Monday, December 31, 2018

The Best of 1968 - Movies and TV

Here are The Top 20 Box Office Hits of 1968 ...

Surprisingly, 1968 did not offer the amount of timeless classics that we saw in our Salute to 1967 last year ...

But there are still a few good titles on this list worth checking out ...

# 1 - 2001: A Space Odyssey  ($56,700,000)
# 2 - Funny Girl  ($52,000,000)
# 3 - The Love Bug  ($51,264,000)
# 4 - The Odd Couple  ($44,527,234)
# 5 - Bullit  ($42,300,873)
# 6 - Romeo And Juliet  ($38,901,218)
# 7 - Oliver! ($37,402,877)
# 8 - Rosemary's Baby  ($33,395,426)
# 9 - Planet Of The Apes  ($32,589,624)
#10 - Night Of The Living Dead  ($30,000,000)
#11 - Yours, Mine And OUrs  ($25,912,624)
#12 - The Lion In Winter  ($22,276,975)
#13 - The Green Beret  ($21,707,027)
#14 - Blackbeard's Ghost  ($21,540,050)
#15 - The Fox  ($19,146,711)
#16 - Charly ($19,125,000)
#17 - The Boston Strangler  ($17,810,894)
#18 - Candy  ($16,408,286)
#19 - The Thomas Crown Affair  ($14,000,000)
#20 - The Detective  ($13,000,000) 

The Top 20 TV Shows, 1968, Nielsen Ratings:

# 1 - Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In  (NBC)
# 2 - Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.  (CBS)
# 3 - Bonanza  (NBC)
# 4 - Mayberry, R.F.D.  (CBS)
# 5 - Family Affair  (CBS)
# 6 - Gunsmoke  (CBS)
# 7 - Julia (NBC)
# 8 - The Dean Martin Show (NBC)
# 9 - Here's Lucy  (CBS)
#10 - The Beverly Hillbillies  (CBS)
#11 - Mission:  Impossible  (CBS)
#12 - Bewitched  (ABC)
#13 - The Red Skelton Hour  (CBS)

#14 - My Three Sons  (CBS)
#15 - The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour  (CBS)
#16 - Ironside  (NBC)
#17 - The Virginian  (NBC)
#18 - The F.B.I.  (ABC)
#19 - Green Acres  (CBS)
#20 - Dragnet  (NBC)

Wow, talk about your television domination ... 

CBS had HALF of The Top 20 shows ... ABC managed only two showings (and their first "winner" doesn't appear until you hit #12).  NBC had the top rated show of the season ... plus seven other hits.  (Aren't you a little bit surprised to see "Bonanza" still up there at #3 in 1968???)

"Laugh-In" would also win the Emmy for Outstanding Musical or Variety Series for the 1968 television season.  Best Comedy went to "Get Smart" ... Best Drama to "NET Playhouse," neither of which placed in The Top 20.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Dramatic Series ... Carl Betz for "Judd For The Defense"
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Dramatic Series ... Barbara Bain for "Mission: Impossible"
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series ... Don Adams for "Get Smart"
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series ... Hope Lange for "The Ghost And Mrs. Muir"  (seriously???)

And there you have it ... the "Best In Show" for Movies and Television, 1968.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Recap: The Top 68 of 1968

As 2018 draws to a close, here is a recap of The Top 68 Songs of 1968 ... as determined by charts compiled by Billboard Magazine (1968 Year-End Chart), Cash Box Magazine (1968 Year-End Chart), Record World Magazine (1968 Year-End Chart), Dann Isbell's Ranking the '60's book, which ranks EVERY song hitting the Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart between January 1st, 1960 and December 31st, 1969, in ranked point order, and Joel Whitburn's Pop Annual, which ranks the hits of 1968 based on each record's peak position achieved that year.

Our chart was compiled based on a combination of ALL this chart information, in order to determine the most complete and accurate rank order.

