The 1968 Exhibit: Music

Between the Summer of Love in 1967 and the Woodstock Festival of 1969 came 1968, as volatile and fractured a year in music as it was in the rest of society. Music of the counterculture, psychedelic rock and hippie anthems, grabbed the headlines from San Francisco to New York. Rock music was instantly drawn into national conversations about youth, free love, drugs, and political rebellion. Rock-and-roll got louder, electronic instruments made a big splash, and there were pop explorations of mysticism and sheer noise. 

But Sixties music is a lot more complicated than just rock-and-roll. A heady mix of soul, country crossovers, easy listening, folk, and bubblegum pop enticed listeners of all ages to turn up the radio and head to the record store. Black musicians appeared more frequently than ever on pop charts, and the Motown label continued to score hit after hit. 

Audiences for music of all sorts were booming. Live music was pulling in fans at rock and folk festivals, venues like Fillmore West, and country jamborees. And if concerts and clubs were too hard to handle, you could stay home and take your music trip through the magic of television.  

94

 

  • Billboard and Awards
  • Albums and Bands

FACTS AND FIGURES

Billboard Top 100 Singles (at year's end)

  • Hey Jude- The Beatles
  • Love is Blue- Paul Mauriat & His Orchestra
  • Honey- Bobby Goldsboro
  • (Sittin‚Äô On) the Dock of the Bay- Otis Redding
  • People Got to Be Free- The Rascals
  • Sunshine of Your Love- Cream
  • This Guy's in Love With You- Herb Alpert
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly- Hugo Montenegro & His Orchestra
  • Mrs. Robinson- Simon & Garfunkel
  • Tighten Up- Archie Bell and the Drells
  • Harper Valley P.T.A.- Jeannie C. Riley
  • Little Green Apples- O.C. Smith
  • Mony Mony- Tommy James and the Shondells
  • Hello I Love You- The Doors
  • Young Girl- Gary Puckett and the Union Gap
  • Cry Like a Baby- The Box Tops
  • Stoned Soul Picnic- The 5th Dimension
  • Grazin‚Äô in the Grass- Hugh Masakela
  • Midnight Confessions- The Grass Roots
  • Dance to the Music- Sly & the Family Stone
  • The Horse- Cliff Nobles & Co.
  • I Wish It Would Rain- The Temptations
  • La-la Means I Love You- The Delfonics
  • Turn Around, Look at Me- The Vogues
  • Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)- John Fred & His Playboy Band
  • Spooky- The Classics IV
  • Love Child- Diana Ross and the Supremes
  • Angel of the Morning- Merrilee Rush & the Turnabouts
  • The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde- Georgie Fame
  • Those Were the Days- Mary Hopkin
  • Born to Be Wild- Steppenwolf
  • Cowboys to Girls- The Intruders
  • Simon Says- The 1910 Fruitgum Company
  • Lady Willpower- Gary Puckett and the Union Gap
  • A Beautiful Morning- The Rascals
  • The Look of Love- Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66
