1976

Wayback Wednesday: Apple Computers 1976

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Apple Computer Image One
Designed by Ronald Wayne
Isaac Newton under an apple tree.
Image Credit: wikimedia.org & wikipedia.org

Forty-four years ago, today, the Apple Computer Company was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, though Wayne sold his share back within 12 days. Headquartered in Cupertino, California, it grew from the “two Steves” into a multinational company. Jobs and Wozniak met in 1971 via mutual friend Bill Fernandez. Their partnership began with autodidact Wozniak’s blue boxes build and Jobs salesmanship. Jobs split the blue box profits with Wozniak.

Wozniak designed a video terminal and, new microcomputers, such as the Altair 8800 and the IMSAI, inspired [him] to build a microprocessor into his video terminal and have a complete computer. [He] designed computers on paper, waiting for the day he could afford a CPU. When MOS Technology released its 6502 chip in 1976, Wozniak wrote a version of BASIC for it, then began to design a computer for it to run on. When Jobs saw Wozniak’s computer, which would later become known as the Apple I, he was immediately interested in its commercial potential.

Blue Box Image Two
Wozniak’s Blue Box
Computer History Museum
Photo Credit: wikipedia.org & wikimedia.org

Initially, Wozniak intended to share schematics of the machine for free but, Jobs insisted that they should, instead, build and sell bare printed circuit boards for the computer. Jobs eventually convinced Wozniak to go into business together and start a new company of their own. According to Wozniak, Jobs proposed the name “Apple Computer” when he had just come back from Robert Friedland’s All-One Farm in Oregon. Jobs told Walter Isaacson that he was “…on one of my fruitarian diets…” when he conceived of the name and thought “…it sounded fun, spirited and not intimidating…plus, it would get us ahead of Atari in the phone book.”

The information on Apple, Jobs & Wozniak is extensive. This post is a mere highlight of its beginnings. I won’t be reinventing the wheel, here. I will say, though, that the very first computer I ever programmed on in 1983, using BASIC, was an Apple II. ~Vic

TV Tuesday: Beggarman Thief 1979

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Beggarman, Thief Image
Image Credit: imdb.com

Forty years ago, today, Part I of the mini-series Beggarman, Thief aired on NBC. Based on the novel of the same name by Irwin Shaw, it was the sequel to the novel and mini-series Rich Man, Poor Man that aired from February through March 1976 on ABC. An additional sequel, Rich Man, Poor Man Book II aired from September 1976 to March 1977, also on ABC but, was not based on the actual sequel novel.

Directed by Lawrence Doheny, it starred (in credit order) Jean Simmons, Glenn Ford, Lynn Redgrave, Tovah Feldshuh and Andrew Stevens.

From IMDB:

This sequel to “Rich Man, Poor Man” is set in the ’60s and focuses on wannabe Hollywood filmmaker Gretchen, black-sheep Army officer Billy and, Billy’s cousin Wesley, who’s tracking his father’s killer in France.

From TCM:

The two-part, four-hour sequel to Irwin Shaw’s “Rich Man, Poor Man” and the vastly successful mini-series made from it (and the subsequent, less-successful short-lived series, “Rich Man, Poor Man Book II,” during the 1976-77 season). Moviemaker Gretchen Jordache, the sister not seen in either of the predecessors, strives to pull the family together after the murder of brother Tom (in the mini-series) and the disappearance of brother Rudy (in the later series), by first re-establishing contact with her soldier son and, then, patching things up with her sister-in-law, Kate, Tom’s widow.

Casey Kasem’s Network Promo Advertisement

Casey Kasem’s Intro to Part II

Throwback Thursday: HMHS Britannic 1916

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Britannic Image One
Photo Credit: wikipedia.org & wikimedia.org

One-hundred, three years ago, today, the HMHS Britannic, sister ship to the RMS Titanic, sank in the Aegean Sea. On its way to pick up more wounded soldiers near the Gulf of Athens, a loud explosion shook the ship at 8:12am.

