Super Seventies RockSite's Seventies Daily Music Chronicle

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November 1979

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  1
A Rolling Stone article reports that "the disco boom may be over," noting a sharp recent decrease in the sale of disco LP's.

At the opening show of his Slow Train Coming tour in San Francisco's Warfield Theater, born-again Christian
Bob Dylan is booed by the audience.
2
Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager, co-owners of the swinging New York City discotheque Studio 54, plead guilty to tax evasion charges under an indictment that made them liable for as much as 36 years in prison each if convicted. The plea-bargain allows for all remaining tax evasion and drug charges against the pair, stemming from a raid in December 1978, to be dismissed. Studio 54 closes with a Diana Ross-hosted party on Feb. 4, 1980, and Rubell and Schrager spend 13 months in prison each. They then sell the building and remain on temporarily as consultants after Studio 54 reopens on Sept. 21, 1981. The venue continues to operate as a nightclub until 1991 by other owners.
3
Guyana-born British reggae-funk-rocker Eddy Grant enters the U.S. soul chart for the only time this decade with "Walking on Sunshine," which will only reach #86 in just three weeks on the chart. The song will later be an international funk hit in a 1982 cover version by Brooklyn-based Rockers Revenge. Grant himself -- a former member of late-Sixties interracial band the Equals -- will reemerge triumphant in 1983 with the hit singles "Electric Avenue" and "I Don't Wanna Dance" and the hit album Killer on the Rampage.

The debut albums by two-tone ska-rock bands the
Specials and Madness enter the U.K. album chart at #4 and #16 respectively.

Six gunmen kill four protesters during an anti-KKK rally in Greensboro, N.C. At their 1980 trial, an all-white jury will clear the six.

The Top Five
1. "Pop Music" - M
2. "Heartache Tonight" - Eagles
3. "Dim All the Lights" - Donna Summer
4. "Rise" - Herb Alpert
5. "Still" - Commodores

4
An angry mob of Iranian students storms the U.S. embassy in Teheran, demands the return of the exiled Shah of Iran and takes 90 hostages. They will release all women and blacks but hold the remaining hostages for 444 days, monopolizing American attention and eventually striking a fatal blow to Jimmy Carter's presidency.
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The English Beat, another two-tone ska-rock band, release their debut single, a cover of Smokey Robinson and the Miracles' "The Tears of a Clown" backed with "Ranking Full Stop," on the Specials' Two-Tone label.
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"The Genius," Ray Charles, enters the soul single chart for the only time this year with "Just Because," which will peak at #69 in five weeks on the chart. His only other soul chart entry this year will be with the LP Ain't It So, which will enter the soul LP chart in two weeks, remaining there for four weeks and peaking at #59.

John Mellencamp, under the stage name John Cougar, charts his first Top 40 single, "I Need a Lover." The Indiana-born singer/songwriter/producer, who worked outside of music until 1975, will go on to record over 20 Top 40 singles in the next ten years.

The Top Five
1. "Heartache Tonight" - Eagles
2. "Dim All the Lights" - Donna Summer
3. "Still" - Commodores
4. "Rise" - Herb Alpert
5. "Pop Music" - M

11
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Jefferson Starship singer Marty Balin's rock opera "Rock Justice" opens a four-day run at San Francisco's Old Waldorf night club. Balin stars in and codirects the musical, about a rock star who dreams he's on trial for not having a hit record. It will also be made into a videotape.
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Young turk record executive Ron Alexenberg's Infinity label goes out of business. Infinity's parent company, MCA Records, takes on Infinity's roster of talent, which includes Spyro Gyra (whose gold Morning Dance LP was Infinity's only big seller), Hot Chocolate, Orleans and Rupert Holmes. Infinity's much-ballyhooed acquisition of an album of songs by Pope John Paul II turned out to be a commercial flop. MCA president Sidney Sheinberg cited "present-day economic realities" as the reason for closing the label. In response, Alexenberg -- a former senior vice-president for promotion at Epic Records -- files a $2 million suit alleging breach of contract against MCA.
17
Former Jethro Tull bassist John Glascock dies of a heart attack at age twenty-six in London. Though he recorded with Jethro Tull, Glascock's long battle with heart disease kept him from ever touring with the band.

The Top Five
1. "Still" - Commodores
2. "Dim All the Lights" - Donna Summer
3. "No More Tears (Enough is Enough)" - Barbra Streisand & Donna Summer
4. "Babe" - Styx
5. "Heartache Tonight" - Eagles

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Chuck Berry is released from Lompoc Prison Farm in California after seving two months of his four-month sentence for tax evasion.
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Marianne Faithfull, currently embarking on her second solo singing career, is arrested at Oslo Airport in Norway for possession of marijuana.

ABC premieres the Fab Four biopic Birth of the Beatles.

24
Peabo Bryson, who broke through to stardom in 1978, enters the soul chart with his biggest hit of the year, "Gimme Some Time," a duet with Natalie Cole that will peak at #8 in its fourteen weeks on the chart.

The Top Five
1. "No More Tears (Enough is Enough)" - Barbra Streisand & Donna Summer
2. "Babe" - Styx
3. "Still" - Commodores
4. "Dim All the Lights" - Donna Summer
5. "Heartache Tonight" - Eagles

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Fleetwood Mac's first tour in two years begins in Pocatello, Idaho, just over a month after the release of the band's latest album, Tusk.
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Despite pre-arrival threats on his life by his future would-be assassin Memhet Ali Agca, Pope John Paul II makes his first visit to Turkey, which will last until November 30. The irony of this papal visit was it was to the same country that Agca originated in before his failed attempt on John Paul II in 1981 in St. Peters Square, and where he would murder leftist journalist Abdi Ipekci that same year before John Paul II's arrival.
29
Anita Pallenberg, Keith Richards' common-law wife, is cleared of murder charges in the shooting death of her young male companion, whose body had been found in her New York state home.

Michael Jackson receives a gold record for "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough," the first of four Top Ten hits from his album Off the Wall. Both "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" and the album's "Rock with You" will hit Number One on the soul pop charts, and Off the Wall will become a Number One pop and soul LP.

Paul Simon, in an attempt to leave his record label, CBS, files two lawsuits against the company in New York State Supreme Court.

As Iranian revolutionaries continue to hold 52 American diplomats hostage at the US embassy in Tehran that they seized on Nov. 4, ABC continues its late-night coverage, The Iran Crisis: America Held Hostage, Day __. As the days increase, President Carter's popularity decreases. Tonight regular anchorman Frank Reynolds takes the night off, so into the top spot steps smooth, soothing diplomatic correspondent Ted Koppel. Though it's not called that yet, Nightline emerges from the crisis to become a landmark late-night news program that Koppel will wind up hosting for a quarter century. After 444 days the hostages will be relased, moments after President Reagan assumes office. The timing spurs talk of a negotiated, prearranged but never confirmed "October surprise."

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