Events in Music in 1968

  • Jan 2 "Zizi" closes at Broadway Theater NYC after 49 performances
  • Jan 4 Leo Fender sells Fender Guitars for $13 million to CBS
  • Jan 6 The Beatles' album "Magical Mystery Tour" goes #1 and stays #1 for 8 weeks
  • Jan 12 Beatles Film Production Ltd changes name to Apple Film Production Ltd
  • Jan 13 "Hallelujah, Baby!" closes at Martin Beck Theater NYC after 293 performances
  • Jan 13 "Illya Darling" closes at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC after 320 performances

Music History

Jan 13 Johnny Cash performs for inmates at Folsom State Prison in Folsom, California; show is recorded for live album release

  • Jan 18 "Happy Time" opens at Broadway Theater NYC for 286 performances

Music Premiere

Jan 18 Hal Hester and Danny Appolinar's rock musical "Your Own Thing", loosely based on Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night", premieres at the Orpheum Theater, NYC; runs for 933 performances

Lady Soul

Jan 22 "Lady Soul" 14th studio album by Aretha Franklin is released (Billboard Album of the Year, 1968)

  • Jan 27 "Darling of the Day" opens at George Abbott Theater NYC for 31 performances
  • Feb 4 "Golden Rainbow" opens at Shubert Theater NYC for 355 performances

Theater Premiere

Feb 7 Arthur Miller's stage drama "Price" opens at Morosco Theatre, later moving to the 46th Street Theatre, NYC; runs for 429 performances

  • Feb 10 "Spooky" by Classics IV hits #3

Music History

Feb 16 Beatles George Harrison, John Lennon and their wives fly to India for transcendental meditation study with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Music History

Feb 16 Elvis Presley receives a gold record for "How Great Thou Art"

Silent Sun

Feb 22 Rock group Genesis release their 1st record "Silent Sun"

  • Feb 24 "Darling of the Day" closes at George Abbott NYC after 31 performances
  • Feb 29 Beatles' "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" wins Grammy Award for Album of the Year, the first rock LP to do so

Music Premiere

Feb 29 Howard Hanson's 6th Symphony, premieres

Music Premiere

Mar 1 Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" first performed as a 15-minute pop cantata at Colet Court School in London

Academy of Country Music Awards

Mar 4 3rd Academy of Country Music Awards: Glen Campbell and Lynn Anderson win

  • Mar 9 10th Grammy Awards: Up Up & Away, Sgt Pepper's wins 4

Music History

Mar 11 Dmitri Shostakovich completes his 12nd string quartet

(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay

Mar 11 Otis Redding is the first person in the US to posthumously receive gold record for his single "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay"

  • Mar 13 Beatles release single "Lady Madonna" in the UK

Music History

Mar 15 LIFE magazine calls Jimi Hendrix "most spectacular guitarist in the world"

The Ed Sullivan Show

Mar 17 Bee Gees make their US TV debut on "The Ed Sullivan Show" performing "To Love Somebody" and "Words"

  • Mar 21 Hill, Hawkins & Coghill's musical premieres in London

Song To A Seagull

Mar 23 Reprise Records releases "Song To A Seagull", Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell's debut studio album

  • Apr 2 Beatles form Python Music Ltd
  • Apr 4 Paul Nassau and Oscar Brand's musical "Education of H*Y*M*A*N K*AP*L*A*N", starring Tom Bosley, opens at the Alvin Theater, NYC; runs for 28 performances
  • Apr 6 13th Eurovision Song Contest: Massiel for Spain wins singing "La, la, la" in London

Music Premiere

Apr 10 Musical "George M!", based on the life of Broadway star George M. Cohan, opens at Palace Theater NYC for 435 performances

Musical Finale

Apr 17 Betty Comden & Adolph Green and Jule Styne's musical "Fade Out-Fade In", featuring Carol Burnett, Dick Shawn, and Tina Louise, closes at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC after 271 performances

  • Apr 20 British rock band billed as "Roundabout" debuts in Kastrup, Denmark; after a brief tour of Scandinavia, they change their name to "Deep Purple"
  • Apr 21 22nd Tony Awards: "Rosencranz and Guildenstern Are Dead" (play) & "Hallelujah, Baby!" (musical) win
  • Apr 23 Ernest Gold and Anne Croswell's musical "I'm Solomon", starring Dick Shawn, opens at Mark Hellinger Theater, NYC; runs for 7 performances
  • Apr 27 Ernest Gold and Anne Croswell's musical "I'm Solomon", starring Dick Shawn, closes at Mark Hellinger Theater, NYC, after 7 performances
  • Apr 27 Paul Nassau and Oscar Brand's musical "Education of H*Y*M*A*N K*AP*L*A*N", starring Tom Bosley, closes at the Alvin Theater, NYC, after 28 performances
  • Apr 29 Galt MacDermot, Gerome Ragni and James Rado's hippie musical "Hair" opens at Biltmore Theater, NYC; runs for 1750 performances
  • May 1 "Ben Franklin in Paris" closes at Lunt Fontanne NYC after 215 performances

