May 13, 1964: In From the Cold

Embed from Getty Images

(Pictured: Barbra Streisand with President Kennedy, 1963.)

May 13, 1964, is a Wednesday. After weeks of negotiations, senators reach a tentative agreement on a new version of a comprehensive civil rights bill. The current bill, which has been under debate in Congress since March, is being filibustered in the Senate. In a phone call captured by his White House taping system, President Johnson discusses the act with Senate Republican leader Everett Dirksen of Illinois today. Johnson says, “We don’t want this to be a Democratic bill, we want it to be an American bill.” Last night in New York City, Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater spoke to a crowd of 18,000 at Madison Square Garden. He accused the Johnson Administration of fomenting racial unrest, and he criticized the idea that integration could be accomplished through legislation: “You cannot pass a law that will make me like you, or you like me.” In Teaneck, New Jersey, the school board votes in favor of busing all of the district’s sixth-grade students to a single school starting in the fall, making Teaneck the first school in America to voluntarily desegregate, as opposed to doing so by court order. Cambridge, Maryland, which was torn by race riots last summer, has been under martial law and patrolled by National Guardsmen ever since. On Monday, a crowd protesting an appearance by Alabama governor and presidential candidate George Wallace was tear-gassed. Today, about 100 people hold a silent protest, and they are confronted by Guardsmen with rifles and fixed bayonets.

At the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, NASA runs another test on the Apollo space vehicle, which will eventually be used to send astronauts to the moon. In Las Vegas, Lt. Raynor Hebert takes off in an F-105 jet from Nellis Air Force Base. Due to a technical problem, Hebert’s plane can’t gain altitude. He realizes that if he bails out, the plane will probably crash into an elementary school, where 800 students are in class. So he keeps the plane aloft until it has passed the school, after which it crashes into a residential neighborhood. Hebert dies in the crash along with four people on the ground. Future comedian and talk-show host Stephen Colbert and future actor and TV producer Tom Verica are born. John Le Carre’s The Spy Who Came in From the Cold leads the New York Times Best Sellers list for fiction this week; the nonfiction list is led by the UPI/American Heritage book Four Days, about the assassination of President Kennedy last November, and by Jim Bishop’s A Day in the Life of President Kennedy. Kennedy’s own Profiles in Courage is also on the Best Sellers list.

The sixth annual Grammy awards were presented last night at ceremonies in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York, and were not televised. Henry Mancini won Record of the Year and Song of the Year for “Days of Wine and Roses.” Album of the Year was The Barbra Streisand Album. The Swingle Singers were named Best New Artist. Pop Grammys were won by Jack Jones, Peter Paul and Mary, and Al Hirt, among others. The Best Rock ‘n’ Roll Recording Grammy went to Nino Tempo and April Stevens for “Deep Purple.” At the Granada Theater in Harrow, England, tonight’s concert bill stars the Kinks, the Hollies, and the Dave Clark Five. In Bromley, England, the Yardbirds perform. Chuck Berry headlines the Globe Theater in Stockton, England, with Carl Perkins, the Animals, the Swinging Blue Jeans, and other acts. At KIMN in Denver, the Beatles rule the station’s new survey with the double-A-sided “Love Me Do” and “P.S. I Love You” at #1 and “Do You Want to Know a Secret” at #2. Three songs are new in the Top 10: “Love Me With All Your Heart” by the Ray Charles Singers, “Little Children” by Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, and “People” by Barbra Streisand. The #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, “Hello Dolly” by Louis Armstrong, is not on the KIMN chart.

Perspective From the Present: The rewritten civil rights bill was formally introduced in Congress later in May, passed in June, and signed into law as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in July. The Ray Charles breaking into the Top 10 in Denver in this week was not the soul singer; it was Perry Como’s longtime musical director. “Love Me With All Your Heart” became an MOR classic, and another one of those records I heard before I noticed it. And I’m pretty sure a copy of Four Days is somewhere in my office.

Advertisements

May 7, 1992: Red Hot

Embed from Getty Images

(Pictured: the cast of Basic Instinct, Sharon Stone, Michael Douglas, and Jeanne Tripplehorn, photographed on May 7, 1992.)

