1968

In both Europe and America Japanese imported cars and other goods were continuing to rise and trouble the governments of UK and USA as they worried about industries in their own countries being effected and jobs lost. In the spring of 1968 on April 4, 1968, The Rev Martin Luther King was assassinated and Robert Kennedy was mortally wounded when he is shot by Sirhan Sirhan. The peace movement had continued to grow and more and more Americans were against the war in Vietnam, and once again more riots occurred throughout cities in America. The music scene was once again set by the "Beatles" and the "Rolling Stones" , and fashion flirted with see through blouses and midis and maxis skirts joined the Mini Skirt as part of the fashion trends. There is a Flu Pandemic in Hong Kong and the first Black power salute is seen on Television worldwide during an Olympics medal ceremony.  Elvis Presley's comeback informal jamming in front of a small audience in the ''Elvis NBC TV Special''  is regarded as a forerunner of the "unplugged" concept, later popularized by MTV.

''Back In My Arms''/''I'm A Lover'' Sun 407 >

1968

By 1968 around eighty-five different manufacturers had sold over 2.4 million cassette  players world wide and in that year alone the cassette business was worth about $150  million. By the end of the decade, the Philips compact cassette had become the standard  format for tape recording.


After struggling to compete with rock music since its inception, the pop music industry gains  a footing by churning out young artists in an image conscious fashion attempting to lure  younger teens, a style that came to be known as "bubblegum" which quickly began  infiltrating the AM airwaves.

Cutting edge rock music responds by appearing on the newly created FM radio outlets,  considered an "underground" means of dispersal favoring longer singles, more controversial  material and less restrictive styles.

Soul music has its biggest year ever with all 20 rhythm and blues number 1 hits that year  falling into the "soul" category as the music takes on a greater overall prominence in society  following the assassination of Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Motown responds to the growing influence of deeper soul and the psychedelic soul of Sly and  The Family Stone by pushing its own artists towards a less pop-friendly style, resulting in  major hits by Marvin Gaye and The Temptations.

Turbulence within the Beatles doesn't hurt their appeal as they score their biggest single  ever, "Hey Jude", and use their creative differences to their advantage by releasing a double  LP comprised of each members individual contributions that comes to be known as "The  White Album".

After defining the harder blues based rock "super-group", Cream gives its final performance  in November at the Royal Albert Hall in England and breaks up shortly thereafter. 

The term "heavy metal" first appears in the Steppenwolf song "Born To Be Wild".

Baton Rouge's John Fred and His Playboy Band have a hit with ''Judy In Disguise (with Glasses)''.

JANUARY 1968

The final Sun release (Sun 407) ''Back In My Arms'' b/w ''I'm A Lover'' by Load Of Mischief issued.

JANUARY 1, 1968 MONDAY

Little Jimmy Dickens' wife, Enestine, dies in a car accident in Sherman, Texas, when her car veers off an overpass.

On the 15th anniversary of Hank Williams' death, the original Drifting Cowboys play together for the first time in 14 years.

JANUARY 2, 1968 TUESDAY

The Hyatt Corporation takes over the Continental Hotel in West Hollywood after buying it from Gene Autry, who insisted the contract start on January 2, instead of January 1, so he could keep bar receipts from New Year's Eve.

Charley Pride recorded ''The Easy Part's Over'' in Nashville, Tennessee.

Capitol Records released Merle Haggard's album ''Sing Me Back Home'' and Buck Owens album ''It Takes People Like You To Make People Like Me''.

JANUARY 3, 1968 WEDNESDAY

New instrumental parts are recorded the late Jim Reeves' original vocals on ''That's When I See The Blues (In Your Pretty Eyes)'' during a session at 17th Avenue studios in Nashville, Tennessee.

Roy Acuff returns from a two-week USO (United Service Organizations) tour of American bases in Cuba, the Bahamas, the Canal Zone and Puerto Rico''.

Johnny Cash's wife, Vivian, is granted a divorce.

Jack Greene recorded ''Before The Next Teardrop Falls'', seven years before it becomes popular in the hands of Freddy Fender.

Wynn Stewart recorded ''Something Pretty\\ at the Capitol Recording Studios on Vine Street in Los Angeles, California.

JANUARY 4, 1968 THURSDAY

Jack Greene recorded ''You Are My Treasure''.

JANUARY 5, 1968 FRIDAY

Jerry Lee Lewis recorded ''Another Place, Another Time'' at the Columbia Recording Studios in Nashville, Tennessee.

Jack Greene recorded ''You've Still Got A Place In My Hearts''. It's another 10 years before it becomes a hit for Con Hunley, and an additional eight before George Jones released a Top 10 version.

Alexander Dubček becomes the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia.  

JANUARY 6, 1968 SATURDAY

ABC-TV debuts ''Happening '68'', a daytime weekend music show featuring Paul Revere and The Raiders, including future country star Freddy Weller.

JANUARY 8, 1968 MONDAY

Stax Records released Otis Redding's ''(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay'', later remade as a country hit by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson.

Capitol released Buck Owens' ''How Long Will My Baby Be Gone''.

JANUARY 9, 1968 TUESDAY

Loretta Lynn recorded ''First City'' at Bradley's Barn in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee.

RCA Victor released the original version of Elvis Presley's ''Guitar Man'', featuring backing musician Jerry Reed.  According to Peter Guralnick in his two volume biography of Presley, the singer had been trying unsuccessfully to record the tune, but wasn't happy with the groove. He said something to the effect of: "Get me that redneck picker who's on the original tune", and his staff brought Reed into the studio - who nailed it on the first take (though this romantic account is contradicted by a studio tape of the session that documents the first, second and fifth takes which are available on video-sharing website youtube.com). The single spent one week at number one on the country chart. Thirteen years later, "Guitar Man" was re-recorded in a new electric arrangement, with Presley's original vocal left intact, and it was the last of his eleven number one country hits. The record also peaked at number twenty-eight on the Billboard Hot 100.

Roy Rogers and Dale Evans guest on the CBS variety series ''The Red Skelton Show''.

JANUARY 10, 1968 WEDNESDAY

Bobbie Gentry and Bobby Darin add music to NBC's ''The Kraft Music Hall''.

JANUARY 11, 1968 THURSDAY

Glen Campbell recorded ''I Wanna Live'' at the Capitol Recording Studios in Hollywood, California.

Johnny Cash begins two days of rehearsals for his Folsom Prison concert at the El Rancho Motel in Sacramento, California, with June Carter, The Carter Family, The Statler Brothers and Carl Perkins.

Eight days after her divorce from Johnny Cash, Vivian Cash marries Ventura policeman Dick Distin in California.

JANUARY 12, 1968 FRIDAY

Model Heather Mills is born in Washington, England. She's destined to marry ''I Feel Fine'' songwriter Paul McCartney from 2002-2006.

Roy Clark is the first country artist to appear on an ABC variety series taped at military bases, ''Operation Entertainment''.

Keith Anderson is born in Miami, Oklahoma. A member of the MuzikMafia, he attains a gold album with his 2005 debut, ''Three Chord Country And American Rock And Roll'', and earns a handful of Top 5 hits, led by 2008s ''I Still Miss You''.

JANUARY 13, 1968 SATURDAY

Johnny Cash recorded the live album ''Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison'' in California, remaking ''Folsom Prison Blues'' in the process. Cash employs his usual entourage, including June Carter, The Carter Family, Carl Perkins and The Statler Brothers.

Drummer Farris Coursey dies from a heart attack. His credits include Patsy Cline's ''Walkin' After Midnight'', Red Foley's ''Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy'', Hank Williams' ''Waw-Liga'' and Bobby Helms ''Fraulein''.

