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



In The News

Radio Hanoi reports that Chinese troops using armored vehicles and aircraft attacked Vietnam along the whole of the 400-mile Sino-Vietnamese border. Peking confirmed that a military operation was under way, but called the Chinese attacks as “counter attacks” by frontier troops “driven beyond forbearance” by Vietnamese harassment along the border

The Soviet Union pledges to honor its obligation under a 16-week friendship treaty with Vietnam and demands China to end its aggression and immediate withdrawal of the Chinese troops “from the territory of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.”

The Carter administration plans a firm hands-off policy in the Indochina crisis. The feeling is that the Chinese action would be limited and at present, there is no evidence of major troop movements along the Soviet border with China.

Two CIA analysts say they have discovered several dozen previously unknown pictures of Adolf Hitler’s Auschwitz concentration camp. All the pictures were originally taken from the air since the Nazis had forbidden ground photos of the death camp. Modern interpretation methods on World War II aerial reconnaissance were used. 

The last total eclipse of the sun in North America (this century) is seen in the Pacific Northwest this week. Complete darkness covered Portland, OR at 8:13am on Monday morning.

Con man Billie Sol Estes of Texas is indicted again - this time with masterminding an illegal business scheme while masquerading as a janitor and truck dispatcher in Abilene.

William Stern (43) - an American living in London files for bankruptcy - admitting he owes $208,780,496! He’s offered to pay his debts off at $12,000 a year. It’s a record for an individual. Stern lost most of the loot with the British property market’s collapse in 1974. He borrowed the millions on behalf of the 180 companies he once controlled. At that payback rate, it will take him over 17,000 years to make good. 


Fascinating Business news – February 15, 1979

Getty Oil reaches an agreement to purchase 85% of a new cable network that will broadcast NCAA and other sport events by satellite to cable outlets across the nation. Full-time programming is set to debut next fall for the new network - ESPN (Entertainment & Sports Programming Network). The network and the NCAA just completed an agreement in principle for the exclusive cable TV rights to transmit year-round series of NCAA championships and regular season events in 18 sports. Said a spokesman for Getty: “This will be the first time college sports programming will be available to the American viewing public on such an extensive basis, ESPN’s fulltime, all-sports programming is a unique concept and we feel the resources of the network, the association with Getty and the high skilled competitive sports programs provided by the NCAA member institutions and their student athletes will assure its success.”  The NCAA agreement is the first major sports content contract for the new network. 


Sports news – February 15, 1979

Phil Esposito (37) of the New York Rangers sets a league record by scoring three or more goals in a game for the 30th time. This time, it was a game against the Washington Capitals. Last year, he scored a total of 38 goals with the Rangers. He peaked in the ‘70-’71 season when he played for the Boston Bruins, scoring in 76 out of 78 games. “I won’t get 50 anymore because I don’t get the shot off fast enough anymore. I do think I’m worth the money I’m making.”  The Rangers are paying him $350 thousand a year. 


Best-selling books – February 15, 1979

“Overload” - Arthur Hailey, “War and Remembrance” - Herman Wouk, “Chesapeake” - James A. Michener, “The Sixth Commandment” - Lawrence Sanders, “Mommie Dearest” - Christina Crawford, “Lauren Bacall By Myself” - Lauren Bacall, “A Distant Mirror” - Barbara W. Tuchman, “Linda Goodman’s Love Signs” - Linda Goodman.


Top TV Shows – February 15, 1979                                       

Mork and Mindy, Three’s Company, Laverne & Shirley, Angie, Happy Days, Gone With The Wind, Three’s Company #2, Taxi, Roots: The Next Generations, 60 Minutes, Eight Is Enough, Backstairs at the White House, Starsky and Hutch, Diff’rent Strokes, Charlie’s Angles, Shampoo, Taxi#2, American Graffiti, The Grammy Awards, Barney Miller.                                       


Television news – February 15, 1979

Q&A seen in TV Guide – Will a video cassette recorder damage a TV set? A. No more than regular broadcasts will. But if you have a VCR, it’s likely what you’ll use your television set more. If you watch more, the set, theoretically, could wear out sooner.

Producer George Schlatter - best known for “Laugh-In” has a new show slated to air in April called “Real People.” He describes the program as “a collage of American humor” showing funny things that people do. The focus will be on ordinary people, not celebrities.

 “RCA SelectaVision 4-Hour Video Cassette Recorder - Record the program you’re watching, record one program while you watch another - even record while you’re asleep or away. Many advance features; Built-in clock/timer lets you pre-set recorder up to 24 hours in advance ... Automatic stop turns recorder off at time you choose ... Remote pause control with 20’ cord ... Optional Black & White or color video camera.”


Friday Night Television listings/programs/TV guide – February 15, 1979

CBS - The Incredible Hulk, Dukes Of Hazzard, Dallas ... NBC - Diff’rent Strokes, Hello Larry, Brothers and Sisters, Sweepstakes ... ABC - Makin’ It, What’s Happening, Roots: The Next Generations ... PBS - Washington Week In Review w/Paul Duke, Wall Street Week w/Louis Rukeyser, We Interrupt This Week, Monet, Masterpiece Theater.


Wonder Woman – Wonder Woman poses as an aspiring singer to thwart a million-dollar extortion scheme in the record industry. Guest stars Rick Springfield, Sarah Purcell, Kate Woodville, Bob Hoy. Linda sings “Want To Get Beside You” and “Toto” which she co-wrote. 

