Super Seventies RockSite's Seventies Daily Music Chronicle

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December 1972








Carly Simon storms onto the Hot 100 with "You're So Vain," a single that will spend three weeks at #1 begining in early January and includes the backing vocals of Mick Jagger.

The Top Five
1. "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone" - Temptations
2. "I Am Woman" - Helen Reddy
3. "I Can See Clearly Now" - Johnny Nash
4. "I'd Love You to Want Me" - Lobo
5. "If You Don't Know Me By Now" - Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes

Judge John Sirica begins hearing pretrial motions on the Watergate criminal trial, stating that the political aspect of the break-in will be germane.
Apollo 17 blasts off, carrying the last two men to walk on the moon: Capt. Eugene Cernan and Dr. Harrison Schmitt.
An advertisement placed in Variety magazine claims that Frank Zappa will give private instruction in craps, roulette, keno and blackjack -- Frank Zappa Sr., that is, who teaches how to win through mathematics, your place or his.

Citing an inexcusable delay between the seating of the jury and the start of actual court proceedings, the judge in the Pentagon Papers trial in Los Angeles declares a mistrial.

The all-star orchestral stage version of Tommy plays a one-night-only performance at London's Rainbow Theatre, and is unanimously panned. Of all the performers (including Peter Sellers, Merry Clayton and Richie Havens), only Roger Daltrey and Steve Winwood acquit themselves in their respective roles as Tommy and Tommy's father. Accoring to observers, narrator Pete Townshend appears inebriated. The presentation is recorded and released, charting as high as #5 in early 1973.

Capitol Records has its first Number One hit in more than four years:
Helen Reddy's anthemic "I Am Woman." The last Capitol act (besides the Beatles) to do as well was also a woman, Bobbie Gentry, whose Number One hit was "Ode to Billy Joe," in 1967.

Moody Blues attain their first U.S. Number One record, Seventh Sojourn. It will be their last album of new material for more than five years, as the group's members go off to record and to tour as solo artists.

Legendary Hollywood gossip columnist Louella Parsons dies of arteriosclerosis at age 91.

Today Aussie Helen Reddy's "I Am Woman" is strong, invincible, and No. 1. Reddy's version of "I Don't Know How to Love Him" from the rock opera "Jesus Christ Superstar" had already given her a toehold in America, but radio play had been minimal for "I Am Woman," a song she had co-written, until her aggressive manager/husband Joe Wald lined up lots of TV appearances for his wife. "Television forced radio to play it," says Reddy, an early and passionate supporter of women's liberation. Reddy and Wald receive countless offers to license the song for commercials, but they refuse, instead giving the United Nations use for its International Women's Year for a token fee of one dollar. At the Grammys early next year, Reddy will accept the award for best pop female performance by thanking her label, her husband, and "God, because She makes everything possible."

The Top Five
1. "I Am Woman" - Helen Reddy
2. "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone" - Temptations
3. "If You Don't Know Me By Now" - Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes
4. "I Can See Clearly Now" - Johnny Nash
5. "You Ought to be With Me" - Al Green

Roberta Flack and two members of her backup band are injured while driving into Manhattan. Bassist Jerry Jemon lost control of Flack's new Citroen, totaling the car. He suffers a broken nose and a dislocated shoulder, while guitarist Cornell Dupree has bon fractures and requires plastic surgery. Flack needs surgery on her lip, but is otherwise unhurt, and plans to keep her scheduled European tour, beginning in January.
James Brown is arrested after a show in Knoxville, Tennessee, and charged with "disorderly conduct." Brown and two members of his entourage were talking to fans about narcotics use when a white man told police the singer was trying to incite a riot (Brown being the same man who so ardently urged blacks to keep the peace after Martin Luther King's assassination in 1968). But after Brown threatens to sue the city for $1 million, the incident is written off by authorities as a "misunderstanding."

Art rockers
Genesis play their first date in the U.S. at Brandeis University in Massachusetts. The group, which has yet to place an LP in the Top 200, consists of Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Steve Hackett, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks.
The existence of a White House operation known as "the Plumbers," of which the Watergate break-in may have been a part, is confirmed by an administration spokesperson, though E. Howard Hunt's involvement is denied.

Producer Irwin Allen brings The Poseidon Adventure to the big screen, establishing the Seventies' successful disaster-movie formula.

Alexander's Department Store in New York City stays open especially late so that Alice Cooper -- wearing silver pants and a "PAUL LIVES" button -- can do his Christmas shopping.

Ringo Starr's film about U.K. rocker Marc Bolan, Born to Boogie, premieres in London.
A day after the heaviest bombing raids of the war, Henry Kissinger admits that his attempts at the Paris Peace Talks have failed, blaming North Vietnam for the stalled negotiation process.

Becoming the first-ever team to remain undefeated and untied through a regular season, the Miami Dolphins shut out the Baltimore Colts, 16-0.