JANUARY 15, 1968 MONDAY

Singer and songwriter Billy Edd Wheeler moves to Nashville, Tennessee.

JANUARY 20, 1968 SATURDAY

Woody Guthrie is celebrated with a tribute concert at New York's Carnegie Hall. The Lineup includes Bob Dylan. The Band, Arlo Guthrie, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Pete Seeger and Judy Collins.

Henson Cargill is featured on ''The Porter Wagoner Show''.

Merle Haggard goes to number 1 on the Billboard country chart with ''Sing Me Back Home''.

JANUARY 21, 1968 SUNDAY

Glen Campbell makes his first appearance on CBS' ''The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour'', beginning a path that leads him to his own TV show.

JANUARY 22, 1968 MONDAY

Jerry Lee Lewis begins rehearsals for the Los Angeles production of ''Catch My Soul'', an adaption of Shakespeare's ''Othello'', in which Lewis portrays lago

JANUARY 24, 1968 WEDNESDAY

Roger Miller recorded ''Little Green Apples'' in Nashville, Tennessee.

Songwriter Kelley Lovelace is born in Paducah, Kentucky. He authors multiple Brad Paisley hits, plus Jason Aldean's ''Laughed Until We Cried'', Randy Houser's ''Runnin' Outta Moonlight'' and Carrie Underwood's ''All-American Girl''.

JANUARY 25, 1968 THURSDAY

Buck Owens serves up ''How Long Will My Baby Be Gone'' as a guest on NBC-TV's ''The Dean Martin Show''. Owens and Martin also duet on ''I've Got A Tiger By The Tail'' and ''Love's Gonna Live Here''.

JANUARY 26, 1968 FRIDAY

Singer and songwriter Neil Young and his Buffalo Springfield bandmate, Stephen Stills, have a fight in their dressing room before a concert.

The Everly Brothers, Minnie Pearl and Gladys Knight and The Pips appear on the ABC series ''Operation Entertainment''.

JANUARY 27, 1968 SATURDAY

Tracy Lawrence is born in Atlanta, Texas. The deep-voiced singer nothes a string of 1990s hits that features ''Sticks And Stones'', ''Time Marches On'' and ''Alibis''. He adds additional hits, including ''Find Out Who Your Friends Are'', the next decade.

Fifteen years before they write ''Islands In The Stream'', The Bee Gees play their first U.S. date, taking $50,000 for a show at the Anaheim Convention Center in California.

Tex Ritter guests on the syndicated half-hour TV offering ''The Porter Wagoner Show''.

The spaghetti western ''Viva Diango'' debuts in Italy. The theme song inspires the Gnarls Barkley pop hit ''Crazy'', which in turn inspires a Brett Eldredge country hit, thus earning songwriting credits for Italian film composers Gian Franco Reverberi and Gian Piero Reverberi on ''Lose My Mind''.

JANUARY 29, 1968 MONDAY

Kenny Rogers and The First Edition perform the Mickey Newburry-written ''Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)'' on the NBC series ''Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In''.

JANUARY 30, 1968 TUESDAY

Bobby Goldsboro recorded ''Honey'' at Nashville's RCA Studio B.

Merle Haggard tries recording ''Today I Started Loving You Again'' and also cut ''Youve Still Got A Place In My Heart'', a future hit for George Jones.

JANUARY 31, 1968 WEDNESDAY

Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton recorded ''Holding On To Nothin'''.

Merle Haggard recorded ''The Legend Of Bonnie And Clyde'', inspired by the Warren Beatty movie, at the Capitol Recording Studio in Hollywood, California.

FEBRUARY 1968

The Winter Olympic Games are held in Grenoble, France during the month of February in 1968. These gamed marked the tenth time the Winter Olympics took place and were the first Winter Games to be broadcast in color on television. The 1968 Winter Olympics also marked the first time they did gender testing and doping tests during the winter games. It was also the first time that a country other than the Soviet Union won the most medals since the USSR’s first games in 1956 with Norway taking home the most medals of the 37 competing nations.

FEBRUARY 1, 1968 THURSDAY

Lisa Marie Presley is born to Elvis and Priscilla Presley at Baptist Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. She is Elvis' only child.

Merle Haggard recorded ''Today I Started Loving You Again'' at the Capitol Recording Studio in Hollywood, California.

Janis Joplin signs with Columbia Records as a member of Big Brother and Holding Company. For the label, she recorded ''Me And Bobbie McCee'', ranked in a Country Music Foundation book among country's 500 greatest singles.

FEBRUARY 2, 1968 FRIDAY

Johnny Cash performs for injured soldiers who returned from Vietnam at the Navy Hospital in Millington, Tennessee.

FEBRUARY 3, 1968 SATURDAY

Johnny Cash receives a key to the city in Memphis, Tennessee.

''The Porter Wagoner Show'' welcomes musical guest Ray Pillow.

FEBRUARY 4, 1968 SUNDAY

The Bee Gees performs ''Words'' on CBS-TV's ''The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour''. The song is destined to return as a country hit by Susie Allanson.

FEBRUARY 5, 1968 MONDAY

Decca Records released Jack Greene's ''You Are My Treasure''.

FEBRUARY 7, 1968 WEDNESDAY

Patti Page guests on ''The Jonathan Winters Show'' on CBS-TV.

FEBRUARY 8, 1968 THURSDAY

The original ''Planet Of The Apes'' debuts in movie theaters, with Charlton Heston in the leading role. The movie is remade in 2001, with Kris Kristofferson in the cast.

Gary Puckett and The Union Cap's ''Woman, Woman'' is certified gold. The song written by country singer Jim Glaser. The band's bass player, Kerry Chater, is also destined to write country hits for George Strait, Alabama and Reba McEntire.

''Bonanza'' star Lorne Greene guests on NBC's ''The Dean Martin Show''. The two stars turn in a medley of western songs, including ''Don't Fence Me In'', ''I'm An Old Cowhand'', ''Home On The Range'' and ''Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie''.

FEBRUARY 9, 1968 FRIDAY

Eddy Arnold hosts an NBC-TV special, ''American Profile: Music From The Land''. John D. Loudermilk performs ''Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye'', inspiring Arnold to recorded it. Other guests, Marty Robbins, Roy Acuff, Minnie Pearl and Tex Ritter.

Waylon Jennings and Anita Carter recorded ''I Got You'' in an evening session at Nashville's RCA Studio B.

Warner Mack recorded ''I'm Gonna Move On''.

FEBRUARI 10, 1968 SATURDAY

Sly And The Family Stone's first hit, "Dance to the Music" (Epic #10256) enters the rhythm and blues  charts, eventually peaking at number three. The song shook off the assumptions about the   separate roles of voices and instruments as sources of rhythm and harmony, alternating   them and blending them yet never losing either melody or dance beat. The adventurousness   of the sound was mainstream critics who had tended to deride soul arrangements as being  overly simple. As Sly began employing increasingly personal lyrics, the social consciousness   school of funk was created.

FEBRUARY 11, 1968 SUNDAY

Glen Campbell and the songs he recorded pick up 11 Grammy nominations, including Record of the Year, for ''By The Time I Get To Phoenix''.

FEBRUARY 12, 1968 MONDAY

Decca Records released Loretta Lynn's ''Fist City'', and the Bill Anderson and Jan Howard album ''For Loving You''.

The Nitty Gritty Dirty Band guests on the NBC series ''Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In''.

