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70’s Flashback Open Thread

Before there was MTV or VH1 if you wanted to see music on television there were variety shows like Sonny & Cher and late night music on weekends like Midnight Special. (I wasn’t supposed to stay up that late but what my mom didn’t know didn’t hurt her)

Most televisons had cheap “mono” speakers so the sound quality was bad but we didn’t know it because most of our other audio equipment was crappy too.

What were you doing back then? (If you can remember)

89 Responses

  1. I still remember turning up the volume on the AM radio in my mom’s Impala to 11

  2. 8-tracks….Boz Scaggs and Elton John.

  3. Boston…Foghat…Aerosmith…Bad Company…Cheech and Chong (claaaaaaassssss…) Steve Miller Band

    1970 souped up Duster with a 426 Hemi and Cherry Bomb dual exhaust.

    Rabbit fur coats (shame on me) and the White Album.

    ahhh….the 70s

  4. Back then? August of 1972? It was the year I graduated from high school and I played around most of the summer (I spent 6 weeks in Mill Valley, CA & a week at the Democratic Convention in Miami) but took a full time job at King’s Food Host in August and lasted two full weeks.

    That 2 weeks convinced me that I wasn’t waitress material. And I quit to enroll in the local Junior College. It’s been a wild ride ever since.

    I always thought Midnight Special was a pretty bad — even with our low-ish expectations. What we usually did was turn off the sound and put on our own music.

  5. It was a weird summer for music. There was a song about a guy who wanted to kill himself (In a little while from now) and something about a barmaid (Brandy) — I don’t know how anyone danced to them.

  6. I was the biggest Jim Croce fan and cried for weeks after he died. He and his wife used to sing in bars and coffee shops here in PA while he drove truck to make money. He was just breaking through…what a loss.

    Most beautiful JIm Croce song: Lover’s Cross

  7. This is interesting, “In a digital age, vinyl albums return

    But as mass marketing of LPs faded, some listeners began rediscovering vinyl. It’s not just older fans who grew up with the decades-old format who attest to its tangible pleasures — the arresting artwork, the labor of love that goes into flipping LP sides and the fact that many audiophiles say vinyl sounds better. Younger listeners raised on torrent files can see LPs as a kind of talisman too.

    “I’ve always marveled at every new generation of 15-year-old boys who go to the Doors vinyl section and say, ‘Wow, an original Doors LP!’ ” said Marc Weinstein, founder of Amoeba Music, the three-store chain whose Hollywood branch is among the largest independent retail record stores in the U.S. “Major labels should have capitalized on this years ago.”

    Slowly they are, by pressing a growing list of vinyl catalog reissues and new albums by marquee artists such as U2. Nielsen SoundScan reported 1.88 million sales of new LPs last year, an 89% increase over 2007. And that figure is almost certainly conservative, as many independent retailers do not report their sales to SoundScan; the service says that more than two-thirds of vinyl albums are sold at indie operations.

    How fun, I love my “real” albums!

  8. Music back then was different – so hard to quantify or label

    We had folk music (Peter, Paul and Mary) side by side with heavy metal (Led Zeppelin)

    • I never liked Peter, Paul and Mary. They always seemed insincere to me. And the Peter, Paul and Mary fans “hated” the Beatles which just wasn’t acceptable at all.

    • I would have listened to Led Zeppelin more often but, I was afraid I’d accidentally do LSD.

    • Janis Jefferson Airplane, et al!

      ps! fab news on the CA dem front you guys have to see this!


      The doors, Croce Time in a Bottle!
      I cried!

      hugs PUMAS,,,,Santana! I could go on…

      ps: dem convention in Sacramento being live blogged by friends journos fromthe SF Chron…..in it’s heyday


      James Taylor American Bandstand Laugh-in


      The Monkees! –all before the 80’s and punk/avant garde


      change is a coming out here!

      • ah, Jefferson.

        i have a friend whose “OH, YEAH!” can be heard loud and clear on one of the live albums…can’t remember which at the moment. he’s REALLY proud of that. 🙂

    • Zeppilin was, and remains, one of my favs. Deep Purple was a serious contender at the time, tho.

  9. Except maybe “Leaving on a Jet Plane” — that made me cry.

  10. I have some records but nothing to play them on

    • We’ve got a turntable but, I want to get one of the ones with a USB output port. We’ve got some VERY fragile albums that only have one play (at the most) left in them. And it would be nice to have something saved.

      • Every one I see is a few hundred bucks. They’ll probably come down if vinyl really takes off again. I don’t even know if the records I pick up at yard sales are playable with the scratches and all.