  • Hold Me Tight- Johnny Nash
  • Yummy Yummy Yummy- The Ohio Express
  • Fire- The Crazy World of Arthur Brown
  • Love Is All Around- The Troggs
  • Playboy- Gene & Debbie
  • Theme From the Valley of the Dolls- Dionne Warwick
  • Classical Gas- Mason Williams
  • Slip Away- Clarence Carter
  • Girl Watcher- The O‚ÄôKaysions
  • (Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You‚Äôve Been Gone- Aretha Franklin
  • Green Tambourine- The Lemon Pipers
  • 1,2,3, Red Light- 1910 Fruitgum Company
  • Reach Out of the Darkness- A Friend & Lover
  • Jumpin‚Äô Jack Flash- The Rolling Stones
  • Macarthur Park- Richard Harris
  • Light My Fire- Jose Feliciano
  • I Love You- People
  • Take Time to Know Her- Percy Sledge
  • Pictures of Matchstick Men- Status Quo
  • Summertime Blues- Blue Cheer
  • Ain‚Äôt Nothing Like the Real Thing- Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
  • I‚Äôve Got the Feelin‚Äô- James Brown and the Famous Flames
  • I‚Äôve Gotta Get a Message to You- The Beegees
  • Lady Madonna- The Beatles
  • Hurdy Gurdy Man- Donovan
  • Magic Carpet Ride- Steppenwolf
  • Bottle of Wine- The Fireballs
  • Stay in My Corner- The Dells
  • Soul Serenade- Willie Mitchell
  • Delilah- Tom Jones
  • Nobody But Me- The Human Beinz
  • I Thank You- Sam & Dave
  • Fool On the Hill- Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66
  • Sky Pilot- Eric Burdon and the Animals
  • Indian Lake- The Cowsillls
  • I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight- Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart
  • Over You- Gary Puckett and the Union Gap
  • Goin‚Äô Out of My Head/Can‚Äôt Take My Eyes Off of You- The Lettermen
  • Shoo-be-doo-be-doo-da-day- Stevie Wonder
  • The Unicorn- The Irish Rovers
  • You Keep Me Hangin‚Äô On- Vanilla Fudge
  • Revolution- The Beatles
  • Woman, Woman- Gary Puckett and the Union Gap
  • Elenore- The Turtles
  • White Room- Cream
  • You‚Äôre All I Need to Get By- Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
  • Baby, Now That I Found You- The Foundations
  • Sweet Inspiration- The Sweet Inspirations
  • If You Can Wait- Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
  • Cab Driver- The Mills Brothers
  • Time Has Come Today- The Chambers Brothers
  • Do You Know the Way to San Jose- Dionne Warwick
  • Scarborough Fair/Canticle- Simon & Garfunkel
  • Say It Loud- I‚Äôm Black and I‚Äôm Proud- James Brown and the Famous Flames
  • Mighty Quinn (Quinn the Eskimo)- Manfred Mann
  • Here Comes the Judge- Shorty Long
  • I Say a Little Prayer- Aretha Franklin
  • Think- Aretha Franklin
  • Sealed With a Kiss- Gary Lewis and the Playboys
  • Piece of My Heart- Big Brother and the Holding Company
  • Susie Q- Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • Bend Me, Shape Me- The American Breed
  • Hey, Western Union Man- Jerry Butler
  • Never Give You Up- Jerry Butler

