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February 1977








Led Zeppelin's latest tour of North America must, at the last moment, be postponed indefinitely because of vocalist Robert Plant's bout with tonsilitis. The tour (which, as it turns out, will be Led Zeppelin's last visit to North America), will finally get underway in late June.
American Bandstand celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary with an ABC-TV special hosted by Dick Clark. And "all-star band," including Chuck Berry, Gregg Allman, Seals and Crofts, Johnny Rivers, three quarters of Booker T. and the MGs, Jr. Walker, Charlie Daniels, the Pointer Sisters, Doc Severenson, Donald Byrd, Les McCann and Chuck Mangione, joins together for a rendition of "Roll Over Beethoven."
The Top Five
1. "Torn Between Two Lovers" - Mary MacGregor
2. "Car Wash" - Rose Royce
3. "Dazz" - Brick
4. "New Kid in Town" - Eagles
5. "Hot Line" - Sylvers

Elvis Presley's "Moody Blue" hits Billboard's Top 40.

Best-selling books in the United States are Leon Uris's Trinity (fiction); Alex Haley's Roots (nonfiction); and Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's The Final Days (paperback).

Publisher Little, Brown & Co. pays Henry Kissinger an estimated $2 million for his memoirs.
Hustler publisher Larry Flynt is found guilty of pandering obscenity in Cincinnati.

ERA approval is rescinded by Idaho.

Randall, "Randy" Webster is shot in the early morning hours by Houston Police after he stole a van and led officers on a chase. One officer planted a gun on Randy in a "throw down" to justify the shooting and appear as self defense. Later discoveries found the bullet was shot in Randall's back, not front chest. The officers were later found not guilty of the shooting but guilty of perjury in 1980 and sentenced to five years, while Randy's parents were awarded $2548.73 for medical and funeral expenses and $200,000 for punitive damages against the city. The incident was the subject of a 1981 TV-movie, The Killing of Randy Webster starring Gary McCleery, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Sean Penn.

Rubin "Hurricane" Carter and John Artis, despite maintaining their innocence through two trials, are each sentenced to life imprisonment.
Rolling Stone reports that the protracted legal battle between the members of the Beatles (Apple Records) and their former manager Allen Klein (Abkco Industries, Inc.) is finally settled amicably, with Apple paying Abkco $5,009,200. Klein credits Yoko Ono's "Kissinger-like negotiating brilliance."

Rock's newest high-tech toy -- a wireless microphone that allows musicians to roam concert stages at will -- is unveiled. Acts like Aerosmith, the Rolling Stones, Styx and Neil Young snap 'em up, and soon major manufactures leap into the market, causing prices to go down and sales to go up. The wireless microphone is soon joined by the wireless guitar hookup, and concertgoers can see live music with no strings attached.

Jesse Jackson meets with record company executives in an attempt to curb references to sex and drugs.
The Justice Department targets the $2-billion music industry in an investigation of alleged antitrust activities.
Janis Ian receives 461 Valentine's Day cards after indicating she had never received any in the lyrics to her million-seller "At Seventeen."
Glen Matlock, the Sex Pistols' original bassist, leaves the controversial punk group, explaining that "there was no working relationship" between himself and Pistol vocalist Johnny Rotten. Rotten's explanation is that Matlock was kicked out of the group because "he wanted to make us fun, like the Beatles." Matlock will soon form his own group, the Rich Kids. His replacement in the Sex Pistols will be Sid Vicious, late of the Flowers of Romance, with whom he sung.
The stark and dark playwright David Mamet opens a tense thieves den, "American Buffalo," on Broadway with Robert Duvall and John Savage starring. Teeming with intense characters and incisive, vulgar dialogue, the play wins the New York Drama Critics Circle award. Nearly two decades after Broadway theater buffs shuffle off to "American Buffalo," a film version opens starring Dustin Hoffman and Dennis Franz.
Kiss make their debut at New York City's Madison Square Garden.
Warner Bros. releases Fleetwood Mac's Rumours. Recorded in Los Angeles as the Anglo-American band's two couples -- John and Christine McVie, and Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks -- were breaking up, the album captures the emotions that clash when former lovers must continue to work closely together -- a situation that evidently makes for inspired music. Containing four Top Ten hits ("Go Your Own Way," "Dreams," "Don't Stop" and "You Make Loving Fun"), Rumours will be the Number One pop album for thirty-one weeks and will sell over 10 million copies.

