1968 Number One Singles Albums
January 1968 Number One Singles Albums and more
December 30, 1967 – January 19, 1968: “Hello Goodbye” by the Beatles #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. December 2, 1967 – January 5, 1968: The Monkees Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, & Jones Ltd. is the Billboard #1 album. In 1968, Future Woodstock Performers: Johnny Winter (age 22) released first album, The Progressive Blues Experiment. In 1968, Future Woodstock Performers: Sweetwater released its first album entitled Sweetwater In 1968, Future Woodstock Performers: Bert Sommer (age 18) released his first album, The Road to Travel. It was produced by Artie Kornfeld. Sommer was a schoolmate of Leslie West. January 6 – March 1, 1968, The Beatles after live performances: Magical Mystery Tour the Billboard #1 album. January 7, 1968, Vietnam & DRAFT CARD BURNING: the "Stop The Draft" benefit with Phil Ochs, The Loading Zone, Blue Cheer, Mad River, Mt Rushmore and The Committee at The Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco. January 13, 1968, Johnny Cash recorded At Folsom Prison. It will be released in May. January 15, 1968: Byrds released Notorious Byrd Brothers album. January 20, 1968, Bob Dylan: Dylan and the Band performed Woody Guthrie's "I Ain't Got No Home" at the Woody Guthrie Memorial Concert, Carnegie Hall. The concert was Dylan's first public appearance since his motorcycle accident on July 29, 1966 (pictured with Dylan are drummer Levon Helm, Rick Danko, and Robbie Robertson). [Pete Seeger & Richie Havens sing Jackhammer John; Bob Dylan with the Band sing Grand Coulee Dam, Mrs Roosevelt, and I Ain't Got No Home] January 20 – Feb 2, 1968: “Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)” by John Fred & His Playboy Band #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. January 22, 1968: Aretha Franklin released Lady Soul album. January 30, 1968: Velvet Underground released White Light/White Heat album. [“Sister Ray” – The song concerns drug use, violence, homosexuality and transvestism. Reed said of the lyrics: "'Sister Ray' was done as a joke—no, not as a joke—but it has eight characters in it and this guy gets killed and nobody does anything. It was built around this story that I wrote about this scene of total debauchery and decay. I like to think of ‘Sister Ray' as a transvestite smack dealer. The situation is a bunch of drag queens taking some sailors home with them, shooting up on smack and having this orgy when the police appear." The recording engineer is famously rumored to have walked out while recording the song. Lou Reed recalled: "The engineer said, 'I don't have to listen to this. I'll put it in record, and then I'm leaving. When you're done, come get me.'"
February 1968 Number One Singles Albums and more
February 3 – 9, 1968: “Green Tambourine” by the Lemon Pipers #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. February 4, 1968, LSD, & Beat Generation: Neal Cassady died. Both a major figure of the Beat Generation and the psychedelic era of the 1960s. Drove Ken Kesey’s famous bus, Furthur, cross-country to 1964 NY World’s Fair. February 10 – March 15, 1968: “Love Is Blue” by Paul Mauriat #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The first instrumental to hit number 1 on the Billboard charts since the Tornados hit with “Telstar” in 1962 and the only American number-one single to be recorded in France. February 16, 1968, The Beatles after live performances: Mike Love, Mia Farrow, Donovan and others travel to India to visit the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at Rishikesh. February 21, 1968, Future Woodstock Performers: Blood, Sweat, & Tears released its first album, Child is Father to the Man. February 25, 1968, Vietnam: Pete Seeger re-appears on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Show and was permitted to sing Waist Deep in the Big Muddy.
March 1968 Number One Singles Albums and more
March 8, 1968, Rock Venues: Bill Graham opened the Fillmore East in NYC. Opening night was typical of the kind of show put together by Graham, who was a pioneer in combining roots music with contemporary rock and roll in a way that became de rigueur at 1960s rock festivals. The bill featured blues guitarist Albert King, folk singer-songwriter Tim Buckley and Janis Joplin’s group Big Brother and the Holding Company. March 16 – April 12, 1968: “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. March 17, 1968, US Labor History: staffers at San Francisco progressive rock station KMPX-FM strike, citing corporate control over what music is played and harassment over hair and clothing styles, among other things. The Rolling Stones, Joan Baez, the Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead and other musicians request that the station not play their music as long as the station is run by strikebreakers.
April 1968 Number One Singles Albums and more
April 13 – May 17, 1968: “Honey” by Bobby Goldsboro #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. April 29, 1968, Cultural Milestone: the rock musical Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical opened at the Biltmore Theater on Broadway. The inspiration to include nudity came when the authors saw an anti-war demonstration in Central Park where two men stripped naked as an expression of defiance and freedom, and they decided to incorporate the idea into the show. The show featured the songs 'Aquarius / Let the Sunshine In', 'Good Morning Starshine' and the title song. The production ran for 1,729 performances, closing on July 1st, 1972.