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

1968 Grammy Awards (honoring music of 1967)

  • Record of the Year- ‚ÄúUp, Up and Away‚Äù by The 5th Dimension
  • Album of the Year- Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles
  • Song of the Year- ‚ÄúUp, Up and Away‚Äù by The 5th Dimension
  • Best New Artist- Bobbie Gentry

1969 Grammy Awards (honoring music of 1968)

  • Record of the Year- ‚ÄúMrs. Robinson‚Äù by Simon & Garfunkel
  • Album of the Year- By The Time I Get To Phoenix by Glen Campbell
  • Song of the Year- ‚ÄúLittle Green Apples‚Äù by O.C. Smith
  • Best New Artist- Jose Feliciano           

Recordings in the National Recording Registry

  • Johnny Cash- At Folsom Prison
  • Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention- We‚Äôre Only in It for they Money
  • Wendy Carlos- Switch-On Bach
  • The Staples Singers- Soul Folk in Action
  • Tammy Wynette- ‚ÄúStand by Your Man‚Äù

ALBUMS RELEASED IN 1968

  • A Saucerful of Secrets- Pink Floyd
  • At Folsom Prison- Johnny Cash
  • Anthem of the Sun- Grateful Dead
  • Aretha Now- Aretha Franklin
  • Astral Weeks- Van Morrison
  • Bare Wires- John Mayall's Bluesbreakers
  • Beggar's Banquet- The Rolling Stones
  • Boogie With Canned Heat- Canned Heat
  • Bookends- Simon & Garfunkel
  • Cheap Thrills- Big Brother and the Holding Company
  • Child Is Father to the Man- Blood, Sweat, & Tears
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival- Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • Dance to the Music- Sly & the Family Stone
  • Electric Ladyland- The Jimi Hendrix Experience
  • Electric Mud- Muddy Waters
  • Eli and the Thirteenth Confession- Laura Nyro
  • Elvis- Elvis Presley
  • Fleetwood Mac- Fleetwood Mac
  • For Once in My Life- Stevie Wonders
  • Friends- The Beach Boys
  • The Graduate- Music by Simon & Garfunkel
  • Head- The Monkees
  • Horizontal- The Beegees
  • In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida- Iron Butterfly
  • In Search of the Lost Chord- Buffalo Springfield
  • James Taylor- James Taylor
  • Just Because I‚Äôm a Woman- Dolly Parton
  • Lady Soul- Aretha Franklin
  • Last Time Around- Buffalo Springfield
  • Love Child- Diana Ross & the Supremes
  • Lumpy Gracy- Frank Zappa
  • Music from Big Pink- The Band
  • Odyssey and Oracle- The Zombies
  • Randy Newman- Randy Newman
  • Sailor- Steve Miller Band
  • Sing Me Back Home- Merle Haggard
  • Song to a Seagull- Joni Mitchell
  • Spirit- Spirit
  • Steppenwolf- Steppenwolf
  • Tell Mama- Etta James
  • The Beatles- The Beatles
  • The Birds, The Bees & the Monkees- The Monkees
  • The Dock of the Bay- Otis Redding
  • The Hurdy Gurdy Man- Donovan
  • The Kinks Are the Vaillage Green Preservation Society- The Kinks
  • The Notorious Byrd Brothers- The Byrds
  • The Papas & the Mamas- The Mamas & the Papas
  • The Second- Steppenwolf
  • The Temptations Wish It Would Rain- The Temptations
  • Traffic- Traffic
  • Truth- The Jeff Beck Group
  • Waiting for the Sun- The Doors
  • We‚Äôre Only in It for the Money- The Mothers of Invention
  • Wheels of Fire- Cream
  • White Light/White Heat- The Velvet Underground

Events of note in popular music in 1968

  • January 6- Gibson Guitar Corporation patents the Flying V guitar design.
  • January 13- Johnny Cash performs at Folsom State Prison in California.
  • February 16- The Beatles travel to India to study with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
  • February 18- David Gilmour joins Pink Floyd.
  • March 1- Johnny Cash and June Carter get married.
  • March 8- Bill Graham opens the Fillmore East in New York City.
  • March 25- The final episode of The Monkees airs on NBC.
  • April 4- James Brown appears on national television in an attempt to calm feelings of anger following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • April 29- The rock musical Hair opens on Broadway.
  • May 5- Buffalo Springfield performs together for the last time.
  • May 30- The Beatles begin recording what would come to be known as The White Album.
  • July 7- The Yardbirds perform together for the last time.
  • September 7- Led Zeppelin performs together for the first time.
  • September 15- PocketDiscs are released in test markets in the United States.
  • November 8- John and Cynthia Lennon are divorced.
  • November 22- The Beatles‚Äô The White Album and The Kinks‚Äô The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society are released.
  • November 26- Cream plays their farewell concert at the Royal Albert Hall.
  • December 3- Elvis Presley's 1968 Comback Special airs on NBC.
  • December 22- Big Brother and the Holding Company perform with Janis Joplin for the last time.