FEBRUARY 14, 1968 WEDNESDAY

Having forgotten to buy her a Valentine's Day present, Don Schlitz gives his girlfriend a song. The resulting hugs and kisses-better, he decides, then if he'd bought her chocolates-convince Schlitz to pursue songwriting seriously.

FEBRUARY 23, 1968 FRIDAY

Jimmy Dean hosts the week's installment of ''Operation Entertainment'' on ABC-TV.

FEBRUARY 26, 1968 MONDAY

The late Jim Reeves is honored with a gold album for ''Distant Drums''.

Capitol Records released Merle Haggard's ''The Legend Of Bonnie And Clyde'' backed with ''Today I Started Loving You Again''.

FEBRUARY 27, 1968 TUESDAY

Connie Smith recorded ''Run Away Little Tears'' at Nashville's RCA Studio B.

Guitarist Kurt Allison is born in Los Angeles. Raised in Des Moines, he joins the band Rushlow, which earns a hit in 2002. He makes a more permanent mark in Jason Aldean's band, playing on such hits as ''Big Green Tractor'' and ''She's Country''.

FEBRUARY 28, 1968 WEDNESDAY

Mary Johnson the first wife of Merle Travis, dies at Our Lady Or Mercy Hospital in Owensboro, Kentucky.

FEBRUARY 29, 1968 THURSDAY

Johnny Cash and June Carter announce their plans to marry during the 10th annual Grammy awards in Nashville, as they collect the trophy for Best Country and Western Duet, Trio or Group with ''Jackson''.

ABC airs a one-hour special, ''Carol Channing And 101 Men'', with guests Eddy Arnold, George Burns, Walter Matthau and The Association.

MARCH 1, 1968 FRIDAY

Johnny Cash marries June Carter at the Methodist Church in Franklin, Kentucky. Carter's ''Ring Of Fire'' co-writer Merle Kilgore serves as best man. Charles Carter's $1-a-week allowance, earned by mowing the lawn, rise to $10-a-week.

Songwriters Curley Putman and Bobby Braddock take a demo tape of ''D-I-V-O-R-C-E'' to record producer Billy Sherrill in Nashville. Three weeks later, Sherrill recorded the song on Tammy Wynette.

MARCH 2, 1968 SATURDAY

The city of Phoenix observes Merle Haggard Day.

MARCH 4, 1968 MONDAY

Decca Records released Bill Anderson's ''Wild Week-End'', and Conway Twitty's ''The Image Of Me''.

Glen Campbell wins three trophies in the third annual Academy of Country and Western Music awards at Los Angeles' Century Plaza Hotel, the Top Male Vocalist, the Single Record of the Year, for ''Gently On My Mind'' and Album, for the LP of the same name.

MARCH 5, 1968 TUESDAY

Syd Nathan dies of heart disease in Miami Beach, Florida. He founded King Records, which contributed to the careers of Moon Mullican, Hawkshaw Hawkins and The Delmore Brothers. He also wrote ''I'll Sail My Ship Alone'' and ''Goodnight Irene''.

Jerry Lee Lewis debuts as lago in ''Catch My Soul'', an adaption of Shakespeare's ''Othello'', at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.

MARCH 6, 1968 WEDNESDAY

''The Best Of Buck Owens'' is certified gold.

MARCH 8, 1968 FRIDAY

MGM released Elvis Presley's movie ''Stay Away, Joe''.  Stay Away, Joe is a 1968 Western-comedy film, with musical interludes, set in modern times and starring Elvis Presley, Burgess Meredith, Katy Jurado and Joan Blondell. The film was based on the 1953 novel by Dan Cushman, a satirical farce. The film reached number 65 on the Variety weekly national box office chart in 1968.  Elvis was paid $850,000 plus 40% of the profits. The screenplay was adapted from the failed Broadway musical Whoop-Up, and retained many of the same plot devices and characters, including Joe's grandfather who refuses to live in a house, preferring his ancestral teepee.

For the first time since Wild In The Country, neither an LP album nor and extended play single was planned for a Presley film soundtrack. Three songs were written for the film by the stalwart team of Sid Wayne and Ben Weisman, who had already contributed close to 50 songs for various Elvis movies in the decade.

Although released before Speedway, this film and its soundtrack were made after, the first of Presley's last five films in the 1960s where musical numbers were kept to a minimum. The recording session took place at RCA Studio B in Nashville, Tennessee, on October 1, 1967. At the end of this session, Presley made his record producer Felton Jarvis promise never to release the song written for him to sing to a bull in the movie, "Dominick." However, the song is actually sung to two women in the movie, and the bull is nowhere to be found throughout the entire song, making a rather strange scene. "Dominick" would eventually make its first official CD apperarance on the Kissin Cousins/Clambake/Stay Away, Joe soundtrack compilation in 1994 (long after the deaths of Presley and Jarvis); it had previously been released, unauthorized, as “Dominick the Impotent Bull” on the 1982 bootleg compilation Elvis Greatest Shit. The other two songs, "Stay Away, Joe" and "All I Needed Was the Rain," wouldn't even be featured on a promotional single for the film premiere, but instead respectively appeared on the budget albums Let's Be Friends in 1970 and Elvis Sings Flaming Star in 1969.

Two additional songs related to the film were recorded at sessions on January 10 and 11, 1968, at the same studio. "Goin' Home" by Joy Byers would not be used, surfacing on the soundtrack to the next movie, while a different song entitled "Stay Away" rewritten from the tune of "Greensleeves" by Sid Tepper and Roy C. Bennett would appear as the b-side to the number 28 hit single ''U.S. Male''Released as catalogue item 47-9465b on February 28, 1968, the b-side "Stay Away" would peak at #68 on the Billboard Hot 100 independently of "U.S. Male."The producer in charge of the recordings for MGM was Jeff Alexander.

The first Holiday Inn opened on Summer Avenue in Memphis during August 1952. The  founder of the Holiday Inn chain, Kemmons Wilson, was a maverick figure like Sam Phillips  and by the mid-1960s he had begun to contemplate a new publicity project for the chain:  ''Kemmons and I had some conversations'', recalled Sam Phillips, ''and he was very much  interested in expanding the Holiday Inns all across the country and he had the idea of setting  up a label that could promote those bands. They had also just bought the Trailways bus line  and Kemmons thought he could sell records in racks at the bus terminals to all the people  passing through and killing time''.

Sam Phillips was named president of Holiday Inn Records on March 8, 1968, some two  months after the last Sun record was issued. Jud Phillips was named national sales and  promotion manager and Knox Phillips was one of the in-house producers. But Sam soon  bowed out, citing an overabundance of vice presidents as the principal reason. The infusion  of Holiday Inn's capital could not compensate for the fact that no talent had been infused,  and the venture was folded.

Roger Miller hosts an installment of the military-based ABC-TV variety series ''Operation Entertainment''.

Singer/songwriter Shawn Mullins is born in Atlanta. Best known for his 1998 pop hit ''Lullaby'', he co-writes The Zac Brown Band's 2009 country single ''Toes''.

HOLIDAY INN - was a record label founded by D. Wayne Foster in 1961. It was initially  intended as a creative outlet for Foster and Kemmons Wilson, as an independent business  venture. Foster ran the label between 1961 and 1963. Sam Phillips of Sun Records later ran  the label on behalf of Wilson.

In 1961, D. Wayne Foster discovered a musical group named The Roller Coasters. Foster  brought the group to the Owen Bradley's Studio in Nashville, Tennessee to record. The group  recorded two songs, "Rim Shot, Part 1" and "Rim Shot, Part 2".


