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April 1979








Patty Hearst and her former guard Bernard Shaw are wed two months after her release from prison.

After having been broadcast locally for a few years in Columbus, Ohio, cable network Nickelodeon goes national. Used as a noncommercial goodwill tool to win cable franchises and subscribers, its only original series is Pinwheel, which interspersed puppets and actors with acquired cartoons.

Rolling Stone reports that Kmart -- the nation's second-largest retailer -- has pulled Steve Martin's hit album A Wild and Crazy Guy off the shelves in its 1,396 stores, citing customer complaints about profanity.
Van Halen's Van Halen II goes gold just five days before the band takes off on a triumphant ten-month tour. The long trip is the antithesis of the way Van Halen record: for their second LP, they took a mere six days in the studio, one-third the time required for their first album.
The punk-cum-new wave group Blondie has its first major U.S. hit with "Heart of Glass," a disco number the band originally called "The Disco Song." Naturally, they're hit with cries of "sellout." In any case, "Heart of Glass" goes platinum on this date, two months after it made Number One.

Rod Stewart marries actor George Hamilton's wife Alana Hamilton in Beverly Hills.
The two-day California Music Festival at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum opens. It will draw 110,000 people and make $1.2 million, but will still be a financial loss for the promoters. Among the acts featured there are Ted Nugent, Aerosmith, Cheap Trick, Van Halen and the Boomtown Rats.
Van Halen commence their second world tour. It will last ten months. The group carries twenty-two tons of sound equipment and ten tons of lights.

All In the Family airs its final show. In the fall season, its spinoff Archie Bunker's Place premieres.

Vietnam finally seems to be a subject Hollywood can handle, as The Deer Hunter wins five Oscars (including Best Picture and Director) while Coming Home nabs three: Best Actor and Actress (for Jon Voight and Jane Fonda) and Best Screenplay.
A Boogie 'N' Blues Concert at New York City's Carnegie Hall features performances by such giants of those forms as John Lee Hooker, Lightin' Hopkins, Clifton Chenier and Honeyboy Edwards. Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton makes an unannounced special appearance.
The long and bloody rule of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin comes to an end as a combined force of Tanzanian troops and Ugandan exiles enters Kampala after six months of civil war. Plans for the dethroned dictator to wrestle a Japanese sumo star, with Muhammad Ali refereeing, are also ended.
Mickey Thomas, former vocalist with Elvin Bishop, replaces Marty Balin as lead singer with Jefferson Starship.

After so many years of being the Next Big Thing, only to watch other country-rock outfits enjoy much greater success,
Poco receive a gold record for Legend, their twelfth LP. The only original member left by this point is pedal steel guitarist Rusty Young, who, fittingly, wrote and sang the LP's first hit, "Crazy Love."
Five days into Van Halen's latest tour, David Lee Roth collapses from exhaustion onstage in Spokane, Washington.
The Doobie Brothers' "What a Fool Believes" tops the charts, as fans enthusiastically dig the band's new funkier, R&B sound with the addition of Michael McDonald, ex-Steely Dan backup vocalist and keyboard player. The song, cowritten by McDonald and Kenny Loggins, later helps them win a slew of Grammy Awards (four) including Record of the Year. Their only previous No. 1 had been "Black Water."

The Top Five
1. "What a Fool Believes" - Doobie Brothers
2. "I Will Survive" - Gloria Gaynor
3. "Knock on Wood" - Amii Stewart
4. "Sultans of Swing" - Dire Straits
5. "Music Box Dancer" - Frank Mills

Gloria Gaynor is awarded a platinum 45 for "I Will Survive," the biggest hit of her career and a Number One record for three weeks in March.

Jane Byrne is elected mayor of Chicago, the largest city in the United States to have had a female mayor. After defeating current mayor Michael Bilandic in the Democratic primary (due to what many perceived to be his ineffective handling of a series of major snowstorms that paralyzed the city in January), she wins the general election in the heavily Democratic city with 72 percent of the vote -- at the time, the largest margin ever recorded in a mayoral election. Byrne, who used special events, such as ChicagoFest, to revitalize Navy Pier and the downtown Chicago Theatre, serves until April 29, 1983.

