Sunday, 1 September 2013

1968 USA Hit Parade

I was born in Brazil in 1949. I have always been attracted to music, radio, movies, magazines, books and everything one would call 'art'.  But music would come as a strong first in my life. I must have listened to music since I was an infant but I can tell it for sure I started being aware of popular music around 1957 when I came to realize songs competed among themselves in what one know as 'Hit Parade'. I remember singing 'Boneca cobiçada' a 1957 Brazilian major country hit in its entirety. Ever since I would listen to potential  hits on the radio and memorize the lyrics after listening to them a few times.

With hits sung in foreign language like Spanish, Italian, English, French, Japanese or German though was a different cup-of-tea. One never memorized foreign-language hits. It was too hard. That's why we waited for those hits to be 'translated' into Brazilian-Portuguese and recorded by some local talent. Then we would finally sing along with them listening to the radio.

Foreign-language hits were seasonal in Brazil. Sometimes they would nearly dominate the scene. In the 1940s most of them were either hits straight from Hollywood movie sound-tracks or from the Big Bands. In the 1950s we had rock'n'roll, but rock took a while to get its roots in Brazil. Elvis PresleyPaul Anka, Neil Sedaka and Brenda Lee were the most popular foreign hit-makers in Brazil but as soon as Brazilian acts started recording 'Diana', 'Oh Carol' or 'Stupid cupid' in Portuguese, the local product was more successful on the radio and record sales. That's only natural for one to appreciate something one can actually understand the meaning of.

In 1964 we had an Italian Invasion in Brazil. Italian acts like Rita PavoneNico Fidenco and Sergio Endrigo went to # One at the drop of a hat. This 'surge' lasted from 2 to 4 years. Then, circa 1968 we had another foreign 'invasion'. This time it was mostly US records from Cash Box and Billboard lists.

All of a sudden São Paulo had two radio stations playing exclusively English-language hits from the USA or England. This coincided with the year I served the Brazilian Army, so I used to listen to a lot of radio in my spare time. I remember all those US hits they played on Radio Excelsior and Radio Difusora. I didn't understand the lyrics then but I started having a bigger interest in learning the language.

So here I start listing the biggest US hits of 1968 I tabulated based mostly on lists from Billboard magazine and New York's WABC Radio. I don't intend it to be a 'scientific tabulation'. I only listed each hit once no matter how big it was. For instance: 'Alone again' (Naturally) was # One in the USA for more than 8 weeks which would cover August and September 1972. I don't care how long it was at # One. I only listed 'Alone again' as Number One in August 1972 and chose 'Ben' by Michael Jackson to 'represent' September 1972. 

So I ended up with 120 hits for each year which is 20 hits more than Billboard's Hot 100 for any given year. Isn't it clever? I thought so! So, please, have fun going through the Hit Parades from 1968 up to 1976. Eight years that were so good it hurts! Ouch!

Listen to all 1968 hits on:

JANUARY  6,  1968

1.  Hello goodbye  -  The Beatles
2.  Bend me shape me  -  The American Breed
3.  Woman woman  -  Gary Puckett & The Union Gap
4.  Chain of fools  -  Aretha Franklin 
5.  She's a rainbow  -  The Rolling Stones

6.  Different drum  -  The Stone Poneys 
7.  Monterey  -  Eric Burdon & The Animals 
8.  If I could build my whole world around you  -  Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
9.  I wish it would rain  -  The Temptations 
10. Some velvet morning  -  Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood 

FEBRUARY  3,  1968

1.  Judy in disguise (with glasses)  -  John Fred & His Playboys
2.  Green tambourine  -  The Lemon Pipers
3.  Baby, now that I've found you  -  The Foundations  
4.  Spooky  -  Classics IV
5.  Nobody but me  -  The Human Beinz

6.  Darlin'  -  The Beach Boys
7.  Summer rain  -  Johnny Rivers
8.  Walk away Renee  -  The Four Tops 
9.  Men are gettin' scarce  -  Joe Tex
10. Goin' out of my head / Can't take my eyes off you  -  The Lettermen   

M A R C H  9,  1968

1.  Love is blue  -  Paul Muriat
2.  Lady Madonna  -  The Beatles 
3.  Young girl  -  Gary Puckett & The Union Gap
4.  Simon says  -  The 1910 Fruitgum Co.
5.  I wish it would rain  -  The Temptations 

6.  Carpet man  -  The 5th Dimension
7.  (Theme from) Valley of the Dolls  -  Dionne Warwick 
8.  Kiss me goodbye  -  Petula Clark 
9.  I wonder what she's doing tonite  -  Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart
10. Everything that touches you  -  The Association 

A P R I L   6,  1968

1.  (Sittin' on) The dock of the Bay  -  Otis Redding
2.  Cry like a baby  -  The Box Tops
3.  Dance to the music  -  Sly & the Family Stone 
4.  The mighty Quinn  -  Mandred Mann  
5.  Valleri  -  The Monkees

