73 Memorable Things About the Summer of '73
May 16, 2023
The summer of 1973 was marked by sunshine-filled afternoons soundtracked with some of history's best music. Acts like ZZ Top, Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder and the Rolling Stones released new albums, while Queen, New York Dolls and Lynyrd Skynyrd put out their debut LPs.
Watkins Glen drew hundreds of thousands of fans, and hip hop emerged. Don Kirshner's Rock Concert began bringing music into living rooms nationwide. Elsewhere on television, an updated version of Match Game premiered and became the era's dominant game show. Super Friends was the newest addition to the Saturday morning cartoon schedule. Fans said goodbye to both The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family.
In darkened movie theaters, new films included American Graffiti and the eighth installment of the James Bond franchise, Live and Let Die, accompanied by new music from Paul McCartney and Wings. Unfortunately, martial arts star Bruce Lee died before his summer smash Enter the Dragon was released.
The Watergate scandal unfolded amid the continuation of the Vietnam War. By the following summer, President Richard Nixon had resigned, but not before he refused to comply with a subpoena ordering him to hand over White House tape recordings.
A couple of the sporting world's most legendary events also happened: Secretariat won the Belmont Stakes by an astounding 31 lengths, claiming the first Triple Crown in 25 years, and Muhammad Ali bounced back to beat rival Ken Norton.
Here's a look back at the season's notable highs and lows, as UCR presents 73 memorable things about the summer of '73.
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