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May 1973








Bachman-Turner Overdrive, featuring former Guess Who guitarist Randy Bachman, releases its first LP. Public reaction to this Canadian quartet is slow to come: It takes the album six months to even chart, and it's a year before the first single, "Let It Ride," will become a Top 25 hit.
Led Zeppelin open their 1973 U.S. tour, which is billed in pretour publicity as the "biggest and most profitable rock & roll tour in the history of the United States." Group spokesmen predict that the tour will gross over $3 million. The first of the thirty-four dates is in Atlanta.
Top of the charts: Tony Orlando & Dawn's "Tie a Yellow Ribbon 'Round the Ole Oak Tree" (pop single); Elvis Presley's Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite (pop album).
After 18 singles and seven smash albums with Simon & Garfunkel, Paul Simon begins his first tour without Art Garfunkel, at Boston's Music Hall. For most of his set, he performs unaccompanied, but later is joined by Urubama, a Latin American quartet, and the Jesse Dixon Singers, a gospel group Simon heard at the 1972 Newport Festival. It is this tour that is recorded for the 1974 album Live Rhymin'.
George Harrison releases "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)," which will become his second Number One single. It's the first release from Living in the Material World, Harrison's second Number One LP.
Mick Jagger adds $150,000 of his own money to the $350,000 raised by the Rolling Stones' January concert for the benefit of Nicaraguan earthquake victims.
The New York Knicks take the NBA title again, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers, 102-93.
The Pentagon Papers trial ends with all charges against Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony Russo dismissed. Government misconduct had come to light two weeks earlier, with proof that Watergate conspirators E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy had burglarized Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office to obtain damaging information.
Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina's first LP, titled Sittin' In, goes gold. The successful duo actually got together by accident. Messina, recently out of Poco, had been tabed to produce a Loggins solo effort, but the two developed such a rapport that Messina was persuaded to return to performing. The partnership will last five years.

The U.S.'s first orbiting lab, Skylab 1, is launched and is damaged upon deployment. Eleven days later, the crew blasts off to repair the station and sets a space endurance record of 28 days.

Prime Minister Charles de Gaulle winds up in the crosshairs of wily assassin (Edward Fox) as the pulse-pounding thriller The Day of the Jackal, adapted from a best-seller by Frederick Forsythe, opens. Since viewers know de Gaulle was not assassinated, it's the thrill of the chase that forms the centerpiece of the film, which twists and turns with handsome shooting in England, France and Italy.
Yes receive gold records for both Yessongs, their triple-record live set (recorded in 1972), and The Yes Album, recorded in 1970 with a lineup that was two-fifths different. Yessongs makes #12; The Yes Album made #40 in 1971.

As the Watergate Committe begins public hearings in Washington, D.C., the Washington Post reports that the Watergate affair was only a small part of a larger program of illegal activities that the White House has led against its political "enemies" since 1969. An unprecedented 85 percent of Americans tune in to at least part of the blockbuster coverage of the hearings, which also reveal an astonishing secret: the existence of a system that automatically taped everything said in President Nixon's Oval Office. And so the dominoes begin falling, culminating in Nixon's resignation 15 months later.

The Joan Baez album Where Are You Now My Son places on the Top 200 and will reach #138. Her 18th chart LP, it contains actual war sounds taped in Vietnam.

The Top Five
1. "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" - Stevie Wonder
2. "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" - Dawn
3. "Little Willie" - The Sweet
4. "Frankenstein" - Edgar Winter Group
5. "Daniel" - Elton John

