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July 1976








For the first time in twelve years, Brian Wilson joins the Beach Boys onstage during a performance, at the Oakland Stadium. Although he sits virtually motionless at his piano throughout the show, Wilson does handle the lead vocal (sotto voce) on his "In My Room." Proving it to be no fluke, he returns the following night as well, and television cameras record the whole thing for a Beach Boys special due to air in August on NBC.

Reversing decisions dating back to 1972, the Supreme Court declares the death penalty constitutional in Gregg v. Georgia and returns the decision to rule on its imposition to the states.

After more than 20 years of division, Vietnam announces official reunification. The state of war that had existed between the two areas had ended when South Vietnam surrendered to Communist forces in 1975. Hanoi becomes the capital of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Termed "The Raid on Entebbe," Israeli soldiers rescue Israeli passengers and French crew members from a plane over a two-day period that has been hijacked by Palestinian terrorists at Entebbe Airport in Uganda.

Veteran soul vocal group the
Manhattans enter the pop chart with their biggest hit, "Kiss and Say Goodbye," which will quickly climb to Number One later this month and will stay on the pop chart for twenty-six weeks. It had reached Number One on the R&B chart in May.

In a daring midnight raid, Israel sends commandos to Entebbe Airport in Uganda to rescue the passengers of an Air France jet that had been hijacked from Tel Aviv a week earlier. Most of the hostages are freed, and the death toll is 31, including all 7 hijackers, 20 Ugandan soldiers, 3 hostages and the commander of the assault force.

Twenty-year-old Swede Bjorn Borg overcomes Ilie Nastase to become the youngest tennis player in 45 years to win Wimbledon.

America celebrates its Bicentennial in grand style: In "Operation Sail," 225 masted ships from 30 countries cruise through New York City Harbor; Washington, D.C., sets off 33 1/2 tons of fireworks near the Lincoln Memorial as its new National Air and Space Museum opens; 1,776 new citizens pledge allegiance for the first time in Chicago; and President Ford rings the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.

Meanwhile, two American rock & roll bands celebrate the Bicentennial on foreign shores. The
Ramones and the Flamin' Groovies play at London's Roundhouse and move Britain's nascent punk scene along by amply demonstrating the two styles, Sixties and Seventies, that predominate over the next two years in England.
The Damned warm up for the Sex Pistols at the latter's regular stint at London's 100 Club. It was the Damned's first real public appearance; both groups are destined to release punk's first singles by the end of the year.

Aretha Franklin's thirty-sixth album, Sparkle, earns her another gold record. It contains her two current hits, "Something He Can Feel" (which will peak at #28) and "Jump" (which will hit #72).
Tavares' "Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel" hits Billboard's Top 40.

The Top Five
1. "Afternoon Delight" - Starland Vocal Band
2. "Kiss and Say Goodbye" - Manhattans
3. "I'll Be Good to You" - Brothers Johnson
4. "Shop Around" - Captain & Tennille
5. "More, More, More (Part 1)" - Andrea True Connection

In New York City, Congresswoman Barbara Jordan (D-TX) becomes the first black person and the first woman to deliver the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention. Three days later, former Georgia governor Jimmy Carter will accept the nomination and select Senator Walter Mondale (D-MN) as his running mate.

Family Feud, the latest TV creation of quizmasters Mark Goodson and Bill Todman (Password, The Match Game), debuts this afternoon on ABC. Congenial host Richard Dawson, late of Hogan's Heroes and Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, becomes so identified as a game show host that he's tapped to play one in Arnold Schwarzenegger's 1987 futuristic thriller, The Running Man. Family Feud's success later lands a plum primetime slot, too.

The game show Family Feud premieres on ABC-TV. Hosted by Richard Dawson, the show features families competing to match answers given by people who have been quizzed in nationwide surveys.

The Beach Boys' 15 Big Ones enters the album chart, where it will rise to #8 and will be certified gold in September.

The XXI Summer Olympics open in Montreal under a political cloud as Taiwan withdraws over the International Olympic Committee's insistence that they not use the name "China," and Tanzania leads a boycott in protest of New Zealand's continued rugby competions with South Africa. Thirty-two nations decline to participate and six Eastern European athletes will defect before the games close two weeks later. New gold-winning stars include Romanian gymnast Nadia Comanici, American decathlete Bruce Jenner and Finnish runner Lasse Viren (although Viren is suspected of taking illegal medication). Tomorrow the 4'11", 86 lb. Comanici becomes the first Olympic athelete to ever earn a perfect score of ten for a routine on the uneven bars. Electrifying the sport around the world, the petite dynamo will collect an unprecedented seven perfect scores by the time these Olympics end.

Heart releases the single "Magic Man," from their new album Dreamboat Annie.

Viking 1, an unmanned spacecraft, lands on Mars and begins transmitting the first photographs and weather reports from the planet. On Aug. 7, NASA scientists prematurely release a report suggesting the possibility of Martian life; a later review reveals the Viking tests were inconclusive.
An unidentified bacterial outbreak strikes a Legionnaires convention in Philadelphia, infecting 180 across the state and eventually killing 29. By Jan. 1977, the Centers for Disease Control identify a new bacterium responsible for the so-called "Legionnaires' Disease."
The Top Five
2. "Kiss and Say Goodbye" - Manhattans
1. "Afternoon Delight" - Starland Vocal Band
3. "I'll Be Good to You" - Brothers Johnson
4. "Moonlight Feels Right" - Starbuck
5. "Love Is Alive" - Gary Wright

Detroit's heavy-metal guitar hero Ted Nugent receives a gold record for his first, self-titled solo album, which includes the single "Hey Baby" (#72, two months ago). Nugent's rock career began in the late Sixties with Detroit psychedelic garage-rockers the Amboy Dukes, and his solo popularity will last through the rest of the 1970s.
Bruce Springsteen sues manager Mike Appel in Manhattan's U.S. District Court for fraud and breach of trust in his dealings with the New Jersey musician. The lawsuit, initiated when Springsteen realizes, after Born to Run's success, how little artistic and financial freedom he has in his contract with Appel's Laurel Canyon management company, is countered two days later by Appel, who brings suit in New York Supreme Court. The litigation drags on for a year, temporarily halting Springsteen's rock & roll career.

John Lennon receives his green card, the certification granting him permanent residency status in the United States, at the New York City offices of the Federal Immigration and Naturalization Service. Such celebrities as Norman Mailer, Geraldo Rivera and Gloria Swanson testify on behalf of Lennon, who tells reporters "It's great to be legal again" after the hearing. Lennon's fight to obtain the card had begun four years earlier, when the government first tried to deport him on the basis of his 1968 British conviction for possession of marijuana.
The Steve Miller Band's Fly Like An Eagle goes gold, on its way to platinum certification. The album features such massive hit singles as the title track (which will hit #2 early next year), "Rock'n Me" (which will hit Number One later this year), "Jet Airliner" (#8, next year) and "Take the Money and Run" (#11, this month). Fly like an Eagle stands as a textbook example of perfect Seventies radio pop; most of the album can be heard daily on both AM and FM stations around the country.
Eric Clapton begins his first tour of Britain in five years, a three-week affair, at Hempstead's Pavillion Theatre. The guitarist's only other official appearance in his native country occurred at the London's Rainbow Theatre "comeback" shows masterminded by Pete Townshend in January of 1973, despite Clapton's having mounted lengthy tours of America in the previous two years.

Serial murderer David Berkowitz begins his year-long "Son of Sam" reign of terror as 18-year-old Donna Lauria is killed with a 22-caliber handgun.

Top of the LP charts: George Benson's Breezin' (pop album).

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