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November 1975








The Top Five
1. "Island Girl" - Elton John
2. "I'm Sorry"/"Calypso" - John Denver
3. "Miracles" - Jefferson Starship
4. "Lyin' Eyes" - Eagles
5. "They Just Can't Stop It (The Games People Play)" - Spinners

Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg detour from the Rolling Thunder Revue to Lowell, Massachusetts, to visit the grave site of Beat writer Jack Kerouac. While sitting on the grave, Dylan strums his guitar, face covered with white greasepaint, and Ginsberg improvises some poetry. Their tribute, like much of the tour, is filmed and later used in Dylan's film Renaldo and Clara.
Advice columnist Ann Landers solicits parents' opinions on whether they have "buyer's remorse" about having children.
The Sex Pistols play their first gig at Saint Martin's College of Art in London, but only make it through five songs before they are literally unplugged. The band -- Glen Matlock, Paul Cook, Steve Jones and Johnny Rotten (né Lydon) -- will later spearhead the British punk movement.
David Bowie appears on Cher's CBS television show and, in addition to singing his recent Number One hit, "Fame," performs a duet with the hostess on a medley of "Young Americans," "Song Sung Blue," "One," "Da Doo Ron Ron," "Wedding Bell Blues," "Maybe," "Day Tripper," "Ain't No Sunshine" and "Youngblood."
A New Jersey Superior Court judge prevents the parents of Karen Ann Quinlan, a drug-and- alcohol-overdose victim, who has survived on life-support equipment since April 15, from allowing her to die. The ensuing legal battle will galvanize right-to-die and quality-of-care exponents.

The Edmund Fitzgerald, a Great Lakes cargo boat loaded with 26,000 tons of iron ore, sinks in a sudden, ferocious storm that has whipped up across Lake Superior this evening. All 29 crew members drown. Singer/songwriter Gordon Lightfoot will memorialize the sad event in his 1976 Top 10 hit "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," a haunting dirge that hits No. 2 on the pop chart exactly a year to the day of the tragedy. Launched in 1958, the Edmund Fitzgerald was considered the grand old lady of Great Lakes shipping. "His life was the sea," says the late captain's stepdaughter. "His whole life was built around the sea."

The UN General Assembly adapts a pro-Arab resolution that equates Zionism with racism.

Civil war breaks out in Angola immediately after Portugal grants it independence. The Communist-backed Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), aided by Cuban "engineers," will gain the advantage, fighting off other Angolan factions, foreign mercenaries and South African troops. The U.S. will steer clear of direct military involvement; Secretary of State Henry Kissinger asserts that the situation is not parallel to the one that drew the U.S. into Vietnam.
CBS debuts Foster and Laurie, a TV movie about the 1972 slayings of New York City police officers Gregory Foster and Rocco Laurie by members of the Black Liberation Army in a deadly ambush.
The Euro-pop group ABBA makes their US debut on Dick Clark's American Bandstand. Singing "S.O.S" and "I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do," the Swedish quartet, matching husbands and wives, deliver in grand style. Adored by the masses and abhorred by the critics, ABBA will soon become the biggest international pop act of the decade, charting oodles of hypnotic hits like "Waterloo," "Take a Chance on Me," "Fernando," and their sole No. 1 hit in the US, "Dancing Queen." An early hit, "Mamma Mia," will give rise to a Broadway and movie musical of the same name. In short succession come sold-out tours near and far, a command royal performance, a movie, and a Guinness Book of World Records mention.
The pressures of instantaneous success get to Bruce Springsteen when, on unfamiliar turf in London, he reacts to the hype that's preceded him across the ocean. At his European debut in London's Hammersmith Odeon, Springsteen tears down lobby posters reading, "Finally, the world is ready for Bruce Springsteen." Fed up with the trappings of newly found fame, the Jersey musician puts on a lackluster performance; his return to the same hall, five nights later, is considerably sharper.