May 7, 1992, is a Thursday. Funeral services are pending for actress and femme fatale Marlene Dietrich, who died yesterday in Paris at age 90. Today, a freak snowstorm strikes the Carolinas and East Tennessee, dropping three to five feet of snow in some mountainous areas. State legislatures in Michigan and New Jersey ratify the 27th Amendment to the Constitution, thereby making it the law of the land. The amendment forbids Congressional pay raises to take effect until after the election following their passage. It was originally proposed as one of 12 amendments in 1789 but was ratified by only six states at the time. It lay mostly dormant until 1983, when a Texas college student began writing legislators suggesting that the amendment could still be ratified. Also today, the space shuttle Endeavour takes off on its maiden voyage, on a mission to capture and redeploy a communications satellite.

Eight teams are still alive as the NBA playoffs continue. Portland beats Phoenix and the Chicago Bulls beat the New York Knicks in games tonight. Utah plays Seattle and Boston plays Cleveland tomorrow. The NHL Stanley Cup playoffs are also down to the final eight. Boston beats Montreal and the New York Rangers beat Pittsburgh tonight. Tomorrow, Vancouver plays Edmonton and Chicago plays Detroit. Eleven games are played in the majors today. The Pittsburgh Pirates still have the best record in baseball, 19-and-8, even after a 4-2 loss at home to Atlanta; Braves pitcher Tom Glavine runs his record to 5-and-1 with the win. The Toronto Blue Jays have the American League’s best record, 21-and-9; tonight, Dave Winfield’s ninth-inning grand slam gives the Jays an 8-7 win over Seattle.

John Grisham’s The Pelican Brief leads the New York Times Best Sellers List for fiction; Gloria Steinem’s Revolution From Within is #1 on the nonfiction list. For the past three weeks, the same three movies have swapped positions atop the box-office rankings: Basic Instinct, White Men Can’t Jump, and Beethoven. This weekend’s lackluster slate of new openings, including Crisscross with Goldie Hawn and Wild Orchid 2, won’t dislodge them. On TV tonight, NBC airs The Cosby Show, A Different World, Cheers, Wings, and L.A. Law. On Fox, it’s The Simpsons, In Living Color, and Beverly Hills 90210. CBS presents the reality show Top Cops and a repeat of the 1989 theatrical movie Sea of Love starring Al Pacino and Ellen Barkin. ABC follows an episode of Columbo with the news show Prime Time Live.

Weezer plays Club Dump in Los Angeles and Lou Reed plays Denver. Bob Dylan plays Berkeley and Cher plays Wembley Stadium in London. Metallica plays Boise and Pearl Jam plays Bozeman, Montana. After a show in Japan, Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante quits the band and flies home to Los Angeles. The group will cancel or postpone tour dates until July, and Frusciante will remain out of the band until 1998. On the Billboard Hot 100, “Jump” by Kris Kross is in its second week at #1. The rest of the Top Five are “Save the Best for Last” by Vanessa Williams, “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton, “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen (popular again after being featured in the movie Wayne’s World), and “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)” by En Vogue. “Tears in Heaven” is in its third week at #1 on the adult contemporary chart. On the Billboard 200 album chart, Adrenalize by Def Leppard, which debuted at #1 three weeks ago, still holds the #1 spot. Other top albums include Human Touch by Bruce Springsteen, the Wayne’s World soundtrack, Blood Sugar Sex Magik by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nevermind by Nirvana, and Ropin’ the Wind by Garth Brooks.

Perspective From the Present: At some point in late May or early June of 1992 The Mrs. and I, who had been working as party DJs for a couple of years, got assigned to a high-school graduation party. We were not hip to what the Class of ’92 was into, and what they were into mostly was Kris Kross and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It was one of the first times we ever looked back across the Generation Gap from the far side of it.

May 2, 1982: Heat of the Moment

Embed from Getty Images

(Pictured: Gato del Sol and jockey Eddie Delahoussaye, at left, cross the finish line at the Kentucky Derby on May 1, 1982.)

