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March 1971








A bomb planted in protest of the American invasion of Laos explodes at the Capitol building and destroys a U.S. Senate bathroom, though an early warning ensures no one is hurt. The Weather Underground claims responsibility.
On the same day that the Rolling Stones announce their upcoming move to France, they also begin a ten-day tour of the United Kingdom.
A fabulous night of soul and R&B at the Fillmore West becomes two LP's: Aretha Franklin, King Curtis and the Kingpins and the Tower of Power open a three-night stand that is chronicled on Franklin's Aretha Live at the Fillmore West and Curtis' King Curtis and the Kingpins Live at the Fillmore West LPs. Ray Charles makes a guest appearance on Franklin's set.

Badfinger, whose current hit is "No Matter What," begins its first American tour, of twenty cities, in Toledo, Ohio.

In a moment of righteous investiation, the FCC announces that it will pursue punitive action against radio stations broadcasting songs that present drug use in a positive light. Included in the list of 22 tunes that they deem to have "drug-oriented lyrics" are Brewer and Shipley's "One Toke Over the Line," Peter, Paul and Mary's "Puff the Magic Dragon," Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit," the Beatles's "Yellow Submarine," and Steppenwolf's "Magic Carpet Ride."

The Odd Couple, starring Tony Randall and Jack Klugman, premieres without the canned laugh track both stars despise. The onetime experiment brings a flood of some 50,000 letters that run overwhelming in favor of canning the added laughs permanently. So starting next season, the series shoots before a live audience with no studio "sweetening." The TV version of Neil Simon's Broadway hit has a strong five-year run, with Klugman winning two Emmys and Randall one.

Paul McCartney debuts as a solo artist on the American charts with "Another Day," which goes to #5. Over the next 22 years he would have 44 solo hits.
In his first professional defeat, undefeated heavyweight champ Muhammad Ali, 29, loses a 15-round decision against 27-year-old contender Joe Frazier at Madison Square Garden in New York City. A sold-out crowd of 20,455 witnesses the so-called "Fight of the Century," an estimated 300 million watch on closed-circuit TV, and even more listen to end-of-round radio reports. Celebs with connections abound, like Barbra Streisand, Bill Cosby, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Hugh Hefner. Tickets are so scarce that Frank Sinatra gets his by shooting photographs for Life magazine. Frazier wins by unanimous decision, but Ali will win a rematch one year later, followed by the decisive "Thrilla in Manila" in 1975, where Frazier's trainer stopped the fight in the 14th round.

The counterculture- produced Radio Hanoi debuts its broadcast to U.S. forces in Vietnam with Jimi Hendrix's version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" and includes programming supplied by political activist Abbie Hoffman, journalist John Gabree and poet John Giomo.

First it was the Monkees, then the Archies, now the Partridge Family. On this date, TV's fictional first family of rock receives a gold record for the song "Doesn't Somebody Want to be Wanted," the second of their five Top Twenty hits. The Partridge Family television sitcom aired from 1970 to 1974, and starred David Cassidy and his stepmother, Shirley Jones.
John Lennon's increasing political awareness is reflected in his followup to "Working Class Hero," the plainly spoken "Power to the People," which he recorded with a New York Band, Elephant's Memory. The song is released on this date, and hits #11, making it his biggest solo hit up to this point.

A lethal disease, sinister science, and potential nuclear detonation combine as the highly contagious The Andromeda Strain opens. Veteran director Robert Wise helms the medical techno-thriller, the first film based on a book by degreed doctor Michael Crichton from Harvard.

Billboard reports that ex-Ronette Ronnie Spector is recording her first solo album at London's Abbey Road Studios with her husband, Phil Spector, producing and ex-Beatle George Harrison contributing songs. Other musicians playing in the recording sessions include Leon Russell and Klaus Voorman. The first single, "Try Some Buy Some," will be released on the Beatles' Apple label.

Allman Brothers Band records its breakthrough album, Live at Fillmore East. Other selections recorded at the Fillmore will be included on future albums, like "Mountain Jam" from Eat a Peach, released after Duane Allman's death in 1972.
Bob Dylan records "Watchin' the River Flow" with Leon Russell playing piano, whichis released as a single and is later included on Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits, Vol. II.

The Thirteenth Annual Grammy Award Winners are announced and the big winners are "Bridge over Troubled Water" by
Simon and Garfunkel (Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists, Best Engineered Record, Best Contemporary Song), the Carpenters (Best New Artist and Best Contemporary Vocal Performance by a Group) for "(They Long To Be) Close To You," Aretha Franklin (Best Rhythm & Blues Vocal Performance, Female, for "Don't Play That Song") and B.B. King (Best Rhythm & Blues Vocal Performance, Male, for "The Thrill Is Gone.") The Beatles' Let It Be wins for Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television Special, and Miles Davis' seminal album Bitches Brew wins for Best Jazz Performance, Large Group or Soloist with Large Group.
As of today, Iron Butterfly's In-a-Gadda- Da-Vida has been on the charts for 138 weeks and sold more than 3 million copies.

The Top Five
1. "Me and Bobby McGee" - Janis Joplin
2. "She's a Lady" - Tom Jones
3. "Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)" - Temptations
4. "One Bad Apple" - Osmonds
5. "For All We Know" - Carpenters

Don Drummond, leader and trombonist of the seminal ska group the Skatellites, dies in a Jamaican insane asylum. Once considered a leading jazz trombonist as well as one of the premiere instrumentalists of Jamaican music, Drummond had been found guilty of murdering his common-law wife, and was placed in Kingston's Bellevue Asylum.

In light of the public's and the government's growing awareness of environmental issues, the second annual Earth Day is observed.

Harold McNair, reed-playing sessionman from England (Ginger Baker's Air Force, Donovan) dies of lung cancer.

Rolling Stones tape a live performance at the Marquee Club for television. Although the program later aired in Europe, British television has no interest in it whatsoever.

Emerson, Lake and Palmer record their third album, Pictures at an Exhibition, live at Newcastle City Hall in Britain. Besides their interpretation of the title piece (the classical work by the Russian composer Moussorgsky), Pictures also includes a toungue-in-cheek rendering of "Nut Rocker," a pastiche of themes from Tchikovsky's "Nutcracker Suite" and a hit for B. Bumble and the Stingers nine years earlier, wich becomes a minor hit for ELP in 1972.
Kiki Dee has her first American chart hit with "Love Makes the World Go Round" (#87). The Yorkshire, England, singer will go on to have five more through 1993, including her 1976 #1 duet with Elton John, "Don't Go Breaking My Heart."

New York Times reports that New York radio station WNBC has banned the song "One Toke over the Line" by Brewer and Shipley becuase of its alleged drug references. other stations arond the country follow suit. Tom Shipley, composer of the song, is outraged. "In this electronic age, pulling a record because of its lyrics is likethe burning of books in the Thirties."
After a highly publicized court-martial, the U.S. Army finds Lieutenant William Calley guilty of the 1968 premeditated killings of 22 Vietnamese civilians in My Lai and sentences him to life imprisonment. In an unusually unifed outcry for clemency, government supporters defend Calley's actions and antiwar factions see him as a scapegoat for government policy . President Nixon agrees to review the case. Calley, the only person convicted for the massacre (although other army officiers were charged and tried), is eventually sentenced to ten years in prison.

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