Bands Formed in 1968

  • Black Sabbath (as Earth)
  • Deep Purple
  • Free
  • Judas Priest
  • Led Zeppelin (as The New Yardbirds)
  • Nazareth
  • Rush
  • Yes

Bands Disbanded in 1968

  • Buffalo Springfield
  • Cream
  • The Righteous Brothers
  • The Shangri-Las
  • The Yardbirds

94

 

  • Billboard and Awards
  • Albums and Bands

FACTS AND FIGURES

Billboard Top 100 Singles (at year's end)

  • Hey Jude- The Beatles
  • Love is Blue- Paul Mauriat & His Orchestra
  • Honey- Bobby Goldsboro
  • (Sittin‚Äô On) the Dock of the Bay- Otis Redding
  • People Got to Be Free- The Rascals
  • Sunshine of Your Love- Cream
  • This Guy's in Love With You- Herb Alpert
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly- Hugo Montenegro & His Orchestra
  • Mrs. Robinson- Simon & Garfunkel
  • Tighten Up- Archie Bell and the Drells
  • Harper Valley P.T.A.- Jeannie C. Riley
  • Little Green Apples- O.C. Smith
  • Mony Mony- Tommy James and the Shondells
  • Hello I Love You- The Doors
  • Young Girl- Gary Puckett and the Union Gap
  • Cry Like a Baby- The Box Tops
  • Stoned Soul Picnic- The 5th Dimension
  • Grazin‚Äô in the Grass- Hugh Masakela
  • Midnight Confessions- The Grass Roots
  • Dance to the Music- Sly & the Family Stone
  • The Horse- Cliff Nobles & Co.
  • I Wish It Would Rain- The Temptations
  • La-la Means I Love You- The Delfonics
  • Turn Around, Look at Me- The Vogues
  • Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)- John Fred & His Playboy Band
  • Spooky- The Classics IV
  • Love Child- Diana Ross and the Supremes
  • Angel of the Morning- Merrilee Rush & the Turnabouts
  • The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde- Georgie Fame
  • Those Were the Days- Mary Hopkin
  • Born to Be Wild- Steppenwolf
  • Cowboys to Girls- The Intruders
  • Simon Says- The 1910 Fruitgum Company
  • Lady Willpower- Gary Puckett and the Union Gap
  • A Beautiful Morning- The Rascals
  • The Look of Love- Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66
  • Hold Me Tight- Johnny Nash
  • Yummy Yummy Yummy- The Ohio Express
  • Fire- The Crazy World of Arthur Brown
  • Love Is All Around- The Troggs
  • Playboy- Gene & Debbie
  • Theme From the Valley of the Dolls- Dionne Warwick
  • Classical Gas- Mason Williams
  • Slip Away- Clarence Carter
  • Girl Watcher- The O‚ÄôKaysions
  • (Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You‚Äôve Been Gone- Aretha Franklin
  • Green Tambourine- The Lemon Pipers
  • 1,2,3, Red Light- 1910 Fruitgum Company
  • Reach Out of the Darkness- A Friend & Lover
  • Jumpin‚Äô Jack Flash- The Rolling Stones
  • Macarthur Park- Richard Harris
  • Light My Fire- Jose Feliciano
  • I Love You- People
  • Take Time to Know Her- Percy Sledge
  • Pictures of Matchstick Men- Status Quo
  • Summertime Blues- Blue Cheer
  • Ain‚Äôt Nothing Like the Real Thing- Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
  • I‚Äôve Got the Feelin‚Äô- James Brown and the Famous Flames
  • I‚Äôve Gotta Get a Message to You- The Beegees
  • Lady Madonna- The Beatles
  • Hurdy Gurdy Man- Donovan
  • Magic Carpet Ride- Steppenwolf
  • Bottle of Wine- The Fireballs
  • Stay in My Corner- The Dells
  • Soul Serenade- Willie Mitchell
  • Delilah- Tom Jones
  • Nobody But Me- The Human Beinz
  • I Thank You- Sam & Dave
  • Fool On the Hill- Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66
  • Sky Pilot- Eric Burdon and the Animals
  • Indian Lake- The Cowsillls
  • I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight- Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart
  • Over You- Gary Puckett and the Union Gap
  • Goin‚Äô Out of My Head/Can‚Äôt Take My Eyes Off of You- The Lettermen
  • Shoo-be-doo-be-doo-da-day- Stevie Wonder
  • The Unicorn- The Irish Rovers
  • You Keep Me Hangin‚Äô On- Vanilla Fudge
  • Revolution- The Beatles
  • Woman, Woman- Gary Puckett and the Union Gap
  • Elenore- The Turtles
  • White Room- Cream
  • You‚Äôre All I Need to Get By- Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
  • Baby, Now That I Found You- The Foundations
  • Sweet Inspiration- The Sweet Inspirations
  • If You Can Wait- Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
  • Cab Driver- The Mills Brothers
  • Time Has Come Today- The Chambers Brothers
  • Do You Know the Way to San Jose- Dionne Warwick
  • Scarborough Fair/Canticle- Simon & Garfunkel
  • Say It Loud- I‚Äôm Black and I‚Äôm Proud- James Brown and the Famous Flames
  • Mighty Quinn (Quinn the Eskimo)- Manfred Mann
  • Here Comes the Judge- Shorty Long
  • I Say a Little Prayer- Aretha Franklin
  • Think- Aretha Franklin
  • Sealed With a Kiss- Gary Lewis and the Playboys
  • Piece of My Heart- Big Brother and the Holding Company
  • Susie Q- Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • Bend Me, Shape Me- The American Breed
  • Hey, Western Union Man- Jerry Butler
  • Never Give You Up- Jerry Butler

