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.
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
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
- Help Yourself – Tom Jones
- Dream a Little Dream of Me – Mama Cass
- Do It Again – The Beach Boys
- MacArthur Park – Richard Harris
- Classical Gas – Mason Williams
- Harper Valley PTA – Jeannie C. Riley
- I’ve Gotta Get A Message To You – The Bee Gees
- You Keep Me Hanging On – Vanilla Fudge
- Whisky In The Jar/Orange and Green – The Irish Rovers
- 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
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
28th – Those Were The Days – Mary Hopkin
7th – Dream A Little Dream of Me – Mama Cass
14th 21st – Help Yourself – Tom Jones
28th – Harper Valley PTA – Jeannie C. Riley
Tell us, what are your memories of these songs?