Tuesday, August 8, 2017

FM Rock: July 1968

By July 1968, there are at least 50 radio stations in the United States broadcasting progressive rock programming. Canada is hip as well with CHUM-FM in Toronto and CKLG-FM in Vancouver filling the airwaves with the finest album cuts. Some stations are reporting that their audiences have grown 10 to 15 times larger than before they started the rock programming. Yet there are still a handful of stations that aren't really grasping the concept and although they may be playing album tracks, they're having trouble shaking the top 40 format and are still playing commercials and jingles. Their disc jockeys may still be stuck in a rut with their rapid fire patter and fear of dead air or they may swing too far the other way and assume a hippie character and end up sounding like they're mocking the listeners. And just who are the listeners? Apparently they have good hygiene.

July '68 also saw some major rock album releases; The Band's classic debut "Music From Big Pink", Cream's "Wheels Of Fire" and The Doors' "Waiting For The Sun" among them. There were also some releases that might not have soared the charts but did indeed give some future superstars early exposure. One of those featured in this month's mix includes Blondie's iconic vocalist Deborah Harry as a member of The Wind In The Willows. The band Hearts And Flowers, whose remarkably lysergic "Ode To A Tin Angel" is also featured, had among its ranks future Eagles founding member Bernie Leadon. A couple of other songs in this mix would later become big pop hits by other artists; Nilsson's original "One" was covered successfully by Three Dog Night and the fantastic "Black Magic Woman" by Fleetwood Mac would later become a signature song for Santana. One noteworthy album that was released in July and would stay in the upper end of the album chart for years is the second album from Iron Butterfly, "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" and the title track is presented here in its glorious entirety, drum solo and all.

  • 1 Hush by Deep Purple
  • 2 Chest Fever by The Band
  • 3 My Girlfriend Is A Witch by October Coutnry
  • 4 Black Magic Woman by Fleetwood Mac
  • 5 Season Of The Witch by Vanilla Fudge
  • 6 The Fat Angel (In Concert) by Donovan
  • 7 Ode To A Tin Angel by Hearts And Flowers
  • 8 White Room by Cream
  • 9 In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida by Iron Butterfly
  • 10 Not To Touch The Earth by The Doors
  • 11 Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun by Pink Floyd
  • 12 Break Of Dawn/Fly by J.K. & Co.
  • 13 You're The Biggest Thing In My Life by The Appletree Theatre
  • 14 Moments Spent by The Wind In The Willows
  • 15 I'll Drive You From My Mind by The Fallen Angels
  • 16 One by Nilsson
  • 17 Beggin' by Timebox
  • 18 Love Really Changed Me by Spooky Tooth
  • 19 Down River by David Ackles
  • 20 Tape From California by Phil Ochs
  • 21 Magic Bus by The Who
  • 22 Rock And Soul Music by Country Joe & The Fish
  • 23 Last Call For Alcohol by Fraternity Of Man
  • 24 Night Is Almost Gone by The Delicate Balance
  • 25 Let Me Go by The Rockets
  • 26 Open My Eyes by The Nazz
  • 27 Beck's Bolero by Jeff Beck


  1. Another very well written, witty and informative piece to accompany these two magnificent hours of musical and cultural history. The research that must have gone into this! So glad that you chose to share it with the world (including documents like that newspaper clipping). I love the witch theme running through the first part of the show, followed by its counterpart (or is it?) about "angels". The way "White Room" blends into "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida", which in turn organically melts with "Not To Touch The Earth", is sublime. This whole show feels like one big tapestry of interwoven dreams and nightmares, and that only works thanks to the excellent song choices and the way they are put together. Being taken from dawn to dusk with Pink Floyd, J.K. & Co. and The Appletree Theatre, and subsequently spending some time to reflect on things with The Wind In The Willows, The Fallen Angels and Nilsson is pure bliss. And then there are the soul-inspired uptempo tracks (nice to hear their inspiration acknowledged by Country Joe) plus, to top it all off, Jeff Beck's nod to Ravel. Nice one, Mark!

  2. Ah, gosh, thank you so much for your very kind words, seventyfive! I do try to research this series as thoroughly as I can but I have to admit that when I'm putting the mixes together, I am often surprised by how easily the narratives present themselves. I also have to admit that as fun as these little time capsules are to make, it's even more satisfying to know someone has listened and enjoyed them, and for that, I sincerely thank you!