 1 Hey Jude - The Beatles
 2 Love Is Blue - Paul Mauriat
 3 Honey - Bobby Goldsboro
 4 Dock Of The Bay - Otis Redding
 5 People Got To Be Free - Rascals
 6 This Guy's In Love With You - Herb Alpert
 7 Mrs. Robinson - Simon and Garfunkel
 8 Harper Valley PTA - Jeannie C. Riley
 9 Tighten Up - Archie Bell and the Drells
10 Young Girl - Gary Puckett and the Union Gap
11 Hello, I Love You - Doors
12 Judy In Disguise - John Fred and his Playboy Band
13 Little Green Apples - OC Smith
14 Those Were The Days - Mary Hopkin
15 Cry Like A Baby - Box Tops
16 The Good, The Bad And The Ugly - Hugo Montenegro
17 Grazing In The Grass - Hugh Masekela
18 Green Tambourine - Lemon Pipers
19 Lady Willpower - Gary Puckett and the Union Gap
20 The Horse - Cliff Nobles and Company
21 Stoned Soul Picnic - Fifth Dimension
22 Born To Be Wild - Steppenwolf
23 Mony Mony - Tommy James and the Shondells
24 Theme from "Valley Of The Dolls" - Dionne Warwick
25 Sunshine Of Your Love - Cream
26 I Wish It Would Rain - Temptations
27 Fire - The Crazy World of Arthur Brown
28 A Beautiful Morning - Rascals
29 Simon Says - 1910 Fruitgum Company
30 Yummy Yummy Yummy - Ohio Express
31 Jumpin' Jack Flash - Rolling Stones
32 Love Child - Diana Ross and the Supremes
33 Midnight Confessions - Grass Roots
34 MacArthur Park - Richard Harris
35 Classical Gas - Mason Williams
36 Light My Fire - Jose Feliciano
37 Ballad Of Bonnie and Clyde - Georgie Fame
38 La-La Means I Love You - Delfonics
39 Lady Madonna - Beatles
40 Turn Around, Look At Me - Vogues
41 Girl Watcher - The O'Kaysions
42 Spooky - Classics IV
43 Magic Carpet Ride - Steppenwolf
44 Angel Of The Morning - Merilee Rush
45 The Look Of Love - Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66
46 Cowboys To Girls - Intruders
47 Since You've Been Gone - Aretha Franklin
48 I Heard It Through The Grapevine - Marvin Gaye
49 Hold Me Tight - Johnny Nash
50 Dance To The Music - Sly and the Family Stone
51 Slip Away - Clarence Carter
52 Bend Me, Shape Me - American Bree
53 I've Gotta Get A Message To You - Bee Gees
54 Hurdy Gurdy Man - Donovan
55 For Once In My Life - Stevie Wonder
56 Love Is All Around - Troggs
57 Woman Woman - Gary Puckett and the Union Gap
58 1,2,3 Red Light - 1910 Fruitgum Company
59 Chain Of Fools - Aretha Franklin
60 Over You - Gary Puckett and the Union Gap
61 Goin' Out Of My Head / Can't Take My Eyes Off You - Lettermen
62 White Room - Cream
63 I Got The Feelin' - James Brown
64 Hush - Deep Purple
65 The Unicorn - Irish Rovers
66 Elenore - Turtles
67 Nobody But Me - Human Beinz
68 Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing - Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell

Thanks to artists like The Beatles (and their "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album) and others who followed suit by recognizing that an LP could be more than just a couple of hit singles surrounded by a bunch of filler, the album became the most viable way for an artist to project exactly what they were all about during 1967.

In fact, the concept of "concept" was first approached that same year by The Moody Blues, whose "Days Of Future Passed" may very well be the very first rock concept album (although as a general consensus, most historians cite “Pepper” with this distinction, simply because of the continuity of the first two and last two tracks ... and, quite honestly, because THEY said it was a concept album!) 

Fortunately, other artists like Jefferson Airplane and Jimi Hendrix and The Beach Boys and several others embraced the format and the LP now became a very viable outlet to push the envelope a bit farther.  As a direct result, underground radio was born … and the FM radio band was utlized to the full extent of its power. 

As such, 1968 produced some pretty heavy candidates when it came down to calculating The Top 20 LPs of 1968 … 

But that's exactly what we've done here, based on extensive research of Billboard's Album Chart (and a few other key sources)

So may I present to you … 

THE TOP 20 ALBUMS OF 1968!!!

1 Graduate - Soundtrack / Simon and Garfunkel
2 Bookends - Simon and Garfunkel
3 Magical Mystery Tour - The Beatles
4 Time / Peace - The Rascals' Greatest Hits - The Rascals
5 Blooming Hits - Paul Mauriat
6 Cheap Thrills - Big Brother and the Holding Company
7 Feliciano! - Jose Feliciano
8 Disraeli Gears - Cream
9 Lady Soul - Aretha Franklin
10 Are You Experienced - Jimi Hendrix Experience
11 Greatest Hits - Diana Ross and the Supremes
12 Wheels Of Fire - Cream
13 Beat Of The Brass - Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass
14 Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme - Simon and Garfunkel
15 Waiting For The Sun - The Doors
16 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - The Beatles
17 Their Satanic Majesties Request - The Rolling Stones
18 John Wesley Harding - Bob Dylan
19 Electric Ladyland - Jimi Hendrix Expereince
20 Axis: Bold As Love - Jimi Hendrix Experience

Honorable Mention:

