Singer, Actor, Athlete, Activist Paul Robeson Dies

The singer, actor, athlete and activist Paul Robeson dies at the age of 79 on January 23, 1976. Robeson’s physical strength, size and grace made him one of the elite sports figures of his generation, but his stature in other fields—music, theater, politics, human rights— eventually overshadowed his athletic greatness. On stage and screen, his […]

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“Convoy,” By C.W. McCall,Is The #1 Song On The U.S. Pop Charts

It was a song that celebrated the exploits of a rebellious trucker with a reckless disregard for human life and highway safety codes. It gave the gravelly-voiced C.W. McCall his biggest pop hit on this day in 1976, except that technically, “C.W. McCall” was a figment of the imagination. The genius behind “Convoy” was, in […]

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Van McCoy’s “The Hustle” Is The #1 Song In America

For as popular as it was during much of the first half of the 20th century, couples dancing seemed poised to go by the wayside of American popular culture by the early 1970s. That is, until the arrival of a dance called the Hustle along with a #1 song by the same name. On this […]

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Cher Marries Greg Allman

On June 30, 1975, less than one week after her divorce from Sonny Bono became final, Cher—America’s most famous newly single woman—tied the knot with rock star Gregg Allman, only to file for divorce from him just nine days later. Those who found Cher’s rather speedy return to the altar alarming might have felt differently […]

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Sonny And Cher’s Divorce Becomes Final

With a string of pop hits in the mid-1960s that began with the career-defining “I Got You Babe” (1965), Sonny and Cher Bono established themselves as the most prominent and appealing married couple in the world of popular music. Hipper than Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé, and far more fun than John and Yoko, Sonny […]

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Linda Ronstadt Has Her First #1 Hit On The Country-Music Charts

By the end of the 1970s, the decade of her greatest commercial success, Linda Ronstadt was being hailed with honors like “the First Lady of Rock” and “Top Female Pop Singer of the Decade.” But neither of those titles captured the true breadth of her musical pursuits or of her popularity. As synonymous as she […]

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The Captain And Tennille Bring Wedded Bliss To The Pop Charts With Their First Hit Record

The Captain And With divorce rates skyrocketing and the sexual revolution in full bloom, it seemed like dark days ahead for the American marriage in the mid-1970s. Even Sonny and Cher—America’s favorite husband and wife—were coming apart at the seams on national television, making an institution as old as society itself look very vulnerable indeed. […]

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“Mandy”Is Barry Manilow’s First #1 Pop Hit

Barry Manilow’s scores his first #1 single with “Mandy” on January 18, 1975. He would go on to sell more than 75 millions records over the course of his career. At the height of Barry Manilow’s popularity, none other than Frank Sinatra himself said of Manilow, “He’s next.” Yet even in his heyday, the more […]

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Two Thousand Led Zeppelin Fans Trash The Boston Garden

On January 6, 1975, a crowd of 2,000-plus lines up outside Boston Garden to buy tickets to the rock band Led Zeppelin. Some in the crowd then broke in to the near-empty arena, and caused thousands of dollars in damage. “For years and years, we had people line up overnight to wait for tickets,” recalls […]

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Duke Ellington Dies

The highest compliment Edward Kennedy Ellington knew how to pay to a fellow musician was to refer to him as being “beyond category.” If any label could possibly capture the essence of Ellington himself, it would be that one. In a career spanning five decades, the man they called “Duke” put an indelible stamp on […]

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