Super Seventies RockSite's Seventies Daily Music Chronicle

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May 1975

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With their first big hit single, "Lady," still on the chart, the Chicago-based rock band Styx earns its first gold record, for the 1973 album Styx II. Along with such bands as Journey, REO Speedwagon, Rush and Kansas, Styx will become one of the foremost exponents of the brand of commercially successful arena-rock dismissed by critics as "pomp rock" -- a streamlined, merger of British art-rock technique, high-harmony vocals derived from Crosby, Stills and Nash and British art-rockers Yes, as well as heavy metal. Such "pomp rock" will become the staple fare of mid-Seventies album-oriented radio.

The
Rolling Stones announce their Tour of the Americas '75 in New York City, first by way of an incomprehensible monologue by comedian Professor Irwin Corey, and then by playing "Brown Sugar" with new but not yet permanent replacement Ron Wood on the back of a flatbed truck moving down Fifth Avenue.

Hank Aaron, now a Milwaukee Brewer, breaks another Babe Ruth record, knocking in his 2,209th career RBI.

2
After rejecting names like "The Portable Crushers" and "The Vague Dots," David Byrne, Tina Weymouth and Chris Franz settle on Talking Heads, which they found in an old issue of TV Guide.
3
The Top Five
1. "He Don't Love You (Like I Love You)" - Tony Orlando & Dawn
2. "(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song" - B.J. Thomas
3. "Before the Next Teardrop Falls" - Freddy Fender
4. "Philadelphia Freedom" - Elton John Band
5. "Chevy Van" - Sammy Johns

4
Moe Howard of the Three Stooges dies in Los Angeles at age 77.
5
After four years of resisting TV broadcasts, the South African government gives up, and the country's first TV program airs.
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Straight Shooter, the second album by British hard-rock band Bad Company -- which features ex-Free vocalist Paul Rodgers and ex-Mott the Hoople guitarist Mick Ralphs -- goes gold, as its predecessor, the band's eponymous debut album, did the year before.
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Stevie Wonder plays before 125,000 people at the Washington Monument as part of Human Kindness Day, for which he is the honoree. Despite initial reservations as to whether the focus of his involvement might detract from the event's impact, Wonder and his group, Wonderlove, perform for over an hour.
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The Jefferson Starship give a concert in New York City's Central Park for 60,000 fans. The band flies into town specifically for the performance, which is free, but only for the audience. The Starship and concert sponsor WNEW-FM pick up a $14,000 tab for cleanup and damage done to the park.

American pop group
Steely Dan -- one of the few "critics' favorites" to also achieve popular success -- earn their third gold record for the album Katy Lied, which contained the minor hit singles "Black Friday" and "Dr. Wu." Their previous gold records went to their debut album Can't Buy a Thrill, and their third album, Pretzel Logic.

Khmer Rouge naval vessels seize the U.S. merchant ship Mayaguez 60 miles off the Cambodian coast. In a rescue operation that will embarrass and damage President Ford politically, 38 U.S. troops are killed (23 in a helicopter crash en route to the rescue). 50 are wounded and three are MIA.

13
Bob Wills, the King of Western Swing, dies in Kent Nursing Home in Fort Worth, Texas. He was 70 and had been suffering from heart problems and a stroke for several years. With his group, the Texas Playboys, Wills had popularized Western Swing, a goodtime mix of country, blues, jazz and swing, and had 26 chart hits between 1944 and 1976. Wills will be posthumously inducted into both the Rock and Roll and the Country Music Halls of Fame.

Ex-call girl turned madam Xaviera Hollander is getting plenty of exposure, but it's not all that flattering. A sanitized screen adaptation of her best-seller, The Happy Hooker, opens with Lynn Redgrave in the title role. Last year, Hollander starred in her own effort, a Canadian film entitled My Pleasure Is My Business, which caused Leonard Maltin to sniff, "Hollander is so expressionless she can't even play herself well." And last month, a judge ruled that the makers of a porn film, The Life and Times of Xaviera Hollander couldn't use the The Mickey Mouse Club theme song as background during an orgy scene.

