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Dateline: Events/Headlines – Week Of January 15, 1979 In News, Pop Culture, Tech, Celebrity, Sports, Entertainment & Fascinating Facts


In The News

Sha Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, once the ruler of Iran, leaves the area and goes into virtual exile.

President Carter appeals publicly to the Ayatollah Khomaini, exiled leader of Iran’s religious opposition, to give the U.S.-supported compromise civilian government in Iran a chance to succeed.

In Beirut, a large bomb kills at least 11 including Yasser Arafat’s top security officer, the reputed mastermind of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre.

At least 17 are dead after an apartment fire in Hoboken, NJ. 21 were injured in a fire set by an arsonist.

Around 2 million people march through the streets of Tehran in another massive show of support for the Iranian revolution and rejection of the government that Shaw Mohammed Reza Pahlavi left behind.

It’s reported that the aerospace industry is recruiting more talent from overseas – more than ever before.

Former Atty. Gen. John Mitchell, who went to jail still protecting Richard M. Nixon, leaves a federal prison camp after serving 19 months for his role in the Watergate conspiracy.


Sports  news – January 15, 1979

Pittsburgh defeats Dallas in the Super Bowl 35-31 with two incredible quarterbacks – Terry Bradshaw and Roger Staubach.

John McEnroe (19) defeats veteran Arthur Ashe in the finals of the $400 thousand Grand Prix Masters And Martina Navratilova defeats Chris Evert in the finals of the $125 thousand women’s tennis tournament in Oakland, CA.


Best-selling books – January 15, 1979

War and Remembrance – Herman Wouk

Chesapeake – James A. Michener

Fools Die – Mario Puzo

The Coup – John Updike

The Stories of John Cheever – John Cheever

Second Generation – Howard Fast

Sillmarlllon – J.R.R. Toikien

Illusions – Richard Bach

Evergreen – Belva Plain

The Far Pavillions – MM. Kaye

Mommie Dearest – Christina Crawford

A Distant Mirror – Barbara W. Tuchman

American Caesar; Macarthur – William Manchester

If Life Is A Bowl of Cherries – What Am I Doing In The Pits? – Erma Bombeck

Fearles – Brian Froud/Alan Lee

Gnomes – Wil Huygen

In Search of History – Theodore H. White

The Complete Book of Running – James Fix


Entertainment/Celebrity/Movie news – January 15, 1979

 “Saturday Night Fever” is being edited for re-release to qualify for a PG rating. Paramount Pictures believes the absence of four-letter words and sexually explicit scenes will enable it to attract the under-17 crowd who needed an adult to accompany them prior to the new version.

Actor John Wayne is diagnosed with cancer in his lymph nodes. Doctors don’t know if it has spread.  

The movie “Black Sunday” will be televised after the Super bowl game. It depicts violence at a pro-football championship game


Television news – January 15, 1979

KIRO-TV in Seattle is phasing out the J.P Patches (the clown) show after being broadcast daily since 1958. Local kid hosts have all but disappeared and it looks like Patches will only be seen Saturday mornings.

It turns out that WCBS-TV’s “Dr. Bob Harris” – a popular weatherman is not a doctor after all.  He’s fired by the station this week.

ABC-TV announces plans to reduce voluntarily the amount of commercials in its Saturday and Sunday morning kids programming. Rather than lengthen its shows to fill in those additional minutes each hour, ABC says it will use the time to run that it described as “special messages on nutrition, health and public service announcements.”

Disco TV – Merv Griffin Productions launches “Dance Fever” – a half-hour weekly dance contest show. The idea came from a disco contest conducted on Merv’s TV talk show last year. The initial 16 episodes star Deney Terrio, who coached John Travolta for his “Saturday Night Fever” dance steps. Among the celebrity judges set are Dionne Warwick, Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr., Debby Boone, Ben Vereen, Connie Stevens, Paul Williams, Wolfman Jack and Sha Na Na’s Bowser.

Blondie (Debra Harry) hosts “The Midnight Special” this week.


Wednesday Night Television listings/programs/TV guide – January 15, 1979

CBS – CBS News With Walter Cronkite, The Incredible Hulk, One Day At A Time, Kaz, (late night) – repeats of the Rockford Files

NBC – NBC News with John Chancellor and David Brinkley, Movie, (Special) – The Amazing World of Psychic Phenomena

ABC – ABC News With Frank Reynolds, Eight Is Enough, Bradford Girls, Vegas



On The Incredible Hulk – Working on a wildcat oilrig, Banner finds himself in the middle of sabotage.

On Eight Is Enough – The girls move into their own apartment after Tom gets upset with them over house rule infractions.

One Day At A Time – Ann finds herself in the most serious romantic involvement since her divorce. Parts 1-2 of 3.


Radio news – January 15, 1979

WBLS-FM welcomes back music director/air personality Frankie Crocker at a Studio 54 bash. Frankie’s got his work cut out for him as rival WKTU-FM has surged to the top of the ratings. 

Speaking of New York, the folks at WABC might be a little humbled after their ratings tumble. But Program Director Glenn Morgan is holding his own and says, “One (ratings) book does not a legend make.” Will WABC come up with its own strategy to take back its top ratings?

Rick Sklar, ABC Programming vice president and former program director of WABC, now has questions about Arbitron ratings (he didn’t when the station was #1). Another ratings service, called Trac 7 – has WABC beating WKTU-FM 7.7-7.5. Incredible!

In its fifth year of syndication is “The Robert W. Morgan Special Of the Week.” From Watermark.

New syndicated radio show, “Wolfman Jack’s Disco Party.” Wolfman plays the hot disco hits.

