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February 1971








NYPD detective Frank Serpico is shot by a drug dealer during a narcotics raid in which his collegues stood by.
The Osmonds, a vocal group of five brothers fronted by thirteen-year-old Donny, receives its first gold record for $1 million worth of sales of "One Bad Apple." The song, which is clearly imitative of the Jackson 5's current hits, is the Osmonds' debut for Mike Curb's MGM Records. The Utah family act is already well known to fans of The Andy Williams Show, The Jerry Lewis Show and other television variety shows. In the decade ahead, the Osmond name will appear on gold records for the group, as well as for Donny and his sister Marie.
Bob Dylan's one-hour-long documentary film, Eat the Document, is screened at New York's Academy of Music (later known as the Palladium). Much of the footage is from Dylan's 1966 U.K. tour with the Band, filmed by D.L. Pennebaker, who also did Dylan's Don't Look Back. Performances shown include "Like a Rolling Stone," "Just like Tom Thumb's Blues" and other classics. But the film is fragmentary and difficult for most in the audience to latch onto. Eat the Document is not shown on TV, as the reclusive star had hoped for, until ten years later.
Southern California is hit by a major earthquake (6.6 on the Richter scale), which kills 62 and causes billions of dollars in damage.
According to a report from the New York Times, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention are forced to cancel a concert at the Royal Albert Hall that was to include the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and songs from the score of 200 Motels. Officials of the hall objected to Zappa's film 200 Motels, finding it obscene.
With American air support, a South Vietnamese force of 5,000 invades Laos. While the Defense Department's March draft call-up reaches 17,000, the White House assures Congress these actions will quicken the end of the war and the return of all U.S. troops. Over the next week, anitwar protests erupt nationwide, with student groups calling for a major antiwar demonstration in Washington, D.C. Congressman Paul McCloskey (R-CA) suggests impeachment as a negative incentive for President Nixon to alter his policy on Vietnam.

After 1970 witnesses the breakup of the Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, many fear there'll be no big-selling recording acts this year. Into the void leaps the bubblegum pop of those oh-so-cute and perky The Osmonds, whose "One Bad Apple" is one smash, topping the chart for five weeks beginning today.

The Top Five
1. "One Bad Apple" - Osmonds
2. "Knock Three Times" - Dawn
3. "Rose Garden" - Lynn Anderson
4. "I Hear You Knocking" - Dave Edmunds
5. "Lonely Days" - Bee Gees

Textile workers in the central Polish city of Lodz begin a strike action.
How does one top a rock opera? Not easily. The Who's Pete Townshend tries, however, and on this date the Who play the first of a failed series of shows for "Lifehouse," a multimedia event, which Townshend had hoped would "completely negate anybody's desire to see rock in its present form." But "Lifehouse" doesn't work on stage, and Townshend scraps the two-record set he'd been planning. Instead, many of the songs are used for the Who's next LP, Who's Next, considered by many to be their finest.
Alan David Passaro, the Hell's Angel who was tried and later acquitted for the stabbing death of Meredith Hunter at the Altamont Speedway in 1969, sues the Rolling Stones, charging that because the Maysles brothers' film of the event, Gimme Shelter, showed the stabbing, he'd suffered an invasion of privacy.
James Taylor makes his prime-time television debut on The Johnny Cash Show, singing "Fire and Rain" and "Carolina on My Mind."

Elton John's eponymously titled U.S. debut goes gold. His first U.K. LP, Empty Sky, is not issued in the states until 1975, by which time John has become a rock star of the first magnitude. John arrived in the States amid much publicity in the summer of '70, and was hailed by the Los Angeles Times' Robert Hilburn as the first superstar of the Seventies. Elton John hit #4.
Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band make their New York City concert debut at Ungano's in the wake of releasing Lick My Decals Off, Baby (their most "commercial" album to date); they're determined to find some sort of popular acceptance of their odd mixture of Delta blues, free jazz and rock & roll. Captain Beefheart, also known as Don Van Vliet, wold rather stay at home in his trailer on the Mojave Desert.
Top of the charts: the Osmonds' "One Bad Apple" (pop single); Jesus Christ Superstar (pop album). Breaking the Top 100 is Helen Reddy's rendition of Jesus Christ Superstar's "I Don't Know How to Love Him," the first of 21 hits for the Australian vocalist.

Saturday morning, 9:33: the AP and UPI wires read "THIS IS AN EMERGENCY ACTION NOTIFICATION DIRECTED BY THE PRESIDENT, NORMAL BROADCASTING WILL CEASE IMMEDIATELY." And for the next panicked 40 minutes, many radio and TV stations do just that. The false alert, triggered by a 15-year veteran employee of a nuclear facility in Colorado who transmitted the wrong tape on a Teletype machine, triggers fears of an impending nuclear attack, and flashbacks to Pearl Harbor or the assassination of JFK. "I can't imagine how the hell I did it," he later says.

In Vienna, 21 countries sign an international agreement to end illegal sales of stimulants, tranquilizers and hallucinogens.
Children's TV host Captain Kangaroo welcomes his friendly competitor, Mister Rogers, on his show after experts suggest that kids' emotional security can be enhanced by seeing that their two favorites are friends. Two weeks earlier, Captain Kangaroo (Bob Keeshan) had spread a little love around the neighborhood by visiting Mister Rogers's show, and now the circle is complete. The idea is such a big success that Mister Rogers later does a double dip with Big Bird, appearing on Sesame Street and inviting the big feathered fellow into his neighborhood, with a similar turn later on the animated series Arthur.
Charley Pride collects three gold albums on one day, one each for 10th Album, Just Plain Charley and In Person. The former professional baseball player is the first black to win wide acceptance as a country & western singer. He has had six C&W Number One hits since 1969.

Only 14 minutes into its airing, CBS's explosive documentary The Selling of the Pentagon begins generating phone calls in protest. Narrated by Roger Mudd, its examination of Defense Department public relations campaigns to shape coverage of the military industrial complex exacerbates and escalates, and a landmark First Amendment case emerges as CBS president Frank Stanton refuses to back down, claiming "a duty to uphold the freedom of the broadcast press against congressional abridgement." Contempt complaints against the controversial program eventually fail, and the press celebrates a decisive ruling against governmental interference.

Janis Joplin's Pearl is awarded a gold record just four months after the singer's death. Highlighted by the Kris Kristofferson- penned "Me and Bobby McGee," the LP enjoyed a lengthy stay at Number One and the 45 also hit Number One in March.

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