The Friday 5×2: Top Ten Records in Chicago for 1968

I had built this playlist a couple of weeks ago, thinking I’d use it on New Year’s, then decided not to use it. So, let’s give it a listen today.

On January 1, 1969, WLS Radio in Chicago released their year-end survey for 1968, also known as “The Big 89 for 1968.” Here are the top ten songs from that survey.

  1. The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” It’s hard to believe that this song is over 50 years old. Nationally, this only made it to #50 for the year.
  2. The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, “Fire” It doesn’t surprise me this was #9 for the year. Nationally, it only reached #39.
  3. Marvin Gaye, “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” This is amazing: this song only got to #88 on the Hot 100 for the year. It’s a Motown classic and has been covered many times. What can I say?
  4. Mary Hopkin, “Those Were The Days” Mary Hopkin was one of the first artists to record on The Beatles’ Apple Records, and I’ve heard some accounts that say she was the first act that wasn’t The Beatles. A cover of Paul McCartney’s song from the *Magical Mystery Tour* album. Only reached #30 nationally.
  5. Ohio Express, “Yummy Yummy Yummy” Bubblegum music did quite well in Chicago, much to everyone’s chagrin, and this was one of the first songs of the genre. Nationally, it reached #38.
  6. Herb Alpert, “This Guy’s In Love With You” Nationally, this reached #7, so we weren’t entirely crazy.
  7. Jeannie C. Riley, “Harper Valley PTA” Country songs were still making it on pop radio in 1968, and this song inspired a 1978 movie and a 1981 TV series, both of which starred the lovely Barbara Eden. Nationally it rose to #11 for the year.
  8. Bobby Goldsboro, “Honey” A bit sappy, but I liked it and could play it on the guitar. Wasn’t until many years later I realized it was about suicide. This was also the #3 song nationally.
  9. Paul Mauriat, “Love Is Blue” This was a huge hit for M. Mauriat and remains a beautiful song. There was only one record that did better than it, both in Chicago and nationally, and it was…
  10. The Beatles, “Hey Jude/Revolution” In Chicago, this was a two-sided single where both sides were considered to reach #1. Nationally, “Hey Jude” topped the list while “Revolution” only made it to #78. Nevertheless, because I prefer “Revolution,” that’s what’s in the playlist. You can find “Hey Jude” here.

And that’s the Friday 5×2 for January 12, 2018.

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