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August 1974








Pete Townshend and Keith Moon join Eric Clapton at Atlanta's Omni, Townshend jamming on "Layla" and Moon singing along on "Little Queenie." Townshend later performs a modified Who finish by smashing a plastic ukelele over Clapton's head.
Dozens of celebrities turn out for funeral services for Cass Elliot. Among those in attendance at the Hollywood Memorial Cemetery are John and Michelle Phillips, Sonny Bono, Lou Adler and Peter Lawford. Elliot's body is cremated, and her ashes buried at Hebrew Cemetery in Woodlawn, Maryland.

John Dean is sentenced to one-to-three years for his role in the Watergate cover-up.

Drummer Jim Hodder and guitarist Jeff Baxter leave Steely Dan. Baxter will go on to relative fame as lead player for the Doobie Brothers and as a producer, Hodder's defection leaves the band with one drummer, Jeff Porcaro, later of Toto.

Anne Murray headlines a Schaefer Festival concert in New York. The opening act was Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band.

Tickets go on sale in Los Angeles for three Elton John concerts two months away, and sell out so fast that a fourth show is added. Persons who stood in line for two days and nights say even they couldn't score good tickets.

The White House releases tapes of a June 1972 conversation (six days after the Watergate break-in) that clearly reveals President Nixon's knowledge of the incident and his desire to stop the FBI investigation. Congressional opposition to impeachment all but disappears.

Gene "Jug" Ammons, one of contemporary jazz's greatest saxophonists, dies in Chicago at age forty-nine. After fading from public view in the Sixties, Ammons seemed to be making a comeback. He is probably best known for his work with the Billy Eckstine orchestra and Woody Herman, as well as his own solo groups. Several of his records were substantial hits in the soul-jazz market; one, "Canadian Sunset," was awarded a gold record.
Peter Wolf of the J. Geils Band and actress Faye Dunaway are married in a Beverly Hills courtroom, the first wedding for both. They'll divorce in 1976, and Dunaway later has a son by and marries fashion photographer Terry O'Neill.

After performing similar stunts in Paris and Sydney in 1971 and 1973 respectively, French street performer Philippe Petit performs a death-defying highwire walk on a 140-foot wire stretched between the 110-story twin towers of the World Trade Center in Manhattan. After dancing for nearly an hour on the wire and taunting police, he was arrested, taken for psychological evaluation, and brought to jail before finally being released after agreeing to entertain needy children with his juggling skills for free. The WTC stunt was a lifelong dream of Petit's, and he was aided by several co-conspirators, including some who worked inside the building. His story will be told in an acclaimed 2008 documentary titled Man On Wire, and in the 2015 docu-drama The Walk.

Eric Clapton receives a gold record for 461 Ocean Boulevard, his comeback LP. the album contains Clapton's sole Number One song, his version of Bob Marley's "I Shot the Sheriff." Clapton assembles a band for the LP and subsequent tour including George Terry, Yvonne Elliman, Carl Radle, Jamie Oldaker and Dick Simms. 461 reaches Number One, another first for Clapton.

President Nixon announces that, effective the next day, he will resign the presidency, the first time a U.S. president has ever done so. He successor, Vice President Ford, assures the country that there will be no change in foreign policy, and that Secretary of State Henry Kissinger will remain in office.

Trumpeter Bill Chase and three members of his group (Walter Clark, John Emma and Wallace Yohn) are killed in an airplane crash in Jackson, Minnesota. Also killed is the plane's pilot. Chase, 39, was a veteran of Woody Herman's band, and formed Chase in 1971. The group had been touring behind its third album, Pure Music, at the time of the crash.

President Nixon resigns and Gerald Ford is sworn in as the 38th president of the United States of America. Five days later, private citizen Nixon is served papers to appear at John Erlichman's Watergate trial.

After recording two albums for Elektra/Asylum Records (Planet Waves and Before the Flood), Bob Dylan returns to his longtime label, Columbia.

The Top Five
1. "Feel Like Makin' Love" - Roberta Flack
2. "The Night Chicago Died" - Paper Lace
3. "Annie's Song" - John Denver
4. "Don't Let the Sun go Down on Me" - Elton John
5. "Please Come to Boston" - Dave Loggins

Paul Anka's "(You're) Having My Baby" turns gold, despite the fact that the song is denounced by feminists. The basic objection to the song is its use of the word my-my baby, not our baby. But in the summer of 1974, it reaches Number One.
The Ramones play their first show at CBGB, New York City's punk mecca on the Bowery.
Patrick Moraz replaces Rick Wakeman in Yes, who are already finishing work on an album called Relayer. Moraz had once been understudy to Keith Emerson in the Nice, and later joined the group's Lee Jackson and Brian Davidson in a prog-rock band called Refugee.

