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June 1972








Dion and the Belmonts reunite for one show at Madison Square Garden. It is their first performance together in 13 years and the event is recorded and released as Reunion in the following year.
The Rolling Stones begin their first North American tour since 1969 in Vancouver, with Exile on Main Street approaching Number One. The eight-week tour is the happening of the year, and tickets sell out in all of the thirty cities the Stones will play. The first show is more likea dress rehearsal in which the band gets to audition its material in front of 17,000 fans. Keith Richards blows out two guitars during the tepidly received one-hour-and- forty-minute set. Opening for the Stones is Stevie Wonder.

Sally Priesand becomes the second female rabbi in the history of Judaism and the first in the U.S.

Top of the LP charts: Jethro Tull's Thick as a Brick (pop album).

The gospel according to Pop Staples is the No. 1 song in the country, as crossover audiences take to the Staple Singers's new inspiring, uplifting single "I'll Take You There." The group became one of the country's leading gospel groups in the 1950s, but smartly elevating the spirit-lifting voice of daughter Mavis Staples to lead brought them newfound prominence, nationally and internationally.

The Top Five
1. "I'll Take You There" - Staple Singers
2. "Oh Girl" - Chi-Lites
3. "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" - Roberta Flack
4. "Candy Man" - Sammy Davis Jr.
5. "Sylvia's Mother" - Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show

Black activist Angela Davis is acquitted of murder and other charges relating to a court escape and murder case in which guns were traced to her.

The Rolling Stones kick off the US portion of their 1972 world tour in Seattle, the band's first North American tour since the Altamont debacle (during which four died) in 1969. The Stones mix old numbers with fresh material from thier new double album, Exile on Main Street. Opening act Stevie Wonder, now 22, is a smart choice too. Still, the tour has some rocky moments. A bomb in Montreal destroys their equipment, but a resourceful local band manager quickly secures replacement gear. In Boston, bad weather there diverts their flight to Rhode Island, where Keith Richards punches a pushy photographer. Boston mayor Kevin White intervenes, and Wonder covers with a two-hour opening set 'til the band arrives, a tiresomely fashionable, five hours late. The band -- and the mayor -- get a standing ovation from the sold-out Boston Gardens crowd.

The George McGovern juggernaut rolls on, with triumphs over Hubert Humphrey in New Jersey, California, New Mexico and his native South Dakota.
"Grease" opens at the Broadhurst Theatre on Broadway, after a four-month run off Broadway. It runs continuously until April 13, 1980, and its 3,388 performances break "Fiddler on the Roof"'s longest-running- show-on-Broadway record. A film version starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John will also become a huge hit six years later.
Jimmy Rushing, who rose to fame in the Thirties as the blues singer with the Count Basie Band, dies at age sixty-eight after a short illness. Rushing's voice was once described by novelist Ralph Ellison as "steel bright in its upper range and, at its best, silky smooth." Rushing remained with Basie until 1950, and later led his own band. He was still singing on weekends at New York City's Half Note club up until his death.

Big-band blues vocalist Jimmy Rushing dies.

John Hammond of Columbia Records signs a singer/songwriter from an undiscovered bastion of rock & roll -- Asbury Park, New Jersey. The new recording artist is a veteran of the Jersey shore scene. His name: Bruce Springsteen.
Elvis Presley performs a public concert in the Big Apple for the first time, recordings of which will later be released as Elvis as Recorded at Madison Square Garden.

The Top Five
1. "Candy Man" - Sammy Davis Jr.
2. "I'll Take You There" - Staple Singers
3. "Oh Girl" - Chi-Lites
4. "Song Sung Blue" - Neil Diamond
5. "Sylvia's Mother" - Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show

John Lennon and Yoko Ono release Some Time in New York City, a two-record set full of self-conscious politicism that even Lennon himself will later regret. Two sides of the four-record set consist of the Lennons' live jam with Frank Zappa at the Fillmore East in 1971. The LP comes packages as a newspaper, another self-conscious reminder of the songs' contemporary bent. Song titles include: "Sisters, O Sisters," "John Sinclair," "Attica State" and "Angela," a song written for black activist Angela Davis. The album only makes it to #48.

