Super Seventies RockSite's Seventies Daily Music Chronicle

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April 1972

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  1
The three-day Mar y Sol (sea and sun) festival opens in Vega Baja, attracting 30,000 people. Promoter Alex Cooley gathered together such acts as the Allman Brothers, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, B.B. King, the J. Geils Band and Black Sabbath. The festival goes on despite efforts by Puerto Rico's Secretary of Health to prevent it. The secretary fears there will be a plague of drug abuse.

With director John Boorman's eagerly awaited Deliverance about to open, costar Burt Reynolds makes major waves as he appears semi-nude in the centerfold of the April issue of Cosmopolitan. "What the hell, it's intended as a put-down for Playboy, which I hate," says the unabashed actor, who shows a touch of pubic hair. "Also, I'm thinking, 'I don't have any good publicity stills, so what do I have to lose? If something comes out good I can always crop it, right?'" The magazine is a quick sell-out and rejuvanates Reynolds' career.

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The Mary Sol festival ends. The final box score: four persons dead (including one sixteen-year-old boy who was hacked to death while lying in his sleeping bag); a general lack of sufficient food supplies; a general abundance of brutal Puerto Rican sun; and even after the festival, a major snafu in which hundreds of Americans are stranded at the San Juan airport. Promoter Cooley calls the festival a success, but Richard Kimball of KMET-FM in L.A. sums it up this way: "It was a fucking drag."
4
George McGovern becomes the Democratic front-runner by clinching the Wisconsin primary with 30% of the vote, while Edmund Muskie drops to fourth place with 10%.
5
Baseball season openers are delayed as, for the first time in the history of the game, players participate in a strike against team owners. An agreement on pension payments by owners, the issue at the heart of the strike, is reached on April 13.
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7
An auction of Biblical proportions rocks the usually quiet world of books as a rare, 15th century Gutenberg bible sells for a record $2 million, nearly six times more than any book ever auctioned to date. Christie's sells the two-volume, leather-bound Bible to a New York City bookseller who quickly resells it to the West German state museum in Stuttgart.
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10
The French Connection is the big winner at the Oscars, winning Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Director and Best Actor for Gene Hackman. Jane Fonda is awarded Best Actress (for Klute), <Nicholas and Alexandria wins Best Art-Design Set and Best Costume Awards, and Isaac Hayes wins Best Original Song (for "Theme From Shaft").
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12
Based on a character created by underground comics legend R. Crumb, Fritz the Cat premieres in a storm of controversy. The first X-rated cartoon about a sex-drugs-rock 'n' roll hippie feline, once rejected by every studio in town, generates equally sizable grosses and headlines. Fritz the Cat becomes the first animated film to gross more than $100 million at the box office. Critics mostly approve, with Leonard Maltin calling it an "engaging, irreverent look at radical-hip lifestyles of the 1960s."
13
14
David Bowie releases the first single from the conceptual The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars -- "Starman" backed with "Suffragette City." Ziggy will remain on the LP chart for more than a year, and will finally break Bowie in the U.S.
15
The ageless spiritual "Amazing Grace," as interpreted by the Pipes & Drums of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, tops the U.K. singles chart. Two months later Aretha Franklin's album of the same name debuts on the U.S. album charts.

The Top Five
1. "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" - Roberta Flack
2. "A Horse With No Name" - America
3. "I Gotcha" - Joe Tex
4. "Rockin' Robin" - Michael Jackson
5. "Heart of Gold" - Neil Young

16
The Electric Light Orchestra, born of the Move, play their first live gig. The group at this time includes Jeff Lynne, Bev Bevan and Roy Wood, who will shortly leave for a solo career. Most of ELO's early shows are disastrous: Wood attempts to play so many instruments that he frequently trips over cords and wires just trying to get to them.

Apollo 16 blasts off for the fifth manned moon landing; astronauts John Young and Charles Duke Jr. become the ninth and tenth men to leave their footprints on the lunar surface.

Two adorable pandas named Hsing-Hsing and Ling-Ling, gifts from the People's Republic of China, arrive in Washington, D.C. The young duo takes up residence in side-by-side pens at the National Zoo to national acclaim and attention. They're here as a byproduct of President Nixon's historic rapprochement with China. Hsing-Hsing and Ling-Ling attract millions of visitors during their 20-year stay, but none of their eagerly anticipated five panda cubs live past a few days.

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Roberta Flack is awarded a gold record for "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," the Number One 45 for six weeks in the spring. The former schoolteacher from North Carolina will continue to have a string of hits, several of them recorded with singer Donny Hathaway.
20
A week of intensely fought ground victories for the North Vietnamese and continued air bombing by the U.S. -- the first of Hanoi and Haiphong in over four years -- ends with a formal proposal to resume the Paris Peace Talks.
21
22
Elvis Presley's third album of gospel songs, He Touched Me, charts and will peak at #79 on the Billboard Hot 200 pop chart during its 10-week run, an amazing feat for a gospel album.
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24
One of John Lennon's most controversial singles, "Woman Is the Nigger of the World," is released. The song goes to #57, despite the fact that virtually every radio station in the country refuses to play it.

A half-dozen teenage girls faint and several others sustain cuts in a stampede that occurs prior to a concert by
Jethro Tull. An estimated 2,500 young persons press into the lobby of Long Island's Nassau Coliseum to purchase tickets, resulting in the summoning of 100 police, as well as a box-office window being smashed.
25
George McGovern wins the Massachusetts primary with 52% of Democratic votes, while Hubert Humphrey takes Pennsylvania with 35%.
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Phil King, who acted as a frontman for an early version Blue Oyster Cult and was a sometime promoter, is shot to death after a gambling incident in Farmingdale, New York. According to police, King, twenty-five, was killed by a gambling associate who owed him money; the suspect is arrested the next day.

Edmund Muskie withdraws from the presidential race, and a week later, on the heels of Hubert Humphrey's wins in Ohio and Indiana and George Wallace's victory in his home state of Alabama, Henry Jackson also withdraws.

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29
John and Yoko receive support from New York City mayor John Lindsay in their fight to remain in the U.S. Lindsay asks the federal government to halt deportation proceedings against the two, citing the fact that if the Lennons are deported they will lose custody of Yoko's missing daughter from a previous marriage, Kyoko. Lindsay calls the action "a grave injustice in light of [John and Yoko's] unique contributions in the fields of music and art."
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