WLS - September, 1968

The final weeks of the hotly contested 1968 Presidential race was underway. No one looked smoother and more in control during times that felt out of it, as Richard Nixon. In fact, he led a Labor Day parade attended by more than 400,000 down LaSalle Street in Chicago. The last time that many gathered to see a Republican was a public in hopes of a lynching!

The fall out of the Democratic Convention was being felt as investigation got underway into the causes and instigations that provoked the rioting. This launched Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley into one of his most famous lines..."...the Police aren't here to create disorder, they're here to preserve disorder..." . The Democrats were scrambling to unite behind Hubert Humphrey as they saw the damage of their infighting and the strength of both Richard Nixon and third-party candidate, George Wallce. It would result in one of the closest elections of recent memory...and one that changed the focus of American politics and society.

Eyes were also focused at what could be seen going on inside Czechoslovakia. This Eastern European nation was attempting to gain autonomy and cultural freedom from the Soviet Union and came up short. Months of attacks on the socialist system; including reforms in freedom of speech and free markets, the Warsaw pact invaded the country on August 31st. Just like in Hungary in 1956, tanks rolled into Prague and the government of Alexander Dubec was sacked.

For the meantime, the Soviet sphere had been protected, but the seeds of the Prague Spring would spread throughout Eastern Europe and start to erode the Soviet system. As we know now, when the system weakend under its own strain, the reformers came to the forefront and led to the quick disolution of Soviet control in Europe and then in Russia itself.

Musically, everywhere you turned, it seemed you were hearing "Hey Jude"; one of the Fab 4's greatest hits. One reason was it was the longest Top 40 single to that point...running well beyond the 3:30 standard most songs were recorded at...and opened the door for more longer tracks to transition into Contemporary Radio formats. In fact, more and more album artists and their tracks were moving into Top 40. Deep Purple, Status Quo and Cream all are represented on this survey as well as an edited version of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Suzie Q". Music had more to say and radio would adjust to it...especially on FM. Tastes had gotten more sophisticated and diverse.

Enjoy a lot of very memorable tunes from WLS:



  Enjoy a WLS Jingle of 1968

Click on the Speaker to hear it in a .wav file or on the Real Audio logo and hear it faster on Real Audio 5.0 (Real Audio Required)

More WLS Radio hits on the way, The Big 89 in September 1970 (Click)

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