| Seventies Almanac - 1979|
n the early seventies, The Doobie Brothers were just a northern California bar band, making ends meet with food stamps, often playing gigs for drinks "and whatever we would find under the tables at closing time." Then, in 1972, "Listen to the Music" introduced their style to a coast-to-coast crowd. Such hits as "Long Train Runnin'," "China Grove," "Black Water," "Take Me in Your Arms" and "Takin' It to the Streets" turned them into one of the hottest bands of the seventies. After a couple of slow years, the Doobies bounced back in late 1978 with their best-selling album ever, Minute By Minute. It featured the much-imitated sound of keyboard player Mike McDonald, as well as their biggest hit of the decade, "What a Fool Believes."
Keyboards also played a key role in the ultimate success of Supertramp. Almost a decade after their founding in London as a heavy metal band, the group hit the big time by moving to the U.S. and issuing their sixth album, Breakfast In America. It inclued three major hits: "Take the Long Way Home," "Goodbye Stranger," and their first million-selling single, "The Logical Song" (quickly parodied by the Barron Knights as "The Topical Song"). In July, the members of Supertramp displayed their logic by walking into Butnum's Music and buying, at one time, five Wurlitzer pianos -- all the same model. The reason? The piano heard on their gold single happened to be a Wurlitzer, purchased at that same store just one year before.
Other Music Highlights of 1979:
- A UNICEF special featuring the Bee Gees, Rod Stewart, Donna Summer, John Denver, Olivia Newton-John, and ABBA is taped at the United Nations General Assembly and shown on NBC-TV. It helped raise money to combat hunger and provide food for the world's children.
- Evita, a musical based on the life of the wife of Argentine dictator Juan Peron, opens on Broadway.
- Paul McCartney signs a $20 million recording contract with Columbia Records.
- EMI buys United Artists Records, and MCA buys ABC Records.
- A landmark documentary about rock's biggest names debuts on ABC-TV. The Heroes of Rock'n'Roll, starring Jeff Bridges, shows film clips of rock's major performers from the fifties, sixties, and seventies.
- Kiss releases their seventh studio album Dynasty, a disco-themed LP featuring "I Was Made for Loving You" that causes grief to many diehard fans, and play their second and third "hometown" gigs in two years over two nights at New York City's Madison Square Garden.
- Marty Balin leaves the Jefferson Starship and is replaced by Mickey Thomas.
- Expatriate Scottish rockers AC/DC release their breakthrough album Highway to Hell, the last album singer Ronald "Bon" Scott appeared on during his lifetime before his premature death in February 1980.
- Ry Cooder records the first digitally recorded album, Bop Till You Drop.
- The Who begins touring with drummer Kenny Jones replacing Keith Moon, who died in 1978.
- At Eric Clapton's wedding to Patti Boyd (the former Mrs. George Harrison), Paul McCartney, Harrison, Ringo Starr, Mick Jagger and Clapton hold an impromptu jam.
- The Knack releases its only hit album, Get the Knack, but what a hit it is -- rising to No. 1 and staying on the chart for 40 weeks.
- Ozzy Osbourne is fired from Black Sabbath and replaced by Ronnie James Dio.
- Chuck Berry enters Lompoc Prison in California to begin a four-month sentence for income tax evasion. He winds up serving only two months.
- Ted Nugent releases his first non-platinum LP, State of Shock, which only goes gold and hints at his declining popularity in the next decade.
- Pat Benatar releases her debut LP, In the Heat of the Night, and another female act, The Runaways, breaks up.
- Southern Rock continues its popularity with groups such as Molly Hatchet and ZZ Top.
- At a Who concert in Cincinnati, Ohio, 11 fans are trampled to death as the crowd rushes in for their nonassigned seats.
