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February 1974








CBS airs the first episode of Good Times, starring Jimmy "J.J." Walker, as the son of a low income family living in the ghetto.
Keith Emerson injures his hands when a rigged piano explodes prematurely during a concert in San Francisco. Emerson suffers various cuts and a broken fingernail.

The Top Five
1. "The Way We Were" - Barbra Streisand
2. "You're Sixteen" - Ringo Starr
3. "Love's Theme" - Love Unlimited Orchestra
4. "Show and Tell" - Al Wilson
5. "Americans" - Byron MacGregor

Patricia Hearst, college student and heiress to the William Randolph Hearst fortune, is kidnapped from her apartment by Berkeley by members of a little-known urban guerrilla group called the Symbionese Liberation Army. Blanket media coverage erupts as talk of prisoner swaps and ransoms swirl. Within a week, her kidnappers are identified and her father receives a taped demand to provide food to the poorest people in the entire state. On Feb. 19, Randolph Hearst begins a $2 million food distribution program. The SLA demands an additional $4 million on Feb. 23. Soon, a photo of a gun-toting Hearst and stories of her participation in a bank robbery turn her from kidnappee to fugitive. Arrested over 19 months later for bank robbery, Hearst claims coercion, but her famed defense attorney, F. Lee Bailey, presents a weak case. After she is convicted she serves 22 months in prison before her sentence is commuted to time served by Pres. Jimmy Carter in 1979.
The U.S. House of Representatives votes to begin impeachment proceedings against President Nixon. Former Nixon lawyer John Dean is also disbarred as the House reconfirms its Watergate Committee's subpoena powers in the continuing battle for the White House tapes and papers.
Soul artist Barry White receives four gold records on this date: for the singles "Never, Never Gonna Give Ya Up" (#7), "Love's Theme" (Number One, by the Love Unlimited Orchestra, conducted by White), and the albums Under the Influence of Love Unlimited (#3) and Stone Gon' (#20).

Hot Licks John Girton and Maryanne Price are married at the home of a judge in Zephyr Cove, Nevada. Price is due shortly to fly to England to record and tour with the Kinks.

Blazing Saddles, director Mel Brooks's skewed view of the Wild West as only he could see it, premieres. Audiences flock to the uproarious movie, which stars Harvey Korman as villainous Hedley Lamarr and Cleavon Little as a most unlikely sheriff, and eating a pot of beans will never be the same.

The Skylab 3 astronauts return to Earth afer a record 84-day space flight.
The Top Five
1. "Love's Theme" - Love Unlimited Orchestra
2. "The Way We Were" - Barbra Streisand
3. "You're Sixteen" - Ringo Starr
4. "Americans" - Byron MacGregor
5. "Until You Come Back to Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do)" - Aretha Franklin

Legendary producer Phil Spector is injured in a serious car accident, but details are, for unknown reasons, kept secret. The accident takes place somewhere between L.A. and Phoenix, and according to a statement released by Spector's office, he suffered multiple head and body injuries. Even some of Spector's closest friends know nothing more about the crash and Spector's condition.
The trial of Wounded Knee activists Russell Means and Dennis Banks begins in St. Paul.

Disproving his lone Top 10 chart success, "Right Place Wrong Time," Mac Rebennack (a.k.a. Dr. John) makes The Bottom Line -- which opens tonight -- the right place at the right time, as it quickly ascends to become the Big Apple's top club venue. The glittery audience includes Mick Jagger, Carly Simon and James Taylor. Odd couple Stevie Wonder and Johnny Winter even join the New Orleans boogie man on stage for some impromptu jamming.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is expelled from Russia for his dissident writings; this year The Gulag Archipelago, his non-fictional account of the Soviet forced labor and concentration camp system, is also published in the West. He relocates to Cavendish, Vermont, in 1976, where he and his family would live until his return to post-Soviet Russia in 1994. Solzhenitsyn himself died in Russia in 2008 at 89, approx. 14 years after his return, and was as critical of capitalism's cultural excesses as he was of Communism's.
Rolling Stone reports that David Bowie has turned down a Gay Liberation group who asked him to compose "the world's first Gay National Anthem."