May 1968 Number One Singles Albums and more
May 18 – 19, 1968 – The first Miami Pop Festival. An estimated 100,000 people attended this concert, which was promoted by Richard O'Barry. May 18 – 19, 1968: The Northern California Folk-Rock Festival was held at Family Park in the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in San Jose, California and promoted by Bob Blodgett. It was the first of two such festivals held at the venue, being followed by the 1969 Northern California Folk-Rock Festival. The festival featured Country Joe and the Fish, The Animals, Jefferson Airplane, The Doors, Big Brother and the Holding Company, The Youngbloods, Electric Flag, Kaleidoscope, Taj Mahal, and Ravi Shankar. And although not mentioned in the promotional material, Grateful Dead also performed. May 18 – 31, 1968: Tightin’ Up” by Archie Bell and the Drells #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. May 19, 1968, The Beatles after live performances: while Cynthia Lennon was on vacation in Greece, John invited Yoko Ono to his home. He recalled: " I called her over, it was the middle of the night and Cyn was away, and I thought, 'Well, now's the time if I'm going to get to know her any more.' She came to the house and I didn't know what to do; so we went upstairs to my studio and I played her all the tapes that I'd made, all this far-out stuff, some comedy stuff, and some electronic music. There were very few people I could play those tapes to. She was suitably impressed, and then she said, 'Well, let's make one ourselves,' so we made Two Virgins. It was midnight when we finished, and then we made love at dawn. It was very beautiful." May 25 – June 14, 1968: Simon and Garfunkel’s Bookends the Billboard #1 album. May 31, 1968, The Beatles after live performances: began recording the so-called “White Album.” Sessions will span 4+ months, ending on Oct 14.
June 1968 Number One Singles Albums and more
June 1 – June 21, 1968: “Mrs Robinson” by Simon and Garfunkel #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. June 15 – June 28. 1968: Simon and Garfunkel’s soundtrack to The Graduate is again the Billboard #1 album. June 22 – July 19, 1968: “This Guy’s In Love With You” by Herb Albert #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. June 29 – July 26, 1968: Simon and Garfunkel’s Bookends again the Billboard #1 album.
July 1968 Number One Singles Albums and more
In July 1968, Vietnam: Eric Burdon and the Animals released “Sky Pilot” and Phil Ochs “The War Is Over.” July 1, 1968, Future Woodstock Performers:The Band released its first album, Music From Big Pink. Rick Danko, age 26; Robbie Robertson, age 25; Levon Helm, age 28; Richard Manuel, age 25; Garth Hudson, age 31) July 5, 1968, Future Woodstock Performers: Creedence Clearwater Revival released first album, Creedence Clearwater Revival. John Fogarty, age 23) July 5, 1968, Rock Venues: Bill Graham opened the Fillmore West concert venue in San Francisco. The hall was formerly called the Carousel Ballroom and was the home to many concerts. Graham stopped doing shows at the original Fillmore because of the neighborhood and the place needed work. July 17, 1968, The Beatles after live performances: The Beatles movie, Yellow Submarine, released in the UK . July 20 – August 2, 1968: “Grazing in the Grass” by Hugh Masekela #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. July 27 – August 9, 1968: Herb Albert’s The Beat of the Brass is the Billboard #1 album.
August 1968 Number One Singles Albums and more
In August 1968, Vietnam: WNEW-FM DJ Rosko reads anti-war column on air. In August 1968, James Brown released “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud” August 3 & 4, 1968 – The first Newport Pop Festival started at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, California. It is believed to have been the first pop music concert attended by more than 100,000 paying concertgoers. August 3 – 16, 1968: “”Hello, I Love You” by the Doors #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. August 10 – September 6, 1968: Cream’s Wheels of Fire the Billboard #1 album. August 17 – September 20, 1968: “People Got to Be Free” by the Young Rascals #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. August 21, 22, and 23: Bullfrog II Festival, held on the Pelletier Farm, St Helens, Oregon. August 22, 1968, The Beatles after live performances: tensions had been building within The Beatles for some time during the recording of the White Album. On this day matters came to a head, and Ringo left the group. Later, Ringo stated. “While we were recording the 'White' album we ended up being more of a band again, and that's what I always love. I love being in a band. Of course, I must have moments of turmoil, because I left the group for a while that summer. I left because I felt two things: I felt I wasn't playing great, and I also felt that the other three were really happy and I was an outsider. I went to see John, who had been living in my apartment in Montagu Square with Yoko since he moved out of Kenwood. I said, 'I'm leaving the group because I'm not playing well and I feel unloved and out of it, and you three are really close.' And John said, 'I thought it was you three!' So then I went over to Paul's and knocked on his door. I said the same thing: 'I'm leaving the band. I feel you three guys are really close and I'm out of it.' And Paul said, 'I thought it was you three!' The news of Ringo's departure was kept secret. After Ringo walked out, the remaining Beatles recorded 'Back In the USSR', with Paul on drums and John playing bass. August 23, 1968, The Beatles after live performances: Cynthia Lennon sued John Lennon for divorce. August 26, 1968, The Beatles after live performances: “Hey Jude” released. It will spend nine weeks as number one in the United States—the longest run at the top of the American charts for a Beatles' single. August 28, 1968, The Beatles after live performances: started recording a new John Lennon song ‘Dear Prudence’. They built the song instrument by instrument, utilizing the 8-track equipment at Trident. John and George played guitars, while Paul plays drums to compensate for Ringo, who had quit The Beatles on August 22. August 30, 1968: Byrds released Sweetheart of the Rodeo album. Late summer 1968, The Road to Bethel and the Woodstock Festival: Michael Lang moved to Woodstock, NY.
