So You’re 40, Too??

A couple of months ago, I wrote about turning 40. I’m not the only who has, or is reaching, that milestone this year. Here are a few others who also came on the scene in 1971.

All in the Family- Making its debut on January 12th, television would never be the same. This was the show which changed everything, the one which brought reality into our homes. Menopause, rape, racism, mental retardation, and impotence were only few of the topics addressed every week. We also learned new terms like “stifle”, “dingbat”, and “meathead”.






Soul Train- The first train left the station in October, with a Chicago radio DJ named Don Cornelius as host. Similar to American Bandstand, only funkier, with lots more soul, the latest dances, fashions, afros, and platforms were emulated after each episode. Shown in syndication for 35 years, it just wasn’t a Saturday without Soul Train.




Brian’s Song- Based on a true story of friendship, this ABC movie of the week was a ratings smash, and a tear-jerker. Airing on November 30th, it remains a timeless classic. Despite being different races, football players Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers became the best of friends. Their bond remained strong and intact following the news Brian had cancer. He died at the age of 26. A remake was done in 2001. Stick with the Emmy-winning original.




What’s Going On- Marvin Gaye’s ground-breaking album was released in May, three days after I was born. The tracks are brilliant, the concept powerful. Its message remains revelant today. Truly one of the most remarkable LPs in the history of music.






Starbucks- I’m not a coffee drinker, but millions of others have placed this franchise on the map. Founded in March of 1971 in Seattle, it has become the largest and most famous coffeehouse in the world. I do go for their egg salad sandwiches, and desserts.






Klute- The film which won Jane Fonda an Academy Award was released on June 25th. It also introduced us to the shag hairstyle.







The French Connection- Premiering in October, this film has one of the best car chase scenes in cinema history. It also won Gene Hackman an Oscar for his portrayal of James “Popeye” Doyle.







Shaft- Richard Roundtree became a household name as the tough private detective John Shaft. A new sex symbol was born, and Issac Hayes won both a Grammy and an Oscar for the title song. The film was released July 2nd.





Tapestry- Carole King’s LP became the top-selling solo album for 11 years. Released in December, it won four Grammy awards, and remained in the number one spot for 15 weeks. It is considered one of the greatest albums of all-time.






Disney World- Opening on October 1st, some believe this magical resort has surpassed Disneyland in popularity. It is certainly the largest and most visited resort in the world.





Stairway to Heaven- This masterpiece by Led Zeppelin remains a staple on classic rock stations, and is viewed as one of the greatest songs ever. At eight minutes long, there was not a shorter version recorded. It was on the Led Zeppelin IV album, released in November.





Keep America Beautiful PSA- Making its debut on Earth Day, this unforgettable commercial featured Iron Eyes Cody as the “crying Indian”, who sheds a tear as people litter and pollute the streets of America. The image remains legendary.





These are just a few of those people, places, and images which continue to impact our culture, and our lives 40 years later.


Happy 40th!!


~ by kmnnz on August 8, 2011.

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