Albert Grossman, manager of the late Janis Joplin, has filed suit in New York City against Associated Indemnity Corporation of San Francisco, in an effort to collect a $200,000 life insurance policy, $47,500 interest and $50,000 in attorney's fees. Grossman claims the company has not honored the policy, taken out about a year before the singer's death. The company contends that Joplin's death was a suicide, thus nullifying the claim.

After thirty-nine shows in twenty-one cities, the
Bob Dylan-the Band tour comes to an end in Los Angeles at the Forum. Many celebrities turn out for the final performance, including Ringo Starr, Carole King, Neil Young, Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty. "It was bloody fantastic," enthuses Ringo after the two-and-a- half-hour set, "the best concert I've ever been to."

Rolling Stone reveals two signings by Neil Bogart's new label, Casablanca Records: Kiss and Parliament.

The Captain and Tennille's Toni Tennille and Daryl Dragon have a Valentine Day's marriage in Virginia City, Nev., while driving through 22 states promoting their debut disc, The Way I Want to Touch You.

An odd-even system for purchasing gasoline is adapted in seven states and the District of Columbia in order to cope with fuel shortages.

The Bottom Line, a new rock club, opens in New York City. Attending the opening of the 500-seat club are
Mick Jagger, Johnny Winter, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and Carly Simon and many other music-biz luminaries.

David Bowie releases his "Rebel Rebel/Queen Bitch" single, from his new Diamond Dogs LP.

Top of the charts: Barbra Streisand's "The Way We Were" (pop single); Bob Dylan's Planet Waves (pop album).
Yes play the first of two nights at Madison Square Garden. What's remarkable about the engagement is that the first date sold out without the benefit of a single advertisement. Fans learned of the show from listings at ticket outlets and bought out the house within a few days.

Kiss, a New York City heavy-metal pseudoglitter group, release their debut album, Kiss. It will take the band three more albums to establish itself; Kiss barely cracks the Top 100.

Ringo Starr releases the third hit single from his Ringo LP, "Oh My My," which hits #5 in April.
In response to the Grammy Awards, Dick Clark stages his own awards show, the American Music Awards. The program, hosted by Helen Reddy, Roger Miller and Smokey Robinson, is held just days before the Grammy Awards are announced, and its purpose, explained by Clark, is: "I kind of like the idea of asking the guy on the street who listens to radio and maybe buys an album. He has no vested interest, no label allegiance." Winners include Reddy, Stevie Wonder, Al Green, and the late Jim Croce. NARAS officials have no comment about Clark's show.

Kiss makes its debut TV apparance on Don Kirshner's In Concert.

The trial of former attorney general John Mitchell and CREEP financial chief Maurice Stans opens in New York City.

Cher files for divorce from her husband and former singing partner, Sonny Bono, after 10 years of marriage.
Billy Joel charts with "Piano Man," the title track of his latest album, and his first of 41 Top 100 hits through 1994.
President Nixon announces in a press conference that he has declined another request to testify before Judge Sirica's grand jury investigating Watergate, and that although the energy crisis is over, a gasoline shortage remains.
A still-hypothetical -- but public -- argument over the legality of impeachment proceedings against Richard Nixon heats up. The White House maintains that impeachment is possible only for an indictable crime; Congress begins to debate that point.
Joni Mitchell has her biggest hit album with Court and Spark (#2), which turns gold on this date. Court and Spark features Mitchell in more of a band situation, with Tom Scott and the L.A. Express, the sound is slick but successful, and includes Mitchell's two highest charting singles, "Help Me" (#7) and "Free Man in Paris" (#22).

People magazine, featuring Mia Farrow on the cover, is launched by Time, Inc.

Bobby Bloom, whose "Montego Bay" made the pop Top Ten in 1970 and "Heavy Makes You Happy" took the Staple Singers to the Top Thirty in 1971, shoots himself to death in West Hollywood. He was twenty-eight.
A federal grand jury indicts eight former Ohio National Guard members on charges of violating the civil rights of four students who were shot to death and nine students who were injured during campus demonstrations in May 1970 at Kent State University.

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