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November 1976








Jimmy Carter is elected 39th president of the United States in a rare -- and narrowly accomplished -- unseating of an incumbent. Carter is the first Deep South candidate to reach the White House since before the Civil War.
Country-rock band Firefall earn a gold record for their self-titled debut album, which includes the hit singles "You Are the Woman" (#9, later this year) and "Livin' Ain't Livin'" (#42, earlier this year). The band's members include former Flying Burrito Brother Rick Roberts and ex-Spirit member Mark Andes.

The movie version of Carrie, a tale about an odd, ostracized high schooler whose bad dreams come true, is released. Sissy Spacek plays the girl who makes her mean high school classmates pay dearly for their taunting in director Brian De Palma's bloody movie, based on Stephen King's first novel. It becomes an instant pop culture classic, especially for its blood-drenching climax, torches the box office and, rare for a horror flick, nets two Oscar nominations, for best actress (Spacek) and supporting actress (Piper Laurie, as her religiously demented mother). It also notably features a young, deliciously evil John Travolta. The movie ignite's Spacek's career, which soon includes an Oscar and Golden Globe for Coal Miner's Daughter.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, completing a two-month tour with a six-night stand at New York City's Palladium Theater, backed up by Ronnie Spector and the Asbury Jukes' Miami Horns section, have their final show interrupted by a phoned-in bomb threat. After a quick check shows the hall to be clear of danger, Springsteen's quips that the caller might just be one Mike Appel, his former manager and then-current litigant in an extensive lawsuit.

New York City Mayor
Abraham Beame hosts a luncheon for the Bee Gees at mayoral residence Gracie Mansion. The affair is in honor of the group's announced intentions to donate their profits from an upcoming Madison Square Garden concert to the city's Police Athletic League Organization. Upon being handed a platinum record of the Gibbs' Children of the World, the perhaps less than altogether hip His Honor says, "I look forward to taking it out of the frame and playing it."

Daryl Hall and John Oates' fifth album, Bigger than Both of Us, goes gold. It features their biggest hit single to date, "Rich Girl," which will eventually hit Number One on the pop chart in early 1977.
ABC premieres the controversial made-for-tv movie Nightmare In Badham County, a prison drama allegedly based on true events, with former The Rifleman star Chuck Norris as the film's villain.
The Top Five
1. "Rock'n Me" - Steve Miller Band
2. "Disco Duck (Part 1)" - Rick Dees & His Cast of Idiots
3. "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" - Gordon Lightfoot
4. "If You Leave Me Now" - Chicago
5. "Love So Right" - Bee Gees

Part 1 of Gone With the Wind airs on NBC, which paid $5 million for the classic 1939 Civil War film's television premiere. With a 47.7 average audience percentage, it becomes the highest rated single telecast to date. Frankly, my dear, tonight viewers didn't give a damn about The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour (with guests Ed McMahon, the Sylvers and Betty White) or feeling the love from Kojak's Telly Savalas. Part 2 airs the following night and earns a slightly smaller 47.4 average, but still steamrolls lots of ladies in primetime: Rhoda, Phyllis and Wonder Woman.
In the wake of the reformed Fleetwood Mac's phenomenal success with their latest, self-titled album, one of the band's earlier albums, Mystery To Me, goes gold. The band's personnel at the time of Mystery to Me included Bob Welch, Bob Weston, Martin Birch and the only three members currently with the band -- Christine McVie, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood.

Frank Zappa and the Mothers earn a gold record for the 1973 album Over-nite Sensation, which includes such dirty-humor Zappaphile favorites and FM-radio staples as "Montana" and "Dinah Mo Hum."
New York City mayor Abe Beame hosts a luncheon at his official residence, Gracie Mansion, in honor of the Bee Gees' contributions to the city's Police Athletic League.
Kiss, the cartoonish heavy-metal/ glitter-rock band the critics love to hate, earn another gold record, for the album Rock 'n' Roll Over, which will yield the hit single "Calling Dr. Love" (#14, in the summer of 1977). The album eventually goes double platinum.
American artist Alexander Calder dies at age 78. Calder was known for his mobiles (sculptures with parts that can be set in motion by air currents or by touching).
The Top Five
1. "Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright)" - Rod Stewart
2. "Disco Duck (Part 1)" - Rick Dees & His Cast of Idiots
3. "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" - Gordon Lightfoot
4. "Love So Right" - Bee Gees
5. "Muskrat Love" - Captain & Tennille

President Carter's church in Plains, Georgia, becomes integrated for the first time.

Keith Relf of The Yardbirds dies after being electrocuted onstage.

NBC airs the first episode of Sybil, an Emmy-winning two-part TV-movie featuring Sally Field as a deeply disturbed young woman with 17 separate personalities.

Network, a biting satire of the television industry and its shameless search for ratings from director Sidney Lumet, premieres in Los Angeles and New York City. "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!" cries mad prophet of the airwaves Howard Beale (Peter Finch) as he urges viewers at home to open their windows and scream out those words. After Walter Cronkite and Henry Fonda had turned down the role, Finch gladly accepted. "I love being a mouthpiece for Paddy Chayefsky," says Finch of the writer whose prophetic script wins an Oscar. Faye Dunaway, Beatrice Straight and Finch will each win an Oscar too, but Finch won't be around to receive his. He will die of a heart attack while on a promotional tour for the movie, so his Jamaican, mink-clad widow will accept the trophy and give a moving acceptance speech, later revealed as having been written by... Chayefsky.