Sylvia (nom de record for Sylvia Robinson) has a novelty smash with "Pillow Talk," a 45 with suggestive lyrics. Robinson was once of the duo Mickey and Sylvia ("Love Is Strange," 1957) and later sill form her own label, Sugarhill Records. "Pillow Talk" hits #3 and goes gold.
Forerunner to the Internet, the Ethernet stirs to life on this day in a memo circulated by computer-science doctoral candidate Robert Metcalfe. A student at Harvard, he'd based his dissertation on a nascent networking project at MIT but had flunked. Today we writes about packet-switching data transmission at a new system at the University of Hawaii, making it the basis for his next (and accepted) dissertation about varying random access for improved transmission. A few months later, he and partner David Boggs create a working model of the system connecting computers in a local network.
Clive Davis is fired as president of Columbia Records, for allegedly using company money for personal use, such as $53,700 for alterations on his apartment and approximately $20,000 to pay for his son's bar mitzvah. Davis, who successfully led CBS through the Sixties rock years, will reemerge just a few years later as head of Arista Records.

Director Sam Peckinpah premieres a truncated version of his latest film, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. Peckinpah had battled with MGM while filming the movie as technical and creative difficulties, influenza, and inexperienced crews triggered delays and cost overruns. Peckinpah and players like Kris Kristofferson and James Coburn disown it, and the film tanks. Still, it features a small but memorable role by Bob Dylan as the outlaw Alias, and the soundtrack delivers his biggest charting single in four years, "Knockin' on Heaven's Door."

Carole King gives back "a little something" to her favorite city, New York: a free concert in Central Park before an estimated 100,000 fans. Although King can be seen only by a small portion of the crowd, she is able to be clearly heard, as sound man Chip Monck uses six times the amount of equipment carried on the Rolling Stones' 1972 U.S. tour.

The New York Times reports that the CIA informed the White House as early as 1969 that no connection existed between foreign governments and U.S. radical groups, despite the Nixon administration's claims.

The Edgar Winter Group's "Frankenstein" is alive!, alive! at No. 1. Winter had performed an extended instrumental composition at brother Johnny Winter's shows that drove the crowd wild, and through the magic of tape-splicing, recorded and trimmed the song to less than six minutes for his new album, They Only Come Out at Night. He named it "Frankenstein" as a nod to how it was created in the studio, and when deejays asked for an even shorter version to better suit Top 40 radio, CBS Records acquiesced, realizing they had indeed created a monster.

The Top Five
1. "Frankenstein" - Edgar Winter Group
2. "My Love" - Paul McCartney & Wings
3. "Daniel" - Elton John
4. "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" - Dawn
5. "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" - Stevie Wonder

Ronnie Lane, a charter member of the Small Faces (now just Faces), quits the band for his own group, Slim Chance. His replacement is Tetsu Yamauchi. The Faces recently released their fourth album, Ooh La La.
Roger McGuinn makes a solo debut at New York City's Academy of Music just prior to the release of his first album. McGuinn also confirms rumors that the Byrds have been grounded -- unless, that is, he can coax the rest of the original Byrds to reunite.

Columbia Records president Clive Davis is fired for inappropriate use of company funds (such as spending $20,000 for his son's bar mitzvah). Davis will later bounce back to head Arista Records.

Tom Bradley, after defeating incumbent mayor Sam Yorty who previously defeated him in 1969's mayoral race, is elected the first black mayor of Los Angeles. His twenty year mayoralty includes presiding over the rise of Daryl Gates to police chief in 1978, the signing of a first of its kind citywide homosexual rights bill in 1979, the city's bicentennial in 1981, the 1984 Summer Olympics, the signing of an anti-AIDS-discrimination bill in 1985, and receiving Pope John Paul II to the city in 1987. However, his popularity will decline in his fifth term and end with his retirement in 1993 amid controversy over the decline of employment opportunities in the city, homelessness, Los Angeles becoming known as "America's gang capital" due to crack use, and the Rodney King incident in 1991-1992. He dies in 1998 at age 80, over 3 1/3 months after his mayoral predecessor's death on June 5 of the same year, (age 88).

Steely Dan, an eclectic outfit fronted by keyboardist Donald Fagen and bassist Walter Becker, have a gold LP the first time out with Can't Buy a Thrill. The album includes the hits "Do It Again" and "Reeling in the Years."

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