(The series continues. Other posts here.)
August 15, 1976, is a Sunday. The death toll in the outbreak of what is now being called “legionnaire’s disease” reaches 25. The Republican National Convention opens this week; the campaign of former California governor Ronald Reagan is seeking a rule that would force Gerald Ford to name his running mate before the balloting begins. Reagan has already chosen Senator Richard Schweiker of Pennsylvania. In Washington, Ford attends church, gets a haircut, and spends a leisurely afternoon before departing for the convention in Kansas City. In Wenatchee, Washington, the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society dedicates its new building. Future Playboy centerfold and actress Priscilla Taylor is born. With six weeks to go in the major-league baseball season, there are no hot pennant races. The Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds lead their divisions in the National League by 11 1/2 and 12 1/2 games respectively; in the American League, the leaders are New York and Kansas City, by 9 1/2 and 7. The Green Bay Packers continue the NFL preseason at New England, beating the Patriots 16 to 14. In golf, Dave Stockton wins the PGA Championship.
On TV tonight, CBS airs The Sonny and Cher Show, Kojak, and the private-eye drama Cannon starring William Conrad. On NBC, it’s The Wonderful World of Disney and McMillan and Wife. ABC counters with The Six Million Dollar Man and the theatrical movie Paint Your Wagon. In addition, all three networks air primetime previews of the Republican convention. In Los Angeles, Jethro Tull plays the Coliseum, Boz Scaggs plays the Greek Theater, and Barry Manilow plays the Universal Amphitheater. In Minot, North Dakota, it’s the second night of the Rush All the World’s a Stage tour, with opening act Blue Oyster Cult. Eric Clapton plays Blackpool, England. KISS plays El Paso, Texas, and Elton John plays Madison Square Garden in New York. Lynryd Skynryd plays Chicago
with opening acts the Outlaws and Montrose (see below).
At WLS in Chicago, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” by Elton John and Kiki Dee makes a mighty leap from 11 to 1 on the station’s latest survey, knocking “Afternoon Delight” to #2. “Get Closer” by Seals and Crofts moves to #3. “I’m Easy” by Keith Carradine and “Crazy on You” by Heart round out the top five. Other strong movers on the survey include “You Should Be Dancing” by the Bee Gees, up to 17 from 27, and “Summer” by War, up to 21 from 31. “Play That Funky Music” by Wild Cherry makes the biggest move of the week, up 12 from 42 to 30. The Beatles compilation Rock and Roll Music holds the top spot on the WLS album chart for a fourth week. On a farm some 120 highway miles from Chicago, a family relaxes after its busiest week of the summer.
Perspective From the Present: We went to Chicago for a day and to the State Fair in Milwaukee for a day during the middle of August 1976, and we may have stayed overnight somewhere as a family in between. Picture us packed into the bright yellow 1973 Mercury Montego my brother and I christened “the banana boat,” three boys aged 16, 14, and 9 crammed into the back seat, and five to a motel room. That’s getting closer, although it was often closer than we boys liked it.