Winners of the nineteenth annual Grammy Awards (for 1976) are announced. Record of the Year is
George Benson's "This Masquerade"; he also wins Best Engineered Nonclassical Recording for Breezin', Best Pop Instrumental Performance for Breezin' and Best R&B Instrumental for "Theme from Good King Bad." Album of the Year is Stevie Wonder's Songs In the Key of Life, which also wins Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. Wonder's "I Wish" is Best Male R&B Vocal, and he is also named Best Producer of the Year. Song of the Year is Beach Boy Bruce Johnston's "I Write the Songs," a big hit for Barry Manilow. Best New Artist of the Year is the Starland Vocal Band (who sang "Afternoon Delight"). Best Album is Chicago's Chicago X. Best Female Pop Vocal Performance is Linda Ronstadt for Hasten Down the Wind. Best Pop Vocal Group Performance is Chicago's "If You Leave Me Now," Best R&B Female Vocal Performance is Natalie Cole's "Sophisticated Lady." Best R&B Duo/Blues/Chorus Vocal Performance is Billy Davis, Jr. and Marilyn McCoo's "You Don't Have to Be a Star (to Be in My Show)." Best R&B Song is Boz Scaggs' "Lowdown." Best Soul Gospel Performance is Mahalia Jackson's How I Got Over. Emmylou Harris wins Best Country Performance for Elite Hotel.

The Top Five
1. "Blinded by the Light" - Manfred Mann's Earth Band
2. "New Kid in Town" - Eagles
3. "Torn Between Two Lovers" - Mary MacGregor
4. "Love Theme from 'A Star Is Born' (Evergreen)" - Barbra Streisand
5. "I Like Dreamin'" - Kenny Nolan

Convicted Watergate participant E. Howard Hunt is paroled from federal prison.
Polydor Records signs the Jam, an English trio (guitarist Paul Weller, bassist Bruce Foxton and drummer Rick Buckler) popular with London punks for their energetic re-creations of bygone soul songs.

Beat poet Allen Ginsberg leads a demonstration against the U.S.S.R. Mission to the United Nations, protesting a Russian ban on importation of Passover matzo bread for Soviet Jews.

Director George Roy Hill's raw, raunchy and rowdy Slap Shot shoots into theaters -- and scores. Paul Newman shines as an aging player coach of a minor league hockey team that's short on talent but long on fisticuffs. Screenwriter Nancy Dowd got a lot of the dialogue from her brother, a former minor league hockey player and a bit player in the film.

Seminal Delta bluesman Bukka White dies in City of Memphis Hospital of complications arising from a stroke. Newspaper reports list White's age variously between sixty-seven and eighty-nine. Born Booker T. Washington White in Houston, Mississippi, Bukka began wandering in the Delta country as a youngster, and was one of the first and best Delta slide-guitarists and vocalists. In 1937 he recorded his biggest hit, "Shake 'Em On Down," which subsequently became a blues standard. White, however, was concurrently sentenced to Mississippi's Parchman Farm Prison on a manslaughter charge; his fortunes improved in 1939 when a Library of Congress field unit recorded him in prison (the session yielded another of his classics, "Parchman Farm Blues"), thus helping him get parole. Upon his release White found that changes in post-war music relegated him to relative obscurity until the Sixties when White was recorded by John Fahey's Takoma label and blues archivist Chris Strachwitz's Arhoolie label.

The Top Five
1. "New Kid in Town" - Eagles
2. "Love Theme from 'A Star Is Born' (Evergreen)" - Barbra Streisand
3. "Blinded by the Light" - Manfred Mann's Earth Band
4. "Fly Like an Eagle" - Steve Miller Band
5. "I Like Dreamin'" - Kenny Nolan

Royal Canadian Mounted Police raid Keith Richards' Toronto hotel suite while Richards is asleep and seize twenty-two grams of heroin, five grams of cocaine and narcotics paraphernalia. Richards is arrested, charged with possession of heroin with intent to traffic (a crime that carries a sentence of life imprisonment) and possession of cocaine, and released on $25,000 bail. His trial is set for October. After Richards' numerous previous arrests for various offenses, fans and associates of the Rolling Stones fear that this is the one that will bring down the fifteen-year-old band.

Alarmed by what he sees as a proliferation of sex and violence on the small screen, conservative Mississippi clergyman Donald Wildmon launches "Turn the Television Off Week" with a national day of prayer. Though he claims that thousands of churches and synagogues have agreed to join in, such results appear nonexistent.

Flamboyant New York City R&B DJ Frankie Crocker is given a year-and- a-day prison sentence and a $1,000 fine for lying to a grand jury regarding the receipt of payola.

Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock is dumped by the group, allegedly for liking the Beatles, and promptly forms his own group, the Rich Kids. His replacement is Sid Viciouis.

As part of congressional testimony on wilderness legislation, John Denver performs a new song, "To the Wild Country," for which he receives loud applause from his audience and House committee members.


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