Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dateline: Spring 1972

I would turn 8 years old at the end of the year, and could already name among my favorite groups Bread, America, and Neil Young. All had #1 hits that year and all would wind up eventually in the genre of music that stands the test of time and is considered by most artists, as simply brilliant music making. Not so unusual, all three are still among my favorite groups/singers.

On Saturday I had the pleasure of listening to Kasey Kasem's original broadcast of America's Top 40, replayed every week by the local classic rock station. I remember listening to this very same broadcast the first time around, every Saturday afternoon when I was a kid. This week it was 1972, and that got me to thinking how long ago that really was, even though it doesn't really feel like it was that long ago. If you say it outloud "that was thirty seven years ago" it sounds like a long time ago, and might even make you feel old.

So, since I was thinking about life in 1972, I googled around to see how others remember that year. Here were some things going on in 1972 that you might remember as well:

• Official Beatles Fan Club closes down
• The first flight of the Goodyear blimp
• Wilt Chamberlain plays his last pro basketball game
• John & Yoko are served with deportation papers
• Kareem Abdul-Jabbar named NBA MVP
• Last American combat ground troops leave Vietnam
• Olga Korbut, USSR, wins Olympic gold medal in gymnastics
• Olympic swimmer Mark Spitz becomes the first person in history to win seven gold medals.
• The Olympic Games in Munich, Germany are marred by tragedy when PLO terrorists hold the Israeli delegation hostage; 11 Israelis are killed during the ordeal.
• First TV series about mixed marriage-Bridgit Loves Bernie
• "M*A*S*H," premiers on TV
• "Sanford & Son" starring Redd Foxx premieres on NBC TV
• Richard Nixon becomes first US President to visit China
• The Volkswagen 'Beetle' becomes the most successful production model, selling over 15 million vehicles
• NASA announces development of space shuttle
• Sound recordings are granted U.S. federal copyright protection for the first time.
• "Arthur Godfrey Time" ends a 27 year run on radio
• John Lennon says his phone is tapped by FBI on Dick Cavett Show
• "Grease" opens at Broadhurst Theater NYC for 3,388 performances
• Elvis Presley records a live album at NY's Madison Square Garden
• Looking Glass releases "Brandy"
• Hurricane Agnes is costliest natural disaster in American history
• Pres Nixon signs act barring sex discrimination in college sports
• 1st women FBI members sworn in (Susan Lynn Roley & Joanne E Pierce)
• Arthur Bremer jailed for 63 years for shooting Alabama Gov Wallace
• Moody Blues release "Nights in White Satin"
• Uganda president Idi Amin throws out all 80,000 Asians
• Rod Stewart's 1st #1 hit (You Wear it Well)
• "Waltons" TV program premieres
• Creedence Clearwater Revival breaks up
• Construction begins on Kingdome, Seattle
• Nolan Bushnell (co-founder of Atari) releases Pong (the first commercially successful video game) in Andy Capp’s Tavern in Sunnyvale, California.

Indeed it was a much different world in 1972. I saw it through the eyes of a child, and still remember it that way. While it certainly wasn't an innocent time in the world, it was an innocent time for me, being just 7 years old for most of that year. The music of that era still takes me back to simple, innocent, carefree times, because for me they were.

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