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November 1974








Queen have their largest success to date with their third album, Sheer Heart Attack, which contains their first U.S. hit "Killer Queen" (#12). The LP goes to #17.
George Harrison begins his first tour in eight years with Ravi Shankar and Billy Preston in Vancouver, making his first onstage appearance since the Bangla Desh concerts three years earlier. It will be a troublesome, critically-panned tour for Harrison, whose voice is ravaged throughout, after LP sessions and tour rehearsals. He also misjudges audience expectations, allowing the Indian musicians too much time and not offering enough Beatles material. Also accompanying him are Tom Scott, Chuck Findley, Jim Horn, Robben Ford, Andy Newmark, Willie Weeks and Emil Richards.

Reclusive author J.D. Salinger's literary fame has risen perhaps because he hasn't spoken publicly in more than 20 years, shortly after the publication of his classic, often-banned novel of teen rebellion and defiance Catcher in the Rye. Today he breaks his self-imposed silence by talking by phone from his home in Cornish, N.H., to denounce an unknown publisher's release of some circa-1940s magazine stories he'd written. "I'm not trying to hide the gaucheries of my youth," says Salinger. "I just don't think they're worthy of publishing." The FBI soon becomes involved in the strange case, unsuccessfully trying to locate the man responsible for peddling an estimated 30,000 unauthorized editions.

The Top Five
1. "You Haven't Done Nothin'" - Stevie Wonder
2. "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" - Bachman-Turner Overdrive
3. "Jazzman" - Carole King
4. "The Bitch is Back" - Elton John
5. "Can't Get Enough" - Bad Company

Paul McCartney and Wings release "Junior's Farm" which becomes their fourth Top Ten hit of the past year. The song goes to #3.

Roxy Music's LP Country Life, originally released with a controversial cover of semi-nude women, is censored in the United States with opaque green shrink-wrap.

Traffic receive a gold record for what ultimately will be their last album together, When the Eagle Flies. The band's lineup is significantly pared down at this late stage in its career, including Steve Winwood, Chris Wood, Jim Capaldi and Rosko Gee.

Walter Washington becomes the first "home-rule" mayor of the District of Columbia.

Rolling Stone reports that Ted Nugent has won the National Squirrel-Shooting Archery Contest by picking off a squirrel at 150 yards. Nugent also wiped out twenty-seven more of the small mammals with a handgun during the three-day event.
Ivory Joe Hunter, one of the first R&B singers to cross over to pop and country music, dies in Memphis at age sixty-three. Just a few weeks prior to his death, a benefit concert was held for him at the Grand Ole Opry, featuring such performers as Tammy Wynette, George Jones and Isaac Hayes. Hunter, born in Texas, wrote some 7,000 songs during his career, some of which were hit singles for Elvis Presley ("Ain't That Loving You Baby," "My Wish Came True").

Eight former Ohio National Guardsmen are acquitted of all charges for their roles in the deaths of four Kent State demonstrators in 1970.

The Top Five
1. "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" - Bachman-Turner Overdrive
2. "Jazzman" - Carole King
3. "Whatever Gets You Thru the Night" - John Lennon
4. "Tin Man" - America
5. "Back Home Again" - John Denver

An imposter posing as Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore smashes up a borrowed Porsche in Iowa City -- the real Ritchie Blackmore was playing a concert in San Francisco. The imposter had been able to con several townspeople into giving him shelter and companionship; he is charged with misrepresentation, a felony.

Twenty-eight- year-old Kerr-McGee Corporation lab technician Karen Silkwood, a critic of safety procedures at her company's nuclear power plants, dies in a mysterious car accident on a desolate stretch of Oklahoma highway late at night en route to a meeting with union officials and a New York Times reporter. Considered just another routine traffic fatality, it gathers passing local attention and no national interest. Then, slowly, word begins to seep out. Silkwood had been investigating possible falsification of safety records and procedures, and had recently tested positive for plutonium exposure. Her death is ruled an accident, but her family files a civil suit against Kerr-McGee for inadequate health and safety programs. A jury awards her estate $10.5 million, later reduced on appeal to $5,000. As it's about to go to trial again, Kerr-McGee settles out of court for $1.3 million without admitting any liability. After more than five years of litigation, plant closings, restructuring of nuclear safety regulations, the mystery is dramatized in the 1983 film Silkwood starring Meryl Streep.