Creedence Clearwater Revival, pared down to a trio after the departure of Tom Fogerty in 1971, recieve a gold album for Mardi Gras, the final LP of their recording career. Most CCR LP's were packed with hits, but Mardi Gras contains only one, "Someday Never Comes," the last of their thirteen Top Twenty-five hits. Later this year, Creedence will announce that they are splitting up.
Clyde McPhatter dies of complications of heart, liver and kidney diseases at age 38 in the Bronx. McPhatter was lead vocalist on some of the Drifters' biggest hits, including "Money Honey" and "Such a Night." After leaving the group, he began a solo career that started out promisingly, but which began to wane by the mid-Sixties. Problems with drugs and alcohol followed.
The fifth show organized by actor Warren Beatty for presidential candidate George McGovern is held at Madison Square Garden. Beatty coaxes several defunct acts to runite: Simon and Garfunkel, Peter, Paul and Mary and the comedy duo of Mike Nichols and Elaine May. A crowd of 18,000 attends, raising several hundred thousand dollars for the McGovern campaign.

Tuscon, Arizona, police are forced to use tear gas to disperse a crowd of 200 to 300 youths who attempt to crash a
Rolling Stones concert.

After years of studies and warnings, the EPA outlaws nearly all uses of the pesticide DDT.

The fifth concert organized by actor Warren Beatty in support of the George McGovern campaign takes place in New York City and features performances by Simon & Garfunkel, Peter, Paul & Mary and the comedy duo Elaine May & Mike Nichols.

Frank Serpico leaves both the NYPD and the U.S. for Switzerland, six months after completing his testimony before the Knapp Commission and receiving an NYPD Medal of Honor. He will quietly return to America in 1980, dividing his time between his Brooklyn apartment, an upstate rural cabin without modern conveniences, and traveling around the U.S. to lecture against police corruption. He also counsels law enforcers who encounter and suffer the same problems with corruption on their forces (i.e., "Blue Codes/Blue Walls" of silence) that he did.

Dubbed the "Christian Woodstock," a week-long evangelical conference and rally begins in Dallas, Texas that attracts 80,000 people from 75 countries. Training to spread the fervor globally, they hear Rev. Billy Graham tonight at a huge outdoor rally, one of six all week.

Five men are arrested for breaking into the offices of the Democratic National Committee at Washington, D.C.'s swank Watergate Hotel. Over the next few days, it will be revealed that all are somehow linked to the CIA, and that at least one is connected to an assistant to Nixon campaign manager and former attorney general John Mitchell. The FBI announces its intention to investigate.

With its 3,225th performance, "Fiddler on the Roof" becomes Broadway's longest-running show to date. The touching show, starring such famous thespians as Zero Mostel as Tevye and a pre-Maude Bea Arthur as Yente, the matchmaker, sweeps nine Tony Awards including best musical, choreography, and direction (Jerome Robbins). A 1971 movie version from director Norman Jewison also does big business. Though "Fiddler" soon ends its 17-year Broadway run, revivals continue for years to come, echoing one of its famous numbers: "To Life."

The Tallahatchie Bridge in Tuskegee, Alabama, immortalized in Bobbie Gentry's 1967 hit "Ode to Billy Joe," collapses.

George McGovern wins another state in the Democratic primary, New York, virtually ensuring his nomination as the party's candidate in the presidential race.

Janis Joplin's Joplin in Concert, released posthumously, is awarded a gold record. The two-record set includes material that Joplin recorded as far back as 1968 with Big Brother and the Holding Company and as late as the summer of 1970 with the Full-Tilt Boogie Band. The LP makes it to #4.

Billy Preston has his first gold hit with "Outa-Space," the first of his three hit instrumentals. Preston first achieved recognition for his keyboard work with the Beatles on Let It Be. He will go on to tour and to record with the Rolling Stones. "Outa-Space" reaches #3 on the U.S. pop chart in May, and Preston will top the chart almost exactly one year later with "Will It Go Round in Circles."
A 10-pack of Wrigley's chewing gum purchased at the Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio, becomes the first ever item to take advantage of the new Universal Product Code (UPC) barcode technology. Long in development by engineer George Laurer at IBM, the scanner instantly becomes embedded in commerce and life. Initially, consumers gripe that products no longer have prices on them with purple ink stamps or little paper stickers, but Laurer never looks back, and creates and collects more than 25 patents until he retires in 1987.
The Supreme Court upholds former decisions that capital punishment is unconstitutional, deeming the death penalty cruel and unusual.

The Candidate, starring Robert Redford as an idealistic but opportunistic underdog running for the US Senate, opens. Written by a former speechwriter for failed presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy, the film features cameos by politicos like Hubert Humphrey and George McGovern, and an uncredited cameo by Groucho Marx in his last film.


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