Sunday, December 8, 2019

December 8th

It's Diana Ross and the Supremes who have the new #1 Record as their swan song, "Someday We'll Be Together," climbs from #5 to #1 this week.  (Actually, The Jackson Five's ascent on the chart was slowed this week as "I Want You Back" only moves from #10 to #9.)  The only new Top Ten entry is Crow's "Evil Woman, Don't Play Your Games With Me."

The Band makes an impressive move this week as "Up On Cripple Creek" climbs from #28 to #14 ... and a brand new band out of Holland, The Shocking Blue, seem to have a hit with "Venus," as it moves from #40 to #30 this week.

There's a new New Colony Six single on the charts this week ... my LEAST favorite record ever released by the band ... "Barbara, I Love You" debuts at #33.  But I DO love the long-forgotten Tommy James and the Shondells premiering at #36 ... "She" has always been one of my favorites by him ... but you never get to hear it.  (It would end up peaking at #23 on the WLS chart, matching its peak in Billboard.  It did slightly better in Record World where it reached #18.)


December 2nd – The Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet makes its first passenger flight.  Carrying 191people (mostly reporters and photographers), it flies from Seattle to New York City

Also on this date, Cindy Birdsong of The Supremes was kidnapped at knifepoint by a maintenance man who worked in the building where she lived.  She was able to escape by jumping out of his car on the San Diego Freeway.  (The kidnapper was caught and arrested in Las Vegas four days later.)

December 4th – Glen Campbell and Janis Joplin appear on This Is Tom Jones

Also on this date, Black Panther Party members Fred Hampton and Mark Clark are shot to death in their sleep during a raid by Chicago police officers

Also on this date, George Harrison sits in with Delaney and Bonnie for two shows in Sheffield.  He will do three more shows with the married duo in Copenhagen on December 10th, 11th and 12th.  (For The Beatle most adamant against touring, this really comes as quite a surprise!)

December 5th – The Rolling Stones’ album “Let It Bleed” is released

December 6th – At a concert taking place at The Altamont Raceway (about 40 miles southeast of San Francisco), featuring The Rolling Stones, Santana, Jefferson Airplane, Crosby, Stills and Nash and The Flying Burrito Brothers, an eighteen year old man named Meredith Hunter died of knife wounds he sustained after being stabbed by a member of The Hell’s Angels.  (Incredibly, The Hell’s Angels had been hired to provide security for the event.  They were paid for their services with $500 worth of beer … perhaps an omen of a bad idea just waiting to happen.)  Hunter, who was seated in the front row, reportedly pulled a gun before he was attacked.  With over 300,000 in attendance, the entire event was captured on film by a crew there to film and record the concert.  When the dust finally settled, a total of four people were dead and a reported 780 were treated for bad acid trips.
The concert got off to a bad start right from the beginning.  Santana opened the show and had to stop their set twice while Angels battled with fans in front of the stage.  During the next act’s set, Marty Balin of The Jefferson Airplane was knocked unconscious when he tried to break up a fight in the audience.  The Grateful Dead, who helped to organize the event and were responsible for the hiring of Hell’s Angel for security, ultimately refused to take the stage due to the violence going on in the crowd.  Many have signaled this event as the official end of the ‘60’s … hardly the peace and love movement we all so fondly choose to remember it by.  Between the war raging in Viet Nam … the race riots and political riots that ran across our United States … the war protests and senseless killings such as the whole Manson affair, not to mention the assassinations of political heroes like JFK, his brother Bobby Kennedy and The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. … and rampant drug use … it is hard to glamourize the decade in hindsight.  It was a picture of America in turmoil … and the youth promising to lead us all to a better place failed miserably.  (kk)

December 7th – Clearly one of Ed Sullivan’s favorite guests, The Fifth Dimension, are back on his program tonight to sing “Wedding Bell Blues” and a medley of “People Got To Be Free” and a musical version of The Declaration of Independence.  (They also sing “Happy Birthday” to Rudolph Friml, the oldest member of ASCAP.)  Also on hand … Ferrante and Teicher performing their now hit single “Midnight Cowboy” from the film of the same name.