The family of Ronald Defeo Jr., a.k.a. "The Amityville Killer," is found slain execution style in their home in Amityville, N.Y. The crime becomes the basis of the best-selling novel The Amityville Horror in 1977 and a movie adaptation in 1979.

The Trial of Billy Jack is released.

The Faces release what will be their last single, "You Can Make Me Dance, Sing or Anything." Two years later, Rod Stewart will leave them permanently to pursue his solo career.

Earthquake, a movie about an earthquake centered in Los Angeles, is released utilizing a new sound technology called "Sensurround," a system using loud, low decible stereo sound to "shake" the theater.

Bob Fosse's film biography of Lenny Bruce, Lenny, is released with Dustin Hoffman in the title role.

Director Tom O'Horgan, who scored off and on Broadway with "Hair" and "Jesus Christ Superstar," tries again with an adaptation of the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," which he calls "not a play" but a "spectacle on the road." Rolling Stone calls it "the sort of show that thirtyish liberals who were weaned on the Beatles will want to see." And the plot? "Flimsy." The show soon closes.

John Lennon enjoys his first Number One hit single with "Whatever Gets You thru the Night." Aiding Lennon on the tune is Elton John, on piano and vocals.

The Top Five
1. "Whatever Gets You Through the Night" - John Lennon
2. "Do It ('Til Your Satisfied)" - B.T. Express
3. "My Melody of Love" - Bobby Vinton
4. "Tin Man" - America
5. "Back Home Again" - John Denver

After years of vowing not to, Marty Balin joins the Jefferson Starship onstage at the Winterland in San Francisco. He will later be coaxed back into rejoining as a permanent member. "These guys are great," he gushes after the show. "The energy is back."
Gary Wright quits Spooky Tooth to go solo. In 1976 he will have two consecutive hits, "Dream Weaver" and "Love Is Alive," from his Top Ten The Dream Weaver album.

Disco Tex & the Sexolettes' single "Get Dancin'" enters the Hot 100 pop chart, ushering in the full-fledged disco era. Though not the first disco single, the dance tune, penned by writer Kenny Nolan (who will hit #1 in a few years as a recording artist with his "I Like Dreamin'"), was the first of many hits to be broken out of disco clubs. Disco Tex was Monte Rock II (Joseph Montanez, Jr.), who was actually the owner of a chain of hair salons.

The Top Five
1. "I Can Help" - Billy Swan
2. "Do It ('Til Your Satisfied)" - B.T. Express
3. "My Melody of Love" - Bobby Vinton
4. "Tin Man" - America
5. "Longfellow Serenade" - Neil Diamond

Nick Drake, the eccentric, obsessively private English singer/songwriter, is found dead in his bed at his parents' Birmingham, England, home. The coronor's report attributes the death to an overdose of a strong antidepressant and rules it an apparent suicide. Drake's bleak, brooding music would be "rediscovered" twenty-six years later, when the title track from his 1972 Pink Moon album was used in a Volkswagen commercial.
Yet another novelty song becomes a big hit in 1974 -- Carl Douglas' "Kung Fu Fighting," which turns gold on this date. Douglas is not to be confused with Carol Douglas, a former member of the early '70s singing group The Chantels, who will make it to No. 11 in early 1975 with "Doctor's Orders."

Baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn suspends New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner from professional baseball for two years for illegally contributing money to fund Richard Nixon's reelection campaign and other campaigns.

Elton John had made John Lennon promise that if his "Whatever Gets You Through the Night" hit Number One, he would join Elton on stage for a Madison Square Garden appearance. "Whatever" reached No. 1 last week, so Lennon fulfills his promise as he unexpectedly appears onstage, accompanying Elton on "Whatever Gets You Through the Night," "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and "I Saw Her Standing There" (which Lennon introduces as "an old Beatles song we never did on stage"). "Elton wanted me to do 'Imagine,' but I didn't want to come on like Dean Martin doing my classic hits," Lennon later says. "I wanted to have some fun and play some rock and roll." Backstage, after the show, Lennon has a brief reunion with Yoko Ono, from whom he'd been separated for over a year. Unbeknownst to all, it will be the last concert appearance John ever makes.

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