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March 1977








In Santa Monica, California, Sara Lowndes Dylan -- the subject of such songs as "Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands," "Lay, Lady, Lay" and "Sara" -- files for divorce from Bob Dylan, her husband of eleven years. The divorce will be granted in June, with Sara retaining legal custody of their children, Maria, Jesse, Anna, Samuel and Jakob, and possession of their million-dollar home in Santa Monica.

Manfred Mann gets his first gold record, for "Blinded by the Light," one of the several Bruce Springsteen songs covered by Mann and his group. "Blinded," a highlight of his 1976 Top 10 album The Roaring Silence, hit Number One in February, thirteen years after the keyboardist's first Number One song, "Do Wah Diddy Diddy." Other Spingsteen tunes interpreted by Manfred Mann's Earth Band include "Spirit in the Night" and "For You."

NBC airs another "very special" Police Story episode entitled "One of Our Cops Is Crazy," guest starring Gabe Kaplan of Welcome Back, Kotter fame.

The Rolling Stones play the first of two concerts at El Mocambo, a small club in Toronto, Canada. While most of the attention at the time focuses on Keith Richards' recent arrest by Canadian authorities and the presence in the small audience of Margaret Trudeau, the wife of the Canadian prime minister, the real significance of the concerts will become apparent in September when Love You Live is released, with one side comprising the vintage R&B -- Chuck Berry's "Around and Around," Willie Dixon's "Little Red Rooster," Bo Diddley's "Crackin' Up" and Muddy Waters' "Mannish Boy" -- recorded here.
Despite broadcast pleas by President Carter and his wife Rosalynn for ratification, the ERA is defeated in North Carolina.

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

A Michigan woman named Francine Hughes sets her abusive husband on fire, killing him after claiming she suffered 13 years of abuse, and destroys their house. Hughes is later aquitted by reason of insanity. In 1984 a television movie based on the case, The Burning Bed, is aired starring Farrah Fawcett as Hughes, earning her Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announces a ban on the use of saccharin in food, soft drinks, chewing gum, and toothpaste after a Canadian study links its intake with bladder cancer in laboratory rats.

Fleetwood Mac
's Rumours becomes their second album to go platinum since the addition of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham.

Sylvester Stallone's Rocky is filmdom's top-grossing contender for the week.

Two months after EMI nulled its contract with the Sex Pistols, A&M Records, in a ceremony in front of Buckingham Palace, signs the English punk group that has been banned from airplay and from virtually every concert venue in Britain. Six days later, without having released any Sex Pistols records, A&M will follow EMI's suit and terminate its association with the group, reportedly because of the reputation for attracting violence with which the national news media have saddled the Sex Pistols, but more probably because of a recent drunken visit by the band to the A&M offices during which the members hurled obscenities at A&M executives.

Pink Floyd's Animals -- only their second LP since 1973's landmark The Dark Side of the Moon -- goes platinum. The album is a typical Roger Waters -and-company effort: moody, entrancing and lyrically conceptual. It hits #3.

CBS debuts the made for TV movie A Circle of Children, starring Jane Alexander as Mary MacCracken, based on her autobiographies.

The Slits make their stage debut, opening for the Clash at the Roxy in London. The first all-female punk group, the Slits will have to bear the double curse of their sex and their style, which takes the concept of enlightened amateurism to an extreme. Accompanying the Clash on their White Riot tour of the U.K. after having played only three gigs, the Slits will respond to charges of incompetence by inviting members of the audience on stage to play while the four women take to the floor to dance.
ABC-TV premieres Three's Company, a new sitcom based on the British series Man About the House. Starring John Ritter, Joyce DeWitt and Suzanne Sommers, the show is based almost entirely on sexual double-entendres and will become wildly popular in the next few years, despite objections from religious leaders and some critics.
As part of his down-home campaign to stay close to the American people, President Carter spends the night as guest of Edward G. Thompson, a beer distributor in Clinton, Mass., and begins appearing on TV to host an informal call-in program.
British CBS releases the Clash's debut single, "White Riot" backed with "1977." In what will fast become typical of the Clash, "White Riot" sparks heated controversy. Many listeners interpret the song to advocate racial violence, when in fact it calls for a united black-and-white assault on society's powermongers.
After seven seasons, the last regular episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show airs on CBS. The show, which had featured the antics in the newsroom of WJM-TV in Minneapolis, Minnesota, starred Mary Tyler Moore as Mary Richards, Ed Asner as Lou Grant, Ted Knight as Ted Baxter, Gavin MacLeod as Murray Slaughter, Betty White as Sue Ann Nivens, and Georgia Engel as Georgette.
The one-woman show "Lily Tomlin on Stage" opens on Broadway and is later released on LP.
In an antibrainwashing suit in California, parents of five "Moonies" (members of Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church) are granted custody of their grown children.

Rolling Stone reports the second increase in LP prices in just over a year, from $6.98 to $7.98, a hike inciting little consumer resistance. The first album reaching this new plateau is Queen's A Day at the Races, followed by Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, David Bowie's Low and Pink Floyd's Animals.

After a decade of being rock's "Beautiful Loser," Bob Seger gets his big break, at age thirty three: Night Moves, his tenth LP, goes platinum, aided by three Top Forty singles: "Night Moves," "Mainstreet" and "Rock & Roll Never Forgets."

Debut singles by Elvis Costello ("Less Than Zero") and, a day later Foreigner ("Feels Like the First Time"), are released in the U.K. and U.S. respectively.

Stiff Records -- a newly formed, London-based, small, independent company -- releases "Less Than Zero" backed by "Radio Sweetheart," the first single by a former computer programmer named Declan McManus, whom his manager, Jake Riviera, has renamed Elvis Costello. The single is produced by Nick Lowe and is recorded with a California band named Clover; its release announces the emergence of new wave rock's sharpest songwriter.

The Top Five
1. "Rich Girl" - Hall & Oates
2. "Love Theme from 'A Star Is Born' (Evergreen)" - Barbra Streisand
3. "Dancing Queen" - Abba
4. "Don't Give Up On Us" - David Soul
5. "Don't Leave Me This Way" - Thelma Houston

Singer, orange-juice spokeswoman and antigay crusader Anita Bryant publicly denounces White House efforts to discuss human rights with gay organizations.

Five hundred fifty perish in the world's worst air disaster to date as two 747s collide on a runway in the Canary Islands.

Actress Diana Hyland, the girlfriend of John Travolta who had encouraged him to pursue the iconic role of Tony Menero in Saturday Night Fever, dies of breast cancer at age 41 in Los Angeles. Travolta, the 23-year-old rising star and former Welcome Back, Kotter cast member, had halted his work in the movie to fly to her side at the hospital, and held her in his arms when she died. The two met during the filming of the 1976 TV movie The Boy in the Plastic Bubble. Travolta will later credit his complex character portrayal of the angry and vulnerable Tony Menero to the emotional turmoil he experienced during the filming of the movie.

Sweden's Abba, no strangers to the Top Ten, receive a gold record for their only U.S. Number One, "Dancing Queen," a song perfectly timed for the raging disco movement.

Oscar-winning films for 1976 include Rocky (Best Picture and two other awards), Network (four awards, including Best Actor for Peter Finch and Best Actress for Faye Dunaway) and All the President's Men (four awards).


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