        • I’m SURE we didn’t spend that much. But, we got something on sale about 10 years ago so things have changed I’m sure. I saw those USB turntables on sale for about $100 at Macy’s last Christmas but, even that was a little bit out of range.

          It is yard sale (and estate sale) season so those ARE good opportunities. Also, Big Trash Days have lots of opportunities.

          • I am a confirmed dumpster diver. 🙂 I still regret passing up an old dishwasher because I couldn’t carry it. I’m sure it didn’t work, but would lend that je ne sais quoi to the décor.

          • Our current dryer was sitting outside a house in KCK with a sign that said “trash” – it was a Maytag! Maytags (at least of that era) are totally repairable. And this one just needed something simple – we’ve been using it for over 10 years.

    • Do you remember those little do hickie thingies we would put in the middle of the 45s to get them to play on the old record players? Remember going over to friends homes to play your 45s? Yup…gosh, and today its all over the place, memory sticks, flash drives or iTunes library storage thingie. Oops time dating us again… 😯

      • When you went to someone’s house, did you use those record carrier things? Those are so cool looking. And when you find them in a junk shop, they always have records still in them. You guys had style!

  11. Things have changed dramatically. In 1969 this song played constantly on the radio for a short while, then disappeared….BANNED. Couldn’t even buy it.


  12. (singing…)
    “Kings Food Host USA-aaa-ayyyy. Where dinner deserves a good hello and a good buy! ”

    Happy Birthday Katie!

    Early 70’s–Elton John
    I had my first kiss–horrible–to “Don’t let the sun go down on me”

    Late seventies, too much Jackson Browne. It was there whether I liked it or not!

    The Ramones started to sneak in for me by the end of the decade.

    • ditto on the above stuff Tiny Dancer Elton John

    • JB!

      Girl, I have missed hangin’ with you. Our schedules are totally opposite these days, huh?

      When are you coming down to Oz with the kiddos?

      • SCRUBS!

        Sorry ! went to sleep last night. I need to get my passport updated–frist things first. Then I need to qualify for the time-off at work (it won’t be long..) and then find the right window. One thing is sure–I don’t leave Seattle during the two weeks it’s nice out 🙂

        Would you mind the wait till next fall or winter? That sounds do-able!

  13. Joanie! I don’t remember that song at all — wow. I’m impressed! I used to really like Jackson Browne but, more in the early 70s than later (shudder) The Pretender….

    The Ramones, of course I still love. I wonder if it’s possible to find a copy of Rock and Roll High School?

  14. Ahh..the 70’s. When I drove a brand new Porche through the window of the Zarda Dairy ice cream store where I worked at 15. My friend had borrowed it from his dad’s dealership.

    I got out of the car, ran and hid in a bush behind the store. Didn’t drive again for 7 years.

  15. Can’t you find a copy of everything these days?

  16. 1972ish – Elton John – gawd I think I wore out Honky Chateau
    America, Doobie Brothers, The Carpenters, Creedence, Grand Funk Railroad, Three Dog Night,

    And this:

  17. And the Guess Who!

    “Undone” and “These Eyes”

  18. Rats that I missed SOD and MYIQ!

  19. I know a musician here that toured with Roberta Flack during those years.

    Beautiful stuff.

    • Oh, wow.

      I know someone who was a sound guy for Harry Chapin but it was hardly the same thing at all.

      • My sweetie was a roadie for Tower of Power (more 80s).

        Harry Chapin is cool – Cat’s in the Cradle (1974)

        • I didn’t mean to put him down. Just that he didn’t really have the voice of an angle. I felt pretty bad when he died (not quite as bad as when Jim Croce died, but close)

      • My sister-in-law’s first husband did lighting for the Cars. LOL!

        I was playing bluegrass for most of the ’70s, and I kind of ignored disco.

    • My ex bf was the drummer for Lady Marmalade and the Voulez-vous couchez song which I HATED during high school. they used to have to sew him up every night into his tight white jumpsuit. He’s also the drummer on a lot of the Nevilles stuff too … he’s still a pretty big name and you’d know who he’s drums for now.

      • He’s on the front of an album for one of the famous black folk funk singers … whose name I forget now. I should see if I can find the album cover. It’s pretty funny. His fro is pretty wild and now he’s as bald as anything.

        • oh, Richie Havens that it is, he also used to drum for etta james

          • richie havens
            taj mahal
            phoebe snow
            roberta flack

            teen years…. at 14? maybe…..

            sly and the family stone

            yeah voulez vous,,,,

            gloria gaynor…
            donna summer et al…..