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

1968 Grammy Awards (honoring music of 1967)

  • Record of the Year- ‚ÄúUp, Up and Away‚Äù by The 5th Dimension
  • Album of the Year- Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles
  • Song of the Year- ‚ÄúUp, Up and Away‚Äù by The 5th Dimension
  • Best New Artist- Bobbie Gentry

1969 Grammy Awards (honoring music of 1968)

  • Record of the Year- ‚ÄúMrs. Robinson‚Äù by Simon & Garfunkel
  • Album of the Year- By The Time I Get To Phoenix by Glen Campbell
  • Song of the Year- ‚ÄúLittle Green Apples‚Äù by O.C. Smith
  • Best New Artist- Jose Feliciano           

Recordings in the National Recording Registry

  • Johnny Cash- At Folsom Prison
  • Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention- We‚Äôre Only in It for they Money
  • Wendy Carlos- Switch-On Bach
  • The Staples Singers- Soul Folk in Action
  • Tammy Wynette- ‚ÄúStand by Your Man‚Äù

ALBUMS RELEASED IN 1968

  • A Saucerful of Secrets- Pink Floyd
  • At Folsom Prison- Johnny Cash
  • Anthem of the Sun- Grateful Dead
  • Aretha Now- Aretha Franklin
  • Astral Weeks- Van Morrison
  • Bare Wires- John Mayall's Bluesbreakers
  • Beggar's Banquet- The Rolling Stones
  • Boogie With Canned Heat- Canned Heat
  • Bookends- Simon & Garfunkel
  • Cheap Thrills- Big Brother and the Holding Company
  • Child Is Father to the Man- Blood, Sweat, & Tears
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival- Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • Dance to the Music- Sly & the Family Stone
  • Electric Ladyland- The Jimi Hendrix Experience
  • Electric Mud- Muddy Waters
  • Eli and the Thirteenth Confession- Laura Nyro
  • Elvis- Elvis Presley
  • Fleetwood Mac- Fleetwood Mac
  • For Once in My Life- Stevie Wonders
  • Friends- The Beach Boys
  • The Graduate- Music by Simon & Garfunkel
  • Head- The Monkees
  • Horizontal- The Beegees
  • In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida- Iron Butterfly
  • In Search of the Lost Chord- Buffalo Springfield
  • James Taylor- James Taylor
  • Just Because I‚Äôm a Woman- Dolly Parton
  • Lady Soul- Aretha Franklin
  • Last Time Around- Buffalo Springfield
  • Love Child- Diana Ross & the Supremes
  • Lumpy Gracy- Frank Zappa
  • Music from Big Pink- The Band
  • Odyssey and Oracle- The Zombies
  • Randy Newman- Randy Newman
  • Sailor- Steve Miller Band
  • Sing Me Back Home- Merle Haggard
  • Song to a Seagull- Joni Mitchell
  • Spirit- Spirit
  • Steppenwolf- Steppenwolf
  • Tell Mama- Etta James
  • The Beatles- The Beatles
  • The Birds, The Bees & the Monkees- The Monkees
  • The Dock of the Bay- Otis Redding
  • The Hurdy Gurdy Man- Donovan
  • The Kinks Are the Vaillage Green Preservation Society- The Kinks
  • The Notorious Byrd Brothers- The Byrds
  • The Papas & the Mamas- The Mamas & the Papas
  • The Second- Steppenwolf
  • The Temptations Wish It Would Rain- The Temptations
  • Traffic- Traffic
  • Truth- The Jeff Beck Group
  • Waiting for the Sun- The Doors
  • We‚Äôre Only in It for the Money- The Mothers of Invention
  • Wheels of Fire- Cream
  • White Light/White Heat- The Velvet Underground

