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January 1977








The Clash headline the gala opening of the Roxy. The former gay disco in London's Covent Garden fills the vacancy left by the widespread London club ban on punk groups, and immediately the Roxy becomes the central venue of the punk movement. Its stage is graced by the Buzzcocks, the Slits, X-Ray Spex, Siouxsie and the Banshees and other pioneering punk groups.
Legendary jazz pianist and composer Erroll Garner dies.
New York City's WNET-13 broadcasts the documentary The Police Tapes by Alan and Susan Raymond. Filmed on location in the South Bronx during the previous April-June, the documentary also inspires the 1981 movie Fort Apache: The Bronx starring Paul Newman, which itself was based on the 1960s experiences of former NYPD officers Thomas Mulhearn and Peter Tessitore of the 44th Precinct.
Three months after signing the Sex Pistols for 40,000 pounds, EMI terminates the contract after releasing only one single, "Anarchy in the U.K.," which is promptly taken out of circulation. No reason is given, but an EMI office memorandum alludes to the Sex Pistols' "disgraceful... aggressive behavior" and EMI's responsibility to "encourage restraint."

Kiss hits platinum with its album Rock and Roll Over.

Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch expands his growing empire into the U.S. by acquiring control of New York magazine.
The Top Five
1. "You Don't Have to be a Star (To Be in my Show)" - Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr.
2. "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing" - Leo Sayer
3. "Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright)" - Rod Stewart
4. "I Wish" - Stevie Wonder
5. "Car Wash" - Rose Royce

Super Bowl XI: The Oakland Raiders defeat the Minnesota Vikings, 32-14.
Utah gas station attendant Melvin Dummar confesses to lying about the "Mormon will" of reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes, which would have made him a partial beneficiary of Hughes's fortune.

Keith Richards
is fined 1000 pounds for possession of cocaine in his wrecked car on May 19, 1976, and charged an additional 250 pounds for court costs. At the same English court appearance, he is found not guilty of possession of LSD.
Long May You Run, an LP by the (Stephen) Stills-(Neil) Young Band, is certified gold. The LP and a 1976 tour (cut short because of Young's throat problems) are Young's last professional collaborations with any of his ex-bandmates until 1988 when he briefly reunited with Stills, David Crosby and Graham Nash for the CSN&Y album American Dream. The other three will reunite several times in the years to come for albums and tours.
Actor Peter Finch, who recently delivered an Oscar-winning performance in the acclaimed 1976 TV industry satire Network, dies in Beverly Hills at age 60.

ABC premieres the first of two Fantasy Island made-for-tv movies, the pilot for the regular series which will debut in January 1978. It is a show about an exotic island where $50,000 buys the dreams of three guests. Guest stars include Bill Bixby, who plays a lonely World War II vet yearning to relive a brief wartime romance with a woman named Francesca (played by Sandra Dee); also starring Peter Lawford, Victoria Principal, and Dick Sargent. Their host is Mr. Roarke, played by Ricardo Montalban.

RCA Records releases David Bowie's Low, the album that marks Bowie's transformation into the Man Machine of "Heroes." Recorded in Berlin, the album is heavily influenced by such German synthesizer bands as Kraftwerk and by "ambient music" maker Brian Eno, Bowie's collaborator in the studio. The first side includes the minor hit single "Sound and Vision"; the second side is totally instrumental.

Top of the LP charts: The Eagles's Hotel California (pop album).

The Top Five
1. "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing" - Leo Sayer
2. "I Wish" - Stevie Wonder
3. "Car Wash" - Rose Royce
4. "You Don't Have to be a Star (To Be in my Show)" - Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr.
5. "Dazz" - Brick

After months of legal jockying and frenzied media attention, convicted killer Gary Mark Gilmore is executed by firing squad, the first execution in the U.S. in ten years and the first since the Supreme Court's reinstatement of the death penalty option to the states.

NBC premieres the mini-series The Man in the Iron Mask starring Richard Chamberlain.

