January 28, 1972: Family Affair

Embed from Getty Images

(Pictured: “Sir, what would it take for me to put you and your good lady wife into this Gremlin today?”)

We’re having a One Day in Your Life mini-blitz here. This is a new post, and there will be another one by reader request on Monday. There might be more next week if I don’t find the bandwidth to write about anything else.

January 28, 1972, is a Friday. It is extremely cold across much of the nation’s midsection. High temperatures yesterday were in the single digits in Wisconsin and Minnesota and fell well below zero early this morning. More single-digit cold is expected today. Recently, Democratic presidential candidates have been criticizing the Nixon Administration’s Vietnam policy. Today, newspapers report the administration’s response, which is to call such criticism “irrational.” Tonight, at a White House gala, a member of the Ray Conniff Singers pulls a “stop the war” banner from her dress and confronts Nixon over “the bombing of human beings, animals, and vegetation.” After voluntarily leaving the ballroom, she is questioned by Nixon aides and sent home. An Associated Press feature story profiles New York representative Shirley Chisholm, who became the first black woman in Congress in 1969, and who is planning a run for president.

Future Supreme Court justice Amy Coney Barrett is born. In Madison, Wisconsin, Goben Motors will sell you a new 1972 AMC Gremlin for $1999, and give you an official size-and-weight basketball with any AMC test drive, while supplies last. Two different TV dealers advertise 25-inch RCA console color TVs priced from $499. At TV Clinic, you can get an RCA portable radio for $3.99, including a free battery.

Two University of Minnesota basketball players have been suspended after a bench-clearing brawl during their game against Ohio State on Tuesday night. Yesterday, the Chicago Bears hired Abe Gibron as head coach, replacing the recently fired Jim Dooley. Sports fans (and everyone else) can stock up for the weekend at Leske’s Liquor Locker, where cases of Budweiser, Pabst, Hamms, and Schlitz are $3.99 in returnable bottles, plus tax and deposit. Friday night fish fry specials abound at Madison-area restaurants: at the Sterling House, all-you-can-eat ocean perch is $1.25; at Lombardino’s, the fish special costs $1.75. A choice T-bone at Tony Frank’s North is $3.95. Movies playing in Madison theaters this weekend include Dirty Harry, Straw Dogs, Sometimes a Great Notion, The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight, Star-Spangled Girl (“a patriotic, chaotic comedy” starring Sandy Duncan), and The Butterfly, which is rated X.

During the day today, CBS and ABC present a number of prime-time reruns: The Lucy Show, The Beverly Hillbillies, Family Affair, Gomer Pyle USMC, Bewitched, and That Girl. Tonight, CBS starts with David Janssen in O’Hara: US Treasury, followed by the made-for-TV horror movie She Waits, which stars Patty Duke as a murdered woman whose spirit possesses her husband’s new wife. Last up is an episode of The Don Rickles Show, a sitcom in which the comedian plays an advertising executive with problems at work and at home. NBC presents Sanford and Son and an extended episode of its news magazine Chronolog. ABC airs The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, Room 222, The Odd Couple, and Love American Style. Country star Lynn Anderson, who made the pop Top 10 with “Rose Garden” a year ago, plays the Dane County Memorial Coliseum in Madison tonight with Danny Davis and the Nashville Brass and Johnny Paycheck and the Cashiers; Sonny and Cher will play the Coliseum on Sunday night with special guest Steve Martin. Tickets are available for both shows at $3.50, $4.50, and $5.50.

At KMFB in Mendocino, California, Don McLean’s “American Pie” is the #1 song. (It also tops the Billboard Hot 100 in this week.) “Friends With You” by John Denver, “Joy” by Apollo 100, Carly Simon’s “Anticipation,” and Nilsson’s “Without You” round out the top five. Former Hot 100s #1 “Brand New Key” by Melanie and “Family Affair” by Sly and the Family Stone are at #7 and #14 respectively. “It’s One of Those Nights” by the Partridge Family is at #6 and David Cassidy’s “Cherish” is at #13.

Perspective From the Present: On this day, I was in the sixth grade, bundled up against the weather. Shirley Chisholm ended up receiving 152 delegate votes at the Democratic convention that summer, even though the party organization had not permitted her to participate in candidate debates. In current dollars, that new Gremlin would cost over $13,000. That console TV at $499 is equivalent to nearly $3,300 2022 dollars, and a $5.50 concert ticket would be $36. A $1.75 restaurant dinner is equivalent to about $12. In Madison, Goben Motors and Lombardino’s are still in business today, and the Dane County Coliseum hosts the occasional concert.

7 thoughts on “January 28, 1972: Family Affair

  1. That top 10 is just a super group of songs for me. I was 7 yrs old on this date. I’d been listening to AM radio for at least a year or two at that point. I have such great memories of this entire time period… music/TV… all good stuff.

  2. Yah Shure

    Corky Taylor and Ron Behagen. I don’t even have to look up their names. Was listening in the basement of my fraternity to the radio play-by-play of the Gophers-OSU game, taking place right across the street in Williams Arena. When the brawl broke out, I headed upstairs to look out the front windows and hope that the soon-to-exit crowd wouldn’t do anything stupid. That was not a good night.

  3. Tim M

    It was right around this time that, flush with my (relatively) good salary bump to PD, I bought my first brand-new car, a ’72 Ford Mustang Mach 1 with the high-performance Cleveland 351 engine. I still have the factory sticker: $4,217 – just a skosh more than the Gremlin pictured above.


    Milwaukeeans are proud of our beer heritage, also that Nash/Rambler/Kelvinator/AMC built cars in Milwaukee. Also, fine rock n roll churned by am920 WOKY and am1340 WRIT.

  5. Wesley

    The official title of the show that started off CBS’s lineup that night was O’Hara United States Treasury per its onscreen display. I know because I watched an episode for research as part of the last book I wrote, Betty White on TV (sorry for the unsolicited plug). Anyway, that series, which starred David Janssen in an odd effort by stolid producer Jack Webb to create a Mission:Impossible style adventure outing, actually made the top 10 at least one week in 1971 before Sanford and Son came along to obliterate it.

    Further down that schedule, She Wait marked the first acting Dorothy McGuire had done on television since a guest shot on Climax in 1956. And several reputable sources told me that CBS programming head Fred Silverman wasn’t happy with The Don Rickles Show, so he made sure to bury it at the bottom half hour before the late news on most stations.

    Finally, as long as movies are going to need to play an actual hit from 1972 while trying to keep performance fees down as much as possible, Joy by Apollo 100 will always get a placement. I’m perfectly fine with that.

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