(Pictured: Billy Preston harmonizes with Ronnie, Mick, and Keef in June 1975.)
(A rare Sunday post, by request. If you have a request for this feature or anything else at this website, get in touch.)
June 7, 1975, was a Saturday. One of the big stories in the news this past week has concerned the likely prospects of President Ford’s energy plan in Congress. Designed to help wean the country from its dependence on foreign oil, the plan includes a new federal gas tax of 23 cents a gallon. The National Governors Conference continues in New Orleans. Some states, New York, Massachusetts, and Michigan among them, are having trouble meeting budget obligations due to cuts in federal funding made necessary by the ongoing economic recession. West Virginia governor Arch Moore, however, says his state is running a surplus for the sixth straight year, and would be “willing to consider loaning some funds to New York or others of our sister states.” Michigan prison inmate Dale Remling is back in jail after being snatched from the state prison yard in Jackson by a hijacked helicopter yesterday morning. The helicopter landed a short hop away, where Remling and his accomplice were supposed to be picked up by other accomplices in a car, but in the confusion Remling missed the ride and had to take off on foot. He is arrested in a small-town bar about 15 miles from the prison today. In Cape Girardeau, Missouri, you can have lunch at the Shakey’s Pizza buffet for $1.68 per person.
Avatar wins the Belmont Stakes. Each of this year’s Triple Crown races was won by a different horse: Foolish Pleasure took the Kentucky Derby (and finished second in the other two races); Master Derby won the Preakness Stakes. In the National League East, the Pittsburgh Pirates take a one-game lead over the Chicago Cubs; the Pirates beat San Francisco 7-6 and the Cubs lost to Cincinnati 8-1. The Reds’ win leaves them just percentage points behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the West after the Dodgers drop a 4-0 decision to Steve Carlton and the Philadelphia Phillies. American League East-leading Boston beats Minnesota and West-leading Oakland loses to Detroit. Future professional basketball player Allen Iverson is born.
On TV tonight, ABC presents Kung Fu and the 1970 theatrical movie The Molly Maguires starring Richard Harris and Sean Connery as immigrant coal miners in Pennsylvania. On CBS, the lineup includes All in the Family, The Jeffersons, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, and The Carol Burnett Show. On NBC, it’s Emergency! and the 1964 theatrical movie The World of Henry Orient, which stars Peter Sellers as an eccentric concert pianist. Pink Floyd plays Atlanta and KISS plays San Diego with Rush opening. Alice Cooper plays New Orleans and Elvis Presley plays Shreveport. In Wisconsin, concertgoers are fired up for tomorrow’s show at Milwaukee County Stadium starring the Rolling Stones, whose lineup includes Billy Preston on keyboards, plus opening acts the Eagles and Rufus featuring Chaka Khan. A crowd of over 50,000 is expected. Tickets are $10.
On the American Top 40 show heard around the country this weekend, five songs are new on the show. The highest debut is “Listen to What the Man Said” by Paul McCartney and Wings, which zooms from #65 to #35 in its second week on the Hot 100. Also new: “Dynomite” by Bazuka, “Hey You” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive, “Lizzie and the Rainman” by Tanya Tucker, and “T-R-O-U-B-L-E” by Elvis. The biggest mover on the chart is “Love Will Keep Us Together” by the Captain and Tennille, up 13 spots to #12. The new #1 song is “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” by John Denver. “Sister Golden Hair” by America moves to #2 from #5; “How Long” by Ace holds at #3. Last week’s #1, “Before the Next Teardrop Falls” by Freddy Fender, dips to #7. (“Before the Next Teardrop Falls” has been on the Hot 100 longer than any other record: 19 weeks.) The #1 song on the soul chart is “Love Won’t Let Me Wait” by Major Harris, which is #9 on the pop chart; #1 country is “Window Up Above” by Mickey Gilley. The #1 album is Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy by Elton John, which is the first album ever to make #1 in its first week on the Billboard album chart.
Across the country, school is out, or it will be within a few days. Although the calendar won’t say so for a couple of weeks yet, another American summer has begun.