October 7, 1976, is a Thursday. At last night’s second Ford/Carter debate, President Ford said there is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe. Today, Ford’s campaign unveils a new ad touting the president’s biography. Hua Kuo-Feng is named chairman of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee, succeeding Mao Tse-Tung, who died last month. In a meeting with the foreign minister of Argentina, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger gives indications that the United States will not oppose Argentina’s “dirty war” against its own people. Gary Gilmore is convicted of murder in Utah; he will insist on a speedy execution by firing squad, and in January 1977, become the first person to be executed in the United States since the death penalty was banned by the Supreme Court in 1972. Future actress Rachel McAdams, future singer Taylor Hicks, and future Green Bay Packer Charles Woodson are born. Hank Aaron, baseball’s all-time home run king, joins the Atlanta Braves’ front office after retiring as a player. High-school football fans in a small Wisconsin town look forward to tomorrow night’s game; after opening the season with two wins, equaling their total in the two previous seasons, the local team is again mired in a losing streak.
Connie Stevens is this week’s cohost on The Mike Douglas Show. Burt Reynolds is today’s guest. On the competing daytime show Dinah!, Dinah Shore’s guests include Sid Caesar and Marsha Mason. Shows on TV tonight include the NBC sci-fi series Gemini Man and the CBS crime drama Barnaby Jones. Elton John appears on the cover of the latest Rolling Stone. In “Elton’s Frank Talk: The Lonely Love Life of a Superstar,” he reveals his bisexuality. Frank Sinatra plays Hartford, Connecticut, Neil Diamond plays Fort Worth, Texas, and Lynryd Skynyrd plays Spokane, Washington.
On the Cash Box chart for the week, “Lowdown” by Boz Scaggs is Number One, swapping places with KC and the Sunshine Band’s “Shake Your Booty.” Also involved in booty-shaking: “Disco Duck” by Rick Dees at Number 4, “Play That Funky Music” by Wild Cherry at Number 8, and “Getaway” by Earth Wind and Fire at Number 10. There’s only one new entry in the Top 20: “Beth” by KISS at Number 20. Peter Frampton’s “Do You Feel Like We Do” is the highest debuting single in almost exactly a year, at Number 48 in its first week on. The hottest new record in the country, however, is “Muskrat Love” by the Captain and Tennille, which moves from 60 to 31. The duo has just launched a new ABC-TV variety show.
Perspective From the Present: If you can watch that entire clip without wanting to pull off your arm and use it to beat yourself to death, you’re made of tougher stuff than I.