6.  The ballad of Bonnie & Clyde  -  Georgie Fame
7.  Scarborough Fair  -  Simon & Garfunkel 
8.  (Sweet sweet baby) Since you've been gone  -  Aretha Franklin 
9.  Just dropped in (To see what condition my condition was in) The First Edition 
10. La - La - Means I love you  -  The Delfonics

M A Y   4,  1968

1.  Honey  -  Bobby Goldsboro
2.  Do you know the way to San Jose?  -  Dionne Warwick  
3.  The unicorn  -  The Irish Rovers
4.  I got the feeling  -  James Brown & the Famous Flames
5.  Play boy  -  Gene & Debbe

6.   A beautiful morning  -  The Rascals 
7.  Tighten up  -  Archie Bell & the Drells 
8.  The good, the bad and the ugly  -  Hugo Montenegro 
9.  Cowboys to girls  -  The Intruders 
10. Summertime blues  -  Blue Cheer 

J U N E   1,  1968

1.  Mrs. Robinson  -  Simon & Garfunkel
2.  MacArthur Park  -  Richard Harris 
3.  Mony mony  -  Tommy James & the Shondells 
4.  Yummy yummy yummy  -  Ohio Express
5.  Delilah  -  Tom Jones 

6.  Lady Willpower  -  Gary Puckett & the Union Gap 
7.  The look of love  -  Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66
8.  Stoned Soul picnic  -  The 5th Dimension 
9.  Ain't nothing like the real thing  -  Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
10. Love is all around  -  The Troggs 

J U L Y  6,  1968

1.  This guy's in love with you  -  Herb Alpert
2.  Think  -  Aretha Franklin 
3.  Jumpin' Jack Flash  -  The Rolling Stones
4.  Angel of the morning  -  Merrilee Rush & the Turnabouts 
5.  Dream a little dream of me  -  Mama Cass

6.  Licking stick, licking stick  -  James Brown & the Famous Flames 
7.  Here comes the judge  -  Shorty Long 
8.  Reach out of the darkness  -  Friend & Lover
9.  A man without love  -  Engelbert Humperdinck 
10. Turn around, look at me  -  The Vogues  

AUGUST  17,  1968

1.  People got to be free  -  The Rascals 
2.  Hello, I love you  -  The Doors
3.  Classical gas (Instr.) -  Mason Williams 
4.  Grazing in the grass (Instr.)  -  Hugh Masekela 
5.  Hurdy gurdy man  -  Donovan

6.  Light my fire  -  Jose Feliciano 
7.  Soul limbo (Instr.) -  Booker T. and the MGs 
8.  Indian lake  -  The Cowsills 
9.  The horse (Instr.)  -  Cliff Nobles & Co. 
10. Sunshine of your love  -  Cream 

SEPTEMBER  21,  1968

1.  Harper Valley P.T.A.  -  Jeannie C. Rilley
2.  Born to be wild  -  Steppenwolf  
3.  1, 2, 3, Red Light  -  1910 Fruitgum Co. 
4.  The fool on the hill  -  Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66
5.  Fire  -  The Crazy World of Arthur Brown

6.  You keep me hangin' on  -  Vanilla Fudge 
7.  Hush  -  Deep Purple 
8.  The house that Jack built  -  Aretha Franklin 
9.  You're all I need to get by  -  Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell 
10. I can't stop dancing  -  Archie Bell & the Drells 

OCTOBER  12,  1968

1.  Hey Jude  -  The Beatles
2.  Over you  -  Gary Puckett & the Union Gap 
3.  Little green apples  -  O.C. Smith
4.  Elenore  -  The Turtles 
5.  I say a little prayer for you  -  Aretha Franklin 

6.  Midnight confessions  -  The Grass Roots 
7.  I've gotta get a message to you  -  Bee Gees
8.  Girl watcher  -  The O'Kaysions 
9.  My special angel  -  The Vogues 
10. Say it loud - I'm black and I'm proud  -  James Brown
Mary Hopkin & friends
NOVEMBER  23,  1968

1.  Those were the days  -  Mary Hopkin
2.  Magic carpet ride  -  Steppenwolf
3.  Love child  -  The Supremes 
4.  Wichita lineman  -  Glen Campbell
5.  Hold me tight  -  Johnny Nash 

6.  Abraham, Martin and John  -  Dion 
7.  White room  -  Cream 
8.  Slip away  -  Clarence Carter  
9. Who's making love to your old lady?  -  Johnny Taylor 
10. Susie Q  -  Credence Clearwater Revival 

DECEMBER  14,  1968 

1.  I heard it through the grapevine  -  Marvin Gaye
2.  Stormy  -  Classics IV 
3.  For once in my life  -  Stevie Wonder
4.  Soulful strut  (Instr.) -  Young-Holt Unlimited 
5.  Both sides now  -  Judy Collins 

6.  Cloud nine  -  The Temptations   
7.  Worst that could happen  -  The Brooklyn Bridge
8.  Chewy chewy  -  Ohio Express
9.  I'm gonna make you love me  -  Diana Ross & the Supremes & the Temptations 
10. I love how you love me  -  Bobby Vinton 

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