September 1968 Number One Singles Albums and more
September 3, 1968, The Beatles after live performances: Ringo Starr rejoined the group. He later stated: I got a telegram saying, 'You're the best rock'n'roll drummer in the world. Come on home, we love you.' And so I came back. We all needed that little shake-up. When I got back to the studio I found George had had it decked out with flowers - there were flowers everywhere. I felt good about myself again, we'd got through that little crisis and it was great. And then the 'White' album really took off - we all left the studio and went to a little room so there was no separation and lots of group activity going down. Although Ringo's return from Sardinia was much celebrated, there was little for him to do in this recording session, which took place in Abbey Road's studio two from 7pm until 3.30am the following morning. George Harrison worked alone, recording a backwards guitar solo for While My Guitar Gently Weeps. September 7- 27, 1968: The Doors’ Waiting for the Sun is the Billboard #1 album. Their first #1 album. September 21 – 27, 1968: “Harper Valley, PTA” by Jeannie C Riley #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. September 28 – November 29, 1968, The Beatles after live performances: “Hey Jude” #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. "Hey Jude" was released in August 1968 as the first single from the Beatles' record label Apple Records. More than seven minutes in length, it was at the time the longest single ever to top the British charts. It also spent nine weeks at number one in the United States, the longest for any Beatles single. "Hey Jude" tied the "all-time" record, at the time, for the longest run at the top of the US charts. The single has sold approximately eight million copies and is frequently included on professional critics' lists of the greatest songs of all time. September 28 - October 4, 1968: The Rascals’ Time Peace: The Rascals Greatest Hits is the Billboard #1 album.
October 1968 Number One Singles Albums and more
October 3, 1968: The Fifth Big Sur Folk Festival. October 5 – 11, 1968: The Doors’ Waiting for the Sun returned to the Billboard #1 album position. October 12 – November 15, 1968: Big Brother and the Holding Company’s Cheap Thrills is the Billboard #1 album. October 16, 1968, Jimi Hendrix: release of the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s 'Electric Ladyland' album. It was also made available as two albums with changed artwork after complaints about the naked women who were pictured on the inner sleeve. The female models were paid for the photo shoot and double if they posed completely naked. Hendrix was displeased with both. He had wanted one of the band and himself in NYC’s Central Park on an Alice in Wonderland statue. October 18, 1968, The Beatles after live performances: John Lennon and Yoko Ono arrested by the Drugs Squad. Lennon and Ono were temporarily living at Ringo Starr's flat at 34 Montagu Square, London. Following a tip-off from a newspaper journalist friend, they had thoroughly cleaned the flat to make sure it was free of drugs. Lennon related: All of a sudden, there was this knock on the door and a woman's voice outside, and I look around and there is a policeman standing in the window, waiting to be let it. We'd been in bed and our lower regions were uncovered. Yoko ran into the bathroom to get dressed with her head poking out, so they wouldn't think she was hiding anything. Then I said, 'Ring the lawyer, quick,' but she went and rang Apple. I will never know why.... That thing was set up. The Daily Express was there before the cops came. In fact, Don Short had told us, 'They're coming to get you,' three weeks before. So, believe me, I'd cleaned the house out, because Jimi Hendrix had lived there before in the apartment, and I'm not stupid. I went through the whole damn house. October 24, 1968, LSD : possession of LSD banned federally in the U.S. after the passage of the Staggers-Dodd Bill (Public Law 90-639) which amended the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. October 26 & 27, 1968, The San Francisco Pop Festival was held at the Alameda County Fairgrounds.
