70s stories in the news: 78-yr-old Tony Disco, Thomas Eagleton affair, recent passings

Here are the latest 1970s-related stories ripped screaming from the headlines. Investigate with gusto.

At 78, Tony Ferrante Keeps Disco, And Its Clothes, Alive

Tony “Disco” Ferrante, Coney Island, 2012 (Photo: Julie Glassberg for The New York Times)

The New York Times has a great story up on Tony Ferrante, an older fellow who’s keeping disco alive in Brooklyn. He ain’t Tony Manero, but he’s certainly the next best thing. Step to it.

NY Times Quote:

“Mr. Ferrante, 78, who is better known by his nickname, Tony Disco, held forth in the Bay Ridge dance clubs during the ‘Saturday Night Fever’ era. These days, he is known mostly as a nimble-footed fixture on the Coney Island Boardwalk, where, on weekends, a D.J. pumps music for sweaty dancers and hordes of onlookers.

‘Tony’s a Brooklyn legend,’ said Rican Vargas, the founder of the Coney Island Dancers, a nonprofit D.J. group that has been providing that music since 1996. ‘Where else but Brooklyn are you going to see that kind of style?’ “

The Thomas Eagleton Affair Haunts Candidates Today

Thomas Eagleton and George McGovern, 1972. (Photo: AP via NPR)

National Public Radio are reporting on the 1972 Democratic snafu involving presidential candidate George McGovern and his vice presidential selection of Thomas Eagleton – who lasted as as running-mate for 18 brief days. Times have changed.

NPR Quote:

“On that first day of the convention, McGovern called Eagleton to offer him the spot. They spoke for about two minutes over the phone.

‘We went over names casually, didn’t do any ‘background checking,’ ‘ Hart says. ‘It wasn’t mandated in those days as it is now. Certainly after ’72 it came to be mandated. But the people trusted other people’s word.’

Rudin says back then, it was beneath a presidential nominee to ask about health issues or personal problems like alcoholism. That turned out to be George McGovern’s biggest mistake.”

Passings: Marvin Hamlisch, Judith Crist, Paul McKracken, John Finnegan

Marvin Hamlisch, Grammy shouting, 1975 (Photo: Ron Galella/Getty Images)

Four passings that bear remembrance; composer Marvin Hamlisch, film & TV critic Judith Crist, Nixon adviser Paul McCraken and actor John Finnegan.

Marvin Hamlisch passed away Monday, August 6th at age 68. The composer was best known in the 1970s for providing music for Bananas (1971), The Sting (1973), The Way We Were (1973), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and famed Broadway musical (and later, film) A Chorus Line (1975).

Wasington Post Marvin Hamlisch Quote:

“Known for his tireless drive, Hamlisch was principal pops conductor for symphony orchestras in Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Dallas, Seattle, San Diego and Pasadena, California, and previously spent 11 years as pops conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington. According to his website, he was working on a new musical, “Gotta Dance” and planning to write the music for a Steven Soderbergh film about Liberace, starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon.”

Judith Crist passed away Tuesday, August 7th at age 90. The critic was best known in the 1970s for her biting film and TV reviews in newspapers and in a regular column for TV Guide. Christ could also be seen on the Today show (1964-1973).

Paul McCraken passed away Friday, August 3rd at age 96. McCracken served as the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers for President Nixon and, according to the Washington Post, “as senior consultant to Treasury Secretary William E. Simon in 1974 and 1975.”

John Finnegan passed away Sunday, July 29th at age 85. The actor was best known in the 1970s for numerous appearances on Columbo. Finnegan also appeared on shows such as McCloud (1972-’77), Police Woman (1974-’75), Banacek (1972) and many more.

Other 70s-related stories you may be interested in:

37 years later, Marine killed in last Vietnam war battle is buried

Life After the Olympics: How 15 Athletes Made Their Way to Hollywood (Cathy Rigby ’72, Bruce Jenner ’72/’76, Kurt Thomas ’76)

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