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November 1977








Animal tranquilizer phencylclidine (PCP) is seen as a new major health hazard as its use as a recreational drug increases.
Having collapsed onstage twice before, Elton John announces that he is retiring from live performances during a concert at the Empire Pool in London, but the Rocket Man will resume touring in 15 months, starting on February 3, 1979, in Stockholm, Sweden.

In a landmark ruling on "battered wife sydrome," Francine Hughes is exonerated for reasons of insanity after setting fire to her abusive former husband as he slept.

The Last Waltz, Martin Scorsese's documentary about the Band's Thanksgiving 1976 farewell concert, premieres in New York City. The film features performances by such long-term Band associates as Bob Dylan and Ronnie Hawkins, as well as offstage vignettes of the group and scenes with the Staple Singers and Emmylou Harris filmed on an MGM soundstage in Hollywood.

Former CIA director Richard Helms is fined $2,000 and given a two-year suspended prison sentence for failing to fully disclose past U.S. covert activities in Latin America.

Ozzy Osbourne departs Black Sabbath, only to ask for his job back after a few weeks. Within 14 months, he will leave the band for good, pursuing a lucrative solo career in the 1980s.
Lindsay Wagner stars in her own ABC variety special, Another Side of Me. The special explores some of The Bionic Woman star's favorite fantasies, including a spoof of "the Perils of Pauline," an aquatic production in which she swims, and a musical number in which she sings with Paul Anka and her husband, Michael Brandon.
Proto-punkette Suzi Quatro appears on the TV show Happy Days playing Leather Tuscadero, the leader of a rock band called the Suedes.

Edward Koch is elected the second Jewish mayor of New York City (his predecessor, Abraham Beame, was the first), starting his three-term mayoralty through 1989. His mayoral campaign and terms in office will include hosting the first visit by Pope John Paul II to the city in October 1979, the 1980 Democratic National Convention, and controversies over his alleged homosexuality (he is a life-long bachelor). It will end over abrasive remarks and increases in crack use, homelessness, crime and racial incidents in the city, including the Bernard Goetz 1984 subway shooting case and an April 1989 "Central Park jogger" incident involving five then-juvenile defendants who will be convicted in 1990 and serve between 7-13 years before being exonorated in 2002 after Matias Reyes' confession to being the lone perpetrator. On April 2, 1986, he will sign into law the city's first homosexual rights bill, prohibiting discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations based on "sexual orientation." Koch, who along with the NYPD, initially opposed the formation of the Guardian Angels organization of youth crime-fighters, dies in 2013 at age 88.

Donna Summer is awarded a gold record for "I Feel Love," a haunting, erotic recording that turns on the electronic ticker-tape sounds of a sequencer. The song is her second Top Ten hit, and though not as successful as her first hit, "Love to Love You Baby," (which was a #2 pop and a #3 R&B in 1976, whereas "I Feel Love" will peak at #6 pop and #9 R&B within ten days). "I Feel Love" will nonetheless prove to be the more influential on future dance music. Its mesmerizing mechanical percussion and synthesizer- sequencer riffs foreshadow later "technopop" and "Euro-disco" hits by Gary Numan, Wazmo Nariz, Human League and countless others.

NBC airs a "very special" 2-hour post-series Police Story movie, Stigma, with former Adam-12 and Mannix stars Martin Milner and Mike Connors, respectively. Dealing with survivors guilt after a felon killed one of Connor's character's partners, the film also stars child starlet Kim Richards and former Gidget teen idol James Darren.

Hare Krishna founder A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, whose followers include George Harrison, dies in Vrindavan, India, at age 81.
The Canadian trio Rush receive three gold records, for 2112, All the World's a Stage and their most recent, A Farewell to Kings. The group, which started out as a Led Zeppelin-inspired power trio, opted for a more experimental, progressive direction on those LPs and found itself a sizable audience.
Natalie Cole caps off a big year as her single "Our Love" enters the soul chart, where in its twenty-four weeks on the chart it will hit Number One for two weeks starting January 21, 1979. Earlier this year, her "I've Got Love on My Mind" was Number One for five weeks starting February 26, and her "Party Lights" hit #9 in August.

K.C. and the Sunshine Band, the most successful of Miami's T.K. stable of disco-soul acts, enter the soul singles chart for the third and last time this year with "Wrap Your Arms around Me," which will peak at #24 in its thirteen weeks on the chart. Their other hits this year included the #3 "I'm Your Boogie Man" and "Keep It Comin' Love," Number One for one week starting September 24.

In a dramatic breakthrough after months of diplomatic efforts, Egyptian president Anwar Sadat becomes the first major Arab leader to visit Israel since its creation in 1948. He arrives to a 21-gun salute and later adddresses the Israeli Knesset. A week later, Sadat invites all Arab states, Israel, the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. to a peace conference in Cairo; all decline except Israel and the U.S. By the end of the year, a preliminary Middle East peace plan -- including mutual recognition and the creation of a Palestinian state -- is reached.

Houston hosts the first government- sponsored National Women's Conference, where over 20,000 delegates openly discuss such issues as reproductive freedom and sexual preference, and soundly endorse the passage of the ERA.

Star Wars surpasses Jaws as Hollywood's top-grossing movie to date.

Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton sets an NFL record against the Minnesota Vikings, rushing for 275 yards in one game.
Weddings and bar mitzvahs are never the same again after Debby Boone has a Number One hit with "You Light Up My Life." The song, from the Joe Brooks film of the same name, quickly becomes an easy-listening classic, something which no doubt makes papa Pat Boone quite proud. The record goes platinum on this date.
French "Euro-disco" unit Le Pamplemousse enter the soul singles chart with "Le Spank," a glossy, mechanized reworking of a classic James Brown riff, which will peak at #13 in its nineteen weeks on the chart.
Kansas, riding the crest of popularity forged by the 1976 hit "Carry On Wayward Son," enjoy their biggest album to date, Point of Know Return, which goes platinum. Earlier in the year, their Leftoverture turned gold.

With the advent of punk and so-called corporate rock, and a general lack of interest in the blues,
John Mayall's career is hardly thriving by 1977. But his 1970 album The Turning Point goes gold on this date.
One of pop music's most surreal pairings ever -- The Thin White Duke (David Bowie) meets Mr. White Christmas (Bing Crosby) -- as Crosby's posthumous special Merrie Olde Christmas airs on CBS. (Crosby died last month of a heart attack after playing 18 rounds at a golf course in Madrid.) Gamely trying to attract younger viewers, he'd met Bowie back in September while on tour in London. After some frantic rewriting by composers backstage, they sing duets on "Peace on Earth" and "The Little Drummer Boy." Mightily impressed, Bing will later say he considered Bowie "a clean-cut kid and a real fine asset to the show. He sings well, has a great voice, and reads lines well. He could be a good actor if he wanted." Their appearance will become a perennial chestnut played in heavy radio rotation at Christmastime, and a CD, DVD, and later YouTube favorite. Tonight's two-hour special also includes guests Twiggy, Oliver!, star Ron Moody, and the Trinity Boys Choir.

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