co-founders.

New movies in theaters include All the President’s Men starring Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford and Alfred Hitchcock’s Family Plot. On daytime TV, Foster Brooks ends a week co-hosting The Mike Douglas Show; guests today include Gloria Swanson, Frankie Valli, and Geraldo Rivera. The Merv Griffin Show welcomes Kaye Ballard, Jack Jones, comedian Charlie Callas and impressionist Marilyn Michaels. In prime time, the animated special The First Easter Rabbit, featuring the voices of Burl Ives and Robert Morse, airs on NBC, and so does The Rockford Files. CBS airs an episode of Sara, starring Brenda Vaccaro as a schoolteacher in an 1870 Colorado town. She will be nominated for an Emmy, but the show will end after 13 episodes.

Rush plays the Indianapolis Coliseum with special guests Ted Nugent and the Sutherland Brothers and Quiver. On separate bills, Genesis and Donovan play New York City. The Electric Light Orchestra and Journey play Huntsville, Alabama. Bruce Springsteen plays Colgate University in Hamilton, New York.

The Midnight Special airs on NBC following Johnny Carson. Host Helen Reddy welcomes Fleetwood Mac, who perform a blazing version of their new hit “Rhiannon.” Also on the show, Gary Wright, Barry Manilow, Queen, and Hamilton Joe Frank & Reynolds, who perform “Fallin’ in Love” with Reddy and their recent hit “Winners and Losers,” and then come back for a second spot doing “Every Day Without You.”

Perspective From the Present: I was equipment manager of the high school baseball team, and we had a scrimmage on that Friday after school. That night, a couple of friends and I went to the local drive-in theater for what I recall as some terrible movies (although I don’t remember what they were), killing time until midnight. The Key Club at my high school was putting on a marathon basketball game that weekend, in which teams signed up to play for an hour at a time from Friday afternoon through Sunday night. I was on a team scheduled to play at midnight and again at 5AM, so the night of April 9 and 10, 1976, marked the first time I ever stayed up all night. Spring break (known to us then as Easter vacation) started on Monday the 12th. On the Tuesday the 13th, I passed my behind-the-wheel test and got my driver’s license; on Wednesday the 14th, the local radio station said they’d hire me for the summer—although they didn’t follow through on that.

An eventful few days, for sure.

April 6, 1982: Freeze-Frame

April 6, 1982, is a Tuesday. By presidential proclamation issued today, it’s Parliamentary Emphasis Month. British prime minister Margaret Thatcher says she will not resign over her handling of the seizure of the Falkland Islands by Argentina last Friday. A blizzard that blasted the Midwest yesterday rolls east, with heavy snow followed by record cold. Many areas report thundersnow, with cloud-to-ground lightning in the midst of whiteout conditions. Baseball season openers are cancelled from Chicago to New York. One game that is not postponed today is the first-ever regular season Minnesota Twins game in the new Metrodome; the Twins lose to Seattle 11 to 7. The space shuttle Columbia, bolted to a 747, is flown back to the Kennedy Space Center from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico; next Monday, it will be launched on its maiden flight into space. A couple in Somersworth, New Hampshire, opens a trunk that had been stored in a dark basement for at least 20 years; inside they find the mummified bodies of four newborn infants wrapped in newspapers dated 1949 to 1952. The case will never be solved. Former Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas, the first sitting justice forced to resign (in 1969), died yesterday at age 71. Future pro hockey player Travis Moen is born.

The ABC-TV lineup tonight includes Happy Days, Joanie Loves Chachi, Three’s Company, Too Close for Comfort, and Hart to Hart. CBS has an episode of the adventure series Q.E.D., starring Sam Waterston and set in pre-World War I England, and the theatrical movie Love and Bullets. NBC counters with two animated Easter specials, a repeat of a Steve Martin special, and the premiere of a new variety show called The Shape of Things. The show, which is aimed at a female audience and intends to take a feminist point of view, features the Chippendales dancers as regulars and will last only three episodes amid complaints about its content. Chariots of Fire, which won Best Picture at the Oscars last week, continues to pack ’em in at theaters, as does On Golden Pond, with Best Actor Henry Fonda. The biggest star of the moment, however, is Richard Pryor: Some Kind of Hero was the top-grossing new film of the past weekend, while Richard Pryor Live on the Sunset Strip remained in the top 10. The #1 film overall this past week was Porky’s. No new movies will open on the coming weekend, which is Easter.

The Grateful Dead plays Philadelphia, Ozzy Osbourne plays Providence, Rickie Lee Jones plays Cleveland, Mike Oldfield plays Dunedin, New Zealand, Tommy Tutone plays Minneapolis, and Rush plays Baton Rouge, Louisiana. At WLS in Chicago, the #1 song on the station’s survey dated April 3, 1982, is “I Love Rock & Roll” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, for a fourth week; the Go Go’s Beauty and the Beat album is #1 for an eighth week.  Both the Go Gos and the J. Geils Band have two records in the station’s top 10: “We Got the Beat” and “Our Lips Are Sealed” are at #2 and #6; “Centerfold” and “Freeze Frame” are at #3 and #9. “Freeze Frame” made one of the week’s biggest moves, blasting from #20 to #9, but “Titles” from Chariots of Fire made the biggest, from #45 to #19. Other major moves this week are made by “867-5309/Jenny” by Tommy Tutone” (#26 to #11), and “Don’t Talk to Strangers” by Rick Springfield (#35 to #23).

Perspective From the Present: I’d been working full-time at KDTH for a couple of months, and if 1982 was the year the station started carrying broadcasts of my then-beloved Chicago Cubs, I probably spent some time running the board during games. They opened in Cincinnati and missed the blizzard. I expect it was cold in my one-bedroom apartment because it was that kind of place, but the rest of that week is gone down the memory hole.