November 1968 Number One Singles Albums and more
In November 1968, Future Woodstock Performers: Melanie (age 21) released her first album, In November 1968: Van Morrison released classic album, Astral Weeks November 1, 1968, The Beatles after live performances: George Harrison became the first member of The Beatles to release a solo project, an LP called "Wonderwall Music.” [McCartney’s January 1967 The Family Way soundtrack recording is sometimes considered to be the first Beatles solo album, but most critics consider Wonderwall Music to be the first, because it was released under George Harrison's name while The Family Way was credited to George Martin.] The songs, recorded in December 1967 in England, and January 1968 in Bombay, India were virtually all instrumental, except for some non-English vocals and a slowed-down spoken word track. "Wonderwall Music" is notable for being the first official LP release on Apple Records. November 8, 1968, The Beatles after live performances: Cynthia Lennon granted divorce from John. November 9, 1968: singer James Brown gave support to the civil rights movement with his song, "Say It Loud — I'm Black and I'm Proud (Part 1)," which hit number one on the R & B charts for a record sixth straight week. November 11, 1968, The Beatles after live performances: John and Yoko. Two Virgins album released. It was composed of the experimental tapes of various sound effects made in May of 1968. The cover showed John and Yoko posing nude. The album released in a brown paper. November 13, 1968, The Beatles after live performances: US release of Yellow Submarine movie. November 16 – 29, 1968, Jimi Hendrix: Electric Ladyland the Billboard #1 album. November 21, 1968, The Beatles after live performances: Yoko Ono suffered a miscarriage of the baby she was expecting with John Lennon. It had been due to be born in February. Lennon stayed at her side at Queen Charlotte's Hospital, London, sleeping overnight next to her. When his bed was needed for a patient he slept on the floor. Just before the miscarriage, the fetal heartbeat was recorded. It was included in Lennon and Ono's 1969 album Life With The Lions, followed by two minutes' silence. The child was named John Ono Lennon II, and was buried in a secret location. It was later claimed that Ono's miscarriage was caused by the stress of their October drugs bust and subsequent arrest. November 22, 1968, The Kinks released The Village Green Preservation Society album. November 22, 1968, The Beatles after live performances: released The Beatles, usually referred to as the White Album. The “White Album’s” original working title was A Doll’s House, which is the name of Henrik Ibsen’s play written in the 19th century. In addition, according to Geoffrey Giuliano, author of The Beatles Album, an illustration was prepared for the cover of A Doll’s House by the famed artist Patrick. However the title was changed when the British band Family released the similarly titled Music in a Doll’s House earlier that year. The plain white cover was opted for instead after McCartney then requested the albums sleeve design “be as stark a contrast to Peter Blake’s vivid cover art for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band as possible, the complete opposite of it…” he said. November 28, 1968, The Beatles after live performances: Lennon pleaded guilty of the drug charges, taking sole responsibility in order to protect Yoko Ono, who had recently suffered a miscarriage. He was additionally fearful that if they both fought the charges and lost, Ono may have been deported from the United Kingdom. During the hearing Lennon's solicitor, Martin Polden, told the court that Ono had recently lost their baby, which had been a terrible blow to the couple. Additionally, Polden declared that Lennon had renounced drugs after becoming a devotee of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi the previous year, and stressed that the Beatle had "given pleasure to millions" through his music. The magistrate quashed the charge of obstruction to justice, and fined Lennon £150 plus court costs of 20 guineas. Lennon was also warned that if he was found guilty again of a similar offence he risked a custodial sentence. Although the judge exercised some leniency, the repercussions of the case continued for Lennon for many years. The conviction was a key factor in the Nixon administration's efforts to deny Lennon a Green Card for residence in the US. November 30 – December 20, 1968: Big Brother and the Holding Company’s Cheap Thrills returns to the Billboard #1 album spot. November 30 – December 13, 1968: “Love Child” by Diana Ross & the Supremes #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
December 1968 Number One Singles Albums and more
December 2, 1968, The Beatles after live performances: George Harrison’s Wonderwall Music album released. (see Dec 20) December 6, 1968: The Rolling Stones released Beggars Banquet album. December 14, 1968 – January 21, 1969 – “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. December 20, 1968, The Beatles after live performances: send out their Beatles 1968 Christmas Record. December 21 – 27, 1968, Glen Campbell’s Wichita Lineman is the Billboard #1 album. December 26, 1968, Monterey Pop movie released. December 28 – 30, 1968: The second Miami Pop Festival of 1968. December 28, 1968 – February 7, 1969, The Beatles after live performances: The Beatles, commonly known as the White Album, was the Billboard #1 album.
- Link to Billboard #1 Singles of 1968
- Link to Billboard #1 Albums of 1968
- Link to my “1969 Number One Singles Albums” page
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