Posted by Dan Greenfield on Mar 29, 2023
RETRO HOT PICKS! On Sale This Week — in 1971!
Scott and Dan hit up the comics racks from 52 years ago… This week for RETRO HOT PICKS, Scott Tipton and I are selecting comics that came out the week of March 29, 1971. Last time for RETRO HOT PICKS, it was the week of March 22, 1983. Click here to check it out. (Keep in mind that comics came out on multiple days, so these are technically the comics that went on sale between March 26 and April 1.) So, let’s set the scene: On March 29, war criminal U.S. Army Lt. William Calley was found guilty of 22 murders in the 1968 My Lai massacre. He was sentenced to life in prison by a court-martial. Days later, however, President Nixon ordered Calley removed from prison and placed under house arrest at Fort Benning. After a few years of legal maneuvering, Calley would be released in 1974. Also on March 29, a Los Angeles jury recommended the death penalty for Charles Manson and three of his women followers for the 1969 Tate-La Bianca murders. (The sentences were changed to life after California dispensed with the death penalty.) But it was not all nightmarish horror. The Congressional Black Caucus was founded this week, as well. Love Story was a big hit at the box office, but John Cassavetes’ seminal Husbands was also in theaters and hit No. 1 this week. The TV landscape was changing, meanwhile: The Ed Sullivan Show’s final episode aired at the end of the program’s 23rd season. It was also the end this week for Hogan’s Heroes and Mayberry R.F.D. On the, ahem, flip side, The Flip Wilson Show was tops in the Nielsens, as it often was. The best-selling single was The Temptations’ classic Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me), followed by Janis Joplin’s posthumous hit Me and Bobby McGee, which I think is fair to call her signature song. Also among the leaders was Tom Jones’ (always) bombastic She’s a Lady (No. 4) and Marvin Gaye’s plaintive masterpiece What’s Going On (No. 5). The album charts were also jammed with classics, including Janis’ Pearl in the top position, with the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice concept album Jesus Christ Superstar at No. 4 (months before it would become a Broadway production), Santana’s Abraxas at No. 8 and Elton John’s Tumbleweed Connection — my favorite Elton album...