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May 1971








New York City's Philharmonic Hall at Lincoln Center announces that it will begin presenting rock, pop and jazz concerts as well as its usual classical fare. Among the first nonclassical artists booked for the hall are Carole King, Kris Kristofferson and Gordon Lightfoot.

Grand Funk Railroad "consent" to meet the press, who have never treated this power trio with respect, despite their string of gold records. Manager Terry Knight has invited 150 reporters to New York's Gotham Hotel -- only six show up, ensuring more strained relations with the press. Outraged, Knight calls the snubbing, "the grossest case of nonrecognition in the history of the music business."

New York magazine publishes "Portrait of An Honest Cop," a profile of NYPD detective Frank Serpico and his battle against corruption in the police department.

Ike and Tina Turner receive their only gold record, for their version of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Proud Mary." The song hit #4, the highest chart position ever for the husband-and-wife team.
Rival basketball leagues the ABA and the NBA seek congressional approval to merge. They will finally join in 1976.
Ronnie Spector breaches the Top 100 with "Try Some, Buy Some" (#77), written by George Harrison and produced by Harrison and her husband, Phil Spector. It will be her only charting single without The Ronettes.

Linda Ronstadt performs at the legendary venue Fillmore East. The petite brunette is still singing mostly country and folk, with a rockin' backing band led by guitarist Glenn Frey (pre-Eagles). It takes a couple more years but Ronstadt not only catches on but catches on fire, delivering a string of much-praised albums like Heart Like a Wheel and Living in the USA.

Emmy wins go to popular TV programs All in the Family, The Flip Wilson Show, The David Frost Show, and Singer Presents Burt Bacharach.
New York City police detective Frank Serpico testifies at the trial of an NYPD lieutenant accused of taking bribes from gamblers.
Mick Jagger marries Bianca Perez Morena de Macias in St. Tropez, France. The guest list is a veritable who's who of rock & roll luminaries, including the other Stones, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton and Stephen Stills. The reception, held at the Cafe des Arts, is described by one guest as "slightly seedy," and lasts until four in the morning. Ten hours after being married, Jagger is on stage, performing an impromptu set with singers Doris Troy and P.P. Arnold. Five months later, Bianca gives birth in Paris to a daughter, Jade. Jagger and Bianca divorce eight years later.
Jefferson Airplane recording sessions are halted after singer Grace Slick smashes her Mercedes into a concrete wall near San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. Slick, who'd given birth four months earlier to daughter China, is briefly hospitalized, but the band is in even worse shape. "Pretty as You Feel" soon becomes their last single to chart, though a later reformation as Jefferson Starship delivers more Top 10 entries, including "Miracles" and "Count On Me."

The long-deadlocked Paris Peace Talks on the Vietnam conflict enter their fourth year; the count of U.S. forces in Indochina reaches 240,000.

Two John Lennon-Yoko Ono films are screened at the Cannes Festival. The first, Apotheosis, is an eighteen- minute-long camera shot of a snowy countryside. Ono's Fly is the graphic exporation of a nude woman's body by a fly. The flies proved difficult to direct, so, there being no guild to complain to, the insects were stunned with carbon dioxide gas. Those who lived are filmed walking on the woman's skin.

The creator of the yo-yo and the parking meter, David Duncan, dies.

Although a Christmas music recording session was supposed to be the order of the day, after Elvis Presley put down a religious track titled "Lead Me, Guide Me" the session went askew when the rock legend, practicing a karate kick, knocked one of his "Memphis Mafia" buddy-guards' guns through the guitar of a justifiably distraught session musician.
The Band launch their first European tour in Rotterdam, Holland. The tour ends June 3 at London's Royal Albert Hall.
Peter Cetera, bass player and singer for Chicago, undergoes emergency surgery after being beaten and losing four teeth while attendng a baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago Cubs. He had been attacked by a gang who objected to the length of his hair.
Paul McCartney releases Ram, which, unlike his first solo LP, is not a one-man show. Besides wife Linda on vocals, McCartney enlists sessionmen David Spinoza and Hugh McCracken on guitar and bass, and drummer Denny Seiwell, who will later become a member of Wings. Ram goes to #2.
Sticky Fingers, the Rolling Stones' sixteenth LP, goes to Number One. The LP is the first complete Stones album to feature guitarist Mick Taylor, who'd replaced original member Brian Jones two years earlier. While the music is mostly uptempo, lyrically the record is often lugubrious, full of paeans to the sex-and-drugs lifestyle that characterized the Stones' own outlaw image.

A Gallup Poll finds 72% of Americans do not believe President Nixon will be able to withdraw U.S. forces from South Vietnam and leave it strong enough to defend itself. As well, 69% believe that he has not told the public all it should know about the war.

Bob Dylan turns thirty -- even the "Peanuts" comic strip makes mention of it. Dylan celebrates the milestone with a visit to the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.
Leslie West and Mountain are awarded a gold record for Nantucket Sleighride, the biggest LP of the group's career (#16). it is also one of their last: Mountain's fortunes roll steadily downhill, and Leslie West soon abandons the group for West, Bruce & Laing (with former Cream singer/bassist Jack Bruce). In the Eighties, he'll reform Mountain with original drummer Corky Laing, but having slid so far, he'll be unable to get another record deal.
The Rolling Stones achieve the rare distinction of having both the Number One LP (Sticky Fingers) and Number One 45 ("Brown Sugar") in the U.S.

The Top Five
1. "Brown Sugar" - Rolling Stones
2. "Joy to the World" - Three Dog Night
3. "Never Can Say Goodbye" - Jackson 5
4. "Want Ads" - Honey Cone
5. "It Don't Come Easy" - Ringo Starr

Three-dozen Grateful Dead fans were treated for hallucinations caused by LSD they have unwittingly ingested when the drug is used to spike an apple drink served at San Francisco's Winterland. Although members of the Dead are suspected of supplying the drink, they are not accused.
A well-publicized antiwar march by approximately 400 Vietnam veterans takes place in Boston.

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