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July 1970








The three-day Atlanta Pop Festival opens at Middle Georgia Raceway in Byron, Georgia. The crowd of 200,000 sees and hears Jimi Hendrix (playing his version of the "Star-Spangled Banner" on July 4), B.B King, John Sebastian, Mountain, Procol Harum, Jethro Tull, Poco, Johnny Winter, the Allman Brothers Band and many others. As the festival ends, local doctors beg federal and state authorities to declare the festival a health disaster area because of an "out-of-control drug situation." Earlier, the festival promoters threw open the gates after thousands of youths outside pressed for free entry. Two days after the festival, Georgia Governor Lester Maddox announces he will seek legislation banning rock festivals in the state.
The FBI, in cooperation with special investigators from the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Association of Merchandisers, opens an investigation into counterfeit record rings in twelve states, as sales of bootlegs proliferate, cutting legitimate album sales.

The "American Top Forty," a syndicated AM radio show hosted by
Casey Kasem, debuts in Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit, St. Louis, San Antonio, San Francisco, San Bernadino, San Diego, Albany, Minneapolis and Honolulu. Disc jockey Kasem counts down the Top 40 singles as ranked by Billboard magazine. He will remain its host for 18 years, then hosts a revived version from 1988 until 1998. He passes away at age 82 on June 15, 2014, after battling a form of dementia.
The Everly Brothers are hosts of their own ABC-TV variety show, which runs through September 16, 1970.
On the strength of two critically acclaimed albums, Astral Weeks and Moondance, a sunglass-clad Van Morrison lands on the cover of Rolling Stone. Unlike its predecessor, Moondance leans toward soul and jazz and returns the British singer-songwriter to commercial prominence, with his on AM ("Come Running") and FM ("Into the Mystic," "And It Stoned Me").
After a "tense flirtation" with rock acts in 1969, the Newport Jazz Festival reverts to its traditional all-jazz format.
The Top Five
1. "Mama Told Me (Not to Come)" - Three Dog Night
2. "The Love You Save" - Jackson Five
3. "Ball of Confusion (That's What the World Is Today)" - Temptations
4. "Ride Captain Ride" - Blues Image
5. "Band of Gold" - Freda Payne

South Dakota judge S.K. Hicks, who claims to be the inspiration for Johnny Cash's hit single "A Boy Named Sue," receives autographed records and photos from Cash.

Janis Joplin plays her first gig with the new Full Tilt Boogie Band in Louisville, Kentucky.
Brave New World Productions announces that some proceeds of its three-day Randall's Island Rock Festival, scheduled to open July 17 on Randall's Island, New York, will go to "community groups" like the Young Lords and the White Panther Party.
The mayor of Love Valley, North Carolina, hails the Love Valley Rock Festival scheduled to start there the next day, saying, "I'm the first mayor to sanction one of these things... I don't think the kids will let me down." However, Mayor Barker fails to get the audience to pray and sing the national anthem with him, one youth is wounded by a shotgun blast in a scuffle with a sheriff, and one youth dies of heat stroke. The Allman Brothers, among others, perform.
The Randall's Island Rock Festival's gates are crashed and all comers are admitted free; more than 30,000 people end up seeing performances by Jimi Hendrix, Grand Funk Railroad, Little Richard, Elephant's Memory, Steppenwolf, Jethro Tull and others. Afterward, the festival's producers call it a financial disaster, allegedly because of those "community groups" who had threatened to call it a free festival if they weren't guaranteed some proceeds.

Canadian songbird Anne Murray charts with "Snowbird," which will peak at #8 later in the year. It was her first of 28 U.S. hits through 1986 along with 54 country charters.

Outrageous rocker Arthur Brown of "Fire" fame is arrested in Palerno, Sicily, for stripping onstage.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) accuses McDonald's of distributing only $13,000 in winnings from a contest that had promised $500,000 in prizes. Promoted in Reader's Digest, the sweepstakes offered 15,610 items, but awarded only 227. Next year McDonald's will agree to discontinue that kind of contest and ensure that all future promotions award every prize and specify its exact nature and odds of winning. The FTC also comes down on three detergent makers for inflated claims of their products' effectiveness in removing stains like blood, rust, and grease. But a spokesman for Procter & Gamble defiantly counters "We are confident that housewives have not been mislead by this advertising."
Bowing to pressure from local government and citizens, a New Haven, Connecticut, district court rules that the Powder Ridge Rock Festival, scheduled for July 30 through August 1 at the Powder Ridge Ski Resort in Middlefield, Connecticut, would create a public nuisance and can't be held. However, over 18,000 tickets have already been sold at twenty dollars apiece. Over the next few days, performers like Janis Joplin, Chuck Berry, Led Zeppelin and Sly and the Family Stone are informed of a ban on their appearance at the festival site. Though state police post signs along the routes to the site that there will be no festival, crowds keep coming anyway.

A published Justice Department memorandum reveals that the National Guard had no cause to fire on protesters at Kent State, while the Presidential Commission on Campus Unrest finds that the Nixon administration lacks understanding of the current wave of student dissent.

Dawn's "Candida" charts on its way to #3 and becomes their first of 25 Top 100 hits.

"(They Long to Be) Close to You," a Burt Bacharach/Hal David song that their A&M label head Herb Alpert had turned down, becomes the Carpenters' first hit -- and today their first No. 1. The brother and sister act, originally known as a jazz ensemble called The Carpenter Trio that included a third member on tuba, had won a Battle of the Bands at the Hollywood Bowl and signed with RCA Records, only to be later dropped. It's the start of a long run of hits ("Rainy Days and Mondays," "Top of the World") before Karen Carpenter's illness (anorexia nervosa) results in her death in 1983.

The Top Five
1. "(They Long to Be) Close to You" - Carpenters
2. "Mama Told Me (Not to Come)" - Three Dog Night
3. "Band of Gold" - Freda Payne
4. "The Love You Save" - Jackson Five
5. "Make It With You" - Bread

The Rolling Stones, whose contract with Britain's Decca Records has just expired, and who've been discussing forming their own record company for some time, inform their business manager, Allen Klein, that "neither he nor ABKCO Industries have any authority to negotiate recording contracts on their behalf in the future." Klein took over the Stones' managment and publishing on August 28, 1965.

Alvin Toffler's Future Shock, which examines the rapid rate of technological advances and its effects on society in the latter part of the Twentieth Century, is published. In Toffler's eagerly awaited book, the author predicts "shattering stress and disorientation" will rock Americans reeling from the rapid pace of technological and societal change. It gains instant status as a selection of three book clubs, with a lengthy adaptation in New York magazine.

Pioneering hallucinogen researcher Dr. Howard Fabing dies.

Over 30,000 people have showed up at the Powder Ridge Rock Festival site, even though police barricaded all roads leading to the festival site for up to 2 miles. All utilities on the site are cut off, but the kids party anyway. The festival's promoters are nowhere to be found. On July 31, Melanie and two local rock bands play, tomporarily checking a slow exodus from the area. Doctors report over 800 bad drug reactions among the audience. The Powder Ridge promoters later tried to stage followup concerts at Yankee Stadium in New York and Robert F. Kennedy Stadium in Washington, D.C., to no avail.

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