Foster created Holiday Inn  Records to distribute the single.  Holiday Inn Records recorded a number of acts that Foster personally discovered, and in  most cases he would be involved in the recording sessions, assisted by Neal Matthews Jr. of  the Jordanairs.

Several notable artists were signed in the first year including The Roller  Coasters, Jimmy Foster, Frank Starr, Kenny Lund, Rusty Curry, Buck Griffin, Stan Daniel, and  Tookie Collom.

By 1963, Foster was devoting only a small amount of time to devote to producing records for  the label, as he had many other, more profitable business ventures. After producing eleven  more records, Foster decided to leave Holiday Inn. This left Wilson needing to find someone  to run Holiday Inn Records. He asked his old friend, Sam Phillips, of Sun Records. Since  Phillips had invested in the Holiday Inn Hotel chain earlier, he later recorded other artists on  the Holiday Inn Record label for Wilson. Phillips recorded songs by recording artists including  Charlie Feathers, Dolly Holiday, Diane Hull, Lee Adkins, Greg Todd and The Jacks, Jerry  Dyke, The Climates, Ironing Board Sam, Portrait of Fun, Robert and Randy, Larry Brinkley,  Larry and The Accommodations, Gary Ellison, Charlie Freeman, Charlie's Children, Load of  Mischief, and Bill Haley and his Comets.

MARCH 9, 1968 SATURDAY

The Byrds recorded ''Hickory Wind'' and ''You Ain't Going Nowhere'', key songs on their landmark country-rock album ''Sweetheart Of The Rodeo'', at the Columbia Recording Studios in Nashville, Tennessee.

Irene Ryan, who plays Granny on ''The Beverly Hillbillies'', is a special guest on the Grand Ole Opry.

MARCH 11, 1968 MONDAY

The late Otis Redding picks up a gold single for his rendition of ''(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay'', eventually named among the 500 greatest country singles in history in the Country Music Foundation book ''Heartaches By The Number''.

Elvis Presley recorded ''A Little Less Conversation'' at the MGM Sound Studios in Culver City, California, for the movie ''Live A Little, Love A Little''.

Chet Atkins' father, James Atkins, dies of a heart attack at the Nashville hospital.

MARCH 12, 1968 TUESDAY

Carl Smith recorded ''Drinking Champagne'' in Nashville. George Strait recorded the hit version in 1990.

Piano player Millard Kelso dies in Santa Clara, California. An important member of Bob Will's Texas Playboys, he appeared on such recordings as ''Roly-Poly'', ''Stay A Little Longer'' and ''Bubbles In My Beer''.

MARCH 13, 1968 WEDNESDAY

Filming begins in Los Angeles for Elvis Presley's ''Live A Little, Love A Little''.

''The Byrds' Greatest Hits'' is certified gold. The band includes future hitmakers Chris Hillman and Roger McGuinn.

MARCH 14, 1968 THURSDAY

Dean Martin sings Robert Mitchum's former country hit ''Little Ole Wine Drinker Me'' during the week's installment of ''The Dean Martin Show'' on NBC-TV. Guests include Pat Buttram and Liberace.

MARCH 15, 1968 FRIDAY

The Byrds, including Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman, play the Grand Ole Opry with steel guitarist Lloyd Green. Some fans hoot and call for them to get haircuts. Their set list includes Merle Haggard's ''Sing Me Back Home'' and their own ''Hickory Wind''.

MARCH 16, 1968 SATURDAY

Over 300 unmarked civilians are killed during the My Lai Massacre in South Vietnam. When it is reported on TV, Mac Davis responds emotionally. His son's reaction to his tears inspires Davis to write the future Elvis Presley hit ''Don't Cry Daddy''. According to Mac Davis,   ''At the time I was going through a divorce. I had my son, Scotty for the weekend and was about to take him home. I had some time to kill and I flipped on the five o'clock news. Scotty was about five or six years old. It just happened to be the broadcast where they were showing some film of the massacre in Vietnam. It was a very famous horrific incident where some of our guys shot to death some women and children villagers. They were showing some scenes of the bodies and apparently I started crying and didn't even realize it. The next thing I know Scotty was patting my back and going, "Don't cry daddy." That's where the inspiration came from for "Don't Cry Daddy." My songwriter's brain made it totally different. By the time I got Scotty home to his mother's and on the way back to my house I had the chorus written. Basically that's where the song came from. It was a combination of him telling me not to cry because of watching this massacre in Vietnam on TV and my own situation having gone through a divorce.

MARCH 17, 1968 SUNDAY

The Bee Gees make their American television debut on CBS' ''The Ed Sullivan Show''. They perform ''Words'', destined to become a country hit for Susie Allanson.

MARCH 18, 1968 MONDAY

Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts and his wife, Shirley, have a daughter, Serafina Watts. In 1969, he plays on ''Honky Tonk Women'', ranked among country's greatest all-time singles in the Country Music Foundation's ''Heartaches By The Number''.

Capitol Records released Wynn Stewart's ''Something Pretty''.

MARCH 19, 1968 TUESDAY

Tom T. Hall marries ''Truck Drivin' Son-Of-A-Gun'' songwriter Dixie Deen, whom he affectionately calls ''Miss Dixie''.

Bob Dylan receives a gold record for ''John Wesley Harding'', the second of three albums he recorded in Nashville using the city's session players.

Marty Robbins recorded ''Love Is In The Air''.

MARCH 20, 1968 WEDNESDAY

Eric Clapton and most of Buffalo Springfield, including singer/songwriter Neil Young and Jim Messina, are arrested in Topanga Canyon, California, and jailed for narcotics use. Stephen Stills escapes out a window before the entourage is busted.

Bill Anderson recorded ''Happy State Of Mind''.

MARCH 21, 1968 THURSDAY

Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy speaks at Nashville's Vanderbilt University. George Hamilton IV provides music at the event.

Guitarist Andrew Copeland is born in Gainesville, Florida. As a member of Sister Hazel, he participates in a 1997 pop hit, ''All For You'', and a Top 10 2016 country album, ''Lighter In The Dark''.

MARCH 22, 1968 FRIDAY

Tammy Wynette recorded ''D-I-V-O-R-C-E'' at Nashville's Columbia Recording Studio.

MARCH 24, 1968 SUNDAY

Jimmy Dean performs ''To A Sleeping Beauty'' from New York on CBS' ''The Ed Sullivan Show''. The evening also features The Supremes, who offer a piece of ''Aint Misbehavin'''during a Fats Waller medley.

MARCH 25, 1968 MONDAY

Future ''Island In The Stream'' songwriters The Bee Gees appear on the NBC-TV show ''Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In''.

MARCH 26, 1968 TUESDAY

Kenny Chesney is born in Knoxville, Tennessee. After a 1993 launch, he becomes one of the biggest hitmakers of the early-21st century, regularly winning Entertainer of the Year trophies and selling out stadiums in his annual summer concert tours.

MARCH 27, 1968 WEDNESDAY

Willie Nelson recorded ''Sweet Memories'' with producer Chet Atkins, then waits 11 years for it to become a hit.

''The Kraft Music Hall'' welcomes guests Eddy Arnold, Patty Page and The Cowsills to NBC's prime-time lineup. Arnold turns in his own hits ''Make The World Go Away'' and ''Turn The World Around'', while Page covers ''Gently On My Mind''.

Ray Price sells his half of Pamper Music to songwriters Willie Nelson and Hank Cochran. The publishing company controls such copyrights as ''I Fall To Pieces'', ''Heartaches By The Number'' and ''Funny How Time Slips Away''.

MARCH 28, 1968 THURSDAY

''The Best Of Eddy Arnold'' becomes the singer's second album.

