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May 1 – The Alan Parsons Project release their debut studio album, Tales of Mystery and Imagination.
Paul McCartney and Wings start their Wings over America Tour in Fort Worth, Texas. This is the first time McCartney has performed in the US since The Beatles’ last concert in 1966 at Candlestick Park.
Paul Simon puts together a benefit show at Madison Square Garden to raise money for the New York Public Library. Phoebe Snow, Jimmy Cliff and the Brecker Brothers also perform. The concert brings in over $30,000 for the Library.
Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards is involved in a car accident northwest of London. Cocaine is found in his wrecked car. Richards is given a court date of January 12, 1977.
Rumor spread by German press: ABBA members killed in plane crash, only Anni-Frid survived.
May 25 – Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue tour ends.
June – Former Spring Canyon keyboardist Mark Cook joins Daniel Amos.
June 6 – Keith Richards and Anita Pallenberg suffer tragedy when their 10-week-old son Tara dies of respiratory failure.
June 10 – Alice Cooper collapses and is rushed to UCLA Hospital in Los Angeles, three weeks before the Goes To Hell tour would begin. The tour is cancelled.
June 18 – ABBA perform “Dancing Queen” for the first time on Swedish television in Stockholm on the eve of the wedding of King Carl XVI Gustaf to Silvia Sommerlath.
June 25 – Uriah Heep performs its last show with David Byron as lead singer in Bilbao, Spain. Byron is sacked shortly afterward.
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MUSIC NEWS MARCH – APRIL 1976
March 4 – ABBA arrive at Sydney airport for a promotional tour in Australia.
March 6 – EMI Records reissues all 22 previously released British Beatles singles, plus a new single of the classic “Yesterday”. All 23 singles hit the UK charts at the same time.
March 7 – A wax likeness of Elton John is put on display in London’s Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum.
March 9 – The Who’s Keith Moon collapses onstage ten minutes into a performance at the Boston Garden.
March 15 – Members of The Plastic People of the Universe are arrested in communist Czechoslovakia. They were sentenced from 8 to 18 months in jail.
March 20 – Alice Cooper marries Sheryl Goddard in an Acapulco restaurant.
March 25 – Jackson Browne’s wife Phyllis commits suicide.
March 26 – In Paris, France, Wings guitarist Jimmy McCulloch breaks one of his fingers when he slips in his hotel bathroom following the final performance on the band’s European tour. The injury ended up delaying the band’s United States tour by three weeks.
April 3 – British pop group Brotherhood of Man win the 21st Eurovision Song Contest in The Hague, Netherlands, with the song “Save Your Kisses For Me”. It goes on to be the biggest selling Eurovision winner ever.
April 14 – Stevie Wonder announces that he has signed a “$13 million-plus” contract with Motown Records.
April 23 – The Ramones release their eponymous debut studio album, Ramones.
April 24 – Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels makes a semi-serious on-air offer to pay the Beatles $3000 to reunite live on the show. In a 1980 interview, John Lennon stated that he and Paul McCartney happened to be watching the show together at Lennon’s apartment in New York and considered walking down to the SNL studio “for a gag” but were “too tired”. On May 22, Michaels raises his offer from $3,000 to $3,200.
April 28 – The Rolling Stones open their European tour in Frankfurt, Germany.
April 29 – When his tour stops in Memphis, Tennessee, Bruce Springsteen jumps the wall at Elvis Presley’s mansion, “Graceland”, in an attempt to see his idol. Security guards stop Springsteen and escort him off the grounds.
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MUSIC NEWS JANUARY – FEBRUARY
January 5 – Former Beatles road manager Mal Evans is shot dead by Los Angeles police after refusing to drop what police only later determine is an air rifle.
January 6 – Peter Frampton releases his live album Frampton Comes Alive!
January 7 – Kenneth Moss, a former record company executive, is sentenced to 120 days in the Los Angeles County Jail and four years probation for involuntary manslaughter in the 1974 drug-induced death of Average White Band drummer Robbie McIntosh.