May 2, 1982, is a Sunday. Headlines on the Sunday papers include yesterday’s opening of the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee. President and Mrs. Reagan were among the dignitaries present. Today, British forces launch air attacks on the Falkland Islands, escalating Britain’s month-long war with Argentina. A British sub sinks the Argentinian ship General Belgrano, killing over 300 of its thousand-man crew. Exxon announces that it’s ending the Colony shale-oil project in Colorado, putting 2,000 people out of work. The closure will devastate the economy of Grand Junction, Colorado, and the surrounding area. Watergate figure G. Gordon Liddy speaks at Vassar College. Liddy once served as district attorney of Dutchess County, New York, where Vassar is located. Protesters march outside the venue, opposed to the college having paid Liddy $4,000 to speak.

Yesterday, Gato del Sol, a 21-1 shot before the race began, won the Kentucky Derby. Today, the NBA playoffs continue. The Los Angeles Lakers complete a sweep of their Western Conference semifinal series with a 112-107 win over Phoenix. Also in the West, the San Antonio Spurs take a 3-1 lead on Seattle with a 115-113 win. In the Eastern Conference, Boston and Philadelphia win today to take 3-1 leads on Washington and Milwaukee. It’s an off-day in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The New York Islanders and Vancouver Canucks lead their conference final series by margins of 3-0 and 2-1 respectively. In the majors, three of the four division leaders win their games today: the Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves, and St. Louis Cardinals. Only the California Angels are a loser. In Chicago, pitcher LaMarr Hoyt runs his record to 5-0 as the White Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 10-3. Darrell Waltrip wins today’s Winston 500 at Talladega, Alabama.

Future TV news anchor Poppy Harlow is born. Actor Helmut Dantine, who played supporting roles in Casablanca, To Be or Not to Be, and Mrs. Miniver, dies at age 63. Porky’s tops the box office for the seventh straight weekend. The top-grossing new movie is Partners, starring Ryan O’Neal and John Hurt as mismatched Los Angeles cops who go undercover in the city’s gay community. Other popular movies this weekend include The Sword and the Sorcerer, Chariots of Fire, On Golden Pond, and Victor/Victoria. On TV tonight, cable viewers get their first look at the Weather Channel, which launches at 8PM Eastern time. On broadcast TV, ABC premieres Counterattack: Crime in America. Hosted by actor George Kennedy, the show describes unsolved crimes around the country and encourages viewers to call an 800 number with tips, and offers crime-prevention advice. Also tonight: 60 Minutes, which will be the top-rated show for the week, and Mae West, a biographical movie starring Ann Jillian as West, which will be #3 in the ratings. Other shows airing tonight include CHIPS, The NBC Sunday Night Movie, Archie Bunker’s Place, One Day at a Time, Alice, Trapper John M.D., and The Jeffersons (which will also make the Nielsen Top 10 for the week).

Asia plays New York City. Talking Heads close a brief Japanese tour in Nagoya. Meat Loaf plays Edinburgh, Scotland, and Jethro Tull plays Rome. Bonnie Raitt plays Charlottesville, Virginia, with Leo Kottke opening. Bruce Springsteen plays the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, New Jersey. (Most of Springsteen’s shows this year will be either at the Stone Pony or at Big Man’s West in Red Bank.) On the Billboard Hot 100, “I Love Rock and Roll” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts is in its seventh week at #1. The instrumental theme from Chariots of Fire by Vangelis is #2, and “Ebony and Ivory” by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder is at #3. Only one song is new in the Top 10: “I’ve Never Been to Me” by Charlene. It makes the biggest move within the Top 40, going from #20 to #10. However, Asia’s “Heat of the Moment” debuts in the Top 40 at #20, and “Man on Your Mind” by the Little River Band is new at #28. Jett’s version of “Crimson and Clover” is the highest debut on the Hot 100 at #63.

Perspective From the Present: I was livin’ large in my one-bedroom furnished apartment in Dubuque, the first place I’d ever lived entirely by myself. Sometime that spring, shortly after I moved in, the local cable company expanded its offerings, although I don’t remember if the Weather Channel was among them. MTV was, and I followed the directions for hooking the cable to my receiver so I could get the music in stereo.

April 26, 1970: The Hands of Time

Embed from Getty Images

(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.

