Saturday, October 13, 2018

The Saturday Survey: October 13th, 1968

10-12-68 - KQWB - Fargo, North Dakota

Today, Fargo may be better known than it deserves, considering its population of 120,000 and that amounting to 16% of the whole state of North Dakota, but in 1968, it was STILL pushing the four year old radio idea of billing itself as "KQW-BEATLES"!!!  Well, they did boast the #1 song, I guess.  

For it's location, this station boasted a pretty hip top 40 listing.  Besides Chicago's Mauds (#29) and Shadows of Knight (#27), three cooler obscure titles on here are definitely worth hearing.  #23 "I Want Sunshine" by South 40 is nice to see, as the band, just over a year old, would soon have an album out and a year later start finding national success under their new name, Crow!  

Mason Williams was just one big part of the "return of the instrumental" that occurred in 1968 and altho not a big hit, "Baroque-a-Nova" was an excellent followup to "Classical Gas," IMO.  

The McCoys had been off the charts for over a year, but a switch to Mercury Records and a new album and single "Jesse Brady" had things looking brighter (see "New Challenger" listing).  The band would dissolve soon after this failed and leader Rick Derringer would go solo with a good career lying ahead in the 70's.

-- Clark Besch 


Boy, that sure is one skinny survey!!! 

Surprised again to see "Revolution" shown as the A-Side in the #1 position ... maybe "Hey Jude" was simply too long for a lot of these stations to play back in the day.  (There is no question as to the clear-cut winner here in Chicago ... but despite all of this, "Hey Jude" only spent one week at #1 on the WLS Survey ... nowhere near the nine weeks it spent on top in Billboard.  Then again it only topped the Cash Box Chart for seven weeks ... and Record World for four!

That's because too many other good potential #1 Records were out there vying for the top position at the time ... hits like "Those Were The Days" by Mary Hopkin, "Fire" by The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown" and "Over You" by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, all of which reached the summit here in Chicago, limiting The Beatles to just a one week stay at the top of the chart.

My pick hit this week is "Hi-Heel Sneakers" by Jose Feliciano.  He totally reinvented this tune and I loved it ... much more so than his reworking of The Doors' "Light My Fire" a short while back.  (Elvis also did a rousing version of "Hi-Heel Sneakers" on the flipside of his "Guitar Man" single the year before.  

Of course Jose was all over the news this week for his performance of "The Star Spangled Banner" at the World Series ... not your typical interpretation of this tune.  It gave a whole new meaning to "Jose, can you see" ... which, of course, he couldn't.  (kk)


10/7 – Jose Feliciano performs “The Star Spangled Banner” before Game 5 of The 1968 World Series.  It will be universally panned the following day as “desecrating our National Anthem” … yet RCA Records will release the performance as a single a month later and it cracks The Top 50 in all three major trade publications.

10/8/68 – Mama Cass Elliott collapses on opening night of her solo show at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas

10/10/68 – The Detroit Tigers, at one point trailing three games to one, come from behind and win three games in a row to win the 1968 World Series.  Pitching stars Denny McLain (the last pitcher to win 30 or more  games in a single season in the major leagues) and Mickey Lolich each pitched on just two days rest to help accomplish this feat.

Talk about your premier pitchers … The Tigers’ opponents, The St. Louis Cardinals, boasted the incredible Bob Gibson who, during the regular season, posted yearly totals of 22 wins and just 9 losses, along with a staggering 1.12 ERA.  In Game One of The World Series he struck out a record 17 batters!

But it was Denny McLain who became the Poster Boy for Major League Baseball that year.  He could do no wrong, finishing the season at 31-6 with a 1.96 ERA.  It wasn’t uncommon to see him on TV, too, playing the organ on some of the popular variety shows of the day.  

10/13/68:  In infamous clips that have been broadcast repeatedly ever since, The Beach Boys perform “Do It Again” and “Good Vibrations” on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Also on this date … former Supreme Florence Ballard gives birth to twin daughters, born two months premature