What’s the connection between England Dan, John Ford Coley, Jimmy Seals and Dash Crofts?  We’ll find out this weekend on the American Top 40 with Casey Kasem. It’s another Numan blog as I look at the events surrounding this week in 1976.

It was the final year of Elvis Presley’s life–he died on August 16, 1977 of coronary arrhythmia at age 42. Elvis had 36 charted hits in the ’70s, including “Burnin’ Love,” which was one of the biggest. One of Bruce Springsteen’s favorite stories is of jumping the wall at Graceland in 1976 while he was in Memphis on tour. The Boss and Stevie Van Zandt finished a show, and drove to the famous musical note gates at 3 a.m. Springsteen climbed over the wall and sprinted for the front door, a security guard met up with him and said, “He’s not home.”  Bruce says, “Look I’m not some crazed fan, I just made the cover of Time and Newsweek, please…?”  The guard looked at him, and said, “Let’s go.” And walked him back out to the sidewalk. He would not get another chance to meet Elvis.

I’ve read quite a few biographies on the King, and found them all fascinating. Elvis What Happened? by Steve Dunleavy, factual or not, was one of the most gripping. One of the sources for the book was Sonny West, Elvis’s bodyguard, whom I met once (I met Bruce too). You could sense just by listening to him, what amazing times he had being around Elvis 24/7. Sonny is 76 years old now… oh yeah, ’76!  Let’s get back to that…

It’s the Bicentennial Year, gas is 59¢ a gallon, you can build a new house for $40,000, the first $2 bill is ciculating, Apple is created and in music:

  • Dash Crofts (Seals & Crofts) and David Crosby (CSNY) celebrate birthdays this week in 1976.
  • Steve Miller releases “Rock ‘N Me” and Linda Ronstadt releases her remake of the Buddy Holly song “That’ll Be the Day.”  Poignant, right Elvis?
  • Marvin Gaye faces two consecutive five-day prison terms in the Los Angeles county jail for contempt of court after missing alimony and child support payments.
  • Peter Frampton in his Frampton Comes Alive tour plays Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh 8/14/76, we also find Kiss in Tempe, AZ; Doobie Bros in Johnson City, TN; Yes in Detroit; ELO in San Diego; Lynyrd Skynyrd in Toronto and Neil Diamond in Queens NY. But the show to see is Elton John.
  • Set list for Elton John at Madison Square Garden in New York City on 8/17/76:  Grow Some Funk of Your Own, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Island Girl, Rocket Man, Hercules, Bennie and the Jets, Funeral for a Friend, Love Lies Bleeding, Love Song, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me, Empty Sky, Someone Saved My Life Tonight, Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, I’ve Got the Music in Me, Philadelphia Freedom, We All Fall in Love Sometimes, Curtains, Tell Me When the Whistle Blows, Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting, Your Song and Pinball Wizard. What a show that must’ve been!

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