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December 1974








Ravi Shankar, cobilled on the George Harrison tour, is hospitalized in Chicago after suffering chest pains. He will remain there for a week before rejoining the tour in Boston.

House of Representatives leader Wilbur Mills and stripper Fanny Fox are discovered to be having an affair.

The Pioneer 11 heads toward Saturn after surviving a pass within 26,000 miles of Jupiter.
Rolling Stone reports that various Boston radio stations have removed Randy Newman's satirical song "Rednecks" (from his recent LP Good Old Boys), which includes the word "niggers," from their playlists, due to continued violence over forced busing.

The Birmingham Americans win the first and only World Football League championship as the financially beleaguered association nears its collapse.

Carl Douglas' "Kung Fu Fighting" becomes the No. 1 song in the country, cashing in on the current martial arts craze. Douglas, a former engineering student and Jamaica native, tries a followup with "Dance the Kung Fu" but it doesn't even crack the Top 40; some accuse him of lacking imagination.

The Top Five
1. "Kung Fu Fighting" - Carl Douglas
2. "I Can Help" - Billy Swan
3. "When Will I See You Again" - Three Degrees
4. "Do It ('Til Your Satisfied)" - B.T. Express
5. "Cat's in the Cradle" - Harry Chapin

The Who receive a gold record for Odds and Sods, a highly intriguing package put together by bassist John Entwistle. It's a collection of assorted oddities culled from the Who tape archives. Of special interest is the band's version of "Pure and Easy" (which appeared on Pete Townshend's first solo record); "Naked Eye," whose instrumental section has long been a staple of Who concerts, and "Glow Girl."

George Harrison releases his first album on his Dark Horse label, titled Dark Horse, which makes #4.
Governor Jimmy Carter of Georgia begins his bid for the 1976 presidential election.

Rolling Stones begin sessions in Munich for what will become Black and Blue, their 1976 release. The LP is recorded with several guitarists, including Wayne Perkins, Harvy Mandel and Ron Wood.

The Stones also announce the departure of guitarist
Mick Taylor, who replaced Brian Jones five years earlier. Taylor's immediate plans are to join a band being formed by ex-Cream bassist Jack Bruce. Says Mick Jagger of Taylor's leaving, "While we are most sorry that he's going after five and a half years, we wish him every success and happiness." As for a replacement, he quips, "No doubt we can find a brilliant six-foot-three blond guitarist who can do his own makeup.

Francis Ford Coppola's film The Godfather, Part II, starring Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall and Diane Keaton, premieres.

George Harrison meets President Gerald Ford at the White House. The President's son Jack had seen the Harrison tour in Salt Lake City, went backstage and invited George to Washington. Harrison and company came for lunch. Ford searches around for a WIN ("Whip Inflation Now") button to pin on the ex-Beatle guitarist, but he can't find one.
An arbitration panel invalidates Oakland A's pitcher Jim "Catfish" Hunter's contract, making him professional baseball's first free agent. Five days later, a federal judge rules the NFL's long-standing indefinite-length contract system illegal.
Mott the Hoople split. Ian Hunter had recently been hospitalized for a collapse due to nervous exhaustion, and there had been some resentment over new guitarist Mick Ronson by the older band members. Bassit Overend Watts, drummer Dale Griffin and keyboardist Morgan Fisher continue under the name Mott.
Singer/songwriter Kris Kristofferson earns his second gold record, for Me and Bobby McGee, four years after the album's release. The album's title song, of course, was a million-selling hit for Janis Joplin in 1971. It was also covered by Roger Miller and the Grateful Dead, among others.

ABC airs the Cuban missle crisis docu-drama The Missles of October.

Nelson Rockefeller becomes vice president after a lengthy approval process, and President Ford sings a bill authorizing the federal government to take custody of Watergate-related documents.
Harry Chapin has a gold Number One hit with a song that hits close to home, "Cat's in the Cradle" from his 1974 LP Verities & Balderdash. The lyrics come from a poem composed by his wife, Sandy, all about a neglectful father who's away far too much and busy far too often to watch his child grow. The lyrics apparently ring true all over the country, leading Chapin to speculate, "This one is scaring fathers from coast to coast; I suspect wives are buying it as zingers for their husbands."

John Lennon hits the American charts with the single "#9 Dream," which coincidentally goes to #9.

Rod Stewart signs with Warner Bros. Records after a dispute between Warners and Mercury/ Polygram as to who controlled his solo recordings since he was still a member of the British rock band the Faces.

The New York Times reveals CIA surveillance of antiwar activists -- in direct defiance of the agency's charter banning spying on American citizens -- during Richard Nixon's presidency. Five days later, after a perfunctory self-investigation, CIA director William Colby admits agency wrongdoing. On Jan. 5, President Ford will empower Vice President Rockefeller to investigate CIA domestic espionage.

The Top Five
1. "Cat's in the Cradle" - Harry Chapin
2. "Kung Fu Fighting" - Carl Douglas
3. "Angie Baby" - Helen Reddy
4. "When Will I See You Again" - Three Degrees
5. "You're the First, the Last, my Everything" - Barry White

Just as John Lennon had done three years earlier, George Harrison releases a holiday single, "Ding Dong, Ding Dong." The song only reaches #36.
James Taylor, Carly Simon, Linda Ronstadt and Joni Mitchell are spotted singing Christmas carols around the streets of Los Angeles.
Legendary comedian and violinist Jack Benny dies at age 80.
As antibusing violence subsides, Federal District Judge Arthur Garrity charges and fines three Boston school officials for refusing to enforce steps to integrate public schools.
George Harrison's Dark Horse album hits the U.S. Hot 200 album chart on its way to #4. It is the ex-Beatle's fourth Top 5 album in five years.

The Top Five
1. "Angie Baby" - Helen Reddy
2. "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" - Elton John
3. "You're the First, the Last, my Everything" - Barry White
4. "Kung Fu Fighting" - Carl Douglas
5. "Cat's in the Cradle" - Harry Chapin

The Sonny Comedy Revue ends its run on ABC-TV. The last show stars Karen Valentine (whose comedy show takes over the slot), Clifton Davis of the TV show That's My Mama, and Carrie McDowall.
Most popular music, books and film - 1974: Barbra Streisand's "The Way We Were" (pop single); Elton John's Greatest Hits (pop album); Roberta Flack's "Feel Like Makin' Love" (R&B single), Charlie Rich's "A Very Special Love Song" (C&W single); Peter Benchley's Jaws (fiction); Alex Comfort's The Joy of Sex (nonfiction); The Towering Inferno (film).


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