The #1 record today is "The Night Chicago Died" by Paper Lace, an English band formed in 1969. It is #3 in the U.K. The foursome also had the original hit "Billy Don't Be a Hero," which was covered in America by Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods. In a rare occurrence, both versions of "Billy" go to #1 in their respective countries in 1974.

The Top Five
1. "The Night Chicago Died" - Paper Lace
2. "Feel Like Makin' Love" - Roberta Flack
3. "(You're) Having My Baby" - Paul Anka with Odia Coates
4. "Tell Me Something Good" - Rufus
5. "Please Come to Boston" - Dave Loggins

President Ford nominates former New York governor Nelson Rockefeller for vice president, shortly after requesting $850,000 from Congress for "administration transition expenses" and to help former President Nixon through the next fiscal year. Ford had also announced that the White House would retain control of all of Nixon's Watergate-related documents and tapes until their legal ownership is determined.
Former McNairy County, Tennessee sheriff Buford Pusser, known for his virtual one-man war on moonshining, prostitution, gambling, and other vices on the Mississippi-Tennessee state-line which inspired the semi-biographical 1973 hit movie Walking Tall, dies from injuries sustained in a one-car automobile accident in Adamsville, Tennessee as he is returning from home alone from the McNairy County Fair. Pusser strikes an embankment at high speed in his specially modified Corvette and is ejected from the vehicle, which catches fire and burns. No autopsy of his body was performed, and both Pusser's mother and daughter believe he was murdered. Earlier in the day, Pusser had contracted with Bing Crosby Productions in Memphis to portray himself in the sequel to Walking Tall, which has also inspired several books, songs, and a TV series.
The thirteenth annual Philadelphia Folk Festival gets underway in Schwenksville, Pennsylvania. The three-day festival features David Bromberg, John Prine, Steve Goodman, Arlo Guthrie and Bruce Cockburn, and includes both performances and workshops.

John Lennon reports seeing a UFO from the roof of his New York apartment at 9 p.m.

Paul Anka's "(You're) Having My Baby" tops the pop singles chart despite denunciations from feminists (who object to the term "my" baby instead of "our") and government officials (who claim the lyrics are unclear as to the parents' marital status).

The Top Five
1. "(You're) Having My Baby" - Paul Anka with Odia Coates
2. "The Night Chicago Died" - Paper Lace
3. "Tell Me Something Good" - Rufus
4. "Feel Like Makin' Love" - Roberta Flack
5. "I Shot the Sheriff" - Eric Clapton

Devoid of big band names, the UK's Windsor Free Festival at Castle Rock, a park on a royal estate west of London, has drawn an overflow hippie, "Woodstock-ish" crowd to its free countryside concerts for the past three years. Today, in the midst of what's supposed to be a 10-day event, police swoop in on the campsite of 2,000 fans. In a pitched 8-hour battle, 220 are arrested, dozens are injured, and 15 are transported to the hospital. "I don't know why the police got so violent," says one 22-year-old Sussex youth. "People were being thrown into police vans for no reason." Authorities cite drug use and neighbor complaints for the melee, but the Home Secretary demands a special report by the local chief constable that draws a harsh reply from the festival's organizers.
The Brady Bunch, a throwback to 1950s middle-class family sitcoms like Ozzie & Harriet and Leave It to Beaver, ends its five-year run on ABC. This repeat episode, a pilot for a sequel series that never happened, features guest stars Ken Berry and Brooke Bundy as a childless couple who end up adopting three children. Never rating in the Top 25 or winning any awards, The Brady Bunch has nevertheless crossed the elusive Rubicon to achieve an enduring status as a lifelong inductee into the American pop culture hall of fame. Although ABC has given the series a thumbs-down, in the future fans old and new will show their undying loyalty to fresh Brady incarnations in the form of sequels, specials, movies, made-for-TV movies, theatricals, and even a touring stage show.
In Federal Court, John Lennon testifies that the Nixon administration tried to have him deported because of his involvement with antiwar domonstrations at the 1972 Republican Convention in Miami.

The first Telluride Film Festival opens in a restored Colorado opera house, attended by such cinematic luminaries as emerging director Francis Ford Coppola, silent film star Gloria Swanson, and controversial German documentarian Leni Riefenstahl. Organized by James Card, head of the motion picture collection of the George Eastman House, the indie event draws an intimate crowd of 350 to a smattering of screenings, easy contact, intense discussion, and heady Colorado mountain air. Also helping to christen the first Telluride are Julie Christie, Catherine Deneuve, Clint Eastwood, Davy Lynch, Peter O'Toole and Meryl Streep.

The last episode of The Partridge Family airs on ABC-TV.

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