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February 1970








Look magazine uses the opening line of the Beatles' "A Day in the Life" -- "I read the news today oh boy" -- to headline its look back at the Sixties. The line was also used as the title of a regular music-news column in the magazine Jazz & Pop.
Actor George C. Scott and his Patton costar Karl Malden attend the world premiere of the rousing biopic of World War 2 general George S. Patton. The equally cantakerous Scott will win a best Actor Oscar for his work in the film, which delivered a strong patriotic message at a time when the Vietnam War was growing increasingly unpopular, but then famously declines to accept it. Pres. Nixon will watch the film several times before announcing his plans to send troops into Cambodia beginning next month.
John Lennon's "Instant Karma" backed with Yoko Ono's "Who Has Seen the Wind?" is released in the U.K. on Apple Records.

In a Los Angeles court, connections between the Beatles' "White Album" and bloody graffiti scrawled by members of the Manson Family at the scene of the Tate-La Bianca murders are made public by prosecuting attorneys for the first time. The sensationalistic, circus-like story takes a new, odd turn as it now delves into the mind of Beatles-obsessed ringleader Charles Manson, and lawyers threaten to subpoena John Lennon and Paul McCartney. While that doesn't happen, their song "Helter Skelter" is later played during the trial.

Johnny Cash's album Hello, I'm Johnny Cash goes gold. Cash's label, Columbia, also reports that his LPs At Folsom Prison and At San Quentin have sold over 2 million copies each, and that his LP Greatest Hits has sold over a million copies.

Rolling Stone reports that John Lennon and Yoko Ono have announced 1970 as Year One A.P. (After Peace) as part of their continuing world tour.

Rolling Stone reports on the proliferation of bootleg albums. "... the underground record scene, at the turn of the decade, has become a noticeable industry." On Sept. 3, Rolling Stone reports that the Bob Dylan bootleg double LP Great White Wonder has sold over 350,000 copies.

The Top Five
1. "Venus" - Shocking Blue
2. "I Want You Back" - Jackson Five
3. "Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head" - B.J. Thomas
4. "Thank You (Falettin Me be Mice Elf Agin)" - Sly & the Family Stone
5. "Without Love (There Is Nothing)" - Tom Jones

Simon and Garfunkel's album Bridge over Troubled Water and Sly and the Family Stone's single "Thank You (Faletinme Be Mice Elf Again)" both go gold, as does the LP Bobby Sherman the next day.
The film The Magic Christian, featuring Ringo Starr, premieres in New York City. The film's soundtrack album -- featuring Badfinger's "Come and Get It," written and produced by Paul McCartney -- is released on Apple the same day.

In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission,
Judy Collins protests that her critical remarks about the Chicago Seven trial were censored by ABC-TV on a prime-time news program.

The U.S. retaliates for the downing of an American helicopter with air strikes on Viet Cong positions in Cambodia. Protesters begin a 75-day antiwar fast in Washington, D.C.

According to a Billboard headline, the Recording Industry Association of America is MOUNTING TOTAL WAR AGAINST TAPE PIRATING of prerecorded music.

Who tape a concert at Leeds University in Leeds, England, for their forthcoming album, Live at Leeds. The set features early, pre-Tommy material -- "My Generation," "Substitute," "Magic Bus" -- and classic rockers "Young Man Blues," "Summertime Blues" and "Shakin' All Over."

The Top Five
1. "Thank You (Falettin Me be Mice Elf Agin)" - Sly & the Family Stone
2. "I Want You Back" - Jackson Five
3. "Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head" - B.J. Thomas
4. "Venus" - Shocking Blue
5. "Hey There Lonely Girl" - Eddie Holman

The Daughters of the American Revolution impose a ban against rock concerts at their Washington, D.C. auditorium, Constitution Hall, after Sly and the Family Stone arrive five hours late for their Constitution Hall gig and the disquieted audience (eighteen of whom are arrested) inflict $1,000 worth of damage to the building.
Joe Frazier defeats Jimmy Ellis to become boxing's heavyweight champion, replacing Muhammad Ali, who had been dethroned following his conviction for refusing military induction. A week later, Ali's legal battle to overturn the conviction loses a round in the New York Appellate Court.
Joni Mitchell announces her retirement from live performances after her show at London's Royal Albert Hall. Like many such announcements, it is premature: Within the year she is on the boards again.

Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald's family (pregnant wife and two daughters) are murdered in Fort Bragg, N.C. in what is now called the "Fatal Vision" murders. MacDonald would be indicted on January 24, 1975, and the trial would start on July 16, 1979. He would be convicted on August 24, 1979, and sentenced to life. In 1983 a best-selling book is published about the case, Joe McGinness's Fatal Vision, which is made into an NBC miniseries under the same name the following year.

Yoko Ono celebrates her thirty-seventh birthday. To mark the occasion, John Lennon throws a party at the london offices of Apple Records.

The Chicago Seven are acquitted of all conspiracy-to- incite-riot charges stemming from their protest activities at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, following a trial rife with outrageous grandstanding and absurdities like the judicial order to bind and gag Black Panther leader Bobby Seale.

John Lennon's "Instant Karma" backed with Yoko Ono's "Who Has Seen the Wind?" is released in the U.S. on Apple Records. The following day, it enteres the U.K. pop chart, where it will remain for six weeks, rising as high as #5.

Pat Nixon appears on the Today show confessing to Barbara Walters: "I like light opera. My husband likes the classics and my daughters -- some of them even boogaloo..."

Simon and Garfunkel's album Bridge over Troubled Water enters the U.K. chart at Number One and stays there for nearly forty weeks; it remains in the Top Ten for 126 weeks. The title single goes gold on February 27.

Straightforward rockers Creedence Clearwater Revival grace the cover of Rolling Stone, a deserved honor. In the past year alone they've scored three Top 10 albums and seven Top 10 songs, including two this week.

The Doors' album Morrison Hotel goes gold, becoming the band's fifth gold album in a row.
Antiwar protesters attack and burn a branch of the Bank of America near Santa Barbara, California.
The Beatles' album Hey Jude, consisting of singles previously unavailable on album, is released in the U.S. on Apple Records.
The Jefferson Airplane is charged and fined $1,000 for verbal profanity in Oklahoma City. Five days later, Janis Joplin receives similar treatment (a $200 fine) for obscene remarks made in Tampa.
Led Zeppelin performs in Copenhagen under the pseudonym the Nobs because of a threat of suit by Eva von Zeppelin, a relative of the airship designer Ferdinand, if the band plays under the name of Zeppelin in Denmark.

Simon and Garfunkel's soothing "Bridge Over Troubled Water" soars to No. 1 and holds that spot for six weeks, making it the year's biggest single. But ironically, behind the scenes the duo's tension-ridden professional relationship is crumbling. The recording sessions for the album of the same name prove rocky, as Art Garfunkel is often away filming his debut movie role in Mike Nichols's Catch-22. Paul Simon wrote the song (like virtually every S&G song), but later regrets allowing his partner to sing solo. It's the last studio album of new material they'll ever produce.

The Top Five
1. "Bridge Over Troubled Water" - Simon & Garfunkel
2. "Thank You (Falettin Me be Mice Elf Agin)" - Sly & the Family Stone
3. "Travelin' Band"/"Who'll Stop the Rain" - Creedence Clearwater Revival
4. "Hey There Lonely Girl" - Eddie Holman
5. "No Time" - Guess Who

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