14
The White House, New York State and various banks refuse New York City mayor Abe Beame's requests for financial assistance. New York City will suffer a series of debilitating strikes by public service workers, then on July 31 begin austerity measures including wage freezes. On Dec. 9, President Ford will sign legislation to save the city from default.

Four sitcoms depicting blue-collar life in urban America, All in the Family, Sanford and Son, Chico and the Man, and Good Times are TV's most popular serieses.

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Just two weeks prior to the start of the Rolling Stones' lengthy Tour of the Americas '75, Mick Jagger puts his right hand through a window at Gosman's restaurant in Montauk, on Long Island. The wound requires twenty stitches; fortunately, no real damage is done, and tour plans proceed accordingly.

Top of the charts: Tony Orlando & Dawn's "He Don't Love You (Like I Love You)" (pop single); Earth, Wind & Fire's That's the Way of the World (pop album).

Blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo finally receives the Oscar he won 19 years ago. Trumbo, 69, gets the trophy for The Brave One, awarded in 1957 to a pseudonymous "Robert Rich." An ill Trumbo receives the Oscar at his Beverly Hills home, and dies the next year of congestive heart failure.

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Who leader Pete Townsend turns thirty years old. Excessive hours spent working on the film Tommy and his own uncertainty about his role in rock lead him to give an acerbic interview this month to friend and New Musical Express jounalist Roy Carr. Who vocalist Roger Daltrey responds in the NME in August, and rumors fly -- aided by the October release of The Who by Numbers LP -- that the group is finally about to break up.
20
The TV series Adam 12, starring Kent McCord as Officer Reed and Martin Milner as Officer Malloy, ends after a seven-year run on NBC.
21
Peter Sellers arrives at the opening of Blake Edwards's The Return of the Pink Panther dressed as Inspector Clouseau and accompanied by his current flame, model Tiki Wachtmeister (daughter of the Swedish ambassador to the United States for a time). To coincide with the premiere, Sellers has been named an honorary detective by the New York City Police Department.
22
Pure Prairie League, Rufus, Earl Scruggs and Joe Cocker entertain 17,000 troups and their families at the army base in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The concert, known as Music - You're My Mother, fails to break even at the box office, and base officials cancel another show planned for June 14th, the 200th anniversary of the army.
23
LAPD chief Ed Davis sends a letter to Sharon Cornelison, president of Christopher Street West Association, declining her invitation to attend that year's Gay Pride but instead supports efforts to convert homosexuals to heterosexuality.
24
For the second show in a row, the Beach Boys, on tour with Chicago, literally have the joint jumping. The second level at the Oakland Coliseum is noticeably shaking in footage taken by a local news crew; the previous day's concert at Anaheim Stadium caused the mezzanine to vibrate as much as eighteen inches.

The Top Five
1. "Shining Star" - Earth, Wind & Fire
2. "Before the Next Teardrop Falls" - Freddy Fender
3. "Jackie Blue" - Ozark Mountain Daredevils
4. "Only Yesterday" - Carpenters
5. "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" - John Denver

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The Alaskan Supreme Court shakes up the lower 48 by legalizing marijuana for personal use in the privacy of one's home. In a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, pot possession becomes a civil crime punishable by a $100 fine. Debate rages, but the ruling withstands all challenges over the years.
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The red, white and blue-spangled Evel Knievel takes his act global, hurdling fifteen double-decker buses at London's Wembley Stadium before 90,000 fans. The crash landing breaks his pelvis, just another mishap in his ever extravagant, elaborate stunts, like last year's attempt to soar 1,600 feet across Idaho's Snake River Canyon in a rocket-powered contraption.

The Top Five
1. "Before the Next Teardrop Falls" - Freddy Fender
2. "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" - John Denver
3. "How Long" - Ace
4. "Only Yesterday" - Carpenters
5. "Sister Golden Hair" - America



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