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When Rolling Stone Tried TV the First Time: Dancing Strawberries and Donny Osmond

While the Rolling Stone/MTV reality show is sure to be engrossing, if you like that sort of thing, it’s not the first TV venture for the mag. In 1977, Jann Wenner launched a 10th Anniversary Special. Directed by Steve Binder, written by Steve Martin and Mason Williams, Donny Osmond was in the lineup, along with Ted Neeley (the guy who played Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar), Patti Labelle, Yvonne Elliman and Garfunkel, minus Simon. Check out the dancing strawberries in the Beatles tribute, minus the Beatles.

Wenner wanted a prime-time special despite CBS exec’s pleas to do a late night show. He’d alienated so many major stars, according to those who were around back then, that the network had to drag in some non-music talent, namely Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek.


And put to good us, according to Charles “Butchie” Olmstead:

In 1977 Rolling Stone Magazine presented a 10th Anniversary TV Special via CBS in November of that year–in which my 1970 autobio about my service, and moreso my return from Vietnam was portrayed in monolog by Martin Sheen, with intro by Sissy Spacek. I was flown to L.A. for 3 days where I worked with Sheen in re-writing my Vietnam war autobio for monolog-TV format.

Oddly, that sounds more entertaining than what’s coming up with Tika and Khristine.

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