Don’s Top 10 From September 29, 1968
Back into time to a world where “Laugh-In” was the #1 TV show, and “Funny Girl” & “Night Of The Living Dead” were the #1 & #2 movies, respectively. It’s Sunday, September 29, 1968, & these were the local top 10 singles.amazon.com
“I’ve Gotta Get A Message To You” by The Bee Gees
(#19 last week) In the brothers early run of “twee pop” hits, it was Robin who took most of the leads, as he did here. Robin also wrote the track, about a man on death row with a final note to send.
“Girl Watcher” by The O’Kaysions
(#16 last week) One-hit wonders from North Carolina. Honestly, until the video for this surfaced in recent years on youtube, I thought they were African-American. Surprise! Actually, the lead singer looks like a cross between Steve Martin & John Fogerty. A “beach music” classic!
“Born To Be Wild” by Steppenwolf
(#7 last week) Everyone remembers this as the theme to “Easy Rider”, but it was a hit almost a year before the release of the movie. Lead singer John Kay was from West Germany. The first song to use the words “heavy metal”.
“The Fool On The Hill” by Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66
(#10 last week) “Bossa Nova pop” was a very important genre during the mid & late 60s, & here’s a nice example. Second top 10 hit in a row for Mendes, who didn’t sing lead on his records. Leader here is Lani Hall, who would later marry the co-owner of the label she recorded for, A&M Records, Mr. Herb Alpert.
“Light My Fire” by Jose Feliciano
(#5 last week) It was just a few days after this survey that Feliciano would garner front page headline because he “modernized” “The Star Spangled Banner” as he perfomed it with his guitar during the World Series between The Tigers & The Cardinals. Made a lot of older folks unhappy.
“People Got To Be Free” by The Rascals
(#3 last week) It wasn’t until their previous hit “A Beautiful Morning” that The Young Rascals shortened their name to The Rascals. So nice that Steve Van Zandt was able to convince them to put aside their difference & tour again last year & this one. Now how about some new music, guys?
“1, 2, 3 Red Light” by The 1910 Fruitgum Co.
(#5 last week) Bubbleghum pop was huge in the late 60s, & here was a great example of it. The Gum Co. was a New Jersey band.with the lead vocals on this smash by Mark Gutkowski, who owns The Great American Piano Co. in New Jersey today.
“Harper Valley P.T.A.” by Jeannie C. Riley
(#4 last week) One of the great story songs of all time, written by Tom t. Hall. It was surprising that it took 10 years to become a movie & then a TV series. Miss Riley looked a tad uncomfortable trying to convey the wildness of “Mrs. Johnson” in the song.
“Hush” by Deep Purple
(#2 last week) DP’s live performance here sounds a lot different from the recorded version, but it cracks me up to see them interacting with Hugh Hefner during “Playboy After Dark”, a show super-hip then & incredibly dated now. “Hush” was originally written & recorded by Billy Joe Royal (“Down In The Boondocks”).
“Hey Jude” by The Beatles
(#1 last week; 2nd week at #1) As I was finding the video here, my 11-year old son told me to turn it up. “I LOVE this one, dad!” That says it all, doesn’t it? RIP recently David Frost, whose show the Beatles performed this on.