WKTU-FM (Disco 92) now has a roving reporter do report on the area’s disco happenings. Look for Melanie Shorin on what’s hot… One of the most popular DJ’s on WKTU-FM is “Paco.” The Puerto Rican born vet began on Spanish-language radio then switched to WKTU-FM after it flipped from mellow rock to disco. “I have an accent and that makes me unique. The ladies like my voice. They call it sexy. I can’t help that. That’s just the way I talk.”  


Music news – January 15, 1979

Stevie Wonder, who hasn’t toured in 5 years, will go back on the road in support of “The Secret Life of Plants” – his new album.

Donny Hathaway (33), who once teamed with Roberta Flack on a hit single and album, falls to his death from a 15th-story window of a Manhattan hotel. Police say he apparently jumped from his room at the Essex House on Central Park South. His biggest hit was “Where Is The Love” with Ms. Flack.

More Stevie – He purchases KJLH-FM in Los Angeles for $2.5 million and assures the staff that there will be no immediate changes in personnel. KJLH- FM (102.3) programs soft r&b/jazz. 

Nicolette Larson leaves back-up singing for her first solo album. Titled “Nicolette” it is racing up the charts.

The numbers are in and it looks like RSO records is the record company of the year! Sales were buoyed by the soundtracks of “Saturday Night Fever” and “Grease.” Other RSO success stories during 1978 were albums from Eric Clapton, Andy Gibb, Yvonne Elliman and Player.

Bee Gee Bandwagon - RSO sends a cease and desist order to a number of radio stations who prematurely aired an unauthorized tape of the new Bee Gees album “Spirits Having Flown.” Some of the stations include KHJ/Los Angeles, WNBC/New York and WLS/Chicago.

A Detroit concert promotion company charges the Electric Light Orchestra with “faking” part or all of its August 12 shows at the Pontiac, Michigan Superdome. Brass Ring Production contends that the group played a tape recording while pantomiming to the music. A spokesman for ELO’s record label says “Anyone who knows anything knows that a lot of groups use tapes as part of their show.”

Disco update – It seems the disco dance industry is causing health concerns. Initial research into likely problems reveal that lasers, even in carefully controlled environments, can cause eye damage. Also, plastic surgeons are being called on to do an increasing amount of bridge work on the damaged noses of cocaine snorters. “Coke” is among the most commonly used drugs on the disco scene.

Other concerns are hearing loss and an increasing number of podiatrists have been expressing their concern over long-range damage to the feet of dancing woman, who insist on wearing platform shoes. 

Entertainment/Celebrity news - January 15, 1979

Playing in Las Vegas –

Aladdin - Bobby Gentry

Caesars Palace – Raquel Welch and David Brenner

Desert Inn – Wayne Newton

Frontier – Sergio Franchi

Hilton – Liberace

MGM Grand – Dean Martin

Riviera – Neil Sedaka

Sahara – Charo and Rip Taylor

Sands – Shecky Greene

Silverbird – Freddy Fender


Top Jazz albums – January 15, 1979

Touchdown – Bob James

Flame – Ronnie Laws

Children of Sanchez – Chuck Mangione

Reed Seed – Grover Washington Jr.

Mr. Gone Weather Report

All Fly Home – Al Jarreau

Secret Agent – Chuck Corea

Patrice – Patrice Rushen

Pat Metheny


Top music albums – January 15, 1979

Greatest Hits Vol. II – Barbara Streisand

52nd Street – Billy Joel

Brief Case Full Of Blues – Blues Brothers

A Wild and Crazy Guy – Steve Martin

C’est Chic – Chic

You Don’t Have To Bring Me Flowers – Neil Diamond

The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire

Backless – Eric Clapton

Grease – Soundtrack

Greatest Hits – Barry Manilow

Double Vision – Foreigner

Blondes Have More Fun – Rod Stewart

 Cruisin’ – Village People

Live Bootleg – Aerosmith

Jazz – Queen

Dog and Butterfly – Heart


Top Pop Hit Music Singles in Britain – January 15, 1979

YMCA – Village People

Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick – Ian Dury

Lay Your Love On Me – Racey

Song For A Guy – Elton John

Mary’s Boy Child – Bony M

A Taste Of Aggro – Barron Knights

Le Freak – Chic

September – Earth, Wind & Fire

Le Freak – Chic

Too Much Heaven – Bee Gees

 I Lost My Heart To A Starship Trooper – Sarah Brightman/Hit Gossip



Top Country Hit Music Singles – January 15, 1979

I Really Got The Feeling – Dolly Parton

Why Have You Left The One You Left Me For – Crystal Gayle

Your Love Had Taken Me That High – Conway Twitty

Every Which Way But Loose – Eddie Rabbitt

The Official Historian of Shirley-Jean Berrell – Statler Brothers

Come On In – Oak Ridge Boys

Back On My Mind Again – Ronnie Milsap

Lady Lay Down – John Conlee

I’ve Done Enough Dyin’ Today – Larry Gatlin


Top Soul Hit Singles – January 15, 1979

Aqua Boogie – Parliament

Get Down – Gene Chandler Got To Be Real – Cheryl Lynn

What You Won’t Do For Love – Bobby Caldwell

September – Earth, Wind & Fire

Le Freak – Chic

Long Stroke – ADC Band

I Don’t Know If It’s Right – Evelyn “Champagne” King

Free From My Freedom – Bonnie Pointer

Shake Your Groove Thing – Peaches & Herb

I’m So Into You – Peabo Bryson 


Top movies this week in 1979


California Suite

Every Which Way But Loose

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Lord of the Rings


Wilderness Family II

The Wiz

National Lampoon’s Animal House

King of the Gypsies

Moment by Moment


Oliver’s Story

Harper Valley PTA

Paradise Alley

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