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Dateline: Events/Headlines – Week Of March 23, 1972 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Sports, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts




In The News

In Congers, NY - a Penn Central freight train rams a school bus loaded with children. Three high school students are killed and 47 others are injured. Penn Central said the road was a private crossing with no warning gates, lights or bells. A preliminary investigation by the railroad says that “despite proper warnings from the train and without respect for a stop and other traffic signs at the crossing,” the driver had failed to stop. Congers is located 25 miles Northwest of New York City in Rockland County.  

In Illinois’ nonbinding preferential primary - Maine Senator Edmund Muskie gets 63% of the vote defeating former Senator Joseph McCarthy of Minnesota at 37%. 

AFL-CIO President George Meany along with two other leaders walks off the federal Pay Board, charging that it had been turned into a tool of the Nixon Administration and “the interests of big business.” President Nixon let it be known that he would not let the labor walkout “sabotage” his anti-inflation program.

The highest one-month rise in food prices in 14 years; .5%, boosts the nation’s cost of living to 6% on an annual basis. Analysts are blaming it on bad weather, an expected corn blight that never occurred and politics.

Nixon Family Assistance Plan - About 15,000 marchers parade near the White House in a demonstration aimed at congressional defeat of an Administration bill that would help America’s poorest children. Many in the march were children.

Prime Minister Mujibur Rahman announces a sweeping nationalization to give his government control over Bangladesh’s major industries. In a nationwide broadcast on the first anniversary of the beginning of a civil war that led the country’s birth, the sheik said all jute, textile and sugar mills, domestic banks and domestic insurance companies are being nationalized.

Chairman Russel Long (D-LA) predicts this week that the Senate Finance Committee would approve a social Security tax increase of 33% for all employees earning $12,000 or more.

Angela Davis update – An all-white jury acquits the two surviving Soledad Brothers – the black convicts charged with murdering a white prison guard. The two – John Clutchette and Fleeta Drumgo,  plus George Jackson – the third Soledad Brother who died in San Quentin – violence last August 21. And those were the prisoners Ms Davis was charged in plotting to free. Ms. Davis is charged with providing the weapons for an August 7, 1970 Martin County courtroom break-attempt in which a judge and three abductors died. The Prosecution contends the purpose was to ransom freedom for the three Soledad Brothers.   She’s on trial on charges of murder, kidnapping and conspiracy.

The House approves a $24,8 billion water pollution control bill aimed at clearing up the nation’s waterways. The bill calls for $18.3 billion to be spent from fiscal 1973 to 1975 for the new federal share of constructing sewage treatment works and for the first time, sewage collection systems.


Radio news – March 23, 1972

Earle Dowd – best known for his “First Family” comedy album is now doing evenings over WOR-AM in New York. The show is comedy and the ratings are way up on the station, particularly in the 9pm hour.

Speaking of WOR, they have the highest quarter hour numbers in the country. Arbitron says the station scores with 532,000 listening per quarter hour in the morning – 57% more than WINS and 101% more than WABC.

The move to change WGMS-AM in Washington backfires before the station was to switch to top-40. RKO will keep the station classical after the FCC grants a waiver to keep WGMS AM/FM a simulcast.

Passing – Gabriel Heatter (81) – known for his “good news” radio broadcasts of the 1940’s into the 1950’s.


Entertainment/Celebrity news – March 23, 1972

Daredevil Evel Knievel is injured after losing control of his motorcycle in jumping over 13 cars at a motorcycle show at Michigan State fairgrounds. He suffered a broken collarbone after being dragged 80 feet by the bike, which skidded into a wall.

Pat Collins, the hip-hypnotist, opens her own nightclub.  “Celebrity Club” is located on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood.

Opening his first motion picture theater in Europe this week, Comedian Jerry Lewis hopes to be the largest theater owner in the world. “At the minimum, I hope to have 3, --- theaters within five years, which would make the biggest chain in the world.”


Television news – March 23, 1972

 ABC-TV Vice President Barry Diller signs Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton to not one, but two TV movies. They are “Divorce: His” and “Divorce: Hers.” Richard stars in the first, Liz the second.

WHDH-TV (Channel 5) in Boston is ordered off the air after a long license battle with the FCC. After another appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to delay the inevitable license transfer and so, WHDH, owned by the Herald Traveler Corp was ordered to give up the channel to WCVB-TV, operated by Boston Broadcasters Inc. The transfer jeopardizes the Herald Traveler newspaper - which has been operating at a loss. The paper relied on the television station to keep it afloat. WHDH-TV is said to be valued at $50 million.

