You probably forgot these songs all went No. 1 in 1968
Top image: Discogs.com
"(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay," "Mrs. Robinson," "Hey Jude," "I Heard It Through the Grapevine." Now that's a playlist. Those top hits of 1968 are immortal classics.
However, between those smashes, lesser-known tunes topped the Billboard chart. They're still great songs, even if they're not played every day on the radio, forever. Let's take a closer look and listen to those overlooked No. 1s.
John Fred and His Playboy Band - "Judy in Disguise (With Glasses)"
Though its title parodied the latest Beatles trip, "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," this tune was an upbeat dance number made for sock hops — though it did throw in a sitar at the end. Baton Rouge native John Fred knocked the Beatles from the top, as this ditty replaced "Hello, Goodbye" at No.1 in January '67.
The Lemon Pipers - "Green Tambourine"
A week later, on February 3, a sitar picked up right where "Judy" left off. The Lemon Pipers certainly were more of a psychedelic act. But the Ohio act did give the sound more of a groove.
Paul Mauriat - "Love Is Blue"
A touch melancholic, but bright and floral as a field in spring, this instrumental spent a whopping five weeks atop the chart. You might not recognize it by name, but the winsome melody might light up your memories.
Bobby Goldsboro - "Honey"
This lush, aching love song brings to mind contemporaries like Neil Diamond and Lee Hazelwood. Goldsboro filled his colorful lyrics with puppies, car wrecks and flowers blooming in early spring. Perhaps the latter helped the song top the charts for five weeks in April and May.
Archie Bell & The Drells - "Tighten Up"
Okay, now we're grooving. The Houston soul man got Memorial Day parties going with this, one of the earliest funk songs to top the charts.
Herb Alpert - "This Guy's in Love with You"
Alpert is the only recording artist to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 as both a vocalist and an instrumentalist. This would be the vocal number. Surprisingly, the instrumental was not 1965's chirpy, familiar "A Taste of Honey," but rather 1979's "Rise."
Hugh Masekela - "Grazing in the Grass"
There was far more brass on the pop charts 50 years ago. The South African trumpeter breezed to No. 1 for two weeks in July with his jazzy, exuberant instrumental. When was the last time an instrumental hit No. 1, you ask? That would be Jan Hammer's "Miami Vice Theme" in 1985.