A Los Angeles judge orders macho leading man Lee Marvin to pay $104,000 "for rehabilitation purposes" to his companion of six years, Michelle Triola Marvin. The money compensates her for time lost from her singing career, but his $3.6 million estate - of which she wanted half -- is off limits. Both sides claim victory. "I am proud to have paved the way for unmarried women," she says, having also paved the way for her attorney Marvin Mitchelson's new (and booming) "palimony" business. But one lawyer warns, "This may open up the floodgates for future litigation."
It is reported that Georgia has adopted Ray Charles's rendition of the Hoagy Carmichael classic "Georgia on My Mind" as its official state song.
Inaugurating England's influential ska revival, the indie label Two Tone releases its first record, "Gangsters," by the Specials, who run the label. Two Tone will release music by other second-generation ska combos the English Beat, the Selecter and the Bodysnatchers. By November, debut albums by the Specials and ska-cum-music- hall revivalists Madness will make the U.K. charts.
The Top Five
1. "Knock on Wood" - Amii Stewart
2. "I Will Survive" - Gloria Gaynor
3. "Heart of Glass" - Blondie
4. "Music Box Dancer" - Frank Mills
5. "What a Fool Believes" - Doobie Brothers

As part of his sentence for his 1977 Canadian drug arrest, Rolling Stone Keith Richards performs a benefit concert in Ottawa for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. Richards' band, making its debut, is the New Barbarians, consisting of Richards, Rolling Stone guitarist Ron Wood, funk-fusion bassist Stanley Clarke, ex-Faces keyboardist Ian McLagan and ex-Meters drummer Ziggy Modeliste. The New Barbarians will shortly embark on a brief U.S. tour, but will never record.

The New York Times reports that famine is threatening Cambodia as a result of the ongoing war. The rock industry will respond with various benefit concerts, culminating in a four-concert year-end series in London.

The film Rock n' Roll High School, directed by Alan Arkush and starring P.J. Soles, Mary Woronov, Vince Van Patten, Paul Bartel and the Ramones, premieres in Los Angeles. A satire of Fifties teen-rock films set in Vince Lombardi High School, the film's soundtrack features the Ramones performing the title song, as well as Devo ("Come Back Jonee"), Chuck Berry ("School Day"), the Velvet Underground ("Rock and Roll"), Wings ("Did We Meet Somewhere Before") and Bobby Freeman ("Do You Wanna Dance?"). The movie does well both at the box office and with critics.

Blues giant
B.B. King concludes a month-long, thirty-date tour of the U.S.S.R. "It reminded me of the many reformatories we've played," says King of the experience. "We go in, we play and we leave. It's sad, because we know the audience can't leave with us."
Stevie Wonder makes a surprise appearance at a Duke Ellington tribute concert at UCLA's Royce Hall. He performs "Sir Duke" and Ellington's "C-Jam Blues."
The Top Five
1. "Heart of Glass" - Blondie
2. "Reunited" - Peaches & Herb
3. "Knock on Wood" - Amii Stewart
4. "Music Box Dancer" - Frank Mills
5. "I Will Survive" - Gloria Gaynor

Cheap Trick releases a live version of "I Want You to Want Me," taken from their new album Cheap Trick at Budokan, which finally nets the band from Rockford, Illinois, that elusive prize: a Top 10 hit in the United States. The raucous rockers' first three albums had gone gold in Japan, but until now they've barely caused a ripple in America. Cheap Trick at Budokan captures their hot pop performance and fan hysteria in the Land of the Rising Sun which is reminiscent of Beatlemania (in fact, the Beatles played the same venue in Budokan in the summer of 1966).
In Addington v. Texas, the United States Supreme Court rules that a "clear and convincing" standard of proof is required by the Fourteenth Amendment in a civil proceeding brought under state law to commit an individual involuntarily for an indefinite period to a state psychiatric facility.

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