Lou Reed's gender-bending second solo album, Transformer, hits the Billboard Hot 200. Co-produced in London by David Bowie, the seminal glam-rock release features the dirty ditty "Walk on the Wild Side" that will be edited and/or banned in several countries. Transformer will peak at No. 29 and remain on the charts for 31 weeks, while "Walk on the Wild Side," which reaches No. 16 on the hit parade, will be Reed's sole Top 40 hit of the '70s.

The Top Five
1. "Me and Mrs. Jones" - Billy Paul
2. "I Am Woman" - Helen Reddy
3. "If You Don't Know Me By Now" - Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes
4. "You Ought to be With Me" - Al Green
5. "It Never Rains in Southern California" - Albert Hammond

Rolling Stone announces the death of Memphis guitarist Ray Jackson, 31, composer of the hits "Who's Makin' Love" and "(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want to Be Right." Jackson died in his home last month from burns suffered in a freak fire. He was a long-time sessionman for Stax Records, playing behind artists like Isaac Hayes, the Emotions, Carla Thomas and Mel and Tim.
Former Grand Funk Railroad manager Terry Knight shows up at a benefit show staged by the group, armed with two deputy sheriffs and a twenty-foot moving van. Knight carries a court order that gives him the right to seize and hold $1 million in money or assets pending settlement of several lawsuits between the two parties. But because the show for the Phoenix House drug rehabilitation center can't go on without the equipment, Knight is told by lawmen not to touch the amps or drums until after the concert.

Hawaiian-based Bette Midler hula's her way onto the singles survey with the 1958 Bobby Freeman hit "Do You Wanna Dance," which was also later remade by the Beach Boys and a #12 hit for them in 1965. It was her first of 18 hits through 1991 and will peak at #17 in early 1973.

One of the most famous football plays of all time occurs this afternoon during a game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders when, trailing by one point with 22 seconds left and no timeouts, Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw passes the ball from his own 40-yard line to receiver Frenchy Fuqua. But when Fuqua collides with Raider safety Jack Tatum, the ball deflects back to Steeler running back Franco Harris, who scoops it up in mid-air and continues into the end zone. When Tatum argues that the TD was invalid due to the rule that two receivers in a row can't touch the ball in a single play, for the first time the referee has a backup: NFL supervisor of officials Art McNally is in the press box watching the instant replay on TV. The play, later voted the greatest of all time by NFL Films, will be immediately dubbed the "Immaculate Reception," and the Steelers win the game, 13-7.

A concert by Manfred Mann and His Earth Band is cut short by Miami police, sparking a two-hour riot by students at the University of Miami. Because nearby residents had complained about the group's volume, the power to the P.A. is cut during the encore. As the battle rages, Mann and his men hide in a dressing room.

Former weakling and mail-order strongman Charles Atlas dies.

The Godfather outgrosses Gone With the Wind to become the most popular move to date.

For nearly four decades Life magazine has been the preeminent weekly magazine, known primarily for its of-the-moment photographs evoking the American experience. But over the past few years circulation and advertising have fallen with the rise of more specialized periodicals like the news-oriented weeklies Time (from the same parent company) and Newsweek, and today's issue of Life is its last. Life's main competitor in the mass appeal magazine, Look, folded last year. But there is life after Life, as Time Inc. continues to publish occasional and/or monthly issues, and Life later has a brief run as a weekly supplement to Sunday newspapers.
Most popular music, books and film - 1972: Robert Flack's "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" (pop single); Chicago's Chicago V (pop album); Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" (R&B single); Freddie Hart's "My Hang-Up Is You" (C&W single); Herman Wouk's The Winds of War (fiction); Dee Brown's Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (nonfiction); The Godfather (film).
Savvy American Bandstand host Dick Clark brings the "rockin'" to New Year's Eve tonight with the first New Year's Rockin' Eve, initially on NBC and later on ABC. With Three Dog Night hosting, along with performances by Al Green, Helen Reddy, and Blood, Sweat and Tears, Dick promises that this celebration won't be "the Waldorf-Astoria with the people dancing cheek-to-jowl in their tuxedos and funny hats." Clark, a.k.a. "America's Oldest Teenager," will continue his remarkable string of New Year's Rockin' Eve appearances until his death in April 2012 at age 82.

A Douglas DC-7 cargo plane carrying baseball great Roberto Clemente and first aid packages en route to Nicaragua, which was affected by a massive earthquake on December 23, crashes off the coast of Isla Verde, Peurto Rico, immediately after takeoff. The bodies of Clemente, 38, and four others on the plane are never recovered. Clemente was a 12-time Golden Glove Award winner, an All-Star for twelve seasons and fifteen All-Star Games, and is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on March 20, 1973, with the normal five-year retirement waiting period waived due to the circumstances of his death. MLB renames the Commissioner's Award, presented every year to an outstanding baseball player who is personally involved in community work, the Roberto Clemente Award in 1973.


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