California singer/songwriter Jackson Browne's critically acclaimed fourth album, The Pretender (produced by rock critic Jon Landau, who has also worked with Bruce Springsteen), is certified gold. Browne had completed work on the album in the wake of the suicide of his wife, Phyllis Major, on March 25, 1976. His debut album, Jackson Browne - Saturate Before Using, released in 1972, goes gold the next day. Although he has a track record of delivering solid albums, it's Running on Empty, an album of songs performed live or inspired by the road -- recorded in halls, hotel rooms, on the tour bus, and backstage -- that finally ups his profile two years later. Both the album's title cut opener and its closing medley of "The Load-Out" and "Stay" (the latter a remake of the Maurice Williams No. 1 hit of 1960) become Top 40 hits and help make him a household name.
"Treasures of Tutankhamun," a 55 objects exhibition of the ancient Egyptian boy-king Tutankhamun, opens in Washington, D.C., as a huge crowd wraps around the city's National Gallery of Art. More than 800,000 visitors attend the fourth-month attraction, which include Tut's solid-gold funeral mask, a gilded wood figure of the goddess Selket, lamps, jars, jewelry and furniture. "As my eyes grew accustomed to the light, details of the room within emerged slowly from the mist, strange animals, statues and gold... Everywhere a glint of gold," Egyptologist Howard Carter famously wrote about his 1922 discovery. Over the next four years, the traveling King Tut show attracts some 8 million visitors in the United States alone. A proliferation of Tut paraphernalia follows, and the ancient revival gets a comedic slant with Steve Martin's take on vinyl and Saturday Night Live.
Artist Man Ray, a member of the Dadist and Surrealist groups, dies in Paris.

Richard Hell and the Voidoids hold a premiere concert at CBGB's in New York City.

Patricia Hearst is released on $1.5 million bail.

Van Morrison
's album Moondance, released in 1970, goes gold. The album had brought Morrison two minor hits: the title track and "Into the Mystic." The latter song became a somewhat bigger hit for Johnny Rivers, reaching #51 in 1976.
John Sebastian and Fred Neil lead a show in Sacramento's Memorial Auditorium at the request of Govenor Jerry Brown, climaxing the state's California Celebrates the Whales Day. Also appearing at the show aimed at raising public consciousness about the plight of the internationally hunted mammals are the Paul Winter Consort, Country Joe McDonald and Joni Mitchell.
Cartoonist Cathy Guisewhite premieres her popular "Cathy" comic strip.
Police arrest Jerry Lee Lewis outside the gates of Graceland after he shows up for the second time that evening and makes a scene, shouting, waving a pistol and demanding to see Elvis Presley. After security guards call police, Lewis is found at his car with a .38 Derringer in hand; authorities charge him on counts of public intoxication and possession of a weapon. At the time of the Graceland incident "The Killer" was already in trouble with the law, having received a drunk driving charge the day before after driving his Rolls-Royce into a ditch.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposes that labels be affixed to aerosol sprays warning that fluorocarbons may harm the environment by reducing the ozone layer. It comes on the heels of last night's surprise vote by a small, recently formed government agency. The Consumer Product Safety Commission voted 5-0 to take the first steps to ban fluorocarbon aerosols, saying they "present an unreasonable risk of injury to consumers." Both actions send shock waves across the bows of deodorant, hair spray, household cleaner, and pesticide companies. The actual ban on manufacture comes two years later on October 15, 1978, by which time many companies have switched to other propellant gases or mechanical pumps.

The Band play their "Last Waltz" Thanksgiving night before Martin Scorsese's cameras and a packed house at San Francisco's famed Winterland Ballroom. Bill Graham convinces the group to turn the originally scheduled show into a grand affair, complete with buffet, chandeliers, dancing to an orchestra and a twenty-five dollar ticket. Musicians and friends who help the Band celebrate their final show together include Bob Dylan, Ronnie Hawkins, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Neil Young, Paul Butterfield, Bobby Charles, Neil Diamond, Dr. John, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton, Stephen Stills, Ron Wood and Ringo Starr. A Graham aide neatly sums up the special sense of occasion that prevails throughout the evening when he sighs: "Yeah, and tomorrow night, Ted Nugent." The Scorsese-directed documentary, The Last Waltz, is released in 1978 to huge critical acclaim.

NYPD cop Robert Torsney shoots unarmed 15-year-old Randolph Evans to death while responding to a call at Evans' home in a Brooklyn housing project. Torsney would be found not guilty by insanity (Automatism of Penfield epilepsy defense) on December 1, 1977 and remanded to psychiatric care at Queens' Creedmor Psychiatric Center. New York State's Supreme Court ordered Torsney released in July 1979, after reviewers found him no longer a threat to society, but New York City's police commissioner fired him in June 1979 and ruled him ineligible to receive a disability pension.


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