Music History

May 2 Roger Sessions' 8th Symphony premiers in New York City with William Steinberg conducting the New York Philharmonic

  • May 6 Columbia Records releases "Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison", the first live album by American singer-songwriter Johnny Cash, recorded in January 1968

MacArthur Park

May 11 Irish actor Richard Harris releases single "MacArthur Park"; it becomes a million-seller topping the charts in Canada and Australia, and peaking at #2 in US and #4 in UK

TV Show Appearance

May 15 Paul McCartney & John Lennon appear on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson", to promote Apple Records, Joe Garagiola is substitute host

  • May 21 Paul McCartney and girlfriend Jane Asher attend an Andy Williams concert
  • May 23 Beatles open 2nd Apple Boutique at 161 New Kings Road, London

Music History

May 24 Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull arrested for drug possession in England

  • May 25 Rolling Stones release song "Jumping Jack Flash"
  • May 25 Unicorn by The Irish Rovers hits #7
  • May 30 Beatles begin work on their only double album "Beatles"
  • Jun 1 Simon & Garfunkel's single "Mrs Robinson" from "The Graduate" hits #1 (first rock song to win Grammy for Record of the Year)
  • Jun 8 Gary Puckett and Union Gap release "Lady Will Power"
  • Jun 8 Rolling Stones release "Jumpin' Jack Flash"
  • Jun 15 "How Now, Dow Jones" closes at Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, NYC, after 220 performances
  • Jun 15 "New Faces of 1965" closes at Booth Theater, NYC, after 52 performances
  • Jun 15 "Yummy, Yummy, Yummy" by Ohio Express hits #4
  • Jun 15 Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones' musical "I Do! I Do!", starring Gordon MacRae and Carol Lawrence, and directed by Gower Champion, closes at 46th St Theater, NYC, after 561 performances, and 1 Tony Award

Music History

Jun 15 John Lennon and Yoko Ono plant two acorns for peace, at Coventry Cathedral, Conventry, England

  • Jun 22 "Here Come Da Judge" by The Buena Vistas peaks at #88
  • Jun 29 "Tip-Toe Thru' The Tulips With Me" by Tiny Tim peaks at #17

Music History

Jul 1 John Lennon's 1st full art exhibition (You Are Here) opens at Robert Fraser Gallery in London

  • Jul 5 John Lennon sells his psychedelic painted Rolls-Royce
  • Jul 7 Rock group "Yardbirds" disband
  • Jul 9 BBC-TV broadcasts "Farewell", folk-rock band The Seekers final performance, draws 10 million viewers

Creedence Clearwater Revival

Jul 15 Fantasy Records releases the self-titled debut album "Creedence Clearwater Revival"; it feature's their cover of Dale Hawkin's "Susie Q"

  • Jul 17 The Beatles' animated film "Yellow Submarine" premieres in London
  • Jul 20 Iron Butterfly's "In-a-gadda-da-vida" becomes 1st heavy metal song to hit charts, it comes in at #117
  • Jul 20 Jane Asher breaks her engagement with Beatle bassist, singer, and songwriter Paul McCartney, live on BBC-TV's "Dee Time" programme

Music Concert

Jul 20 Judy Garland headlines concert also featuring Count Basie and Jackie Wilson at JFK Stadium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; her last US concert

  • Jul 31 The Beatles close Apple Boutique in London, giving clothes away for free

Music History

Aug 3 100,000 attend two-day Newport Pop Festival in Costa Mesa, California; performers included Alice Cooper, Canned Heat, The Chambers Brothers, Country Joe and the Fish, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Sonny & Cher, Steppenwolf, Tiny Tim, The Animals, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and The Byrds

  • Aug 11 Beatles launch "Apple Records" label
  • Aug 23 Ringo quits Beatles over a disagreement (temporarily).
  • Aug 26 "Hey Jude" single released by the Beatles in US (Billboard Song of the Year 1968, Billboard 10th biggest song of all time 2013)
  • Aug 30 1st record released on Apple label in UK is The Beatles single "Hey Jude"
  • Aug 31 Private Eye magazine reports a John Lennon and Yoko Ono album will have a picture of them nude on the cover
  • Sep 6 American rock band "The Doors" open their first European tour with four sold-out shows over two days at London's 2.500 seat Roundhouse

While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Sep 6 Eric Clapton records guitar tracks for George Harrison's Beatles song "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"

Music History

Sep 7 Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham make live debut as Led Zeppelin (but billed as The New Yardbirds), before about 1,200 students at Egegard School 'Teen Club' in Gladsaxe, Denmark

Music History

Sep 14 While on tour in England, a fire at singer Roy Orbison's Henderson, Tennessee home kills the two eldest of his three sons

Barbra Streisand: A Happening in Central Park

Sep 15 "Barbra Streisand: A Happening in Central Park" premieres on CBS TV

  • Sep 18 "Funny Girl" biopic film based on life of Fanny Brice premieres, directed by William Wyler, starring Barbra Streisand and Omar Sharif
  • Sep 24 "That's Life" premieres - A Broadway musical type TV show
  • Sep 28 "Happy Time" closes at Broadway Theater NYC after 286 performances

Music History

Sep 28 "Noël Coward's Sweet Potato" opens at Barrymore NYC for 17 performances

  • Sep 28 Beatles' "Hey Jude" single goes #1 and stays #1 for 9 weeks

Music History

Sep 28 Janis Joplin announces she's leaving the rock band "Big Brother & Holding Co"

Love Child

Sep 30 The Supremes release single "Love Child"

  • Oct 10 George Harrison forms Singsong Ltd
  • Oct 12 "Noël Coward's Sweet Potato" closes at Barrymore Theater, NYC, after 17 performances
  • Oct 14 The Beatles finish recording their double album "The Beatles" more commonly known as "The White Album"
  • Oct 18 Police find 219 grains of cannabis resin in John Lennon and Yoko Ono's apartment, they are fined £150 for marijuana possession

Music Premiere

Oct 20 Ervin Drake's musical "Her 1st Roman", based on George Bernard Shaw's play "Caesar and Cleopatra", opens at Lunt Fontanne Theater, NYC; runs for 17 performances

  • Oct 23 "Maggie Flynn" opens at ANTA Theater NYC for 82 performances
  • Oct 24 Mick Jagger & Marianne Faithful busted for pot, released on £50 bail
  • Oct 25 Yoko Ono announces she is having John Lennon's baby; she later suffers a miscarriage
  • Nov 1 Musical revue "Noël Coward's Sweet Potato" opens at Booth Theater, NYC; runs for 36 performances
  • Nov 2 "Her First Roman" closes at Lunt Fontanne Theater NYC after 17 performances
  • Nov 4 "Wichita Lineman" 12th album by Glen Campbell is released (Billboard Album of the Year, 1969)
  • Nov 6 Psychedelic feature film "Head" starring the Monkees premieres in New York City

Music History

Nov 9 Joe Cocker's version of The Beatles song "With A Little Help From My Friends" becomes No. 1 single in the UK

Music Premiere

Nov 17 John Kander and Fred Ebbs' musical "Zorba" opens at Imperial Theater New York City for 305 performances

  • Nov 21 The Supremes & The Temptations release "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me"
  • Nov 22 The Beatles release "The Beatles" (White Album), their only double album
  • Nov 23 Musical revue "Noël Coward's Sweet Potato" closes at Booth Theatre, NYC, after 44 performances
  • Nov 26 Rock band Cream gives "final" concert at Royal Albert Hall, London, England - but re-unites briefly for a short tour in 2005
  • Nov 28 John Lennon is fined £150 for unauthorized drug possession
  • Nov 29 John Lennon and Yoko Ono release their 1st album "Two Virgins" in UK

Music Premiere

Dec 1 Burt Bacharach and Hal David's musical "Promises, Promises", based on the 1960 Billy Wider film "The Apartment", opens at Shubert Theatre, NYC; runs for 1,281 performances, wins a Grammy and 2 Tony Awards

  • Dec 3 Elvis Presley's Comeback Special airs on NBC, his 1st live performance in seven years, re-launching his singing career

Beggar's Banquet

Dec 6 Decca Records releases Rolling Stones album "Beggar's Banquet" in UK, the last during Brian Jones' lifetime (US release the next day)

  • Dec 7 London Records releases Rolling Stones album "Beggar's Banquet" in US, the last during Brian Jones' lifetime
  • Dec 12 Rolling Stones film TV show "Rock and Roll Circus"- guest performers include The Who, Jethro Tull, Taj Mahal, Marianne Faithfull, and John Lennon and Yoko Ono; the program never airs aired

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Dec 16 Musical-fantasy film "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", co-written by Roald Dahl and director Ken Hughes, starring Dick Van Dyke and Sally Ann Howes, with songs by Sherman and Sherman, premieres at the Odeon Leicester Square theater, London

  • Dec 18 Musical-fantasy film "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", co-written by Roald Dahl and director Ken Hughes, starring Dick Van Dyke and Sally Ann Howes, with songs by Sherman and Sherman, premieres in NYC
  • Dec 21 David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash (Crosby, Stills & Nash) premiere together in California
  • Dec 21 Glen Campbell's album "Wichita Lineman" goes to #1 in the US
  • Dec 26 Led Zeppelin's concert debut in Denver as opener for Vanilla Fudge

Music History

Dec 28 100,000 attend Miami Pop Festival; performers included: The Jimi Hendrix Experience; The Mothers of Invention; Chuck Berry; John Lee Hooker; The Crazy World of Arthur Brown; and Blues Image,

  • Dec 28 Beatles' "White Album" goes #1 & stays #1 for 9 weeks

My Way

Dec 30 Frank Sinatra first records "My Way" with lyrics were written by Paul Anka and based on the French song "Comme d'habitude"