A musical diary: September 1968

Today in 1968….

  • The Doors’ third album “Waiting For The Sun”, became a gold disc with over a million advance orders.
  • On the first two days of the month the Bank Holiday Bluesology Festival is held at Droitwich, Worchester, UK. Some of the acts performing were The Move, Fleetwood Mac, Chris Farlowe & The Thunderbirds, Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band, Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers, and The John Mayall Bluesbreakers.
  • On the 11th, The Beatles’ “Hey Jude”, at seven minutes and ten seconds became the longest ever number one in the UK.
  • Another heartbreak on the 14th: Roy Orbison two sons, Roy DeWayne aged 10, and Anthony King aged 6, die in a house fire at their home in Hendersonville, Tennessee.
  • In an article in Billboard magazine on the 14th, The Who’s Pete Townshend outlined his plans for a rock opera about a deaf, dumb and blind pinball player. Townshend was inspired to write the rock opera after hearing The Pretty Things album “S. F. Sorrow”. The end result was the classic “Tommy”, a record, a play and eventually a movie.
  • Bubblegum Music is established when The Archies cartoon show made its debut on CBS TV in the USA on the 14th. The show was a Don Kirshner creation following the pattern he evolved with The Monkees. Bubblegum was a term coined by Jerry Kasenetz and Jeff Katz, owners of Super-K Records, when they wrote the hit “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy”, for The Ohio Express and “Simon Says”, for The 1910 Fruitgum Company.
  • On the 19th, Cliff Richard & The Shadows celebrated 10 years together in showbiz with a concert at the London Palladium.
  • Also on the 19th, Canadian rockers Steppenwolf earn their first gold disc with “Born To Be Wild”. The lyrics in the song included using a rock ‘n’ roll term coined by author William Burroughs: heavy metal.
  • Mary Hopkins’ “Those Were The Days”, knocks The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” from the top spot on the 25th; the record was produced by Paul McCartney.
  • Janis Joplin is to leave Big Brother & The Holding Company at the end of their current obligations.
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The Oz pop awards for 1968 were…

Male singer:      1 Normie Rowe           2 Johnny Farnham           3 Ronnie Burns

Female singer: 1 Bev Harrell               2 Lynne Randell               3 Dinah Lee

Group:               1 The Twilights       2 The Masters Apprentices     3 The Groop

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International male singer:       1 Tom Jones     2 Paul Jones    3 Elvis Presley

International female singer:   1 Lulu         2 Sandie Shaw     3 Petula Clark

International group:     1 The Beatles     2 The Monkees     3 The Bee Gees


The top 10 in Australia in September 1968

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  1. Help Yourself – Tom Jones
  2. Dream a Little Dream of Me – Mama Cass
  3. Do It Again – The Beach Boys
  4. MacArthur Park – Richard Harris
  5. Classical Gas – Mason Williams
  6. Harper Valley PTA – Jeannie C. Riley
  7. I’ve Gotta Get A Message To You – The Bee Gees
  8. You Keep Me Hanging On – Vanilla Fudge
  9. Whisky In The Jar/Orange and Green – The Irish Rovers
  10. Indian Lake – The Cowsills


The number ones in the USA in September 1968

7th 14th – People Got To Be Free – The Rascals

21st – Harper Valley PTA – Jeannie C. Riley

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28th – Hey Jude – The Beatles


In the UK

7th – I’ve Gotta Get a Message To You – The Bee Gees

14th 21st – Hey Jude – The Beatles

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28th – Those Were The Days – Mary Hopkin


In Australia

7th – Dream A Little Dream of Me – Mama Cass

14th 21st – Help Yourself – Tom Jones

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28th – Harper Valley PTA – Jeannie C. Riley


Tell us, what are your memories of these songs?


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