What’s Happening – Dwayne considers quitting school to pursue a full-time job hawking peanuts at sporting events. Stars Ernest Thomas, Fred Barry, Danielle Spencer, Haywood Nelson.

On Dallas – With Pam and Bobby separated, Sue Ellen’s vixen sister sets her sights on Bobby.

ABC Movie – “Shampoo” – Warren Beatty, Julie Christie, Goldie Hawn.

Dance Fever (In syndication) - judges this week - Wolfman Jack, Phyllis Diller and Ted Lange.  Deney Terrio hosts.

On The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson - Peter Ustinov, Steve Martin.


Music news  - February 15, 1979

It’s estimated the “disco” industry - made popular by “Saturday Night Fever” and a rash of disco hits on the radio (see our top-40) - is estimated to be over $10 billion dollars. Clubs are popping up everywhere. WKTU-FM in New York (92.3) went all-disco last year - shooting to the top of the ratings - beating out 10-year music leader WABC (77). The format is one of the hottest in radio, especially in larger markets. Club consultants and franchisers are cashing in.  Franchiser “2001 Clubs of America” in Bridgeville, PA says for $35,000 plus 6% of the gross, they’ll make you a disco club partner. A typical disco has about $50 thousand in sound gear.  The 500lb gorilla of discos is Studio 54 in Manhattan.

Grammy Awards - CBS-TV. Performers/Presenters include – Natalie Cole, Andy Gibb, Chuck Mangione, Steve Martin, Anne Murray Lou Rawls, Kenny Rogers, Boz Scaggs, Donna Summer, Eubie Blake and many more.

Some of the Grammy Winners this week at the 21st annual awards:

John Denver hosts the 21st Annual Gammy Awards – live from Los Angeles.  

Record of the year - “Just The Way You Are” - Billy Joel

Album of the year - “Saturday Night Fever’ - soundtrack

Song of the year - “Just The Way You Are’ - Billy Joel

Best new artist - A Taste Of Honey

Male Pop Vocal - Barry Manilow for “Copacabana”

Female Pop Vocal - Ann Murray for “You Needed Me”

Group pop vocal -  Bee Gees for “Saturday Night Fever”

Male country vocal - Willie Nelson for “Georgia On My Mind”

Female country vocal - Dolly Parton for “Here You Come Again”

Group country vocal - Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson for “Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys”

Male R & B Vocal - George Benson for “On Broadway”

Female R & B Vocal - Donna Summer for “Last Dance”

Group R & B Vocal - Earth, Wind & Fire for “All ‘n’ All”


Top Pop Hit Music Singles(top-40) USA – February 15, 1979

Do Ya Think I'm Sexy? -  Rod Stewart

Fire - The Pointer Sisters                                   

I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor                    

YMCA - The Village People

Too Much Heaven - The Bee Gees

A Little More Love - Olivia Newton-John

Le Freak - Chic

Got to Be Real - Cheryl Lynn

Heaven Knows - Donna Summer w/Brooklyn Dreams

Soul Man - The Blues Brothers
Shake Your Groove Thing - Peaches & Herb

Tragedy - The Bee Gees

Somewhere In the Night - Barry Manilow

Lotta Love - Nicolette Larson

Shake It - Ian Matthews

The Gambler - Kenny Rogers

What A Fool Believes - The Doobie Brothers

Sultans Of Swing - Dire Straits

September - Earth, Wind & Fire


Top Country Hit Music Singles – February 15, 1979

“Every Which Way But Loose” - Eddie Rabbit, “Why Have You Left The One You Left Me For” - Crystal Gayle


Top music albums – February 15, 1979                      

Blondes Have More Fun - Rod Stewart        

Briefcase Full of Blues - The Blues Brothers     

52nd Street - Billy Joel 

Spirits Having Flown - The Bee Gees 

Dire Straits - Dire Straits                                             

Cruisin' - The Village People                                  

Armed Forces - Elvis Costello                     

C'est Chic - Chic                                                        

Love Tracks - Gloria Gaynor  

Totally Hot - Olivia Newton-John       


Top movies – February 15, 1979

Every Which Way But Loose - Clint Eastwood

Superman - Christopher Reeve, Ned Beatty, Jackie Cooper, Glenn Ford, Trevor Howard, Margot Kidder, Valerie Perine, Maria Schell, Terence Stamp, Phyllis Thaxter

Up In Smoke - Cheech & Chong

The Brink’s Job - Peter Falk, Peter Boyle, Allen Goorwitz, Warren Oates, Gena Rowlands, Paul Sorvino

Heaven Can Wait - Warren Beatty, Julie Christie              

Walt Disney’s “North Ave Irregulars” - Edward Herrmann, Barbara Harris, Susan Clark, Karen Valentine, Michael Constantine, Cloris Leachman

Hardcore - George C. Scott, Peter Boyle

California Suite

Same Time Next Year - Alan Alda, Ellen Burstyn

 Moment By Moment - Lily Tomlin, John Travolta

In Praise Of Older Woman - Karen Black, Tom Berenger, Susan Strasberg

An Unmarried Woman - Jill Clayburgh, Alan Bates, Michael Murphy, Cliff Gorman

Agatha - Dustin Hoffman, Vanessa Redgrave, Timothy Dalton

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