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October 1972








Jon Mark, guitarist for the Mark/Almond Band, loses the ring finger of his left hand in a fall while in Hawaii on tour. He is expected to recover and to play again, but the remainder of the Mark/Almond Band's tour is canceled.
High in the Andes mountains a plane carrying a Uruguayan rugby team crashes. A dozen members die immediately, and six more succumb to injuries over the next week. With little food, few medical supplies, and no clothing for the bitter-cold weather, the remaining survivors take desperate measures: cannibalism. Two survivors start an arduous trek for help, and the remaining members are rescued two days before Christmas in a story that makes worldwide headlines. The ordeal inspires a 1993 movie, Alive, with Ethan Hawke and Vincent Spanno starring.
Joe Cocker is arrested along with six band members in Adeleide, Australia. In the after-the-show raid, police claim to have confiscated marijuana, heroin and hypodermic syringes. Cocker is released on bail immediately, and faces penalties ranging from a $2,000 fine and two years in prison to a mere four-hour notice to leave the country.

Michael Jackson's theme song from the movie of the same name, reaches Number One on the pop chart. It is the third solo hit in a year for the thirteen-year-old lead singer of the Jackson 5 (the other two being "Got To Be There" and "Rockin' Robin"). While it may prove that Michael can go it alone without his older brothers, he will continue to record and to tour with the other four Jacksons, in addition to making solo records.

Spinners have their first R&B Number One single: "I'll Be Around" backed with "How Could I Let You Get Away." It is the first of three consecutive R&B Number Ones -- followed by "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love" and "One of a Kind (Love Affair)" -- for this soul vocal group formed by songwriter, singer and producer Harvey Fuqua in 1957.

Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes enter the soul chart with "If You Don't Know Me By Now," which in 16 weeks on the chart will peak at Number One for two weeks starting November 18. The song will enter the pop chart in December, and will reach #3 there.

The Top Five
1. "Ben" - Michael Jackson
2. "Use Me" - Bill Withers
3. "Everybody Plays the Fool" - Main Ingredient
4. "Burning Love" - Elvis Presley
5. "Go All the Way" - Raspberries

Kung Fu premieres on ABC, with David Carridine starring as Caine, a Buddhist monk with a shaved head who roams the Old West doling out a unique form of frontier justice. Spurred by the success of martial arts master Bruce Lee, who auditioned unsuccessfully for the role, the series will enjoy a short, successful run. Carridine, son of veteran character actor John Carradine, will also draw considerable attention offscreen when, just after season three begins, he breaks into a neighbor's house in the Hollywood Hills, and in a drug-induced rampage overturns furniture and breaks windows. But he leaves an easily traceable trail of blood, and after his arrest his laywer comments: "He was in a strange house, it was closing in on him, and he had to break out." In late 1974, Kung Fu mania will even invade the pop charts with Carl Douglas's No. 1 smash "Kung Fu Fighting."

Creedence Clearwater Revival issue a press statement announcing the group's breakup. In typically ambiguous public-relations prose, the release more or less states: "We don't regard this as breaking up. We look at it as an expansion of our activities. We will devote our time to individual rather than group projects." Translation, please: CCR are splitting.
Former The Supremes lead singer Diana Ross's only previous acting credits had been playing a nun, along with the other Supremes, on an episode of NBC's Tarzan. The critics had a field day when they learn that Ross, who'd departed the Motown group two years ago, was set to play Billie Holiday in a new movie about the jazz icon's life. But after Lady Sings the Blues premeries tonight, she changes a lot of minds. Her performance wins rave reviews, an Oscar nomination, and a Golden Globe Award. Also premiering in the film is Richard Pryor as the piano man, while Billy Dee Williams plays her lover -- a pairing so successful that they reprise it two years later in the inferior Mahogany, though each film does generate successful soundtrack albums.
The presidential campaign shifts into top gear as ads portray George McGovern as the candidate protecting the interests of the majority of American people from those of the wealthy few, while Richard Nixon's ads address issues of law and order and self-reliance. During the waning weeks of the campaign, Nixon will continue to dominate in the polls.
Seventeen years after writing and recording the first of his many rock & roll classics ("Maybelline," followed by "Roll Over Beethoven," "School Day," "Rock and Roll Music," "Sweet Little Sixteen," "Johnny B. Goode," Carol," "Almost Grown," "Little Queenie," "Back in the U.S.A" and so on). Chuck Berry gets his first American Number One pop hit with "My Ding-a-Ling," a singalong novelty song recorded in England and derived from grade-school -level private-parts jokes. "I may go down sometimes, but I always come back rocking," says the pioneering singer-songwriter who has influenced the sound and maturation of preeminent bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Better tell Tchaikovsky the news.

The Top Five
1. "My Ding-A-Ling" - Chuck Berry
2. "Use Me" - Bill Withers
3. "Burning Love" - Elvis Presley
4. "Everybody Plays the Fool" - Main Ingredient
5. "Nights in White Satin" - Moody Blues

In a full seven games, the Oakland A's, with the aid of four home runs from Gene Tenace, derail the Big Red Machine of Cincinati to clinch the World Series. Two days later, baseball legend Jackie Robinson dies of an apparent heart attack.
Henry Kissinger publicly announces that after weeks of "shuttle diplomacy" among Paris, Saigon and Washington, a final political agreement and cessation of hostilities in Indochina is expected soon. The election polls predictably tilt even further in Richard Nixon's favor, though a missed dealine on Oct. 31 will rekindle North Vietnamese attacks in November.
Philadelphia pop-soul balladeer Billy Paul enters the soul chart with the biggest hit of his career, "Me and Mrs. Jones," which will hit Number One for four weeks starting December 9, it will also hit Number One on the pop chart for three weeks starting December 16.

The United States Council for World Affairs announces that it is adopting the
Who song "Join Together" as its official theme.
Elton John gives a command performance for Queen Elizabeth II, making him the first rock & roller to be asked to appear in a royal variety performance since the Beatles in 1963

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