April 19, 1987: Easter Bunnies

Embed from Getty Images

(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

Embed from Getty Images

(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

Embed from Getty Images

(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

Embed from Getty Images

(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.

March 13, 1974: There Won’t Be Anymore

Embed from Getty Images

(Pictured: Blue Swede.)

March 13, 1974, was a Wednesday. King Hussein of Jordan is in the United States. Vice President Ford hosted a state dinner in his honor at the White House last night; today, the king and his prime minister meet privately with Ford. A plane carrying the cast and crew of the documentary TV series Primal Man crashes in California, killing 36 people including actor/stunt man Janos Prohaska, who is best-known for playing animals and monsters. He had a recurring role as Cookie the Bear on The Andy Williams Show and was also seen as a gorilla on Gilligan’s Island. Future professional tennis player Thomas Enqvist is born.

In today’s Doonesbury strip, journalist Roland B. Hedley tells Mike and Zonker who they are. On TV tonight, NBC opens with an episode of Adam-12, followed by the TV movie The Execution of Private Slovik, starring Martin Sheen as the only American soldier to be shot for desertion since the Civil War, in 1945. ABC carries an episode of The Cowboys followed by the TV movie The Hanged Man, a western starring Steve Forrest. CBS airs We Live With Elephants, a documentary following a Scottish scientist and his family who spent five years studying a herd of 500 elephants in Tanzania. It’s followed by episodes of Cannon and Kojak. After the late local news, Don Rickles sits in for Johnny with guests Jack Klugman and Charo. ABC’s Wide World of Entertainment presents Honeymoon Suite, which stars comedian Alan King in a set of stories all taking place in the same suite of a hotel. The CBS Late Movie is Gun Glory, a 1957 western starring Stewart Granger and Rhonda Fleming.

Late last night or early this morning, John Lennon and Harry Nilsson were kicked out of the Troubadour in Los Angeles after drunkenly heckling the Smothers Brothers, who were performing. Troubadour staffers also claim Lennon punched a waitress and kicked a valet. It’s not the first time Lennon has caused a scene at the Troubadour. Fans in Hamburg, Pennsylvania, attend a show supposedly starring Fleetwood Mac. However, it’s actually a band of entirely different musicians assembled by Fleetwood Mac’s manager, Clifford Davis. Davis tells Rolling Stone, “I want to get this out of the public’s mind as far as the band being Mick Fleetwood’s band. . . . I’ve always been sort of the leader. I’ve always sort of picked who was going to be in it and who wasn’t.” He claims Fleetwood was supposed to be the drummer on this tour, but dropped out at the last minute. Bob Welch denies the entire Davis story, and says he, Fleetwood, John and Christine McVie, and guitarist Bob Weston will meet with lawyers to sort things out. Elvis Presley plays Greensboro, North Carolina, and Jackson Browne plays Worcester, Massachusetts. Barry Manilow plays Philadelphia, and Deep Purple plays Madison Square Garden in New York. Jimmy Buffett plays Nashville, and Humble Pie plays Buffalo with Spooky Tooth and Montrose.

At WAKY in Louisville, “Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede leaps from #10 to #1 on the new music survey. Last week’s #1, “Seasons in the Sun” by Terry Jacks, slips to #2. “Looking for a Love” by Bobby Womack and “Bennie and the Jets” by Elton John are new in the Top 10. The hottest song on the survey is “T.S.O.P” by MFSB, up to #15 from #30 last week. Also making a big move is “Dark Lady” by Cher, up eight spots to #11. Charlie Rich has two hits among the Top 30: “A Very Special Love Song” at #4 and “There Won’t Be Anymore,” on its way out of the survey at #25. Two songs are new on the chart: “Mighty Love” by the Spinners and “Would You Lay With Me (In a Field of Stone)” by Tanya Tucker. WAKY’s Big Track Albums this week are Tales From Topographic Oceans by Yes, Piano Man by Billy Joel, High on the Hog by Black Oak Arkansas, and Bob Dylan’s Planet Waves.

Tonight, a Wisconsin eighth-grader watches The Execution of Private Slovik. Afterward, he goes off to bed, probably with the radio on for a little while before the light goes out.

March 5, 1971: Another Day

Embed from Getty Images

(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.)