The Friday 5×2: #11-20 From “The Big 89” of 1968

I was going to run down Wacker Drive to Marina City and talk about the Top 10 for 1968 according to WCFL, Chicago’s other AM Top 40 station at the time, but when I got there, I discovered that there wasn’t a whole lot of difference, as you can see from the table

The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” 10 9
The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, “Fire” 9 8
Marvin Gaye, “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” 8 7
Mary Hopkin, “Those Were The Days” 7 6
Ohio Express, “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy” 6 11
Herb Alpert, “This Guy’s In Love With You” 5 2
Jeannie C. Riley, “Harper Valley PTA” 4 5
Bobby Goldsboro, “Honey” 3 3
Paul Mauriat, “Love Is Blue (L’amour Est Bleu)” 2 1
The Beatles, “Hey Jude”/”Revolution” 1 4

Here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to share #11-20 on the WLS list, along with their position on the WCFL list in parentheses. Since the WCFL list is only the Top 30 for their year, if a record didn’t place in their top 30, it’ll be noted as “#–“.

  • #20 (#–): John Fred & The Playboy Band, “Judy In Disguise” The first time John Fred Gourrier heard The Beatles’s “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds,” he though it was “Lucy In Disguise With Diamonds.” That inspired this song, which was a #1 hit during the year. It was their only song to break into the Top 40.
  • #19 (#23): The Lemon Pipers, “Green Tambourine” Another one-hit wonder, this song is considered the first “bubblegum” song. The Lemon Pipers took it to #1 in the US and Canada and had similar luck in Australia (#2), New Zealand (#3) and the UK (#7).
  • #18 (#20): The Rascals, “People Got To Be Free” The Rascals, known as The Young Rascals until 1968, scored a #1 with this, their second Top 10 record in ’68. It was also their last appearance in the Top 20.
  • #17 (#15): Simon & Garfunkel, “Mrs. Robinson” Included in the soundtrack for The Graduate (1967) starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, and from their fourth album Bookends (1968), this was a #1 hit for them and was the first rock song to win the Grammy for Song of the Year (1969).
  • #16 (#29): The Beatles, “Lady Madonna” Their last song to be released on Parlophone (UK) and Capitol (US), it was recorded before the band left for India. It went to #4 in the US and #1 in the UK.
  • #15 (#–): The American Breed, “Bend Me, Shape Me” The Chicago-based band that ultimately became Rufus reached #5 in the US and #7 in Canada, the only time they reached the Top 20, making them not quite one-hit wonders.
  • #14 (#12): Tommy James & The Shondells, “Mony Mony” The song was inspired by the Mutual of New York (MONY) sign outside Tommy James’s apartment in New York. It reached #1 in the UK, #3 in the US, and #1 on the WLS Silver Dollar Survey.
  • #13 (#14): Diana Ross & The Supremes, “Love Child” Title track from their 1968 album, after Diana Ross received top billing and replaced Florence Ballard with Cindy Birdsong. It took just two weeks to reach the Billboard Top 10 and was the song that supplanted “Hey Jude” from the #1 spot.
  • #12 (#13): The Monkees, “Valleri” Yes, that’s the way it’s spelled. A song by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, they wrote it as they were on their way to see Don Kirschner, who they had told that it was done. Session musicians included Louie Shelton, who played the flamenco-esque solo at the beginning.
  • #11 (#24): Hugh Masakela, “Grazing In The Grass” Hugh is known as “The Father of South African Jazz.” This is also a one-hit wonder, as he took this to #1.

And that’s The Friday 5×2 for January 4, 2019.

8 thoughts on “The Friday 5×2: #11-20 From “The Big 89” of 1968

  1. I read 89, saw the songs, and went, “Wait, what?”
    1-10 is a good list. 11-20 a good playlist. It was a good year, not that I know 🙂 Now I’ve got to get me s’more.


  2. This has nothing to do with the subject of your blog, but I noticed Herb Alpert’s name on your list. Do you remember the name of the popular ( so popular I can’t think of his name ) Chicago DJ who absolutely hated Herb Alpert? He used to go on and on about his dislike of Alpert’s music. It was kind of one of his trade marks. I remember he would announce a song by some artist and the producer or someone would start an Alpert record just to hear him fly into a rage. Just wondered if you remembered who that was.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know for sure, but was it Clark Weber? Sounds like him. He used to do the morning show at WLS when I first started listening to the radio, and I remember seeing an article about him where he talked about the records he’d love to smash. I saw that he finally retired just a couple of years ago. He worked at just about every radio station in Chicago.


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