MARCH 30, 1968 SATURDAY

Charlie Pride appears on the ABC music series ''The Lawrence Welk Show'', performing ''Kaw-Liga'' and ''The Last Thing On My Mind''.

MARCH 31, 1968 SUNDAY

Skeet McDonald dies of a heart attack at his home in Inglewood, California. Recording in Los Angeles, he earned two hit records, 1952's ''Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes'' and 1963's ''Call Me Mr. Brown''.

APRIL 1, 1968 MONDAY

Capitol Records released Buck Owens' ''Sweet Rosie Jones''.

Trini Lopez begins recording country album in Nashville. The album includes a cover of Ray Price's ''Crazy Arms''.

Singer/songwriter Woody Lee is born in Garland, Texas. Signed briefly to Atlantic Records during the 1990s, he co-authors the Tracy Lawrence hit ''I See It Now''.

Capitol released the ''Best Of Buck Owens Volume 2''.

APRIL 2, 1968 TUESDAY

Eddy Arnold recorded ''Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye'' at Nashville's RCA Studio B.

Columbia released Marty Robbin's  ''Love Is In The Air'', and Ray Price's ''I've Been There Before''.

APRIL 3, 1968 WEDNESDAY

Roy Clark makes the first of several guest appearances on ''The Beverly Hillbillies'', playing Cousin Roy and Mother Myrtle.

Eddy Arnold recorded ''It's Over'' at RCA Studio B in Nashville, Tennessee.

APRIL 4, 1968 THURSDAY

Bobby Goldsboro picks up a gold single for ''Honey''.

Martin Luther King, Jr. stands on the balcony of the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis one day before he was assassinated. From left: Hosea Williams, Jesse Jackson, Martin Luther King, Ralph Abernathy. >

APRIL 4, 1968 THURSDAY

At 6:01 p.m. on this date, civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was hit by a sniper's bullet. King had  been standing on the balcony in front of his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, when,  without warning, he was shot.


The .30-caliber rifle bullet entered King's right cheek, traveled through his  neck, and finally stopped at his shoulder blade. King was immediately taken to a nearby hospital but was  pronounced dead at 7:05 p.m.


Violence and controversy followed. In outrage of the murder, many blacks took to the streets across the  United States in a massive wave of riots. The FBI investigated the crime, but many believed them partially or  fully responsible for the assassination. An escaped convict by the name of James Earl Ray was arrested, but  many people, including some of Martin Luther King Jr.'s own family, believe he was innocent.

Expected riots in Nashville force the cancellation that weekend of the Grand Ole Opry for the first time since 1928.

APRIL 5, 1968 FRIDAY

Skeets McDonald is buried in Rector, Arkansas.

Gary Pucket and The Union Gap pick up a gold single for ''Young Girl''. The band features bass player Kerry Chater, who writes such future country hits as ''You Look So Good In Love'', ''I Known A Heartache When I See One'' and ''I.O.U''.

Alexander Dubček and the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia call for the acknowledgment of individual liberties, the introduction of political and economic reforms, and a change in the structure of the nation. "Action Programme". "Action Programme" includes proposed reforms to limit the power of the secret police and formal abolishment of censorship.

APRIL 6, 1968 SATURDAY

Elvis Presley takes in a Tom Jones performance at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. Elvis then decides he wants to play live again.

With riots expected in downtown Nashville after the April 4th shooting of Martin Luther King in Memphis, the Grand Ole Opry is cancelled. Also cancelled downtown appearances by The Beach Boys and Peter, Paul and Mary.

Ray Charles receives a gold album for ''Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music Volume Two''.

Capitol Records released the Merle haggard album ''The Legend Of Bonnie And Clyde''.

APRIL 9, 1968 TUESDAY

Elvis Presley collects a gold album with the ''Loving You'' soundtrack.

APRIL 11, 1968 THURSDAY

George Jones' second wife, Shirley, files for divorce.

Glenn Campbell and Bobbie Gentry remake The Everly Brothers' ''Let It Be Me'' at Hollywood's  Capitol Recording Studio.

Connie Smith has a born-again experience at a church in Nashville, Tennessee.

APRIL 13, 1968 SATURDAY

The Stoneman Family performs four shows in the Texas Panhandle. The third, in Dumas, proves to be the final concert of Ernest ''Pop'' Stoneman's life.

''Catch My Soul'' end a five-week run at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. The modern adaption of Shakespeare's ''Othello'' stars Jerry Lee Lewis.

APRIL 15, 1968 MONDAY

Glen Campbell recorded ''Dreams Of The Everyday Housewife'' at the Capitol Recording Studio in Hollywood.

Ernest ''Pop'' Stoneman, of The Stoneman Family, enters the Vanderbilt Medical Center. One week later, he has two-thirds of his stomach removed in surgery.

Minnie Pearls makes a guest appearance on ''The Carol Burnett Show''.

Decca Records released the Jack Greene album ''You Are My Treasure''.

APRIL 16, 1968 TUESDAY

Waylon Jennings recorded ''Only Daddy That'll Walk The Line'' and ''Yours Love'' during an afternoon session at Nashville's RCA Studio B.

Jerry Lee Lewis recorded ''What's Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made A Loser Out Of Me)'' at Columbia Studio B in Nashville, Tennessee.

Columbia released Johnny Cash's live recording of '' Johnny Cash At  Folsom Prison'', which would stay on the charts for 122 weeks, while the single that was drawn from it, ''Folsom Prison Blues'', reached number 1 on the country charts in the summer of 1968.

APRIL 17, 1968 WEDNESDAY

Songwriter Dorsey Dixon dies of heart failure in Plant City, Florida. He wrote Roy Acuff's classic ''Wreck On The Highway''.

Bob Wills recorded ''Southwestern Waltz'' at the Columbia Recording Studios in Nashville. The song is eventually used in the 1983 movie ''The Right Stuff''.

Songwriter Monty Criswell is born in Mobile, Alabama. He achieves prominence as a writer on Craig Morgan's ''Tough'', Trace Adkins ''Just Fishin'''and George Strait's ''I Saw God Today''.

APRIL 18, 1968 THURSDAY

A friend accidentally shoots Roger Miller in the left hand with an air pistol in his Los Angeles home. It takes 90 minutes for doctors to remove the pellet, delaying a promotional trip to London.

APRIL 19, 1968 FRIDAY

Bekka Bramlett is born in Westwood, California. The daughter of Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett, she has a brief duet partnership with Billy Burnette, and sings back-up on records by Vince Gill, Montgomery Gentry and Faith Hill, including ''Breathe''.

Ashley Judd is born at Holy Cross Hospital in Granada Hills, California. The daughter of Naomi Judd and younger sister of Wynonna Judd, she becomes a film star with roles in ''Double Jeopardy'', ''A Time To Kill'' and ''Simon Birch''.

The Dillards appear on the ABC-TV series ''Operation: Entertainment'' with Patti Page and Pat Buttram.

APRIL 21, 1968 SUNDAY

Future country hitmaker Tom Jones sings the recent Ray Price hit ''Danny Boy'' on CBS- TV's ''The Ed Sullivan Show''.

APRIL 22, 1968 MONDAY

Steve Sholes dies when he suffers a heart attack while driving to the Nashville Airport. A 1967 inductee in the Country Music Hall of Fame, the RCA executive influenced the careers of Elvis Presley, Chet Atkins, Eddy Arnold, Hank Snow and Jim Reeves.

Ernest ''Pop'' Stoneman, of The Stoneman Family, has two-third of his stomach, plus his gall bladder, removed at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

Decca Records released Warner Mack's ''I'm Gonna Move On''.

