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May 1979








Elton John becomes the first pop star to perform in Israel. In three weeks he will become the first Western solo pop performer to tour Russia.
The film Quadrophenia, directed by Franc Roddam and starring Phil Daniels and Sting of the Police, premieres in London. The film, based on the Who's album of the same name, is a period piece depicting the ever-increasing alienation of one young Mod in the mid-Sixties. It will not exactly bomb at the box office, but will be a bigger hit with critics than audiences. Its soundtrack features not only the Who, doing both early songs and songs from Quadrophenia, but oldies by James Brown, the Kingsmen, Booker T. and the MGs, the Ronettes, the Crystals and the Cascades.

Who perform their first concert after the death of Keith Moon with new drummer Kenney Jones, formerly of the Faces.
Reports of an exodus of thousands of Vietnamese "boat people" fleeing their impoverished, war-ravaged homeland for any port that will accept them -- including Hong Kong, Malaysia and even unpopulated islands along the Indonesian archipelago -- fill the news. Reports state that thousands reach a port, but a significant number are incarcerated or turned away to perish at sea.
The Boomtown Rats end their first U.S. tour at New York City's Paladium. In testament to the growing commercial power of postpunk new wave rock, they headlined the tour despite the fact that they haven't yet had a hit single in the U.S. (a situation soon to change with the release of the topical "I Don't Like Mondays").

The Top Five
1. "Reunited" - Peaches & Herb
2. "Heart of Glass" - Blondie
3. "Music Box Dancer" - Frank Mills
4. "Knock on Wood" - Amii Stewart
5. "Stumblin' In" - Suzie Quatro & Chris Norman

Supertramp may not be one of contemporary music's more prolific bands, but they are one of its more successful ones. Breakfast in America, their first studio LP in two years, turns platinum and goes to Number One. And the group enjoys three Top Fifteen singles: "The Logical Song," "Goodbye, Stranger" and "Take the Long Way Home."
Eric Clapton, Charlie Watts and British blues-rock veteran George Fame perform at a reception for the wedding of noted British rock producer/ engineer Glyn Johns (who's worked extensively with the Who, among others) and his wife, Vivienne.

Peaches and Herb, the sweet-singing soul duo, receive a platinum record for "Reunited," a Number One hit for four weeks. Singing with Herb Fame is the third "Peaches," Linda Greene.
At a free concert in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, the new Jefferson Starship lineup, featuring lead vocaist Mickey Thomas, makes its performing debut.

Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush and Steve Harley (of Cockney Rebel) play a benefit concert in London's Hammersmith Odeon for the family of their lightning director, Bill Duffy, who died in an accident at a Bush concert April 20. The highlight of the show is Gabriel's rendition of the Beatles' "Let It Be."
NBC premieres the made-for-tv film Son-Rise: A Miracle of Love, a fact-based story based on a best-selling book about a family's efforts to save their autistic son.
A jury awards $10.5 million to the family of Karen Silkwood, the nuclear-power plant employee killed in a mysterious car crash in 1974 en route to meet with union representatives and a reporter about unsafe practices and conditions at the power plant she was employed at.
Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr perform with Eric Clapton, Denny Laine and Mick Jagger at a wedding reception for Clapton and the former Mrs. Harrison, Patti Boyd. The three ex-Beatles jam with Jagger, Lonnie Donegan, Ginger Baker and others.

Top of the charts: Peaches & Herb's "Reunited" (pop single); Supertramp's Breakfast in America (pop album).

Elton John begins a series of Russian concerts in Leningrad, where he is mobbed on his first visit to the U.S.S.R. It is the first time a Western solo act is allowed to tour the Soviet Union, and the concerts are videotaped for a cable-TV special and a videodisc, both titled To Russia with Elton.

A presidential council report shows rising marijuana use in the U.S.

Cheap Trick's Live at Budokan goes platinum; not bad for an LP that wasn't supposed to be released. The group was counting on its Dream Police to be its fourth LP, but an import did so well that Epic Records had no choice but to release it stateside, and on this date Live at Budokan hits sales of 1 million.
Tom Petty of the Heartbreakers, trying to negotiate a new recording contract since his label, ABC Records, went out of business and was bought by MCA, files for bankruptcy. Perhaps his recent hit single "Breakdown" was prophetic?

Sister Sledge's We Are Family goes platinum. The LP's title track, a #2 hit in April, is later the rallying cry for baseball's Pittsburgh Pirates, who will go on to win the 1979 World Series.
The pilot episode for The Facts of Life, a funny and touching spinoff of Diff'rent Strokes, premieres on NBC.
Director Ridley Scott's sci-fi churner Alien premieres, with intrepid astronaut Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) battling an outer-space monster that's hard to stomach. Alien will soar to become the year's fourth highest-grossing film, also winning an Oscar for visual effects, with its horrific, shifting creature (which had earlier exited from John Hurt's stomach) doing final battle with Ripley.
ABC premieres the made-for-tv film The House on Garibaldi Street, a fact-based story about the 1960 capture of former high-ranking Gestapo officer Adolph Eichmann in Argentina.
CBS premieres the made-for-tv film Survival of Dana, starring Melissa Sue Anderson in her first non-Little House on the Prairie role as a North Dakota teenager who moves to Los Angeles and becomes a modern-day "bad" girl.
The restored Radio City Music Hall is given a gala reopening. In coming years, acts like Diana Ross, Roxy Music, Linda Ronstadt, the Grateful Dead, Cheap Trick and the Talking Heads play Radio City.

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