In the wake of the Titanic disaster on April 14, 1912, the White Star Line made several modifications in the construction of its already-planned sister ship. First, the name was changed from Gigantic to Britannic and the design of the hull was altered to make it less vulnerable to icebergs. In addition, it was mandated that there be enough lifeboats on board to accommodate all passengers, which had not been the case with the Titanic.

The nearly 50,000-ton luxury vessel was launched in 1914 but, was requisitioned soon afterward by the British government to serve as a hospital ship during World War I. In this capacity, Captain Charlie Bartlett led the Britannic on five successful voyages bringing wounded British troops back to England from various ports around the world.

Britannic Image Two
Postcard of the Britannic showing her intended purpose. Image Credit: wikipedia.org & wikimedia.org & ibiblio.org

[Immediately after the explosion], Captain Bartlett ordered the closure of the watertight doors and sent out a distress signal. However, the blast had already managed to flood six whole compartments, even more extensive damage than that which had sunk the Titanic. Still, the Britannic had been prepared for such a disaster and would have stayed afloat except for two critical matters.

First, Captain Bartlett decided to try to run the Britannic aground on the nearby island of Kea. This might have been successful but, earlier, the ship’s nursing staff had opened the portholes to air out the sick wards. Water poured in through the portholes as the Britannic headed towards Kea. Second, the disaster was compounded when some of the crew attempted to launch lifeboats without orders. Since the ship was still moving as fast as it could, the boats were sucked into the propellers, killing those on board.

Less than 30 minutes later, Bartlett realized that the ship was going to sink and ordered it abandoned. The lifeboats were launched and even though the Britannic sank at 9:07, less than an hour after the explosion, nearly 1,100 people managed to make it off the ship. In fact, most of the 30 people who died were in the prematurely launched lifeboats.

In 1975, famed ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau found the Britannic lying on its side 400 feet below the surface of the Aegean.

[Source]

Britannic Image Three
Image Credit: wikipedia.org & wikimedia.org & titanicstation.blogspot.com

Violet Jessop (who was also one of the survivors of Britannic’s sister-ship Titanic and had even been on the third sister, Olympic, when it collided with HMS Hawke) described the last seconds:

“She dipped her head a little, then a little lower and still lower. All the deck machinery fell into the sea like a child’s toys. Then, she took a fearful plunge, her stern rearing hundreds of feet into the air until with a final roar, she disappeared into the depths, the noise of her going resounding through the water with undreamt-of violence…”

Britannic was the largest ship lost in the First World War.

[Source]

The cause, whether it was a torpedo from an enemy submarine or a mine, was not apparent. It would later be revealed that the mines were planted in the Kea Channel on October 12, 1916, by SM U-73 under the command of Gustav Sieß (German language link).

[Source]

Rescue
The Wreck
Legacy
Britannic TV Film 2000 (fictional account)
BBC2 Documentary 2016

From the TV Film

Tune Tuesday: The Bellamy Brothers 1979

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Bellamy Brothers Image One
Photo Credit: wolfgangs.com

Forty years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Hot Country chart was If I Said You Have A Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me by The Bellamy Brothers from Pasco County Florida. Written by David Bellamy, the song’s title is a reference to the Groucho Marx line from You Bet Your Life. Bellamy was fond of the show and Marx’s comment stuck with him.

Released in March, it was the second single from the album The Two and Only and their first #1 hit on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles chart, with Let Your Love Flow reaching #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in May of 1976. The title […] shown on the original single was “If I Said You Have a Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me” but, on the album and subsequent releases, the title is shown as “… Had …”.

Britney Spears Controversy

Nominations


 
Lyrics
If I said you have a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?
If I swore you were an angel, would you treat me like the devil tonight?
If I was dying of thirst, would your flowing love come quench me?
If I said you have a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?

Now we could talk all night about the weather
Could tell you about my friends out on the coast
I could ask a lot of crazy questions
Or ask you what I really wanna know

If I said you have a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?
If I swore you were an angel, would you treat me like the devil tonight?
If I was dying of thirst, would your flowing love come quench me?
If I said you have a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?

