This week in 1972

This week in 1972, Don McLean‘s tome about “The Day the Music Died” was at number one on Keener. American Pie‘s telling of the events surrounding the 1959 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens became the stuff of legend, with many of us DJs attempting to decipher the meaning of the lyrics. Here’s my take on American Pie Decoded.

Super Bowl VI was played on this date in that year in New Orleans. The Dallas Cowboys win their first National Football League championship, defeating the Miami Dolphins 24–3.

January 16 in Detroit was butt cold, with the National Weather Service predicting lows of 20 below zero. The alleged Howard Hughes autobiography, written by Clifford Irving was drawing lots of interest, so much so that Hughes himself called the media to complain that it was a hoax. Irving eventually admitted as much and spent seventeen months of a two and a half year sentence prison for fraud.

Shirley Chisholm, the first African American Congresswoman, was meeting with advisers this week in 1972. She would announce her candidacy for president a week later.

Grinnell’s was advertising a four piece Sylvania stereo radio phonograph combo for $149.95. Hughes Hatcher Sufferin clothiers was offering suits for $54.95. Dirty Harry, Harold and Maude and Diamonds Are Forever were playing in theaters. The Six Wives of Henry VIII, a 1970 BBC television mini-series was the talk of the town on PBS. Cobo Hall was gearing up for the 20th Autorama, boasting over 500 hot rods and custom cars.

Today in History:

1936 The Screen Actors Guild incorporates with King Vidor as president.

1954 “South Pacific” closes at Majestic Theater NYC after 1928 performances

1962 Shooting begins on “Dr No” the first James Bond film. The producers were not yet sure if Ian Fleming’s character would resonate with the public, giving the film the smallest shooting budget of any in the series.

We said goodbye to Carol Channing on January 15, 2019. Today in 1964, she shot to stardom as  “Hello, Dolly!” opened at St James Theater NYC for 2,844 performances.

1965 “Outer Limits“, ABC’s answer to “The Twilight Zone” airs its last episode. It would be revived on the Pay TV service, Showtime, in 1995. “There is nothing wrong with your television set!” (Video)

1965 The Guess Who release their debut album,”Shakin’ All Over“. When the record was released, the group was calling themselves Chad Allan & the Expressions. Their cover of the Johnny Kidd & the Pirates original came out on Scepter records, which, for some reason credited the tune to “Guess Who?” The name stuck. (Video)

1965 The Searchers‘ cover of The ColversLove Potion Number 9” peaks at #3. (Video)

1972 David Seville (real name: Ross Bagdasarian), who created The Chipmunks, dies of a heart attack at age 52. Us DJs know that his first hit had nothing to do with chipmunks. Here’s a rare video from the Ed Sullivan Show of David’s performance of “The Witch Doctor” (Video)

1973 NBC presents 440th & final showing of “Bonanza“. It made stars of Lorne Greene, Dan Blocker, Pernell Roberts and Michael Landon. Let’s listen to Lorne sing his most famous hit.. The full version of “Ringo” (Video)

1974 “Jaws” by Peter Benchley is published by Doubleday. It would become Stephen Spielberg’s first major movie hit.

1976 The “Donny & Marie”  musical variety show premieres on ABC. Here’s how they opened the first show. (Video)

1976 Peter Frampton released platinum live album “Frampton Comes Alive“. Three singles emerge from the double LP, which many DJ’s believe benefitted from sound effects which amplified audience reaction. (Video)

Happy Birthday to: A. J. Foyt (Racer), 1935; Jim Stafford (Spiders & Snakes), 1944; Ronnie Milsap, 1946; John Carpenter (Horror Director), 1948; Sade, 1959; Kate Moss, 1974;

Much More Music:

Jay Black‘s voice is one of the most distinctive of the rock era. This week in 1969, Jay & The Americans‘  “This Magic Moment” was climbing the charts. It was recorded first by Ben E. King and the Drifters . Jay’s version is the most widely remembered, spending 14 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. (Video)

For our birthday boy, Ronnie Milsap. One of his most underrated songs. “What a Difference You’ve Made in My Life“. Trivia; Ronnie is also a well regarded #AmateurRadio enthusiast (WB4KCG). (Video)

A little reggae feel for hump day from the great King Floyd. Let’s dig “Groove Me”. Climbing the charts this week in 1971. It was covered by John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd on their first Blues Brothers LP. (Video)


Today’s Quote Worth Re-quoting: “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

Badfinger was top ten this week in 1972 with “Day After Day“. We leave you with Rod Stewart‘s worthy cover.

Hope yours is a great day! See you at 6am tomorrow on Twitter.

Thanks for listening!

Scott Westerman
Host and Producer – Rock and Roll Revisited
Author: Motor City Music – Keener 13 and the Soundtrack of Detroit