APRIL 23, 1968 TUESDAY

Vocalist/guitarist Tim Womack is born in Brownwood, Texas. He helps forms Sons Of The Desert, whose 1997 debut album yields hits with ''Whatever Comes First'' and ''Leaving October''. The group also sings on Lee Ann Womack's ''I Hope You Dance''.

APRIL 24, 1968 WEDNESDAY

Bobby Goldsboro recorded ''Autumn Of My Life'' at Nashville's RCA Studio B.

Charley Pride recorded ''Let The Chips Fall''.

Eddy Arnold begins a seven-week run as host of NBC's variety show ''The Kraft Music Hall'. Arnold sings ''Somebody Like Me'', ''You Don't Know Me'' and ''I Want To Go With You'' and welcomes as guests trumpet player Al Hirt and comedian John Byner.

APRIL 25, 1968 THURSDAY

The Cowsills recorded the pop hit ''Indian Lake'' in New York City. Three years later, Freddie Weller remakes it for the country market.

APRIL 26, 1968 FRIDAY

Fiddler Joe Caverlee is born. He joins the Cincinnati-bred Yankee Grey, a high-voltage act that earns hits with ''Another Nine Minutes'', and ''All Things Considered'' on the way to an Academy of Country Music nomination for Top New Duo or Group.

Jack Greene recorded ''Love Takes Care Of Me'' and ''Statue Of A Fool''.

Jimmy Dean returns as a host of ABC's ''Operation: Entertainment'', featuring Julie London, Pat Paulsen and Smokey Robinson and The Miracles

APRIL 27, 1968 SATURDAY

A fan steals Janis Joplin's cape in a backstage incident. Her version of ''Me And Bobby McGee'' is destined to be named one of country's 500 all-time greatest singles in the Country Music Foundation book ''Heartaches By The Number''.

Merl Haggard takes ''The Legend Of Bonnie And Clyde'' to number 1 in Billboard.

APRIL 29, 1968 MONDAY

Decca Records released Loretta Lynn's album ''Firt City''.

APRIL 1968

The first major rock musical, ''Hair'', opens in New York, bringing hippies (and nudity) to Broadway.

MAY 1968

800,000 teachers, workers and student protesters marched through the French capital during a one day general strike. French students begin protesting France’s university system and limited job opportunities during May of 1968. After a series of conflicts between the students and the police, millions of French workers joined the students in a general strike to show solidarity. The students called for reforms to the economy and the protests brought the entire country to a halt. President Charles de Gaulle tried to negotiate with the protesters and eventually dissolved the National Assembly to call for new elections to be held in June. The protests eventually waned after a few weeks but they were able to achieve some of their goals including the passage of an education reform law for students and better wages and work conditions for workers.

Stanley Kubricks's film ''2001: A Space Odyssey'' is released, based on a science-fiction story by Arthur  Clarke.

Tom Wolfe, combining journalism and literary technique, publishes the book ''The Electric Kool-Aid Acid  Test'', the story of Ken Kesey and his LSD disciples, the Merry Pranksters.

MAY 1, 1968 WEDNESDAY

The Everly Brothers and Magaret Whiting are guests of host Eddy Arnold on the NBC series ''The Kraft  Music Hall''.

Stock in Minnie Pewarl's Chicken System is traded publicly for the first time

MAY 2, 1968 THURSDAY

The Box Tops receive a gold single for ''Cry Like A Baby''. Guitarist Gary Talley goes on to provide backing  vocals on Willie Nelson's ''Always On My Mind''.

MAY 3, 1968 FRIDAY

Singer/songwriter Shane Minor is born in Modesto, California. Signed to Mercury in the late-1990s, he  writes Craig Morgan's ''International Harvester'', Cole Swindell's ''Chillin' It'', Clay Walker's ''Fall'' and  Diamond Rio's ''Beautiful Mess''.

MAY 5, 1968 SUNDAY

Buffalo Springfield, an early contributor to the country-rock movement, plays its final concert in Long Beach, California. Included in the band, Jim Messina, Stephen Stills and Neil Young.

MAY 8, 1968 WEDNESDAY

Drummer Del Gray is born in Hamilton, Ohio. As a member of Little Texas, he plays a key rhythmic role in ''God Blessed Texas'', ''Kick A Little'' and ''Life Goes On''.

George D. Hay dies in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Nicknamen the Solemn Ole Judge, he founded and named the influential WSM radio show the Grand Ole Opry, entering the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1966.

Elvis Presley finished work on ''Live A Little, Love A Little''. It was directed by Norman Taurog, who had directed several previous Presley films. This was to be Taurog's final film. (Shortly thereafter, he went blind.) The film introduced the song "A Little Less Conversation"; an alternate take of which would form the basis of a remix that returned Presley to international music sales charts in 2002. This film had Presley sharing the screen with another legendary singing idol, Rudy Vallee, whose career dated to the 1920s. But Vallee, then in his late 60s, did not sing in this movie.

Based on the 1965 novel Kiss My Firm But Pliant Lips by Dan Greenburg, and with a screenplay co-written by Greenburg, Live a Little, Love a Little was a departure from the standard Presley film of the period. It had a more mature tone than other Presley musicals with strong language, drug references, and an implied sexual encounter. Elvis was paid $850,000 plus 50% of the profits.

Unlike many previous films which involved "location scenes" shot against a backdrop, Presley was able to do more scenes on location than usual. Scenes were filmed in and around Hollywood, along the Malibu coast, at Marineland, and at the Los Angeles Music Center.

The film co-starred Michele Carey, Don Porter, Rudy Vallee, and Dick Sargent, and featured Presley's father, Vernon, in an uncredited cameo. Several of Presley's Memphis Mafia friends, such as Red West and Joe Esposito, also appeared.

Released on October 23, 1968, the film failed to impress most critics. Due to a very poor performance on US release, the film was not released at all in many regions, including the UK.

The second of Presley's five final movies during the 1960s made with just a handful of musical numbers, the recording session of the four songs written for the film took place at Western Recorders in Hollywood, California on March 7, 1968. The producer in nominal charge of the session, Billy Strange, had worked with both Frank and Nancy Sinatra, and attuned to current trends in popular music brought in a group of musicians outside of Presley's usual stable and written arrangements that went afield from Presley's usual sound. "Almost in Love" was given a late-night cocktail-jazz quality, "Edge of Reality" was a piece of pseudo-acid rock, and "A Little Less Conversation''written by Strange and his new discovery who would write several more songs for Presley, Mac Davis, bordered on funk.

"A Little Less Conversation" was released as a single with "Almost in Love" on the b-side on September 3, 1968, RCA catalog 47-9610. It peaked at number 69, while its b-side scraped into the Billboard Hot 100 at number 95 independentlyOver three decades later, a remix of "A Little Less Conversation" became a global #1 hit record, although the version sourced for the remix was actually a later re-recording Elvis did for the soundtrack of his 1968 NBC "Comeback Special", and not the movie version. "Edge of Reality" appeared on November 5, 1968, as the b-side to RCA single 47-9670 "If A Can Dream," the song Presley used to close out his 1968 Christmas Special. "Wonderful World," which played over the opening credits to the film, appeared on the compilation Elvis Sings Flaming Star. All three tracks released on singles also appear on Command Performances: The Essential 60s Masters II.

MAY 9, 1968 THURSDAY

Merle Haggard recorded ''Mama Tried'' at the Capitol Recording Studio in Hollywood, with Glen Campbell joining the band on the session.

