The Rock and Roll Revisited Countdown – 1968

Here’s The Rock and Roll Revisited Countdown for this week in 1968.

Now Showing – The Graduate

US Population: 200,706,052
Life expectancy: 70.2 years
Dow-Jones High: 985 Low: 825
Federal spending: $178.13 billion
Federal debt: $368.7 billion
Inflation: 4.2%
Consumer Price Index: 34.8
Unemployment: 3.8%

What Things Cost:
Cost of a new home: $26,600.00
Median Household Income: $7,743.00
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.05 ($0.06 as of 1/7/68)
Cost of a gallon of regular gas: $0.34
Cost of a dozen eggs: $0.53
Cost of a gallon of Milk: 1.07

Tonight on CBS, The 84th and final episode of Lost in Space aired. The show launched September 15, 1965. The penultimate episode, “Junkyard in Space”, ended with the voyagers still lost in space.

The Top 5: 

1 – Paul MauriatLove is Blue: The song was originally Luxembourg’s entry in the 1967 Eurovision Song Contest sung by the Greek singer Vicky Leandros. It finished in fourth place. It was the biggest ever seller of a Eurovision Song Contest song in America, and the first US chart topper by a French artist. (Songfacts)

2 – 1910 Fruit Gum CompanySimon Says: originally recorded in 1967, Simon Says became the 1910 Fruit Gum Company’s first hit. Drummer Floyd Marcus remembered, “There wasn’t really a (Bubble Gum) genre at that time. .. But I think a lot of it was that there was so much serious content in the years of the Vietnam War, and all the rebellion that was going on, all the drug culture that was going on… Looking back in retrospect, we feel that its time had come, because people in that five-year period were kind of tired of all the heaviness of music.” (Wikipedia)

3 – Delfonics La La Means I Love You: Written by Philly music legends Thom Bell, William Hart, the song was featured in Spike Lee’s 1994 film, Crooklyn. It also appeared in Quentin Tarantino’s 1997 film, Jackie Brown. Nicolas Cage sang this song to Téa Leoni in the 2000 film, The Family Man. (Wikipedia)

4 – Raymond Lefevre Soul Coaxing: With a fellow Frenchman at Number 1, Soul Coaxing, a rough translation of “Âme câline” was written in 1967 by French singer/songwriter Michel Polnareff, It was  Raymond Lefèvre’s only US Hit. In 1968, American singer Peggy March (formerly Little Peggy March) released an English-language version titled “If You Loved Me”, but it failed to chart.

5 – Aretha FranklinSince You’ve Been Gone: Aretha Franklin wrote the tune with her then-husband and manager Ted White. They lyrics deal with the aftermath of a fight that resulted in her lover walking out the door. In reality, The Queen of Soul wasn’t pleading for her husband to come back. Franklin separated from White around the time Lady Soul was released, and the pair divorced the following year. (Songfacts)

Today In History:

Walter Cronkite on the air in 1968

1960, The U.S. government announced that it would be sending 3,500 U.S. troops to Vietnam.

1962, At the Capitol Tower studios in Hollywood, Frank Sinatra recorded his final sides for Capitol Records. His last song at the session was ‘I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues.’

1964, Singer Eddie Fisher and actress Elizabeth Taylor divorced after five years of marriage.

1964, Elijah Muhammad renamed boxer Cassius Clay as Muhammad Ali.

1965, Marx Brothers foil Margaret Dumont dies after a heart attack at age 75.

1970, Actor William Hopper, famous for his role as Paul Drake on the TV series ‘Perry Mason’ dies of pneumonia at age 55.

1980, Danny Kaye, Annette Funicello, and Buddy Ebsen were among the stars who celebrated ‘Disneyland’s 25th Anniversary’ in a CBS-TV special.

1981, Walter Cronkite, the dean of American television newscasters, said ‘And that’s the way it is’ for the final time, as he ended his tenure anchoring ‘The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite.’

1982, Billboard magazine revealed that Dick Clark had donated the podium he stood behind on the original ‘American Bandstand’ to the national museum at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.

Today’s Birthdays:

Willard Scott

1934 Willard Scott (Today Show), born in Alexandria, Virginia.
1940 Daniel J Travanti (Frank Furillo-Hill St Blues), born in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
1942 Tammy Faye Bakker (Messner) (The PTL Club), born in International Falls, Minnesota (d. 2007).
1944 Townes Van Zandt (d. 1997)
1945 Arthur Lee guitarist (Love) (d.2006)
1945 Chris White, bassist with The Zombies.
1946 Matthew Fisher (Procol Harum)
1946 Peter Wolf (The J Geils Band)
1952 Ernie Isley (The Isley Brothers – It’s Your Thing, Heat is On)
1956 Bryan Cranston, American actor (Breaking Bad, Malcolm in the Middle), born in Canoga Park, California.
1962 Taylor Dayne [Leslie Wunderman], American vocalist (I’ll Always Love You), born in New York.
1964 Wanda Sykes, American actress and comedienne (Black-ish), born in Portsmouth, Virginia.
1970 Rachel Weisz, English actress (The Mummy, The Constant Gardener), born in London, England

Much More Music:

1959, “There Goes My Baby” – The Drifters: The newly reconstituted Drifters (the Five Crowns had replaced the original group in 1958), featuring lead singer Ben E. King, recorded ‘There Goes My Baby’ at the Atlantic studios in New York. (Video)


1966, “Paint it, Black” – The Rolling Stones: At RCA Studios in Hollywood, the Rolling Stones, with Jack Nitzsche playing piano and Brian Jones on sitar (which he taught himself to play after a visit with George Harrison), began recording ‘Paint It, Black.’ The track was finished on March 9 and it became the first #1 single in the U.S. and UK to feature a sitar. The song was originally titled ‘Paint It Black’ without a comma. Keith Richards said the comma was added by Decca, their UK record label. (Video)

1978, “Just The Way You Are” – Billy Joel: Billy Joel was awarded a rare platinum single for ‘Just The Way You Are’, a perennial request made by many a bride in the late 70s and early 80s for their first wedding dance.  (Video)


Today’s Quote Worth Re-Quoting: Originality is nothing but judicious imitation. The most original writers borrowed one from another.” ~Voltaire

One more for the road: As cover bands go, most don’t cut the mustard. But I promise you that you’ll be blown away by Leonid Vorobyev. The Moscow outfit, “Leonid & Friends”, superbly channel the mix and the vibe of the groups they celebrate, with a special affinity for Chicago. Those who follow us on Facebook got a taste of Leonid & Friends on Monday when we started off the morning with their rendition of “Beginnings”. I don’t often get chills when I listen to cover versions. But I did on this one and bet you will, too, when you hear Leonid’s dead on recreation of “Feeling Stronger Every Day”. Watch the video and you’ll see how much fun this tight outfit has in the studio, too. (Video)

Thanks for listening!

Scott Westerman
Host and Producer – Rock and Roll Revisited
Author: Motor City Music – Keener 13 and the Soundtrack of Detroit