Carl B. Stokes - former mayor of Cleveland, OH - signs to anchor one of the newscasts at WNBC-TV (Channel 4) in New York City. The station’s other evening newscasts are anchored by Jim Hart. Stokes, the first black mayor of a major American city, had his own weekly half-hour show while he was in office. 

RCA announces plans to produce and market a color cartridge videotape machine which will allow viewers to record and playback broadcast programs. The device will use a tape cartridge - about the size of a book and will contain enough tape to view an hour’s worth of programming. RCA says it should be on the market by late 1973 and will retail at a price “significantly below that of any other video recorder-player to date.”

ABC-TV will introduce a new half-hour animated comedy-musical series called “The Osmonds” on Saturday mornings beginning in September. Rankin-Bass Productions will produce. All six Osmond brothers, who range from eight to 23 years of age, will voice the series.

The Phil Donahue Show is now seen on 40 stations across the country. Phil does the show from WLWD-TV in Dayton Ohio.


Sunday night television listings/programs/TV guide - March 23, 1972

CBS - Movie, Cade’s County

NBC - Wonderful World Of Disney, Jimmy Stuart Show, Bonanza, The Bold Ones

ABC - The FBI, ABC Sunday Night Movie

PBS - French Chef w/ Julia Child, Masterpiece Theater, Science and Man


The Bold Ones - A troubled singer and a belligerent boy discover a desperate need for each other when their lives touch as patients of Craig Institute. Series stars E.G Marshall, David Hartman, John Saxon. 


Music news – March 23, 1972

David Cassidy performs his first solo concert at Madison’s Square Garden. The 20,000-seat arena was sold out. Scalpers were getting $150 a seat with plenty of takers.

Singer O.C. Smith - best known for the hit “Little Green Apples” in 1968 is arrested in St Louis after police found cocaine and marijuana in a car which he was a passenger. Smith was appearing at the St Louis Playboy Club.

Terry Knight - manager of the rock group “Grand Funk Railroad” sues the man who replaced him in the group for $35 million - New York attorney John L. Eastman. Eastman is the father-in-law of Beatle Paul McCartney. The papers say Knight is suing “for deliberate, wrongful and malicious interference with the contractural relationships which exist between Grand Funk Railroad and myself.” The former disc jockey also says he has initiated arbitration proceedings, seeking to enjoin all three members of the group from “further breach of contract.” The three are Mark Farner, Don Brewer and Mel Schacher. Knight said that he first learned Eastman was attempting to coerce the group away from him last week, when a bank official told him that Eastman had tried to change the signatures of those who could withdraw funds from the “Grand Funk Railroad Enterprises” LTD account. Before “discovering’ the group in his native Flint, Michigan, Terry Knight was a popular disc jockey on Top-40 WTAC (1150) and had several minor hits with his “Terry Knight & The Pack.” Their largest hit record was “I Who Have Nothing” in 1966. Currently, Grand Funk Railroad is one of the largest concert and album groups around. Knight describes John Eastman as the guy who split the Beatles “and who successfully managed to place the financial empire known as Beatles & Co. into financial receivership.”

A new single from a new artist – “Tomorrow is Today” back with “Everybody Loves You Now” is released by Family Productions records this week. The artist is Billy Joel.

Motown Records will begin producing records in New York via producer Jerry Ross. Ross previously had two labels: Colossus and Heritage and both were involved in the short-lived “Dutch Invasion” which included “The Shocking Blue,” “Tee Set” and “George Baker Selection.”

Buddy Holly Lives – In Don McLean’s current hit “American Pie,” the song refers to Holly’s death as the “day the music died.” “Every Day” can be heard on John Denver’s “Aerie” album and as if that weren’t enough – The Grateful Dead feature the Buddy Holly song “Not Fade Away’ on their latest album.

Coretta King, widow of the Rev Martin Luther King Jr. will release a three-LP Spoken word record based on her book, “My Life With martin Luther King Jr.”

A Richard Harris concert tour will include the actor’s singing, poetry and fiction readings plus clips from his movies.

Savoy Brown begins a U.S. tour next week and the Moody Blues are scheduled for a U.S. tour soon.

Dean Martin wants to cut back to one show a night at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas. He’s in a dispute and currently is not performing at the hotel. 

The Beach Boys add two South African non-whites. They are Blondie Chaplan, bass and guitarist and Ricky Fataar, drummer.

