What's so great about 1975?
The year is 1975.
A gallon of gas costs $0.44, and Stanford tuition is a whopping $3,810. Gerald Ford is president, but he will be challenged that year by California governor Ronald Reagan for the Republican nomination. The Vietnam War will come to a close as Communist forces take Saigon. U.S. and Soviet spacecraft successfully link up in outer space to conduct joint scientific experiments and exchange flags, ceremoniously marking the end of the Space Race.
Back down on Earth, Muhammad Ali defeats Joe Frazier in the "Thrilla in Manila," and Sony debuts a new technology called Betamax, the first home videocassette format, in Japan. A young Bill Gates takes a leave of absence from Harvard to start working on a software venture he calls “Micro-Soft” in a letter to business partner Paul Allen.
Though The Rocky Horror Picture Show's live Broadway run closes early, the film released the same year will become the longest-running release in film history, continuing to play in cinemas today. Saturday Night Live and Wheel of Fortune premiere on NBC, and Jaws hits theaters in June.
And through all of this—or perhaps, because of it?—some of the greatest music of all time is being produced. In fact, says bandleader Julian Fleisher, 1975 is arguably the most fabulous year in the history of American popular music. All you need to do is take a look at the Billboard charts for your evidence. Need more proof? Here's a little playlist to bring you back to 1975.
Related Event: Jan 26 & 27
Bing Concert Hall Studio Cabaret
Julian Fleisher in Concert: 1975