Rock & roll prime-time television meet again, under the usual inane circumstances, when
Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen appear on an episode of Police Woman. The band, playing a rock group named the Chromium Skateboard, and the Commander deliver twenty-two speaking lines. The best line actually comes from an assistant director, who outlines some professional camera behavior for the group: "Please, try not to stare at Angie's [Dickinson, the show's star] tits."
The J. Geils Band finish recording their live Blow Your Face Out set at Detroit's Cobo Arena. A show four nights before, at the Boston Garden, was also taped for the two-record package that will be released in 1976.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Milos Forman's award-winning film that features an insane asylum standing in for everyday society, premieres in Los Angeles and New York City. Based on Ken Kesey's dark, satiric novel, it pits crafty new guy in the asylum (Jack Nicholson) against severe Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher). It wows the crowds and later rakes in Oscar gold -- the top five trophies, for the first time since 1934's It Happened One Night: best picture, director (Forman), lead actor (Nicholson), actress (Fletcher), and adapted screenplay. Nicholson is especially grateful for this, his first Oscar, having lost the two previous years with The Last Detail and Chinatown. During the 1976 Oscar ceremony, Fletcher will bring the house down as she signs a tearful tribute to her deaf parents. She signed on only a week before production began; the role was passed up by Anne Bancroft, Ellen Burstyn, Colleen Dewhurst, Jane Fonda, Angela Lansbury and Geraldine Page. Cuckoo's Nest was also the first producing project for actor Michael Douglas, his legendary dad Kirk Douglas having acquired the film rights to Kesey's book several years earlier.

The Who kick off a month-long American tour in Houston at the Summit. The show, closely monitored by the press following the apocalyptic tone of the band's latest LP, The Who by Numbers, is judged less than a triumph but certainly no disaster. At a party afterward, John Entwistle -- and not head mischief-maker Keith Moon -- is arrested for disorderly conduct and spends a few hours in jail.

The 36-year reign of Spanish dictator-for-life General Francisco Franco ends with his death in Madrid at age 82.

NBC airs a "very special" Police Story episode entitled "The Empty Weapon," in which a juvenile cop killer is spared being shot by the arriving rookie (Disney kid flick actor Kurt Russell) who knew the gun the criminal was holding was empty at the time of the killer's capture, causing the cop much anger from his fellow officers and superior. Also co-starring The Partridge Family's Danny Bonaduce as a fellow juvenile criminal associate of the killer in this "shoot/don't shoot" dilemma plot.
British soul singer and critic Pete Wingfield's only U.S. chart entry, "Eighteen with a Bullet," reaches -- inevitably -- #18 on the chart, with a bullet.

Touting the arrival of nothing less than the future of entertainment, Sony premieres its first home video recording system, which it calls "Betamax": a combination color TV/videocassette recorder listing for $2,295. "Scheduling conflicts are a thing of the past," boasts Sony, who derived the name from the tape path inside the one-hour cartridges that resembles the Greek letter beta. Revolutionary in its day, Betamax will soon lock into a fierce battle with VHS for format supremacy. The cumbersome Betamax has a bit sharper picture, but VHS can hold two hours on one tape and is easier to use. VHS wins, though both will be later replaced by the next generation of technology, DVD, which in turn is replaced by Blu-ray (although Blu-ray players can play both DVDs as well as Blu-ray discs), online video streamers, and downloadable digital files. Sony makes its last Betamax recorder in 2002. Betamax is just one of the many high-tech additions to life in the 1970s, the others including the IBM 8-inch floppy diskette (1970), Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera (1972), Hamilton Pulsar LED watch (1972), Texas Instruments SR-10 calculator (1973), CB radios (1977), Konica C35-AF compact auto-focus camera (1977), Atari Video Computer System (1977), Magnavox Magnavision Model 8000 videodisc player (1978), Milton Bradley's Simon memory game (1978), and Sony Walkman TPS-L2 (1979).

The Top Five
1. "That's the Way (I Like It)" - K.C. & The Sunshine Band
2. "Fly, Robin Fly" - Silver Convention
3. "Who Loves You" - Four Seasons
4. "Island Girl" - Elton John
5. "The Way I Want to Touch You" - Captain & Tennille

David Bowie makes a guest appearance on Cher's CBS TV show, and the pair sing duets of "Fame," "Can You Hear Me," and "Young Americans."
In a sequined home-team baseball uniform, Elton John caps off another high-flying, SRO tour with the second of two sold-out shows at L.A.'s Dodger Stadium.

Reverend Charles Boykin of Tallahassee, Florida's Lakewood Baptist Church and some of the younger members of his congregation burn approximately $2,000 worth of rock & roll records. The reverend, attempting to revive the image of rock as the "devil's music," cites a particularly damning (and hopelessly untraceable) statistic: 984 out of 1,000 unwed mothers became pregnant while rock music was playing in the background.
The Top Five
1. "Fly, Robin Fly" - Silver Convention
2. "That's the Way (I Like It)" - K.C. & The Sunshine Band
3. "Island Girl" - Elton John
4. "The Way I Want to Touch You" - Captain & Tennille
5. "Let's Do It Again" - Staple Singers


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