Super Seventies RockSite's Seventies Daily Music Chronicle

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May 1972

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  1
In a controversial decision, Pulitzer Prizes are awarded to the New York Times and columnist Jack Anderson for their roles in publishing the Pentagon Papers. Anderson had also exposed government secrets that showed the White House fovoring Pakistan in a dispute with India during the formation of Bangladesh, as well as President Nixon's secret Watergate transcripts. Anderson, a devout Mormon, avoids being eliminated by Nixon's political operatives and continues plying his craft as the president's ship goes down.
2
FBI director-for-life, J. Edgar Hoover, dies in Washington, D.C., at age 77.
3
Stone the Crows lead guitarist Les Harvey is electrocuted in Swansea, Wales. Harvey, twenty-five, was thrown into the air after touching a poorly connected microphone. He was given mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, but died in a local hospital a few hours later. Also hospitalized is the band's singer, Maggie Bell, who collapsed after the accident, she had been Harvey's longtime girlfriend.
4
The George Wallace campaign scores back-to-back victories in primaries in Tennessee and North Carolina, with 68% and 50% of the vote, respectively.
5
Ragtime blues and gospel performer Reverend Gary Davis dies of a heart attack in Hammonton, New Jersey, at age seventy-six. The blind guitarist grew up on a sharecropper's farm in South Carolina, and spent most of his years as a street singer. He didn't receive national recognition for his syncopated guitar style until a performance at Newport in 1964. Artists such as Peter, Paul and Mary later recorded some of his songs, giving him enough royalties money to enable him to move to New York City, his residence up until his death.

Thirty artists, brought together by actor
Warren Beatty, have agreed to perform at a series of twelve benefits for the George McGovern presidential campaign. Included are Judy Collins, Mama Cass Elliot, Michele Phillips, Goldie Hawn and Jack Nicholson. "I didn't want to do it at first," admits Collins, "but then the bombing build-ups in Vietnam started; that woke me up."
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7
The Rolling Stones release the second album on their own label, Exile on Main Street. The double-record set contains two hits, "Tumbling Dice" and "Happy" (sung by Keith Richards), and at least a side-full of throwaway tracks with titles like "Turd on the Run." But given time, Exile will become regarded as perhaps the Stones' finest album.

The Los Angeles Lakers conquer the New York Nicks, 114-100, to claim their first NBA title.

8
Keyboardist and singer Billy Preston becomes the first rock performer to headline at Radio City Music Hall. Others to soon follow will include David Bowie and Mountain.

After weeks of Communist ground victories in South Vietnam and chaotic retreats by the South Vietnamese, President Nixon announces the mining of North Vietnamese ports and the blocking of all land and sea routes used to transport war supplies to the country. He adds that U.S. hostility will end only whe all American POWs are returned and there is a cease-fire throughout Indochina.

9
George McGovern claims the Nebraska primary with 41% of the Democratic vote.
10
11
John Lennon tells Dick Cavett during an appearance on his show that he believes he has been followed and has had his phone tapped over the previous months. In the meantime, a National Committee for John and Yoko continues its drive for letters and petitions opposing the U.S. government's attempt to deport the couple.

In a dubious attempt to shed his teenybopper image, clean-cut David Cassidy sheds his clothes for Rolling Stone. The risqué cover shot by Annie Leibovitz of a naked, stretched-out Cassidy in the grass sends shockwaves through his legions of loyal fans. Between the covers he even shows a bit of pubic hair, and in the interview he tries to come across more like Keith Richards than Keith Partridge, his TV alter-ego.

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The Rolling Stones' 1972 U.S. tour encounters its first problem three weeks before it even commences. A computer designed to handle the distribution of tickets for the group's San Francisco shows overloads, leaving thousands in the lurch. "It was a madhouse," says a salesperson at Sears, one of fifty-four Ticketron outlets handling the concerts. Because of the foul-up, it took twelve minutes to precess each order.

Arthur Bremer, a loner trying to impress a female acquaintance, guns down George Wallace as he campaigns in Maryland, paralyzing him for life.

All in the Family -- the TV sitcom starring Carroll O'Connor as Archie Bunker -- sweeps the 24th annual Emmy Awards in Hollywood. Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton receive Best Actor and Best Actress - Comedy Series awards, respectively, and John Rich wins Best Director - Comedy Series and Burt Styler wins Best Writer - Comedy Series.

16
Fillmore, the film documentary of the Fillmore West's last days, premieres in New York City. The movie had been given an R rating because of Fillmore owner Bill Graham's salty language, and Graham was livid when he heard about the rating. "There is no dope, no sex, no pornography, no killing," he says about the film. Graham declares that he'll fight the Motion Picture Association of America -- the film-rating body -- for a PG rating.
17
18
The New York Times carries a report that the former Beatles have agreed to end their feuding. In addition, Paul McCartney claims that the four have decided to split the fortune resulting from their partnership. The four ex-Beatles came to this solution, he explains, to free $1.7 million now frozen in litigation.
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21
Claiming to be Jesus Christ, art critic Laszlo Toth attacks Michelangelo's Pietà in the Vatican, breaking the arm of the sculpture's Virgin Mary.
22
23
George McGovern pulls ahead in the Democratic race, winning Oregon (50%) and Rhode Island (41%).
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27
The Top Five
1. "Oh Girl" - Chi-Lites
2. "I'll Take You There" - Staple Singers
3. "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" - Roberta Flack
4. "Look What You Done For Me" - Al Green
5. "Candy Man" - Sammy Davis Jr.

28
George McGovern and Hubert Humphrey participate in the first of two debates, arguing the issues as they campaing for the critical California primary.
29
Long accused of possessing a knack for schmaltz, Paul McCartney gives his critics further ammunition by releasing "Mary Had a Little Lamb," based on the nursery rhyme. The single is among his least successful, just barely cracking the Top Thirty.

President Nixon ends his week-long Moscow visit with Soviet general secretary Leonid Brezhnev by issuing a joint communiqué emphasizing economic cooperation and limiting strategic weapons arsenals.

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31
Walter Jackson Freeman II, the pioneer and performer of the controversial surgery known as lobotomy, dies in San Francisco at age 76.
 


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