The Doors - The Doors
Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, Ltd. - The Monkees
The Birds, The Bees And The Monkees - The Monkees
Second - Steppenwolf
Ninth - Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass
Vanilla Fudge - Vanilla Fudge
Aretha Now - Aretha Franklin
Realization - Johnny Rivers
In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida - Iron Butterfly
The Sound of Music - Soundtrack
Wichita Lineman - Glen Campbell
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly - Soundtrack / Hugo Montenegro
The Dock Of The Bay - Otis Redding
By The Time I Get To Phoenx - Glen Campbell
Time Has Come - Chambers Brothers
The Beatles  (White Album) - The Beatles
Farewell To The First Golden Era - The Mamas and the Papas
Gentle On My Mind - Glen Campbell
Greatest Hits - The Temptations
Steppenwolf - Steppenwolf
The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown - The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
Crown Of Creation - Jefferson Airplane
Wild Flowers - Judy Collins
Greatest Hits - Four Tops
Golden Hits - The Turtles
To Russell, My Brother Whom I Slept With - Bill Cosby
Doctor Zhivago - Soundtrack
God Bless Tiny Tim - Tiny Tim
Greatest Hits, Volume 2 - Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
Strange Days - The Doors
Once Upon A Dream - The Rascals

Saturday, December 29, 2018

The Saturday Survey (December 29th)

*Survey courtesy of Gary Pfeifer and ARSA site

12-28-68 - KLEM - LeMars, Iowa

We return to the small town Midwest for a town of under 10,000, famous for being the home of famed "Blue Bunny Ice Cream."  Chicago was being represented well here with #2 Spanky & Our Gang's great "Yesterday's Rain" being quite a surprise position.  
The Archies (Ron Dante) and the Banana Splits share the Saturday morning cartoon band hit parade this time.  Three Dog Night begin their career slowly, but in the Midwest are #5 already with their first 45 release.  

While WLS DJ Larry Lujack was changing plans for the newest New Colony 6 45, the "rocking" side, "Come And Give Your Love To Me,"** was already at #22 in Iowa as well as the Buckinghams' classic "Where Did You Come From," which, if issued a year earlier, would have been top 10 nationally.  The fickle public had turned their backs on the group by late 1968, just as they had on producer James Guercio and song writers Beisber / Holvay.    

One more classic song I cannot go without mentioning is by the Nazz.  This Philadelphia band would include future star Todd Rundgren.  You may have noticed "Hello It's Me" charting in previous weeks here in FH by the group, but now on KLEM, the true A side, "Open My Eyes" makes it to the chart.  To me, this opitimizes great psych pop music of 1968.  How THIS never was a hit in 68 and the "B" side was a minor hit in three different years for the Nazz as well as top 10 as a Todd solo 45 later, is beyond me.  Both are really great, tho.

**By the way, the NC6 45 was a two-sided hit a on the other side of Iowa in Dubuque that very week!

12/26/68:  Led Zeppelin kick off their first North American Tour in Denver this evening as the opening act for Vanilla Fudge.  The MC5 were also on the bill.

12/28 – 12/30, 1968 - The Second Miami Pop Festival is held.  Acts performing include Joni Mitchell, Chuck Berry, Procol Harum, Steppenwolf, The Turtles, Fleetwood Mac, Three Dog Night, Canned Heat, Marvin Gaye, Sweetwater, Jose Feliciano and others

12/29/68:  Sly and the Family Stone perform a killer medley of “Everyday People,” “Dance To The Music,” “Ya Ya Y,” “M’Lady” and “Hey Music Lover” on The Ed Sullivan Show.  (We’ve come a long way from the days of Pat Boone!)

12/30/68 – Peter Tork officially quits The Monkees, buying his way out of his contract for $160,000 and leaving him broke.  He will rejoin the band in 1986 after MTV begins airing old episodes of their television series … and has performed with them again on nearly every reunion tour ever since.

12/31/68 - Music trade magazines report that 1968 was the first year that album product outsold the 45rpm unit.

Well, we did it ... made our way thru 1968 hitting every single state in the union ... plus Washington, D.C. and Canada.

I'd like to thank Clark Besch, without whom NONE of this would have been possible.  He's the guy who tracked down all these weekly radio station surveys so that we could share them with our readers ... and also provided rare insight into some of the more obscure, regional hit titles featured throughout the course of the past year.  (If you missed any of these, they're all still available ... just search by Saturday dates and find the city where YOU grew up listening to all the hits on the radio!)

Thanks also to all the faithful fans who visited this page each and every Saturday ... it truly is appreciated.

The Top 40 Surveys of yesteryear seem to be a popular item here in Forgotten Hits so we will be looking for ways to feature them on an on-going basis in the future, too.

Don't miss a day of Forgotten Hits postings ... make us part of your daily routine by bookmarking this page and stopping by every morning as you start your day.  There is ALWAYS something going on in Forgotten Hits ... and even if it's not a brand new posting, there are ten years of archives to explore.  (Just type the topic you are interested in into the search feature at the top of the page ... you'll be amazed by what you'll find here!)

Thanks again to everyone for your continued support as we begin Year 20 of Forgotten Hits.  Happiest Holiday Wishes to all of you!
Kent Kotal
Forgotten Hits