This week in music: 1968 The Doors

This week in music: 1968 The Doors

(KFVS) - Let's step back in time and check out some of the songs DJ's were spinning the week 50 years ago.

It was the summer of 1968, a time of assassinations, Vietnam War protests  and racial unrest in America and the music reflected that.

At number five on Billboard Magazine's Hot 100 was The Rascals with People Got to be Free. The song was an impassioned plea for tolerance and freedom.  After this song came out, the Rascals would only perform at concerts that featured an African American act.  The Rascals canceled several shows because that condition was not met.

An instrumental was in the number four spot.  Grazing the the Grass was performed by South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela.  You may remember back in February Grazing in the Grass was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

At number three was The 5th Dimension with Stoned Soul Picnic.  The word "surry" is used frequently in the song, "surry down to a Stoned Soul Picnic."  The meaning of surry is unclear.  Songwriter Laura Nyro says she came up with it, thought it was a nice word so she included it in her song.
 
In the number two position was another instrumental. Classical Gas was performed by Mason Williams with a little help from The Wrecking Crew.  Williams was the head writer for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour at the time and he premiered the song on the CBS variety show.

And in the top spot for this week in '68 was The Doors with Hello I Love You.  Jim Morrison wrote the song three years earlier, on an afternoon in 1965,  as he and a band mate were watching a girl walk on a California beach.    The record is significant because it is the first 45 rpm single to be released in stereo.  It's often credited with spurring the music industry to make stereo recordings the norm for hit singles.

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