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January 1971








George Harrison's All Things Must Pass -- his first LP as an ex-Beatle -- hits Number One in the U.S. Long regarded as the quiet, shy Beatle, who usually was able to get only one or two of his compositions on any Beatles album, Harrison has made an ambitious double album that also includes a bonus "jam" disc. The album contains two hits, "What Is Life" (#10) and "My Sweet Lord." Years later, the latter will cost Harrison plenty in a plagiarism lawsuit.

Archaeologists in Israel uncover the first extant proof of a crucifixion from Biblical times, and the next day unearth the cornerstone of the legendary Jewish temple razed by the Romans in 70 A.D.

The film Performance, starring Rolling Stone Mick Jagger, premieres in London two years after it was filmed. Jagger plays a jaded, decadent rock star, and at one point shares a bathtub and a bed with actress Anita Pallenberg, the live-in girlfriend of bandmate Keith Richards and the former girlfriend of the late Brian Jones.

John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band release "Mother," one of Lennon's "primal scream" recordings. Apparently, America isn't ready for this cathartic work, and "Mother"stalls on the chart at #43, making it Lennon's second least successful solo single.

Broadway producers shift curtain time from the traditional 8:30 to 7:30. They hope the change boosts business, especially among suburban theatergoers worried about late-night city crime. While the early reviews are decidedly mixed, by season's end theaters enjoy a 17 percent increase in ticket sales, and the move to turn back the hands of time is hailed as an unqualified success.

Neil Young returns to his homeland of Canada for his first concerts there since his pre-stardom coffeehouse days. His first Canadian performance is at Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Theater.
Official Vietnam casualty figures are reported for the decade Jan. 1, 1961, through 1970: 44,241 U.S. troops killed in action, 9,064 dead outside of combat and 293,529 wounded.

Famed sex research team William Masters and Virginia Johnson are married.

The U.S. Jaycees present Elvis Presley with an award honoring him as one of the "ten outstanding young men of America." One of the other recipients is Nixon's press secretary, Ronald Ziegler. Upon receiving the award, Presley makes a short speech. A recording of that speech was later made available on the soundtrack to the documentary This Is Elvis.
Making a rare public appearance, Bob Dylan accompanies country star Earl Scruggs on "East Virginia Blues" and "Nashville Skyline Rag" for a public-television documentary. The latter of the two is later released as part of an LP titled Earl Scruggs -- His Family and His Friends.
Based on the British TV show Till Death Us Do Part, All in the Family premieres on CBS-TV and eventually becomes popular for its frank portrayal of bigotry and working class values, expressing a realism not found in other American sitcoms. "The best teevee comedy since The Honeymooners, raves Variety. "It must be seen to be believed." The show takes a couple months to catch on but quickly becomes TV's No. 1 series for five straight years, winning multiple awards and spinning off future sucesses like Maude and The Jeffersons.
Super Bowl V: The Baltimore Colts defeat the Dallas Cowboys with a seconds-to-go field goal, 16-13. Marvin Gaye kicks off the game with the national anthem. It's a rare public sighting of the Motown star, who'd disappeared for nearly a year following the death of his singing partner, Tammi Terrell, of a brain tumor. Gaye had briefly pursued the idea of a career in pro football, trying out unsuccessfully for the Detroit Lions. Still, he made new friends and invited several into the studio, where they contributed background vocals on his unconventional single, "What's Going On."
Senator George McGovern (D-SD) announces his intention to run for president in 1972.
White House sources confirm that the U.S. has increased air strikes against Cambodian targets but deny North Vietnamese charges of "de-foliation" bombing, calling the onslaughts "protective reaction" missions.

A scruffy, self-styled "Dylanologist" named A.J. Weberman who'd previously rummaged through Bob Dylan's trash bags surreptitiously records a phone call with the reclusive musician. It soon appears briefly on Folkways Records as "Bob Dylan v. A.J. Weberman: The Historic Confrontation" until threats of legal action cause its quick withdrawal. The eccentric and radical Weberman later uses his self-described "garbology" skills on other famous people like Norman Mailer.

The Joe Cocker film Mad Dogs and Englishmen premieres at London's Festival Palace. The movie, a documentary of Cocker's Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour, features performances by Cocker, Leon Russell, Rita Coolidge and others.
The Top Five
1. "Knock Three Times" - Dawn
2. "My Sweet Lord"/"Isn't It a Pity" - George Harrison
3. "One Less Bell to Answer" - Fifth Dimension
4. "Lonely Days" - Bee Gees
5. "Black Magic Woman" - Santana

Grace Slick and Paul Kantner of the Jefferson Airplane become the proud parents of a baby girl, which the couple (not married) names China. Originally, the child was to be named "god," or at least so claimed by Grace in October 1970. "No last name, no capital G. And she can change her name when she feels like it." China checked in weighing six and one-quarter pounds.

Charles Manson and three female members of his "family" are found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit murder and seven counts of murder in the first degree and are originally sentenced to death, but this sentence was commuted in 1972 to life, after California, in following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling against capital punishment, abolished its death penalty. The convictions stem from the August 9, 1969, murder and mutilation of Hollywood actress Sharon Tate and four guests at the Bel Air mansion that Tate and her husband, Roman Polanski, rented, and the similar deaths by stabbing of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in their Los Angeles home. In December, Manson, a self-described "evangelist" and sometime-associate of Beach Boy Dennis Wilson, was arrested along with members of his cult of followers and charged with the crimes, beginning one of the most sensational murder trials in recent history. During the trial, it was learned that Manson regarded the Beatles as angels who communicated to him through their music, in particular "Helter Skelter," "Piggies," "Revolution 9"and other songs on the "The White Album" (The Beatles).

In a coup d'état, Major General Idi Amin establishes himself as president of Uganda; he will dominate and pillage his own country over an eight-year reign of dictatorial tyranny and bloodletting.

Ike and Tina Turner's raucous, rip-roaring treatment of the Creedence Clearwater Revival tune "Proud Mary" hits the charts, on the way to becoming the biggest hit in the stormy duo's 15-year career together. Five years later, Tina personally proves that she "doesn't do anything nice and easy" either when she abruptly splits from her abusive, manipulative husband/manager Ike. Tina re-emerges in the early 1980s, bigger and better than ever, with "What's Love Got to Do with It" and a solo career that eclipses all earlier efforts. Her biopic, What's Love Got to Do with It, hits theaters in 1993.
On the heels of Apollo 13's near disaster, the third lunar mission, Apollo 14, lifts off from Cape Kennedy; six days later, Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell become the fifth and sixth men to walk on the moon.

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