Take a look back at 1977
1977 was a tumultuous year with many highs and lows. Modern life as we know it was beginning to take shape. Grab a cuppa and step back in time with us …
James Callaghan was the UK’s Prime Minister and Jimmy Carter became the 39th President of the United States. In the UK the Yorkshire Ripper was on the rampage and strikes at British Leyland were reaching the point of no return yet 1977 was a year of incredible sporting achievements and of course countrywide celebrations with Queen Elizabeth II’s 25 years on the throne.
In April Red Rum gallops to victory in the Grand National at Aintree for a record third time.
The Embassy World Snooker Championships moves to the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield and is televised for the first time.
July sees Britain’s Virginia Wade beating Betty Stöve to win the women’s singles title at Wimbledon in the centenary year of the tournament. It was to be Wade’s first and only Wimbledon title and she remains Britain’s last female champion.
Cricketer Geoff Boycott scores the 100th century of his career for England in August against Australia at Headingley, Leeds.
Musical highs and lows
Fleetwood Mac release their Grammy-winning album Rumours, featuring songs such as The Chain, Don’t Stop and Go Your Own Way.
The Punk band The Clash release their debut album The Clash through CBS records.
The last ever concert Elvis Presley played took place on 26th June before his untimely death at the age of 42 at his home Graceland on 16th August. Fans numbering more than 75,000 lined the streets of Memphis for his funeral.
Glam Rock star Marc Bolan of TRex is sadly killed in a car crash in September in Barnes, London, just 2 weeks before his thirtieth birthday.
The jazz-rock band Steely Dan release their 6th album Aja which goes on to become their highest charting album in the US and sells over 5 million copies.
The rock band Queen release their famous ballad ‘We are the Champions’.
The 10th film in the James Bond series – The Spy Who Loved Me – was first screened in 1977 and was the third Bond film to star Roger Moore. It also featured the theme song ‘Nobody Does it Better’ sung by Carly Simon which was nominated for an Oscar and reached number 7 in the UK charts.
A Bridge Too Far released in 1977 is an epic war film based on the 1974 book. Starring Sean Connery, Ryan O’Neal, Michael Caine and Laurence Olivier it performed well in Europe and went on to receive a number of BAFTA awards.
With its ground-breaking visual effects, unforgettable soundtrack and introducing us to some of cinemas’ most iconic characters, the first Star Wars film was screened in the UK in December 1977. It went on to make 503 million US dollars.
Not in UK cinemas until the following year, Saturday Night Fever is released in America in December 1977. It becomes the biggest dancing movie of all time and launches the career of John Travolta. The Bee Gees, who performed several songs on the soundtrack also benefited from the success of the movie.
UK TV shows
With colour television licences exceeding black and white ones for the first time in the UK there were plenty of incredible TV shows first airing in 1977:
- Robin’s Nest – with Richard O’Sullivan, Tessa Wyatt and Tony Britton
- The Krypton Factor – hosted by Gordon Burns
- Mind Your Language – series set in an adult education college and starring Barry Evans
- Citizen Smith – with Robert Lindsay as the self-proclaimed leader of the Tooting Popular Front
- Secret Army – drama about a Belgian resistance movement during WWII
- You’re Only Young Twice – set in Paradise Lodge Retirement Home and starring Peggy Mount and Pat Coombs
- It’ll Be Alright on the Night – a hilarious out-takes programme presented by Denis Norden
- A Sharp Intake of Breath – sitcom starring David Jason
- Morph – the first Aardman Animations character is introduced on BBC children’s TV programme Take Hart.
- The Morecambe & Wise Christmas Show – attracted an audience of more than 28 million viewers, one of the highest ever in UK television history.
What do you remember of 1977?
Melina - Assistant Editor
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