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August 1975








CBS premieres a two-hour pilot for Beacon Hill, a series set in 1920s Boston and modeled after the hit British show Upstairs, Downstairs, to huge ratings. The show is cancelled after 13 episodes.

The Top Five
1. "One of These Nights" - Eagles
2. "I'm Not in Love" - 10 cc
3. "Jive Talkin'" - Bee Gees
4. "Please Mr. Please" - Olivia Newton-John
5. "The Hustle" - Van McCoy & the Soul City Symphony

Led Zeppelin's frontman, vocalist Robert Plant, and his family suffer extensive injuries in a car crash that occurs during their vacation on the Mediterranean island of Rhodes. Wife Maureen, daughter Carmen, son Karac and Plant all suffer fractured bones and assorted bruises. Fitted with casts, they fly to England for further treatment. But when additional time there will mean paying full income taxes, ex-UK native Plant returns to New Jersey. Plant's injuries force a postponement of a scheduled autumn Zeppelin American tour, and it will be over a year before Plant fully recovers and a full two years before the supergroup plays in the United States again.
Stevie Wonder renews his contract with Motown Records for an estimated $13 million, or so it is assumed after a Los Angeles press conference called by the two parties. The announcement is actually a bit premature; Motown and Wonder don't actually come to terms until the following April.
Robert Altman's cinematic interpretation of country music, Nashville, opens in the town it's named for and encounters a decidedly mixed reaction from the residents of Music City. While Minnie Pearl admits to laughing "so hard it sometimes hurrt," and alternative opinion is offered by producer Billy Sherrill, who claims his favorite moment in the movie comes "when they shot that miserable excuse for a country singer."

Jazz saxophonist Julian "Cannonball" Adderley dies.

The Santa Monica Civic Auditorium is the site of the first annual Rock Music Award Show. The Don Kirshner- produced broadcast over CBS proves to be an alternative of sorts to the Grammys; Bad Company, the Eagles, Stevie Wonder, Roger Daltrey and Joan Baez capture awards, even though the presenters included such nonrock personalities as Olivia Newton-John and Mike Douglas.

The Top Five
1. "Jive Talkin'" - Bee Gees
2. "I'm Not in Love" - 10 cc
3. "Please Mr. Please" - Olivia Newton-John
4. "One of These Nights" - Eagles
5. "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" - Elton John

Manhattan Transfer begins a four-week run with their own CBS-TV comedy-variety show.

Interviewed on CBS's 60 Minutes, First Lady Betty Ford makes some candid comments that cause quite a stir. She says that she believes all her children have tried marijuana, and that the Supreme Court made a "great decision" in legalizing abortion. Trying to amp down the controversy, President Ford's press secretary comments the next day: "The president has long ceased to be perturbed or surprised by his wife's remarks." But the loudest condemnation comes from her remarks about premarital sex. After saying she wouldn't be surprised to discover that her 18-year-old daughter Susan Ford was having an affair, Ford suggests that premarital relations might help lower the divorce rate. "We deplore the deterioration of morality around the world," cries Mormon elder Gordon B. Hinckley. "Chastity is to be observed before marriage, and fidelity after marriage."

Aerosmith's new album, Toys in the Attic, goes gold.
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band begin their legendary five-night, two-shows-per- evening stand at New York City's showcase club the Bottom Line. The performances, just prior to the release of Born to Run, are instrumental in spreading the gospel of rock's purported "future" (and, some would later say, furthering the "hype" associated with the Boss' imminent ascent to stardom; Columbia Records, his label, supposedly papers half the house each night with influential industry people). The early show on the fifteenth is broadcast live over New York City's WNEW-FM.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show, a combination of sci-fi, comedy, music and horror, opens in theaters in the US and UK after a successful stage run of several years in London. It will quickly become a pop culture phenomenon and cult movie classic extraordinaire. Midnight screenings attract fans, dressed as their favorite characters, who bring appropriate props, shout out lines, and generally cavort and carouse. They affectionately refer to themselves as sluts, as opposed to virgins (who've never seen the movie).
A North Carolina jury finds black convict Joanne Little not guilty of the slaying of her white jailer, whom she claims forced her into a sexual act. Her case draws both support and derision, split along racial lines.
Vocalist and songwriter Peter Gabriel delivers a statement to the British press announcing his departure from Genesis. His decision to leave was made the previous December, but he stayed on until contracted tours were finished in May. Gabriel's reasons: a desire to be with his family and because, "As an artist, I need to absorb a wide variety of experiences. It's difficult to respond to intuition and impulse within the long-term planning the band needed." Gabriel will go on to release a critically aclaimed self-titled debut album in 1977 that cracks the Top Forty. Genesis hands the microphone to one of its own, drummer Phil Collins.

Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, his wife, and two children almost die in a car wreck in Greece.

The Viking I spacecraft blasts off for the planet Mars.
Former Free guitarist Paul Kossoff's heart stops beating for thirty-five minutes at London's Northwick Park Hospital. A blood clot in his leg had reached the heart, putting him in a coma; the following day, his kidneys shut down. Somehow, Kossoff survives and returns to his band, Back Street Crawler, but physical problems eventually catch up to him: he will die in his sleep on a transatlantic flight the following March.

The Top Five
1. "Fallin' in Love" - Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds
2. "One of These Nights" - Eagles
3. "Get Down Tonight" - K.C. & The Sunshine Band
4. "Jive Talkin'" - Bee Gees
5. "Rhinestone Cowboy" - Glen Campbell

Elton John plays two sets on the first of three nights at Los Angeles' Troubadour to raise money for UCLA's Jules Stein Eye Institute. The benefit shows, with tickets priced from $25 to $250, raise over $150,000 for the clinic, named for the licensed opthamologist who runs it (and who, not so conincidentally, is head of MCA, John's label). His return to the Troub carries special weight for Elton: Five years ago to the day, he began a weeklong stint there that helped establish his superstar status in America.
Former Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie, a messianic figure to Rastafarians worldwide, dies.

More than five years after the Kent State shootings, a federal grand jury finds Governor James Rhodes of Ohio and National Guardsmen not personally responsible for the deaths of four students.

Rolling Stone reports on the burgeoning dance craze: It's no longer primarily a gay or black scene; 12" singles and special "disco mixes" of popular dance songs arrive; and new and converted dance spots open, bringing the national total to 2,000 discos.

Four former "Tarzan the Ape Man" actors who played Edgar Rice Burroughs's famous character onscreen gather in Los Angeles to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Tarzan's birth. Johnny Weismuller, Buster Crabbe, Jock Mahoney and James Pierce gamely do the famous Tarzan jungle call in unison, and the lively crowd also includes 35 enthusiastic businessmen who have licensed the Tarzan name and image. Three former screen Janes show up, too.

Natalie Cole, the daughter of legendary crooner Nat "King" Cole, bounces into the Hot 100 with "This Will Be," which will peak at #6. It the first of 17 hits for the 1975 Best New Artist Grammy winner through 1991.

The British pop-rock group Jigsaw's "Sky High" (from the film The Dragon Flies) charts on its way to #3 in the U.S. The group's leaders Clive Scott and Des Dyer wrote Bo Donaldson's 1974 hit "Who Do You Think You Are."

The Top Five
1. "Get Down Tonight" - K.C. & The Sunshine Band
2. "Fallin' in Love" - Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds
3. "Rhinestone Cowboy" - Glen Campbell
4. "One of These Nights" - Eagles
5. "How Sweet It Is (to be Loved by You)" - James Taylor


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