Jukebox operators are coming across a problem – bad/defective 45rpm records and it can hurt business. Some are too thin and warp. Some defects include off-center holes, bad starting grooves and sometimes, the wrong label is on the record.

Bobby Goldsboro signs another long-term contract with United Artists He has been with the label since 1963. His latest single is “California Wine.” 


Top pop hit music singles(top-40)USA – March 23, 1972


 “Horse With No Name” - America, “Mother and Child Reunion” - Paul Simon, “Without You” - Nilsson, “Heart of Gold” Neil Young” - “Puppy Love” - Donny Osmond, “Lion Sleeps Tonight” - Robert John, “Way Of Love” - Cher, “I Gotcha” - Joe  Tex, “Everything I Own” - Bread, “Jungle Fever” - Chakachas, “Bang A Gong” - T-Rex, “Don’t Say You Don’t Remember” - Beverly Bremmers, “Suavectio” - Malo, “Joy” - Apollo 100, “Taurus” - Dennis Coffey & the Detroit Guitar Band,  “Betcha By Golly, Wow” - The Stylistics, “Precious and Few” - Climax   


Top Music Albums – March 23, 1972

“Harvest” - Neil Young, “American Pie” - Don McLean, “Fragile” - Yes, “Paul Simon” - Paul Simon, “America” - America, “Baby I’m-A-Want You” - Bread, “Concert For Bangladesh” - George Harrison and friends, “Hot Rocks” - The Rolling Stones, “Nilsson Schmilsson” - Nilsson


Top pop hit music singles in Britain – March 23, 1972

Son of My Father – Chicory

Without You – Nilsson

American Pie – Don McLean

Blue Is The Colour – Chelsea

Got To Be There – Michael Jackson

Mother and Child Reunion – Paul Simon

Look Wot You Dun – Slade

Bet, Steal Or Borrow – New Seekers

Alone Again (Naturally) – Gilbert O’ Sullivan

Meet Me On The Corner - Lindisfarne 


Top Country Hit Music Singles – March 23, 1972

My Hang-Up Is You – Freddie Hart

A Thing Called Love – Johnny Cash and the Temple Evangel Choir

Only Love Can Break A Heart – Sonny James

Good Hearted Woman – Waylon Jennings

Cry – Lynn Anderson

When You Say Love – Bob Luman

The Best Part of Living – Marty Robbins

All His Children – Charley Pride

I’ll Still Be waiting For You – Buck Owens & His Buckaroos


Top Soul Hit Music Singles – March 23, 1972

I Gotcha – Joe Tex

In The Rain – Dramatics

Now Run & Tell That – Denis Lasalle

Talking Loud And Saying Nothing Part 1 – James Brown

That’s The Way I Fell About ‘Cha – Bobby Womack

Floy Joy – Supremes

I Had It All The Time – Tyrone Davis

The Day I Found Myself – Honey cone

Do Your Thing – Isaac Hayes

I Had It All The Time – Tyrone Davis


Top movies – March 23, 1972

The Godfather - Al Pacino, James Caan, Richard Castellano, Robert Duvall, Sterling Hayden, John Marley, Richard Conte, Diane Keaton

Walt Disney’s “The Biscuit Eater” - Earl Holliman, Patricia Crowley, Lew Ayres, Godfey Cambridge

Play Misty For Me - Clint Eastwood, Jessica Walter, Donna Mills, John Larch

The French Connection

The Hot Rock - Robert Redford, George Segal

Sometimes A Great Notion - Paul Newman, Henry Fonda, Lee Remick, Michael Sarrazin.

Slaughterhouse Five - Michael Sacks, Ron Leibman, Valerie Perrine

Dirty Harry - Clint Eastwood, Harry Guardino, Reni Santoni, Andy Robinson, John Larch

The Concert For Bangladesh - Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Billy Preston, Leon Russell, Ravi Shankar, Ringo Star, Klaus Voorman, Badfinger.

What’s Up Doc? - Barbra Streisand, Ryan O’Neil

The Cowboys - John Wayne, Roscoe Lee Browne, Bruce Dern, Colleen Dewhurst

I Want What I Want - Anne Heywood, Harry Andrews, Jill Bennett

Tales From The Crypt - Joan Collins, Peter Cushing, Roy Dotrice, Richard Greene, Ian Hendry, Patrick Magee, Barbara Murray

The Boyfriend - Twiggy, Christopher Gable

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