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July 1974

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The man who brought bass singing into prominence in the '40s and '50s, Jimmy Ricks of The Ravens, dies.
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The Tony Orlando & Dawn TV variety series debuts on CBS, taking the time slot vacated by The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, which was doomed by the couple's divorce. Orlando and his bandmates Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson's music-and-skits format clicks, and the summertime show winds up returning for two more seasons, running through Dec. 1976. After Dawn, the sun shines brightest for Hopkins, who costars with Tom Hanks on Bosom Buddies and goes toe-to-toe with Urkel on Family Matters.
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With sugar prices more than tripling in the last year, Life Savers enlarges its candy's holes and boosts its price from ten to fifteen cents. Necco Wafers reduces their diameter from 1 1/4" to 7/8", and so-called nickel candy bars are now fifteen cents. In 1974 a Hershey's Milk Chocolate bar weighs 1.4-oz.; by 1977 it'll be a 1.2-oz. bar going for twenty cents.
6
The Top Five
1. "Rock the Boat" - Hues Corporation
2. "Sundown" - Gordon Lightfoot
3. "Billy, Don't Be a Hero" - Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods
4. "Rock Your Baby" - George McCrae
5. "If You Love Me (Let Me Know)" - Olivia Newton-John

7
The third Newport Jazz Festival/New York ends its ten-day run a healthy $150,000 in the red; this, in contrast to the previous year when an overextended festival incurred a hefty deficit. The 1974 festival sells out more than half of its thirty-six events. Highlights include sets by McCoy Tyner, Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans and the festival's headliner, Diana Ross.
8
Bob Dylan and the Band's Before the Flood turns gold, just several months after their tour. This live set from that tour makes #3.
9
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young begin their reunion tour in Seattle. The group performs a four-hour set (which leaves David Crosby practically without a voice for the next few shows), including both CSN&Y and solo material. A crowd of 15,000 attends.

The House Judiciary Committee releases transcripts of White House tapes that differ substantially form those President Nixon supplied. Four days later, the Watergate Committee concludes its investigative activities and issues a final report urging criminal prosecution of all those involved in the 1972 campaign scandals and cover-up. Vice President Ford confidently states that he feels the House will reject the impeachment bill.

10
David Bowie, in the midst of a highly successful tour, records his two-night stand at Philadelphia's Tower Theater. Released later in the year, David Live goes Top Ten.
11
The Grateful Dead receive two gold records for discs they released back in 1970, Workingman's Dead and American Beauty. Both were considered landmark albums for the Dead, who showed off their sweet, acoustic side and their love for vintage American blues.
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Ronnie Wood of the Faces plays a two-night solo stand in London, for which he's joined by Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. Both Richards and Mick Jagger play on Wood's soon-to-be-released solo debut, I've Got My Own Album to Do.

The Top Five
1. "Rock Your Baby" - George McCrae
2. "Annie's Song" - John Denver
3. "Rock the Boat" - Hues Corporation
4. "Sundown" - Gordon Lightfoot
5. "Don't Let the Sun go Down on Me" - Elton John

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Sarasota, Florida TV commentator Chris Chubbuck, a depressed 29-year-old virgin with a lackluster social life, announces her own suicide at the end of the news broadcast, and proceeds to shoot herself in the head on the air. She dies at a local hospital 14 hours later. The event gains her national attention and scores of newspaper headlines.
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The Moody Blues open the world's first quadraphonic studio.
18
The Justice Department announces that it has ordered John Lennon to leave the country within 60 days (by September 10), after the Immigration Service denies the ex-Beatle an extension of his nonimmigrant visa because of his guilty plea in England to a 1968 marijuana possession charge. Even the New York Post comes to Lennon's defense, proclaiming in an editorial, "The crime for which John Lennon was convicted in London in 1968 would not even land him in jail." On Aug. 31, Lennon will assert in federal court that these actions are politically motivated and stem from his involvement in anti-war activities.

Rolling Stone reports that Rare Earth drummer Peter Hoorelbeke has been arrested for tossing his drumsticks into the crowd at one of the band's shows. He admits to doing it for audience reaction.

19
After performing in twenty-eight cities, David Bowie's Diamond Dogs tour ends with a show at Madison Square Garden. Bowie had enlisted a ten-piece band for the tour, as well as designer Mark Ravitz, who came up with a three-dimensional city landscape set. Bowie made it clear on the tour that Ziggy Stardust is dead, no doubt disappointing many of his earlier fans, who came out to the show bedecked in glitter and makeup.
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After a week of deliberation in the House Judiciary Committee, Congressman Lawrence Hogan (R-MD) is the first Republican committee member to publicly support impeachment. The next day, the Supreme Court supports special prosecutor Leon Jaworski's request for 64 outstanding White House tapes and documents.
24
Death Wish, starring Charles Bronson as a man who takes the law into his own hands after attackers kill his wife and maim his traumatized daughter for life, has its premiere. Its vicarious vigilantism makes it one of the year's biggest box-office hits despite being lambasted by many critics, but moviegoers -- especially city dwellers fearful of the escalating urban violence -- root on the merciless avenger who's pursued by a dogged police chief (Vincent Gardenia) with a cold that won't quit.
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John Denver receives a gold record for his all-time biggest hit, "Annie's Song." The former member of the Chad Mitchell Trio has been enjoying a highly lucrative career singing earnest, "sensitive" songs about love and nature ("Take Me Home, Country Roads," "Rocky Mountain High," "Sunshine on My Shoulders") since 1971. "Annie's Song" was written about Mrs. Denver, who later divorced him.
27
Lightnin' Slim, often described as "the greatest living swamp bluesman," dies in Detroit of stomach cancer. Born Otis Hicks in St. Louis, he was in his thirties and had moved to Louisiana when he began to seriously sing the blues. Some of his most popular records were "Bad Luck," "Hoo-Doo Blues," "My Starter Won't Work" and "Rooster Blues." He was 61.

Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods hit "Who Do You Think You Are" charts on its way to #15, in part thanks to a young New York Music publisher who heard the song from England and sent it to producer Steve Barri in Los Angeles. Barri was quick to respond since the same music publishing company had supplied him with another English song months earlier for Bo & the Heywoods, the #1 million seller "Billy Don't Be a Hero."

Dionne Warwick teams with The Spinners on "Then Came You," which enters the charts today. It will go on to become the first #1 single for both acts, even though Dionne had 39 previous pop charters over 12 years, and The Spinners had broached the Top 100 thirteen times since 1961.

The Top Five
1. "Rock Your Baby" - George McCrae
2. "Annie's Song" - John Denver
3. "Rock the Boat" - Hues Corporation
4. "Sundown" - Gordon Lightfoot
5. "Don't Let the Sun go Down on Me" - Elton John

28
29
Mama Cass Elliot dies at age 32, in Harry Nilsson's home in London. A postmortem the next day shows that she died as a result of choking on a sandwich while in bed and from inhaling her own vomit. It will later be revealed that she suffered a heart attack. Elliot, born Ellen Naomi Cohen in Alexandria, Virginia, made her name as a member of the Mamas and the Papas, who had numerous hits from 1965 to 1968. She tried a solo career after that, which with seven solo charters (including the #12 "Dream a Little Dream of Me") was fairly successful, and by the early '70s was playing nightclubs and appearing on TV talk shows and Hollywood Squares. Four days later, she is cremated in Hollywood.
30
The House Judiciary Committee passes three articles of impeachment, including obstruction of justice and abuse of power, against President Nixon.
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