          • joan armatrading!

            she was huge out here in jr high………

            BOZ! he was too.

            memory lane………

            mose allison!

    • MMMMMMM, I still jam on Roberta Flack……she kills me softly…………………

  20. I was in high school 1970-1974 and music was all over the place. And I listened to it on our mondo-sized stereo, and then at some point mom converted to quadraphonic system. When out of the house, my source of music was my transistor radio that looked just like this. I called it my tomato.


    • Gosh I hadn’t seen one of those in years. I think we had a yellow one and I think they came in white too. The dial broke on our pretty quick as I remember.

      • Mine seemed to last forever. I loved that little radio. I’d listen to it in the wee dark hours, at the beach, wherever.

  21. I’m fading way…. Goodnight everyone!

    {{Joaniebonie}} I’m so glad we got to visit here! Come back more often!


  22. I don’t remember the 70’s; I wasn’t born yet.

    But I have some hilarious pictures of my mom in polyester bellbottoms and wedges.

    • i was a mouthy bratty teenager in the seventies.

    • what’s so hilarious about poly bells and wedges?! 😉

      • I had a pair of super bells – black polyester, skin tight to my knees and then they flared out wildly. My first pair of really cools pants. Oh man, I loved those pants. We called them palazzo pants, but they weren’t really. One day I tripped and ripped a hole in the knees. I was heartbroken.

        • oh, bluelyon, that’s funny!

          i owned a vintage store from 1996 – 2001. one of the first pieces i got my hands on was a set of black palazzo pants. i snatched them up for myself and wore them to work often. fabulous look.

          my mom saved a number of my more special outfits from the 70’s and sent them to me when i opened the store. my husband and i just about wet outselves laughing when i modeled my bell “patch” jeans from grade 10. my dad and his wife at the time had bought matching patch bells AND jacket sets for themselves too. very embarrassing.

  23. Fortunately, for now, I do still remember.

  24. I was “truckin'” along in the 70’s.

  25. Did any of you guys see state of play? It had a very 70’s vibe to me. I guess it’s an indication of the climate the obama generation lives in that it just seemed so unrealistic to have a hard working truth seeking journalist hero or to think that anyone at all would care about an actual epic scale substantive political scandal. Sighs.

  26. Summer of ’72 I was 16 and traveled 3000 miles, including hiking through the backwoods of western Canada, to meet my hippie father, who taught me how to roll a joint. I was trying very hard to not be gay. When I returned home I volunteered for McGovern and two months later learned how easy it is for the good guy to lose and the bad guys to win. Loved Croce, and Harry Chapin, and Leo Kottke, and Billy Joel and Springsteen. Went to lots of concerts. Came out of the closet, moved to the beach, made a ton of friends; overall the 70s were good, the sun was out — before AIDS and Reagan, when it started to rain.

  27. Just realized there’re no women on my list. From the 70s! Carole King, Carly, Joni, Joan Baez (Diamonds & Rust still makes me cry), Jane Olivor, and once that mirrored ball started spinning: Gloria Gaynor and Donna Summer. I know: so gay.

  28. Oh, man, 70’s! I was getting married – finishing high school, going to Law School. It was Bob Dylan and Ray Charles for me then and on TV The Saint, Dallas and Forsyte Saga…
    Here’s NY Post’s flashback on Obama’s first 100 days
    hint: it’s as unkind as NY Post could ever be to him

  29. I loved Queen, especially Bohemian Rhapsody, I think that was 1975. I looked at my old record collection in the basement and some of the artist’s are very uncool but I liked them any way: Barry Manilow, John Denver, Judy Collins, Leo Sayer, Billy Joel, Paul McCartney, Lobo, Abba, Elton John, Eric Carmen (I love All by Myself and Never Going to Fall in Love Again.) I haven’t had a working record player for 20 years but talking about this sure makes me want to listen to the old albums.

  30. Now I just looked through my husband’s record collection:Carly Simon, Bachman Turner Ovedrive, The Grass Roots,Art Garfunkle, Fleetwood Mac, Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, Don McClean,Melanie, Mason Williams, Gary Wright, and (I never knew he had this one) Barbara Streisand.

  31. I had just gotten back from doing a tour of duty in Vietnam (usaid). I was trying to get myself back together. The music was wonderful and helped a lot. Jim Croce was just great — Joan Baez I still have all the old stuff . Thanks for reminding me to get it out and listen again.

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