Seventies Daily Music Chronicle - 1979
The Top 40 Singles of 1979:
- "My Sharona" - The Knack (First chart appearance: 7/21/79; Highest position: #1)
- "Le Freak" - Chic (11/18/78; #1)
- "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" - Rod Stewart (12/23/78; #1)
- "Bad Girls" - Donna Summer (6/9/79; #1)
- "YMCA" - Village People (11/11/78; #2)
- "Reunited" - Peaches & Herb (3/31/79; #1)
- "Ring My Bell" - Anita Ward (5/26/79; #1)
- "I Will Survive" - Gloria Gaynor (1/20/79; #1)
- "Too Much Heaven" - Bee Gees (11/18/78; #1)
- "Hot Stuff" - Donna Summer (4/28/79; #1)
- "Sad Eyes" - Robert John (6/30/79; #1)
- "What A Fool Believes" - The Doobie Brothers (2/10/79; #1)
- "Heart Of Glass" - Blondie (3/17/79; #1)
- "Fire" - Pointer Sisters (12/16/78; #2)
- "Good Times" - Chic (7/7/79; #1)
- "Tragedy" - Bee Gees (2/10/79; #1)
- "A Little More Love" - Olivia Newton-John (12/9/78; #3)
- "Knock On Wood" - Amii Stewart (2/24/79; #1)
- "Babe" - Styx (10/20/79; #1)
- "Shake Your Body" - The Jacksons (3/31/79; #7)
- "When You're In Love With A Beautiful Woman" - Dr. Hook (6/2/79; #6)
- "Pop Muzik" - M (8/25/79; #1)
- "Makin' It" - David Naughton (5/12/79; #5)
- "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough" - Michael Jackson (9/1/79; #1)
- "Rise" - Herb Alpert (8/25/79; #1)
- "My Life" - Billy Joel (11/11/78; #3)
- "I Want You To Want Me" - Cheap Trick (5/26/79; #7)
- "I'll Never Love Like This Again" - Dionne Warwick (7/28/79; #5)
- "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" - Barbra Streisand & Neil Diamond (11/4/78; #1)
- "We Are Family" - Sister Sledge (5/12/79; #2)
- "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)" - Barbra Streisand/Donna Summer (10/27/79; #1)
- "Sail On" - Commodores (8/18/79; #4)
- "Logical Song" - Supertramp (4/28/79; #6)
- "Stumblin' In" - Suzi Quatro & Chris Norman (2/24/79; #4)
- "Chuck E's In Love" - Rickie Lee Jones (5/12/79; #4)
- "Lead Me On" - Maxine Nightengale (7/7/79; #5)
- "The Main Event" - Barbra Streisand (7/7/79; #3)
- "Don't Cry Out Loud" - Melissa Manchester (1/6/79; #10)
- "Music Box Dancer" - Frank Mills (3/3/79; #3)
- "Just When I Needed You Most" - Randy Van Warmer (4/21/79; #4)
1979 Singles - Month By Month
Top Albums of 1979:
20 Popular Movies of 1979:
The Top 20 Television Shows of 1979:
Prime Time TV Schedule - 1979
News Highlights of 1979:
- The Shah is forced to leave Iran after 37 years on the Peacock Throne. The Ayatollah Khomeini, a Muslim fundamentalist, returns after 15 years of exile to establish a socialist Islamic republic.
- Egypt's President Sadat and Israel's Prime Minister Begin sign a peace agreement at the White House.
- American newspaper heiress and former Symbionese Liberation Army member Patty Hearst is released from prison after having served 22 months for bank robbery.
- The Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Pennsylvania begins emitting radiation when problems with the cooling system expose part of the core.
- The Guardian Angels, a volunteer crime-fighting organization, is founded in New York City.
- Actor Lee Marvin is sued for "palimony" by a former female companion.
- The Los Angeles City Council passes its city's first homosexual rights bill that Mayor Tom Bradley signs into effect without fanfare.
- Hollywood legend John "the Duke" Wayne dies in Los Angeles at age 72.
- In Vienna, President Carter and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev sign the SALT II agreement limiting strategic weapons. The U.S. Congress would ultimately fail to ratify the treaty, but both sides abide by its terms anyway.
- General Samoza resigns as president of Nicaragua, and the Sandinistas succeed to power.
- Chrysler Corporation asks the federal government for a loan of $1 billion after reporting the largest quarterly loss in its history.
- Pope John Paul II arrives in Boston on October 1 for his first papal visit to the U.S., after his June visit to his native Poland preceded by earlier visits to the Dominican Republic, Mexico, the Bahamas and Ireland.
- The United States Embassy in Tehran is seized, and 54 American citizens are taken hostage; two are soon released, but the rest are held captive for 444 days.
- Former California Governor Ronald Reagan, Senator Edward Kennedy, and President Carter are the leading names for their parties' presidential nominations.
- Mother Teresa, the empress of charity, accepts the Nobel Peace Prize.
- In December, Soviet forces invade Afghanistan.
Sports Winners of 1979:
- Baseball: The Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Baltimore Orioles 4 games to 3.
- Football: The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Los Angeles Rams 31-19 on January 20, 1980, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California in Super Bowl XIV.
- Basketball: The Seattle Supersonics beat the Washington Bullets 4 games to 1.
- Hockey: The Montreal Canadiens beat the New York Rangers 4 games to 1.