Concorde, Elvis Dies

Published: 1977
Play Audio Archive Story - UPI

Tom Foty: For more than a year-and-a-half, residents living near Kennedy Airport in New York fought to keep the latest commercial aviation innovation out of their area. Despite a Federal go-ahead for trial flights, Air France and British Airways were unable to bring their expensive and so far money-losing supersonic transport Concorde to New York.

But on October 19th, the focus finally shifted from the courtroom to the runway …

"(Background noises.)"

Tom Foty: Most of the controversy had revolved around the Concorde's noise. Its first landing and takeoff were reported to be well under existing airport noise standards; but critics like Brian Levinson were not impressed …

Brian Levinson: "It was the loudest thing that I've ever heard."

Tom Foty: Manufacturer's representative Leo Shaffer disagreed …

Leo Shaffer: "What we said we could do, we have done. I would hope that we will build confidence in the communities that this is another long-range aero plane."

Tom Foty: And after all was said and done, the Concorde went into commercial service to and from New York in late November.

This is Tom Foty for Recap '77.


Ed Karrens: November 5th, a New Year's institution passes on. A recap after this.



Ed Karrens: For half a century, that sound on New Year's Eve meant just about the same thing. It was called the sweetest music this side of heaven, played by Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians. It came world-famous in the era of the big band and just kept going on year after year, as Lombardo recalled in a 1974 interview …

Guy Lombardo: "We've always played New Year's, even in Canada where we were born where we had a small, little band. We always got a job New Year's Eve, even when I was 14 and 15 years old, and I have worked New Year's Eve all my life. And I hope the day never comes that I'm not working New Year's Eve."

Ed Karrens: But while his band will continue to play New Year's Eve and other performances, for Guy Lombardo New Year's Eve of 1976-'77 proved to be his last night in the national spotlight. The 75-year-old Lombardo died in Houston, Texas on November the 5th.

This is Ed Karrens for Recap '77.


Roger Norham: In national election terms, this was considered an off year; but in many of the nation's big cities, it was a year of major decisions. There were mayors to be elected and most of them, not surprisingly, turned out to be Democrats.

In New York, little-known Congressman Ed Koch, who survived a primary and a runoff for the Democratic nomination, won a relatively easy victory over three so-called major challengers.

In Detroit, incumbent Coleman Young also had a relatively easy time, beating City Councilman Ernest Brown in a race between two black politicians.

In Cleveland, it was a contest of political youngsters, with 31-year-old political maverick Dennis Kucinich defeating an even-younger Edward Feighan.

There were also two governorships to be decided this election day. Virginians chose Republican John Dalton to move up from Lieutenant-Governor, beating Democrat Henry Howell, while New Jersey Governor Brendan Byrne won a surprising reelection victory over his much-favored Republican opponent.

This is Roger Norham for Recap '77.

Brian McFadden: Elvis Presley died, and rock bands around the world realized they weren't immortal after all. For many, it was the first time that realization ever hit home, because to a culture brought up on rock music Elvis Presley always was there, always would be there. He was the King, and we thought the King would live forever.

But we were wrong. Thousands turned out for the funeral. Each had a special reason …

Unknown Speaker: "I just loved the man, and we traveled all over the see him. We had tickets in Huntington, West Virginia for September to go see him."

Unknown Speaker: "I came to pay my last respects. I've been following him since 1968."

Unknown Speaker: "He's just fabulous; there's just no one like him."

Unknown Speaker: "I came to pay my last respects 'cause I love the man, and that's just it."

Brian McFadden: Elvis didn't invent rock-and-roll. There were others like Chuck Berry and Bill Haley. But for most of us, Elvis personified rock-and-roll. He was special, and so was his music.