Now rain can fall so soft against the window
Sun can shine so bright up in the sky
But Daddy always told me, “Don’t make small talk”
He said, “Come on out and say what’s on your mind”

So if I said you have a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?
If I swore you were an angel, would you treat me like the devil tonight?
If I was dying of thirst, would your flowing love come quench me?
If I said you have a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?

If I said you have a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?
If I swore you were an angel, would you treat me like the devil tonight?
If I were dying of thirst, would your flowing love come quench me?
If I said you have a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?

Tune Tuesday: Blondie 1979

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Blondie Image One
Frank Infante, Chris Stein, Jimmy Destri, Debbie Harry, Clem Burke & Nigel Harrison
Photo Credit: recort.nl

Forty years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart was Heart of Glass by Blondie. Written by Harry and Stein in 1974-75, its working title was Once I Had A Love. The inspiration for its writing came from The Hues Corporation‘s song Rock the Boat.

From The Guardian:

Heart of Glass was one of the first songs Blondie wrote but, it was years before we recorded it properly. We’d tried it as a ballad, as reggae but, it never quite worked. At that point, it had no title. We just called it “the disco song”. Back then, it was very unusual for a guitar band to be using computerised sound. People got nervous and angry about us bringing different influences into rock. Although we’d covered Lady Marmalade and I Feel Love at gigs, lots of people were mad at us for “going disco” with Heart of Glass. There was the Disco Sucks! movement, and there had even been a riot in Chicago, with people burning disco records. Clem Burke, our drummer, refused to play the song live at first. When it became a hit, he said: “I guess I’ll have to.” The lyrics weren’t about anyone. They were just a plaintive moan about lost love. At first, the song kept saying: “Once I had a love, it was a gas. Soon turned out, it was a pain in the ass.” We couldn’t keep saying that, so we came up with: “Soon turned out, had a heart of glass.” We kept one “pain in the ass” in – and the BBC bleeped it out for radio. ~Debbie Harry

*************

As far as I was concerned, disco was part of R&B, which I’d always liked. The Ramones went on about us “going disco” but, it was tongue-in-cheek. They were our friends. In the video, there’s a shot of the legendary Studio 54, so everyone thought we shot the video there but, it was actually in a short-lived club called the Copa or something. I came up with the phrase “heart of glass” without knowing anything about Werner Herzog or his movie of the same name, which is a great, weird film. It’s nice people now use the song to identify the period in films and documentaries. I never had an inkling it would be such a big hit, or become the song we’d be most remembered for. It’s very gratifying. ~Chris Stein

Blondie Image Two
Photo Credit: nypost.com
An Oral History of Blondie

From CityBeat:

In season one, DJ Johnny Fever not only plays Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” on his broadcast but, home audiences actually hear him announce the band’s, and the song’s, names. It was fantastic promotion for the up-and-coming Blondie, whose huge breakthrough album, Parallel Lines (with other seminal singles like Hanging on the Telephone and One Way or Another), came out the same month WKRP in Cincinnati debuted. The band reportedly gave the show a Gold record plaque celebrating the album’s major sales numbers as a “Thank You” card. It can be seen in the background as set design on several episodes in later seasons.

From NPR:

Unlike many DJs from that era, Fever played punk as well as rock and soul. The range of music on the show gave this fictional radio station a better playlist than most of the era’s real ones. […] although the show helped break Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” big, the exception, in Fever’s case, was disco. “I asked him to play one disco record and he threatened to throw himself in front of Donna Summer‘s tour bus,” Travis complains in “Baby, If You’ve Ever Wondered,” from season two.