Loretta Lynn recorded ''You've Just Stepped In (From Stepping Out On Me)'' at Bradley's Barn in Mount Juliet, Tennessee.

MAY 10, 1968 FRIDAY

Country-rock's Buffalo Springfield announces its break-up sending group members Jim Messina, Stephen Still and Neil Young to other ventures.

Singer/songwriter Jeff Wood is born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He writes John Michael Montgomery's 1995 hit ''Cowboy Love''.

MAY 11, 1968 SATURDAY

Bass player Keith West is born in Huntsville, Alabama. He joins Heartland, providing background vocals on the band's 2006 single ''I Loved Her First''.

Lynn Anderson and her mom, Liz Anderson, appear on a Mother's Day-themed edition of ''The Lawrence Welk Show'' on ABC-TV.

MAY 13, 1968 MONDAY

Capitol released Sonny James' ''Heaven Says Hello''.

Decca released Bill Anderson's album ''Wild Weekend''.

MAY 14, 1968 TUESDAY

Songwriter Beasley Smith dies in Nashville. He co-wrote Roy Acuff's 1942 classic ''Night Train To Memphis''.

MAY 15, 1968 WEDNESDAY

Buck Owens and The Buckaroos perform ''I've Got A Tiger By The Tail'' and ''Sweet Rosie Jones'' on NBC's ''The Kraft Music Hall'. Hist Eddy Arnold's contributions include ''I Really Don't Want To Know'' and his new single ''It's Over''.

MAY 16, 1968 THURSDAY

Ernest ''Pop'' Stoneman of The Stoneman Family, has his second intestinal surgery in less than a month at Nashville's Vanderbilt Medical Center.

MAY 17, 1968 FRIDAY

Drummer Dave Abbruzzese is born in Stamford, Connecticut. He joins Seattle alt-rock band Pearl Jam in 1993, but leaves in August 1994, about a year before the band is referenced by Lonestar in the country hit ''No News''.

MAY 19, 1968 SUNDAY

A dozen years before he joins Merle Haggard on ''Bar Room Buddies'', Clint Eastwood has a son, Kyle Eastwood, in Los Angeles.

MAY 20, 1968 MONDAY

Janis Joplin recorded ''Piece Of My Heart''. The song is eventually remade as a country hit by Faith Hill.

MAY 22, 1968 WEDNESDAY

Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton recorded ''We'll Get Ahead Someday''

Eddy Arnold hosts NBC's ''The Kraft Music Hall', joining guests Phyllis McGuire on a version of ''Sincerely''. Arnold also reprises his hit ''I'll Hold You In My Heart (Till I Can Hold You In My Arms)'' and The Bobby Goldsboro single ''Honey''.

MAY 25, 1968 SATURDAY

Elvis Presley goes to a karate tournament in Honolulu, Hawaii. He suggests that martial arts expert Mike Stone begin teaching karate to Priscilla.

Bobby Goldsboro's ''Honey'' makes a stop at number 1 on the Billboard country singles chart.

MAY 26, 1968 SUNDAY

Rhythm and blues singer Little Willie John dies in Washington State Prison while serving time for manslaughter. In 1958, he scored a hit with ''Talk To Me'', revised twice as a country hit by Freddy Fender and by Mickey Gilley.

MAY 27, 1968 MONDAY

Glen Campbell recorded ''Wichita Lineman'' at the Capitol Recording Studio at Hollywood and Vine in Los Angeles.

Buck Owens recorded ''Let The World Keep On A Turnin'''with his son, Buddy Alan, at the Capitol Records tower at Hollywood and Vine in Los Angeles.

MAY 28, 1968 TUESDAY

With NBC pressuring Elvis Presley to do a walk-on on one of its weekly shows to promote his upcoming special, Colonel Tom Parker fires off a letter to the network saying a guest shot would cost $250,000. The stint never takes place.

Mel Tillis recorded ''Old Faithful''.

MAY 29, 1968 WEDNESDAY

Eddy Arnold performs ''Turn The World Around'' and ''Gentle On My Mind'' while hosting NBC's ''The Kraft Music Hall''. Guests for the week include The Bothers Four and Anita Bryant.

JUNE 1968

After spending most of the decade wallowing in lackluster film projects Elvis Presley returns  to prominence in a highly rated television show later dubbed "The '68 Comeback Special" in  which, dressed head to toe in leather, he performs his old hits in explosive fashion. The sitdown  segment of the show is later used as the prototype for MTV's "Unplugged" series.

JUNE 3, 1968 MONDAY

Waylon Jennings' father, William Jennings, dies.

Jamie O'Neil is born in Sydney, Australia. Her 2000 debut album nets several hits, including ''There Is No Arizona'' and ''When I Think About Angels'', helping her pick up the Academy of Country Music's Top New Female award.

Decca released Loretta Lynn's ''You've Just Stepped In (From Stepping Out On Me)''.

JUNE 4, 1968 TUESDAY

The Rolling Stones begin a week of recording session at London's Olympic Sound Studios. Among the songs they cut is ''Sympathy For The Devil'', referenced 19 years later in The Bellamy Brothers country hit ''Kids Of The Baby Boom''.

JUNE 5, 1968 WEDNESDAY

Abe Zimmerman, the father of Bob Dylan, dies of a heart attack in Minnesota. Dylan's output already includes the country song ''It Ain't Me, Babe'', ''I'll Be Your Baby Tonight'' and ''You Ain't Going Nowhere''.

Songwriter Brett James is born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. His credits include Martina McBrite's ''Blessed'', Dierks Bentley's ''I Hold On'', Jason Aldean's ''Gonna Know We Were Here'' and Carrie Underwood's ''Jesus, Take The Wheel''.

Eddy Arnold concludes a seven-week stint as the host of NBC-TV's ''The Kraft Music Hall'' with The New Christy Minstrels appearing as musical guests. During his shift, the program was subtitled ''Country Fair''.

Senator Robert Kennedy is assassinated at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles after winning the California presidential primary.

JUNE 9, 1968 SUNDAY

Georgetown University holds its commencement exercises, graduating future president Bill Clinton and ''Take Me Home, Country Roads'', songwriter Bill Danoff.

JUNE 11, 1968 TUESDAY

Ernest ''Pop'' Stoneman has surgery for the third time in two months at Nashville's Vanderbilt Medical Center. He dies three days later.

JUNE 12, 1968 WEDNESDAY

MGM released ''Speedway'' is a 1968 American musical action film starring Elvis Presley as a racecar driver and Nancy Sinatra as his romantic interest. Elvis was paid $850,000 plus 50% of the profits. Filming began on 26 June 1967. Scenes were shot at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. The film features guest appearances by several of the top stock-car—better known now as NASCAR—drivers of the day including Richard Petty, Buddy Baker, Cale Yarborough, Tiny Lund and more. They were recognized in the film's opening credits.

This would be the final "formula" musical film of Presley's career. His remaining films would be less musical and more adult in tone. Although the film was completed in the early summer of 1967, it was not released in theaters until the spring of 1968. It was a box-office flop, placing at number 40 on the Variety weekly national box office list.

The only guitar to be featured in the film is during one of the film's closing scenes, during the performance of "There Ain't Nothing Like A Song", where a sunburst Fender Coronado is used.

''Speedway'' is the thirty-second album by Elvis Presley, released by RCA Victor in mono and stereo, LPM/LSP 3989, in May 1968 — the May 1 date is disputed. It serves as the soundtrack album for the 1968 film ''Speedway'' starring Presley. The recording session took place at MGM Studios in Hollywood, California, on June 20 and 21, 1967. It peaked at number 82 on the Billboard 200.