Events of note in popular music in 1968

  • January 6- Gibson Guitar Corporation patents the Flying V guitar design.
  • January 13- Johnny Cash performs at Folsom State Prison in California.
  • February 16- The Beatles travel to India to study with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
  • February 18- David Gilmour joins Pink Floyd.
  • March 1- Johnny Cash and June Carter get married.
  • March 8- Bill Graham opens the Fillmore East in New York City.
  • March 25- The final episode of The Monkees airs on NBC.
  • April 4- James Brown appears on national television in an attempt to calm feelings of anger following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • April 29- The rock musical Hair opens on Broadway.
  • May 5- Buffalo Springfield performs together for the last time.
  • May 30- The Beatles begin recording what would come to be known as The White Album.
  • July 7- The Yardbirds perform together for the last time.
  • September 7- Led Zeppelin performs together for the first time.
  • September 15- PocketDiscs are released in test markets in the United States.
  • November 8- John and Cynthia Lennon are divorced.
  • November 22- The Beatles‚Äô The White Album and The Kinks‚Äô The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society are released.
  • November 26- Cream plays their farewell concert at the Royal Albert Hall.
  • December 3- Elvis Presley's 1968 Comback Special airs on NBC.
  • December 22- Big Brother and the Holding Company perform with Janis Joplin for the last time.

Bands Formed in 1968

  • Black Sabbath (as Earth)
  • Deep Purple
  • Free
  • Judas Priest
  • Led Zeppelin (as The New Yardbirds)
  • Nazareth
  • Rush
  • Yes

Bands Disbanded in 1968

  • Buffalo Springfield
  • Cream
  • The Righteous Brothers
  • The Shangri-Las
  • The Yardbirds

Between the Summer of Love in 1967 and the Woodstock Festival of 1969 came 1968, as volatile and fractured a year in music as it was in the rest of society. Music of the counterculture, psychedelic rock and hippie anthems, grabbed the headlines from San Francisco to New York. Rock music was instantly drawn into national conversations about youth, free love, drugs, and political rebellion. Rock-and-roll got louder, electronic instruments made a big splash, and there were pop explorations of mysticism and sheer noise. 

But Sixties music is a lot more complicated than just rock-and-roll. A heady mix of soul, country crossovers, easy listening, folk, and bubblegum pop enticed listeners of all ages to turn up the radio and head to the record store. Black musicians appeared more frequently than ever on pop charts, and the Motown label continued to score hit after hit. 

Audiences for music of all sorts were booming. Live music was pulling in fans at rock and folk festivals, venues like Fillmore West, and country jamborees. And if concerts and clubs were too hard to handle, you could stay home and take your music trip through the magic of television.