As of April 20, 2011, Heart of Glass is #259 of Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Awards & Nominations
Best Selling International Single (Juno 1980)
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (2006)
Grammy Hall of Fame (2016)

Lyrics:
[Verse 1]
Once I had a love and it was a gas
Soon turned out had a heart of glass
Seemed like the real thing, only to find
Mucho mistrust, love’s gone behind

Once I had a love and it was divine
Soon found out I was losing my mind
It seemed like the real thing but I was so blind
Mucho mistrust, love’s gone behind

[Chorus]
In between
What I find is pleasing and I’m feeling fine
Love is so confusing, there’s no peace of mind
If I fear I’m losing you, it’s just no good
You teasing like you do

[Verse 2]
Once I had a love and it was a gas
Soon turned out had a heart of glass
Seemed like the real thing, only to find
Mucho mistrust, love’s gone behind

[Chorus]
Lost inside
Adorable illusion and I cannot hide
I’m the one you’re using, please don’t push me aside
We could’ve made it cruising, yeah

[Bridge]
Yeah, riding high
On love’s true bluish light

[Verse 3]
Once I had a love and it was a gas
Soon turned out to be a pain in the ass
Seemed like the real thing only to find
Mucho mistrust, love’s gone behind

[Chorus]
In between
What I find is pleasing and I’m feeling fine
Love is so confusing, there’s no peace of mind
If I fear I’m losing you, it’s just no good
You teasing like you do

30-Day Song Challenge: Day 26

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Music Challenge Image
Photo Credit: goodreads.com

A song that makes you want to fall in love…

So many love songs. So little time.
“You’d think that people would have had enough of silly love songs…
I look around me and I see it isn’t so…
Some people want to fill the world with silly love songs…
And what’s wrong with that…
It isn’t silly, love isn’t silly, love isn’t silly at all…”

Gives me chills…every time. For a song that was created to be the theme to a prison film, it has to be one of the greatest love songs ever written.


 

Originally released in 1967, this was re-released in 1972 and it made it to #2 on the Billboard 100. I am posting the full orchestral version with the ‘late lament’ in tact (including gong) considering we are officially in winter. This is a masterpiece. More chills…


 

I was very fortunate to get to see these two, live, with my mom at Carowinds in 1976. I was ten when the song came out and I remember it playing on the radio, vividly. Even at that young of an age, the words of love and longing struck a chord with me (pun intended) that remains to this day.


 

Oh, Pat Benatar…her music is a large part of my teen years. Her first album was released three days before my 13th birthday. What a way to grow up. She and her hubby, Neil, have rocked us all.


 


 


 

30-Day Song Challenge: Day 16

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Music Challenge Image
Photo Credit: goodreads.com

A song that is a classic favorite…

I could be here all day with this but, these classics have staying power. I LOVE these three pieces.

I was very fortunate to see The Who in concert but, Keith Moon was long gone by then. I had just reached my 12th birthday when he passed.

“Don’t cry, don’t raise your eye, it’s only teenage wasteland…”

“Let’s get together before we get much older…”


 

I’ve never seen The Eagles live but, from some videos, particularly the early years, they pretty much stay true to their studio recordings instead of trying to re-write history on stage. I detest recorded live music or live video…unless I am there at the concert. I also detest musicians screwing up their own songs. If you recorded a song a certain way and I fall in love with it, I expect you to sing it to me the same way on stage. That is what I paid for.

This is an excellent live video though the ending is a little different. All this is missing is the guitarron mexicano. RIP Glenn Frey.

“Hopeless romantics, here we go again…”


 

This is one of those songs that you really need to listen to with headphones. The analog tracks they laid down back then…music swirled from ear to ear or, speaker to speaker on a stereo system. I haven’t heard a digitally created song sound like this.

“I’ve been this way ten years to the day…”

30-Day Song Challenge: Day 12

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Music Challenge Image
Photo Credit: goodreads.com

A song from your preteen years…

I’m going to take a leap of faith, here and assume this means the tween years, a term that wasn’t around in the 1970s. And, since it doesn’t say ‘childhood’, I will stay in the 10, 11 & 12 year range. I will select one song from each year.

List of Songs From 1976

It was tough choosing. There was a lot of good stuff but, this will have to be my favorite from that year. This video was created by Rob Chismar and he posted it on Facebook (with a public setting) about seven years ago…The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald:


 

List of Songs From 1977

More good stuff but, I picked this one:


 

List of Songs From 1978

This choice was by far the hardest. 1978 was a great year for music but, this one-hit-wonder is my choice: