1968 in music
Music-related events during 1968
- 1 Specific locations
- 2 Specific genres
- 3 Events
- 4 Bands formed
- 5 Bands disbanded
- 6 Albums released
- 7 Biggest hit singles
- 8 Other hit singles
- 9 Published popular music
- 10 Classical music
- 11 Opera
- 12 Jazz
- 13 Musical theater
- 14 Musical films
- 15 Births
- 16 Deaths
- 17 Awards
- 18 References
List of notable events in music that took place in the year 1968.
- January 4 – Guitarist Jimi Hendrix is jailed by Stockholm police, after trashing a hotel room during a drunken fist fight with bassist Noel Redding.
- January 13 – Johnny Cash performs his famous concert at Folsom State Prison in California.
- January 20 – The Who and the Small Faces start with a tour of Australia and New Zealand.
- February 1 – Universal Studios offers the Doors $500,000 to star in a feature film, which is never made.
- February 4 – The Bee Gees make their American television debut on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.
- February 12 – Jimi Hendrix is given an honorary high school diploma from Garfield High School in Seattle, Washington. Hendrix is also given the key to the city.
- February 16 – The Beatles, Mike Love, Mia Farrow, Donovan and others travel to India to visit Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at Rishikesh.
- February 18 – David Gilmour joins Pink Floyd, replacing founder Syd Barrett, who had checked himself into a psychiatric hospital.
- February 21 – McGraw-Hill, Inc., outbids eight other publishers and pays $150,000 for the U.S. rights to Hunter Davies' authorized biography of the Beatles.
- February 22 – Florence Ballard of the Supremes is released from her contract with Motown.
- February 27 – Doo-wop Singer Frankie Lymon is found dead at his grandmother's house in Harlem, New York, of a heroin overdose.
- February 29 – The 10th Annual Grammy Awards are held in Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville and New York, hosted by Stan Freberg. The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band wins Album of the Year (the first rock LP to receive the award), while The 5th Dimension's "Up, Up and Away" wins both Record of the Year and Song of the Year. Bobbie Gentry wins Best New Artist.
- March 1 – Johnny Cash and June Carter are married in Franklin, Kentucky, with Merle Kilgore as best man.
- March 8 – Bill Graham opens the Fillmore East in an abandoned movie theater in New York City.
- March 25 – The 58th and final new episode of The Monkees airs on NBC.
- March 30 – The Yardbirds record their live album Live Yardbirds at the Anderson Theater.
- April 5 – James Brown appears on national television, in an attempt to calm feelings of anger in the United States following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
- April 6
- Pink Floyd announced that Syd Barrett, who was replaced two months earlier amid deteriorating mental health, had officially left the group.
- The 13th Eurovision Song Contest is held in the Royal Albert Hall, London. The winning song, Spain's "La, la, la" is sung by Massiel, after Spanish authorities refused to allow Joan Manuel Serrat to perform it in Catalan. The UK finish in second place, just one point behind, with the song "Congratulations" sung by Cliff Richard, which goes on to outsell the winning Spanish entry throughout Europe.
- The Open Pibroch Competition of the Scottish Piping Society of London is held at the London Scottish headquarters at Buckingham Gate. First place is won by Robert Brown, for the ninth time in ten years, with a performance of The King's Taxes. Second prize goes to Seamus McNeill of the College of Piping, Glasgow, with The Bells of Perth, third prize to Pipe Major Angus MacDonald of the First Battalion, Scots Guards, with Macfarlane's Gathering, and fourth prize to John MacFadyen with The Battle of Auldern. MacFadyen, however, wins narrowly over Brown in the second big competition, that for the Bratach Gorm, the blue banner of the MacCrimmons.
- April 7 – Singer/pianist/songwriter Nina Simone's performance at Westbury Music Fair is dedicated to the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The song "Why? (the king of love is dead)" by Gene Taylor is performed for the first time. The show is partially released on the Emmy nominated album Nuff Said (1968).
- April 29 – The rock musical Hair opens on Broadway at the Biltmore Theatre.
- May 4 – Mary Hopkin performs on the British TV show Opportunity Knocks. Hopkin catches the attention of model Twiggy, who recommends her to Paul McCartney. McCartney would soon sign Hopkin to Apple Records.
- May 5 – Buffalo Springfield performs together for the last time in Long Beach, California.
- May 7
- May 14 – At a press conference, John Lennon and Paul McCartney introduce the Beatles' new business concept, Apple Corps, Ltd., an entertainment company that included a recording studio, a record label, and clothing store.
- May 26 – Blues artist Little Willie John dies in prison after being convicted of manslaughter.
- May 30 – The Beatles begin recording The White Album (officially titled, simply, The Beatles). Sessions would span over 4 months, ending on October 14.
- June 20
- David Ruffin is fired from The Temptations due to his ego and because he began inquiring into the Temptations' financial records, demanding an accounting of the group's money.
- Martha Reeves & the Vandellas make their debut at the Copacabana in New York City, winning a rave review in The New York Times. The engagement was recorded but remains in the Motown vaults.
- July – Release in Brazil of the album Tropicália: ou Panis et Circencis by Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso and others, with arrangements by Rogério Duprat, inaugurates the Tropicália movement in music.
- July 7 – The Yardbirds perform for the last time before disbanding.
- July 9–14 – The International Eisteddfod takes place in Llangollen, North Wales
- July 18 – Mina presents her Italian white soul hits "Se stasera sono qui" and "Colpo al cuore". The performance is transmitted live without playback from the Auditorio A of the Radiotelevisione Italiana regional headquarters in Naples.
- August 1 – Jeff Beck Group releases their album Truth. A seminal work of heavy metal, it incorporates blues and hard rock. It introduced the talents of Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood.
- August 4 – Yes performs for the first time, at a summer camp.
- August 5–10 – The Royal National Eisteddfod takes place in Barry, Wales.
- August 21 – Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia. At this evening's performance of The Proms in London, the USSR Symphony Orchestra plays with Mstislav Rostropovich as soloist in Dvořák's Cello Concerto.
- August 23 – Simon & Garfunkel give a live concert at the Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood, California. A recording is later released on CD in 1994 by Australian company Vigotone Records as Voices of Intelligent Dissent.
- September 7 – Led Zeppelin performs for the first time, billed as The New Yardbirds (the Yardbirds had disbanded two months earlier, and guitarist Jimmy Page has subsequently formed this new group). Also this day, The Banana Splits Adventure Hour premieres on NBC.
- September 14 – Two sons of singer Roy Orbison, 10-year-old Roy DeWayne Orbison and 6-year-old Anthony King Orbison, die in a house fire in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Orbison's youngest son, Wesley, is miraculously saved by Roy's parents.
- September 15
- September 19 – The Who begin recording Tommy, a rock opera that tells the story about a deaf, dumb and blind boy, including his experiences with life and the relationship with his family.
- October 7 – Jose Feliciano at Tiger Stadium for 1968 World Series in Detroit sing a personal and controversial soul version of "Star-Spangled Banner", this was the first time for the National Anthem in a different style.
- October 8 – The soundtrack for the 1968 film Romeo and Juliet is released, containing popular "What Is a Youth" tune.
- November 8 – John and Cynthia Lennon are divorced.
- November 11 – Three days after their divorce, John Lennon costars with Yoko Ono in Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins, which ends up being a flop.
- November 17 – Diana Ross & the Supremes replace The Beatles' hugely successful "Hey Jude" at number-one in the U.S. with "Love Child"; this would be the last of five turnovers at number-one between the two most successful music acts in America during the 1960s.
- November 22 – The Beatles (also known as "The White Album") by The Beatles is released. Also released is The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society by The Kinks.
- November 26 – Cream plays their farewell concert at the Royal Albert Hall. It will be the last time Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, and Ginger Baker play together until their 1993 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
- December 2
- Jimi Hendrix's manager Chas Chandler quits over differences with Hendrix during the recording of Electric Ladyland
- Janis Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company perform their last concert together before Janis goes solo.
- Elvis Presley's If I Can Dream airs on NBC and finished as not only the highest rated TV show for the week it was broadcast, but the highest rated Television Special of 1968.
- December 9
- A political confrontation at the Planten un Blomen Hall in Hamburg results in cancellation of the scheduled premiere of Hans Werner Henze's oratorio Das Floß der Medusa, a score dedicated to Che Guevara.
- TCB airs on NBC starring Diana Ross & the Supremes and The Temptations, becoming the first variety special in America to feature an exclusively African American cast.
- Shinjuku Music Festival is broadcast for the first time by Nippon Cultural Broadcasting.
- December 11 – The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus was filmed. Acts included The Rolling Stones, The Who, Taj Mahal, Jethro Tull, The Dirty Mac, and Marianne Faithfull. This is the last appearance of Brian Jones as a member of The Rolling Stones.
- December 20 – Peter Tork announces he is leaving The Monkees.
- December 22 – The Animals reunite for one benefit concert at the Newcastle City Hall while Eric Burdon & The Animals are disbanding.
- December 31 – Small Faces break up when Steve Marriott storms off the stage.
In the US, 6,540 pop singles and 4,057 albums were released.
|2||Elvis' Gold Records Volume 4||Elvis Presley||Compilation|
|Sing Me Back Home||Merle Haggard||-|
|15||The Notorious Byrd Brothers||The Byrds||-|
|16||Vincebus Eruptum||Blue Cheer||-|
|21||Boogie with Canned Heat||Canned Heat||-|
|The Graduate||Simon & Garfunkel (incidental music by Dave Grusin)||Soundtrack|
|Lady Soul||Aretha Franklin||-|
|30||White Light/White Heat||The Velvet Underground||-|
|–||A Beacon from Mars||Kaleidoscope||-|
|Did She Mention My Name?||Gordon Lightfoot||-|
|From Sea to Shining Sea||Johnny Cash||-|
|Mass in F Minor||The Electric Prunes||-|
|Now and Them||Them||-|
|Something Else Again||Richie Havens||-|
|19||Once Upon a Dream||The Rascals||-|
|21||Child Is Father to the Man||Blood, Sweat & Tears||-|
|23||The Dock of the Bay||Otis Redding||Compilation|
|24||Fleetwood Mac||Fleetwood Mac||-|
|-||The Beat Goes On||Vanilla Fudge||-|
|Hangin' On||Waylon Jennings||-|
|The Inner Mystique||The Chocolate Watch Band||-|
|The Mason Williams Phonograph Record||Mason Williams||-|
|It's Been a Long Long Time||Hep Stars||-|
|4||Just Because I'm a Woman||Dolly Parton||-|
|24||Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake||Small Faces||-|
|-||At Folsom Prison||Johnny Cash||Live|
|Basic Blues Magoos||Blues Magoos||-|
|The Beat of the Brass||Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass||-|
|La La Means I Love You||The Delfonics||-|
|The Papas & The Mamas||The Mamas & the Papas||-|
|Quicksilver Messenger Service||Quicksilver Messenger Service||-|
|The Tom Jones Fever Zone||Tom Jones||Parrot album|
|A Tramp Shining||Richard Harris||-|
|27||Picturesque Matchstickable Messages from the Status Quo||Status Quo||-|
|-||Bobby Darin Born Walden Robert Cassotto||Bobby Darin||-|
|Crown of Creation||Jefferson Airplane||-|
|Life||Sly & the Family Stone||-|
|Magic Bus: The Who on Tour||The Who||Compilation|
|Shine On Brightly||Procol Harum||-|
Release date unknown
- 3 in the Attic – Chad & Jeremy
- 30 by Ella – Ella Fitzgerald
- Action! – Desmond Dekker & the Aces
- Agemo's Trip to Mother Earth – Group 1850
- Aerial Ballet – Harry Nilsson
- All of Us – Nirvana
- The Archies – The Archies
- At It Again – The Dubliners
- Backstage – Cher
- Balaklava – Pearls Before Swine
- A Banda Tropicalista do Duprat – Rogério Duprat
- Bang, Bang You're Terry Reid – Terry Reid
- Bend Me, Shape Me – The American Breed
- Bill Evans at the Montreux Jazz Festival – Bill Evans
- Bill Haley's Biggest Hits – Bill Haley & His Comets
- Blues on Top of Blues – B. B. King
- Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers – Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers
- The Bonniwell Music Machine – The Music Machine
- Caravan – Caravan
- The Cheerful Insanity of Giles, Giles and Fripp – Giles, Giles and Fripp
- Come Out Fighting Ghengis Smith – Roy Harper
- The Crazy World of Arthur Brown – The Crazy World of Arthur Brown
- Cycles – Frank Sinatra
- Dino Valente – Dino Valente
- Dion – Dion DiMucci
- Down Here on the Ground – Wes Montgomery
- Drinkin' and Courtin' – The Dubliners
- Earth Opera – Earth Opera
- Easy Does It – Julie London
- The Electric Flag: An American Music Band – Electric Flag
- The Electricfying Eddie Harris – Eddie Harris
- Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera – Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera
- Fall Out – Terry Smith
- Feelings – The Grass Roots
- Filles de Kilimanjaro – Miles Davis
- First Edition's 2nd – The First Edition
- For the Sake of the Song – Townes Van Zandt
- Francis A. & Edward K. – Frank Sinatra and Duke Ellington
- From St. Louie to Frisco – Chuck Berry
- Gal Costa – Gal Costa
- God Bless the Red Krayola and All Who Sail With It – Red Krayola
- Goin' to Memphis – Paul Revere & the Raiders
- Golden Grass – The Grass Roots
- Gun – Gun
- H. P. Lovecraft II – H. P. Lovecraft
- Heart of Cash – Johnny Cash
- Here Comes The Judge – Frederick Earl "Shorty" Long
- Hey Little One – Glen Campbell
- Hickory Holler Revisited – O.C. Smith
- Honey – Andy Williams
- The Horse – Cliff Nobles & Co.
- I Can't Stop Dancing – Archie Bell & The Drells
- I Stand Alone – Al Kooper
- I'm a Fool to Want You – Sergio Franchi
- In My Own Dream – Paul Butterfield
- In New York – Ravi Shankar
- It Crawled into My Hand, Honest – The Fugs
- It's All About – Spooky Tooth
- Karyobin – Spontaneous Music Ensemble
- Large as Life and Twice as Natural – Davey Graham
- The Left Banke Too – The Left Banke
- Live – The 13th Floor Elevators
- Look to Your Heart – Perry Como
- Love Is All Around – The Troggs
- Love and Other Crimes – Lee Hazlewood
- Love is Blue – The Lawrence Welk Orchestra
- Lucille – B. B. King
- A Man Without Love – Engelbert Humperdinck
- Members, Don't Git Weary – Max Roach
- The Midnight Mover – Wilson Pickett
- Miracle Mirror – Golden Earrings
- Mony Mony – Tommy James and the Shondells
- A Morning Raga / An Evening Raga – Ravi Shankar
- Nancy & Lee – Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood
- NBC-TV Special:TCB Soundtrack – Diana Ross & The Supremes with The Temptations
- 'Nuff Said! – Nina Simone
- On Stage – Bill Haley & His Comets
- One to Get Ready, Four to Go – Clare Fischer
- Otis Redding Live at the Whiskey A Go Go – Otis Redding
- Outrageous – Kim Fowley
- The Perry Como Christmas Album – Perry Como
- Power of Love – Hour Glass
- The Progressive Blues Experiment – Johnny Winter
- Promise Of A Future – Hugh Masekela
- Rare Junk – Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
- Reality Is Bad Enough – Patrick Sky
- Realization – Johnny Rivers
- Recital na Boite Barroco – Maria Bethânia
- Rhinoceros – Rhinoceros
- Ring Out Joy – Ed Summerlin
- Roots – The Everly Brothers
- S.F. Sorrow – The Pretty Things
- Scratching the Surface – The Groundhogs (debut)
- Shake! – Siegel-Schwall Band
- Sir John Alot of Merry Englandes Musyk Thynge and ye Grene Knyghte – John Renbourn
- Slow Drag – Donald Byrd
- Soul Master – Edwin Starr
- Soulful Christmas – James Brown
- The Sounds of India – Ravi Shankar
- Soul Limbo – Booker T. & the MGs
- Speak Like a Child – Herbie Hancock
- Special Occasion – Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
- Strictly Personal – Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band
- Switched-On Bach – Walter Carlos
- Taj Mahal – Taj Mahal
- Le temps des fleurs – Dalida
- Tenderness Junction – The Fugs
- Texas in My Soul – Willie Nelson
- There Is – The Dells
- There Goes My Everything – Don Cherry
- Tighten Up – Archie Bell & The Drells
- Tiny Tim's 2nd Album – Tiny Tim
- Tomorrow – Tomorrow
- The Transformed Man – William Shatner
- Vigil – The Easybeats
- Wake Up...It's Tomorrow – Strawberry Alarm Clock
- Welcome to Trini Country – Trini Lopez
- Wine and Song – Sergio Franchi
- With Their New Face On – The Spencer Davis Group
- The World in a Sea Shell – Strawberry Alarm Clock