Super Seventies RockSite's Seventies Daily Music Chronicle

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March 1973

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  1
Woodies, surfboards and -- ballet shoes? New York City's Joffrey Ballet gives its first performance of its "Deuce Coupe Ballet," which is set entirely to Beach Boys music.
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The Grammy Awards for 1972 are announced. Among the winners are "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" by Roberta Flack, Song of the Year and Record of the Year; The Concert for Bangla Desh, Album of the Year; and America, Best New Artist. Helen Reddy's "I Am Woman" is voted the Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female, and Harry Nilsson's "Without You" is the Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male.

The Soviet Union launches Venera 2, an unmanned space probe that will become the second to land on Venus; in July, it will transmit information back to Earth for almost an hour.

Elton John's latest LP Don't Shoot Me, I'm Only the Piano Player becomes the second of seven albums by the Rocket Man to reach No. 1 in America in three short years. It includes his first No. 1 single, "Crocodile Rock," as well as the ballad "Daniel," which just misses No. 2.

4
Pink Floyd, promoting their new album, The Dark Side of the Moon, begin a three-week tour of the U.S., in Madison, Wisconsin. Dark Side will go gold on Apr. 17 and remain on the charts for 560 consecutive weeks (almost 11 years), and on Feb. 13, 1981, sets a record for rock's longest running chart album at 402 weeks.

"Saturday Night at Fort Apache," a documentary on New York City's 41st police precinct in the South Bronx, is broadcast on the local NBC affiliate.

5
Jimi Hendrix's personal manager, Michael Jeffrey, dies in a plane crash. Later, there will be many to attest that he wasn't on the plane, and had been sighted several times after the crash occurred. Jeffrey was on an Iberia flight from Majorca to England, where he owned a nightclub. All passengers on board the plane were killed.
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The group War, out from under the shadow of former leader Eric Burdon, receive their second gold single of the week, for "Cisco Kid," four days after "The World Is a Ghetto" did likewise.
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Traffic have a gold LP with Shootout at the Fantasy Factory, their final LP with the extended group, which for this album included Roger Hawkins, David Hood, Reebop and founders Steve Winwood, Chris Wood and Jim Capaldi.

One of the rare instrumentals to go gold in the Seventies is "Deuling Banjos," performed by
Eric Weissberg and Steve Mandel. The banjo-guitar raveup is taken from the soundtrack to the film Deliverance.

John Hammond, director of talent acquisition at Columbia Records, suffers a heart attack following a show by one of his biggest and most recent discoveries, Bruce Springsteen. It is Hammond's third heart attack, and he attributes it to overworking. Not so, says his doctor, who insists it happened because Hammond had been so enthusiastic during Springsteen's set at New York City's Max's Kansas City.
8
Paul McCartney pleads guilty to charges of growing marijuana outside his Scottish countryside farm, and is fined $240. McCartney claims that the seeds were given to him by some fans, and that he didn't know what they would grow. According to Paul's lawyer, the ex-Beatle has an active interest in horticulture.

Ronald Charles McKernan -- better known as Pigpen, organist for the Grateful Dead -- dies in his Madera, California, apartment at age twenty-seven. A heavy drinker, McKernan had been under a doctor's care for cirrhosis, and had been unable to tour with the Dead for some time. McKernan formed Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions in 1964 with Bob Weir and a young guitarist and banjoist named Jerry Garcia; the three of them formed the Warlocks the following year, and later the nucleus of the Dead.
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President Nixon announces his staff's intention to invoke executive privilege in refusing to cooperate with any congressional committee probing Watergate. The next day the Senate invites the president's chief counsel, John W. Dean III, to testify about the nomination of L. Patrick Gray III to head the FBI. Dean declines after Gray concedes that Dean likely lied to the FBI about Watergate, leading Senator Ervin to state that executive staff members asserting executive privilege should be held in contempt. Gray's nomination will later be withdrawn.
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The pilot episode of Police Story, a realistic police series created by former Los Angeles cop Joseph Wambaugh, airs on NBC. In the fall, the series begins a four year run on Tuesday nights.
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Derek and the Dominos in Concert, the two-record set released well over a year after the short-lived group's breakup, goes gold. It will be the only other document of Eric Clapton's group besides Layla, a second LP, supposedly taped and in the can, is never released.

John Lennon is again denied permanent U.S. resident status because of his 1968 U.K. pot bust.

An exhibit featuring the outfits of legendary Spanish designer Cristobal Balenciaga opens at the the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. "It's the height of fashion," enthuses Halston, "the most important statement of the century." But Calvin Klein isn't so sure: "Most of it looks out of date."

24
Lou Reed is bitten on his posterior -- by a fan at a Buffalo, New York, concert. The display of affection occurs while Reed is about to perform "Waitin' for the Man." Screaming "leather!" the fan leaps past the guards and assaults Reed. He is ejected. Comments Reed after the show: America "seems to breed real animals."

The Top Five
1. "Love Train" - O'Jays
2. "Killing Me Softly With His Song" - Roberta Flack
3. "Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001)" - Deodato
4. "Neither One of Us (Wants to be the First to Say Goodbye" - Gladys Knight & the Pips
5. "Last Song" - Edward Bear

25
Pink Floyd's landmark The Dark Side of the Moon enters the charts for the first of what will be a total of 741 weeks (that's more than 14 years), unmatched in chart history. The progressive rockers' ode to life, death, time, money, and madness spawns just one Top 15 single, "Money," yet almost every other song becomes an FM staple, from the beautiful "Breathe" to the closing tour de force, "Brain Damage/Eclipse." The benchmark album will invariably rate high on listeners' and critics' all-time best lists, like best album, best album cover, or even best album to make love to.
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Clint Eastwood steps in on a moment's notice (after Charlton Heston becomes stuck in L.A. traffic) to cohost the Academy Awards ceremony. Cabaret dances away with the most statues, eight (including Best Actress for Liza Minnelli), but Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather wins three biggies: Best Picture, actor (Marlon Brando), and adapted screenplay (cowritten by novelist Mario Puzo and Coppola). The big surprise is Sacheen Littlefeather, a Native American spokesperson who -- with a 15-page written explanation -- declines Brando's Best Actor award for him in support of the Wounded Knee demonstrators and in protest of Hollywood's portrayal of Indians. Littlefeather is later discovered to be a Mexican actress named Maria Cruz, and Eastwood is infuriated at having to follow her, as he announces the nominees for best picture.
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Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show get their wish, as their smiling faces adorn the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, just as the group had hoped for in its Top Ten hit "The Cover of the Rolling Stone,," which peaked at #6 on Mar. 17 and went gold six days later.

North Vietnam completes U.S. POW repatriation, and the last U.S. combat forces depart South Vietnam; bombing of Communist positions in Cambodia and skirmishes between North and South Vietnam continue. From Jan. 1, 1961, thorugh March 1973, 45,997 U.S. forces were killed in combat in Vietnam, 303,640 were wounded and 10,928 lost their lives in noncombatant incidents.

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Muhammad Ali is defeated by unknown Ken Norton in 12 rounds in San Diego.


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