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What Were You Doing in 1979? (part 10)

Nurse With Wound released their debut album, Chance Meeting on a Dissecting Table of a Sewing Machine and an Umbrella.

Pink Floyd released The Wall.

Nadia Boulanger passed away (on 22 October).

Nadia Boulanger with her adoring fan Leonard Bernstein.

Nino Rota passed away (on 10 April).

Norah Jones was born (on 30 March).

Nick Lowe released Labour of Lust.

Nicolette Larson was having a hit with her cover of Neil Young’s “Lotta Love.”

Neil Young, who had just completed his “Rust Never Sleeps” tour, released two live albums, Rust Never Sleeps and Live Rust .

Rolling Stone named him Male Vocalist of the Year and Artist of the Year (in a tie with The Who), and picked Rust Never Sleeps as their Album Of The Year.

Young was also co-directing (with Dean Stockwell) his film Human Highway, featuring Dennis Hopper and Devo.

It was released in 1982 (the same year as the film adaptation of The Wall).

Public Image Ltd. released Metal Box.

Meanwhile, they had a hit with their non-album single “Death Disco.”

An alternate take of the song was included on Metal Box as “Swan Lake”:

Norman Mailer published The Executioner’s Song, for which he would win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1980.

Octavia Butler published Kindred.

Odysseus Elytis won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Odysseus Elytis, left, receiving the award from Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf.

Olivia Newton-John, who was riding high from the success of Grease (1978), released Totally Hot, which scored several hit singles.

Orson Scott Card published A Planet Called Treason.

Orson Welles had recently completed what would be his final feature-length film, Filming ‘Othello’. It was never released, and due to legal actions taken by his daughter Beatrice, it is illegal today to broadcast or distribute it (which is why you won’t find any clips of it online).

He also directed, as G.O. Spelvin, the pilot for his Orson Welles Show:

It was never sold or broadcast. Welles returned Jim Henson and Frank Oz’s favor by making a cameo in The Muppet Movie (see 1:10–2:15)…

…which is, I suppose, the first time I ever saw him. Welles, meanwhile, was acting in commercials to support these endeavors.

Also meanwhile, the Citizen Kane Original Motion Picture Soundtrack won the Best Spoken Word Recording Grammy.

Ozzy Osbourne, who had quit Black Sabbath the previous year, was busy recording his solo debut, Blizzard of Ozz (which would be released in 1980).

Parliament released Gloryhallastoopid.

The following year would see the release of their last album, Trombipulation. Meanwhile, George Clinton’s other band, Funkadelic, released Uncle Jam Wants You.

George Clinton would soon dissolve both acts, and begin releasing music and touring under his own name.

  • A. D. Jameson is the author of five books, most recently I FIND YOUR LACK OF FAITH DISTURBING: STAR WARS AND THE TRIUMPH OF GEEK CULTURE and CINEMAPS: AN ATLAS OF 35 GREAT MOVIES (with artist Andrew DeGraff). Last May, he received his Ph.D. in Creative Writing from the Program for Writers at UIC.

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