American ordered & took delivery of 16 early model 747-100's. The oil crisis in '73 resulted in reduced demand for air travel and the -100's were too large. The fleet was reduced (some sold, some converted to cargo). Don't forget, AA was primarily a domestic carrier in the mid-70's. As air travel rebounded, AA focused on growing their DC-10-10 fleet.
The 747-100's were eventually removed from service even though they were now used on DFW-LGW, the first AA transatlantic route.
The 747SP's were used initially on JFK-LHR when that route was purchased from TWA. They were later used on DFW-NRT until replaced by the MD-11.
When AA was bidding for the ORD-NRT route in the early '90's, they proposed leasing 2 747-400's from their partner Canadian. The route authority went to UA and the 744's weren't needed. although AA now operates the route with the 772.
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.