Florida's Dade County passes an ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and Anita Bryant is off and ranting. Bryant's Save Our Children campaign ("homosexuals cannot biologically reproduce, therefore they must recruit our children," she once said) propels gay issues to a newfound prominence, but her opponents unite against her. They organize a boycott of Florida orange juice, for which Bryant served as spokeswoman, and several months later the defeat of a California initiative sends her forces reeling. As the losses pile up, Bryant's career takes a nosedive from which it never recovers.
Aretha Franklin, Linda Ronstadt, Loretta Lynn and The Charlie Daniels Band are among the performers at a special televised Inaugural Concert held at Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center on the eve of Jimmy Carter's inauguration as President of the United States. In the audience with Jimmy and Roslynn Carter are John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Paul Simon and Gregg Allman.

The EPA orders an end to direct dumping of PCBs in waterways.

Jimmy Carter is sworn in as the 39th president of the United States and immediately calls for national unity and trust, pledging that the U.S. will be responsive to international human needs and suffering. Invited inauguration guests include Gregg Allman, Cher, Linda Ronstadt, Aretha Franklin, Loretta Lynn and Paul Simon. The next day, Carter pardons most Vietnam War draft-dodgers, and the celebration continues at the White House, where the Marshall Tucker Band and the Charlie Daniels Band perform such songs as the CDB's obligatory "The South's Gonna Do It." The following day, Pres. Carter pardons most Vietnam War draft evaders who number some 10,000.
The Top Five
1. "I Wish" - Stevie Wonder
2. "Car Wash" - Rose Royce
3. "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing" - Leo Sayer
4. "Dazz" - Brick
5. "You Don't Have to be a Star (To Be in my Show)" - Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr.

Carole King's Tapestry breaks the record for chart longevity, marking 302 weeks on Billboard's Top 100 Album Chart and holding the record until 1980, when it is broken by Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon.

ABC debuts a week-long dramatization of author Alex Haley's best-selling slavery saga Roots. Starring LeVar Burton, John Amos, Ben Vereen, Leslie Uggams and Louis Gossett Jr., the eight-part series becomes among the top 20 highest rated telecasts of the decade.

Opening a concert for Bob Seger in Tampa, Florida, Patti Smith falls off the stage and must be rushed to the hospital for twenty-two stitches to close head lacerations. "I look like an asshole," says Smith from the hospital, where she will remain in a neck brace for several weeks. Her injuries will necessitate temporary retirement from the stage, during which time she will write her fifth book of poetry, Babel.

Fleetwood Mac's first lead guitarist, Peter Green, is committed to a mental hospital in England after firing a pistol in the general direction of a delivery boy who was attempting to deliver to Green a check for royalties on Fleetwood Mac's records sales. Green had left the band in May 1970 to live a life of religious seclusion.

Memphis soul label Stax Records is auctioned for $1.3 million to an L.A. liquidating company. Assets include master tapes, unreleased recordings and stacks of old records. San Francisco-based Fantasy Records will later obtain distribution rights to the catalogue and begin reissuing the label's R&B gems.

Latino comedian and Chico and the Man star Freddie Prinze, 22, fatally shoots himself in L.A.
United Artists releases "(Get a) Grip (on Yourself)" backed with "London Lady," the first single from the Stranglers' second album Rattus Norvegicus, in Britain. Formed as a London pub-rock band in 1975, the Stranglers have more recently won the allegiance of the punk movement; their vinyl debut, therefore, is considered one of the earliest punk records.

The Top Five
1. "Car Wash" - Rose Royce
2. "I Wish" - Stevie Wonder
3. "Dazz" - Brick
4. "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing" - Leo Sayer
5. "Hot Line" - Sylvers

The final episode of the eight-part television adaptation of Alex Haley's Roots draws 80 million viewers and a rating of 51.1%, the largest TV audience to date. Based on Haley's novel of his quest for his ancestors in Africa and America, Roots becomes the most successful miniseries in history. It wins a record nine Emmys, and mesmerizes the country for over a week, drawing approximately 130 million people to watch at least one of the eight episodes.

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