January 13 – A trial begins for seven Brunswick Records and Dakar Records employees. The record company employees are charged with stealing more than $184,000 in royalties from artists.
January 19 – Concert promoter Bill Sargent makes an offer of $30 million to the Beatles if they will reunite for a concert.
February 15 – Bette Midler bails seven members of her entourage out of jail after they are arrested on charges of cocaine and marijuana possession.
February 19 – Former Tower of Power lead singer Rick Stevens is arrested and charged with the drug-related murders of three men in San Jose, California.
February 20 – Kiss have their footprints added to the sidewalk outside Hollywood’s Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.
February 24 – Released one week before, Eagles’ Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975) compilation becomes the first album certified platinum by the RIAA. The new platinum certification represents sales of at least 1 million copies for albums and 2 million copies for singles.
February 28 – The 18th Annual Grammy Awards are presented in Los Angeles, hosted by Andy Williams. Paul Simon’s Still Crazy After All These Years wins Album of the Year, Captain & Tennille’s “Love Will Keep Us Together” wins Record of the Year and Judy Collins’ version of “Send in the Clowns” wins Song of the Year. Natalie Cole wins Best New Artist.
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1pm – 6pm ET This is the first installment of our 1976 library A2Z .
12pm – 3pm ET This is the final installment of 1975.
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Watergate scandal (United States): John N. Mitchell, H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman are found guilty of the Watergate cover-up.
Malawi changes its capital city from Zomba to Lilongwe.
The Federal Rules of Evidence are approved by the United States Congress.
Bangladesh revolutionary leader Siraj Sikder is killed by police while in custody.
A bomb blast at Samastipur, Bihar, India, fatally wounds Lalit Narayan Mishra, Minister of Railways.
January 5 – Tasman Bridge disaster: The Tasman Bridge in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, is struck by the bulk ore carrier MV Lake Illawarra, killing 12 people.
January 6 – United States television debuts:
Game show Wheel of Fortune premieres on NBC.
AM America makes its television debut on ABC.
January 7 – OPEC agrees to raise crude oil prices by 10%.
Ella Grasso becomes Governor of Connecticut, the first female U.S. governor who does not succeed her husband.
U.S. President Gerald Ford appoints Vice President Nelson Rockefeller to head a special commission looking into alleged domestic abuses by the CIA.
January 10–February 9 – The flight of Soyuz 17 with the crew of Georgy Grechko and Aleksei Gubarev) aboard the Salyut 4 space station.
January 14 – Heiress Lesley Whittle, 17, is kidnapped from her home in Shropshire, England by Donald Neilson.
Alvor Agreement: Portugal announces that it will grant independence to Angola on November 11.
International Women’s Year is launched in Britain by Princess Alexandra and Barbara Castle.
Steel roller coaster Space Mountain (Magic Kingdom) opens at Walt Disney World in Florida, becoming one of the park’s most popular attractions into the 21st century.
January 18 – The United States Atomic Energy Commission is divided between the Energy Research and Development Administration and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, partly in response to the 1973 oil crisis.
January 19 – The 6.8 Ms Kinnaur earthquake affected Himachal Pradesh in India with a maximum Mercalli intensity of IX (Violent), killing 47.
In Hanoi, North Vietnam, the Politburo approves the final military offensive against South Vietnam.
American talent agent Michael Ovitz founds the Creative Artists Agency.
Work is abandoned on the British end of the Channel Tunnel.
January 24 – Jazz pianist Keith Jarrett plays the solo improvisation The Köln Concert at the Cologne Opera, which, recorded live, becomes the best-selling piano recording in history.
January 26 – Immaculata University defeats the University of Maryland 80–48 in the first nationally televised women’s basketball game in the United States.
January 29 – The Weather Underground radical student group bombs the United States Department of State main office in Washington, D.C.
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