1978: America Catches Bee Gee’s ‘Saturday Night Fever’
John Travolta’s disco film, Saturday Night Fever was released in theaters on December 16, 1977. The soundtrack featuring the music of the Bee Gees was release a month earlier. By this day in 1978, the album went to the #1 spot on the music charts and stayed there for an incredible 24 weeks. Many agree that it was a turning point for the Bee Gees’ career. Some say that they created the disco craze while others say that the trend was in a downward turn and the band and movie only helped to extend it. Seven songs including “How Deep is Your Love”, “Stayin’ Alive”, “Night Fever” and “If I Can’t Have You” all became number one hits. However, while the band is synonymous with the movie, the group didn’t even get involved with Saturday Night Fever until post production. Travolta says that he was actually dancing to the music of Stevie Wonder and Boz Scaggs. The film’s producer, Robert Stigwood commissioned the Bee Gees to create the music and they did so over one weekend! The band’s album won five Grammy Awards including Album of the Year. In 2020, it was calculated that the Saturday Night Fever album has been the fourth highest-selling album worldwide.
2009: Toyota Rises on Top
On this day in 2009, General Motors, known as the world’s largest automaker, lost its claim to fame. In 2008, GM sold 8.36 million cars and trucks, whereas Toyota sold 8.97 million, making it the company that produces the most cars on the planet. GM was founded in 1908 by William Durant, known for horse-drawn carriages. In 1911, Durant founded the Chevrolet Motor Company which became part of GM in 1918. By the early 1930’s GM passed Ford by as the world’s largest auto maker. Years later, on June 1, 2008, GM filed for Chapter 11 and dropped some of its brands including Saturn and Hummer. Toyota arrived on the scene in 1937. Their fuel-efficient vehicles proved extremely popular, but they also saw a drop in their profits for the first time ever in 2009.
- 1922: Telly Savalas (actor)
- 1924: Benny Hill (actor)
- 1926: Steve Reeves (actor)
- 1938: Wolfman Jack (radio host)
- 1940: Jack Nicklaus (golfer)
- 1942: Mac Davis (singer)
- 1947: Jill Eikenberry (actress)
- 1953: Paul Allen (co-founder of Microsoft)
- 1956: Robby Benson (actor)
- 1956: Geena Davis (actress)
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.