JUNE 14, 1968 FRIDAY

Ernest ''Pop'' Stoneman dies in Nashville. A country recording pioneer, he organized his children into a group, The Stoneman Family, earning a CMA award a year before his death. He enters the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008.

Patti Page Day is observed in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as the ''Tennessee Waltz'' singer receives a key to the state.

JUNE 15, 1968 SATURDAY

Charley Pride recorded a live album, ''Charley Pride In Person'', at Panther Hall in Fort Worth. It yields a hit with ''Kaw-Liga''.

JUNE 17, 1968 MONDAY

Decca Records released Loretta Lynn's ''Greatest Hits''.

JUNE 19, 1968 TUESDAY

50,000 people participated in "The Poor Peoples March " organised by Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to address issues of economic justice. The campaign culminated on Washington, D.C. to demand economic aid be given to the poorest communities in the United States. Unlike many of Martin Luther King Jr's campaigns The Poor People’s Campaign did not focus on just poor blacks but addressed all poor people of every minority.

JUNE 20, 1968 THURSDAY

Jan Howard takes her oldest son, Jimmy Howard, to the Nashville airport as he leaves for deployment in Vietnam. It's the last time she sees him alive.

JUNE 22, 1968 SATURDAY

Conway Twitty recorded ''Next In Line'' at the Columbia Studios in Nashville.

The Stoneman Family performs in West Jefferson, North Carolina, the act's first concert since the death of Ernest ''Pop'' Stoneman. The show marks the debut of Patsy Stoneman with the group.

JUNE 23, 1968 SUNDAY

''The Summer Brothers  Smothers Show  fills in for ''The Smothers Brothers'' on CBS with host Glen Campbell, who gets his own show the following January. The first episode features comedian Flip Wilson.

Elvis Presley recorded ''If I Can Dream'' at Western Recorders in Los Angeles. The song made famous by Elvis Presley, written by Walter Earl Brown and notable for its direct quotations of Martin Luther King Jr. The song was published by Elvis Presley's music publishing company Gladys Music, Inc. It was recorded two months after King's assassination. The recording was first released to the public as the finale of Presley's '68 Comeback Special.

Although the song is not technically gospel music, Presley performed the song with the intensity and intonations of southern gospel. It has since appeared on various Presley gospel and/or inspirational compilations.

JUNE 23, 1968 MONDAY 

Elvis Presley recorded ''Memories'' at Western Recorders in Los Angeles.

JUNE 26, 1968 WEDNESDAY

Guitarist Eddie Perez is born in Los Angeles. After touring in Dwight Yoakam's band, he becomes a member of the Latin-influenced country act The Mavericks.

JUNE 27, 1968 THURSDAY

Elvis Presley starts taping his first television special, ''Elvis'', for NBC at the network's studio in Burbank, California.

Del Reeves and Carl and Pearl Butler appear at a campaign rally for George Wallace at the Hara Arena in Dayton, Ohio.

JUNE 29, 1968 SATURDAY

Tammy Wynette's ''D-I-V-O-R-C-E'' is wedded to the number 1 position on the Billboard country singles chart.

JUNE 30, 1968 SUNDAY

''The Summer Brothers Smothers Show'', a CBS series hosted by Glen Campbell, welcomes guests Flip Wilson and Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara.

JULY 1968

The Intel Corporation was founded in Santa Clara, California during July of 1968. Engineers Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce created the company after receiving $2.5 million in funding from venture capitalist and financier Arthur Rock. Noyce and Moore set out to build a company that could make and develop semiconductor computer circuits like the ones they had invented at their former employer, Fairchild Semiconductor, in the 1950s. Intel began producing memory chips as their primary product with great success until their engineers created the first microprocessor in 1971, changing the course of technology and computing forever. Since then, Intel has been one of the top companies in the world and has remained a leading innovator.  

JULY 1, 1968 MONDAY

Thew Beatles' John Lennon and girlfriend Yoko Ono are injured in a car accident in Scotland, requiring hospitalization. Several Lennon-McCartney compositions go on to become country hits, including ''I Feel Fine'' and ''I Don't Want To Spoil The Party''.

Marty Robbins recorded ''Camelia'' and ''I Walk Alone;;.

Capitol Records released Buck Owens' album ''Sweet Rosie Jones'', and the Merle Haggard single ''Mama Tried''.

JULY 3, 1968 WEDNESDAY

Cal Maddox dies from a heart attack. He was a member of The Maddox Brothers and Rose, whose energetic live shows and rhinestone-studded outfits brought them recognition as the Most Colorful Hillbilly Band in America during the 1940s and 1950s.

JULY 4, 1968 THURSDAY

The John Wayne movie ''The Green Berets'' premieres in Atlanta. The Vietnam War films' theme song is Barry Sadler's ''The Ballad Of The Green Berets'', performed by a male chorus. The cast includes former hitmaker Cactus Pryor.

JULY 7, 1968 SUNDAY

Carl Smith ends a five-year run as a member of Ernest Tubb's Texas Troubadours.

''To Sir With Love'' singer Lulu and The Geezinslaw Brothers appear on CBS-TV's ''The Summer Brothers Smothers Show'', hosted by Glen Campbell.

The Byrds perform at London's Royal Albert Hall. The concert attracts The Rolling Stones' Keith Richards, who strikes up a friendship with the band's Gram Parsons.

JULY 8, 1968 MONDAY

Capitol released \\Let The World Keep On A Turnin''', Buck Owens duet with his son, Buddy Alan.

Decca released Jack Greene's ''Love Takes Care Of Me''.

JULY 12, 1968 FRIDAY

Pop vocalist Micky Dolenz marries Samantha Juste. Dolenz sings lead on the Monkees' ''The Last Train To Clarksville'', hailed amoung country's 500 greatest singles of all-time in the Country Music Foundation book ''Heartaches By The Number''.

JULY 13, 1968 SATURDAY

Governor Winthrop Rockefeller proclaims Glen Campbell Day in Arkansas.

JULY 14, 1968 SUNDAY

The Glen Campbell-hosted ''The Summer Bother Smothers Show'' welcomes guests Vikki Carr and Cream, featuring Eric Clapton.

JULY 15, 1968 MONDAY

''It's Happening'', a daytime music series, debuts on ABC-TV. The house band is Paul Revere and The Raiders, including soon-to-be country star Freddy Weller.

Capitol released ''The Best Of Merle Haggard''.

JULY 18, 1968 THURSDAY

The pop single ''Lady Willpower'', by Gary Puckett and The Union Gap, goes gold. The band's bass player, Kerry Chater, has several country hits up his sleeve as a songwriter, including music by Lee Greenwood, Alabama and George Strait.

Sonny James recorded ''Born To Be With You''.

JULY 20, 1968 SATURDAY

Johnny Cash's live version of ''Folsom Prison Blues'' takes the number 1 slot on the Billboard country singles chart.

JULY 21, 1968 SUNDAY

Roger Miller and comedian George Carlin join Glen Campbell on the CBS series ''The Summer Brothers Smothers Show''.

JULY 22, 1968 MONDAY

Elvis Presley begins filming the western ''Charro'' in Apache Junction, Arizona, requiring him to grow a beard.

Capitol released Charlie Louvin's ''Hey Daddy''.

JULY 24, 1968 WEDNESDAY

Ray Price recorded ''She Wears My Ring''.

JULY 25, 1968 THURSDAY

The Staple Singers sign with Stax Records. The group's ''Tough A Hand, Make A Friend'' later becomes a country hit for The Oak Ridge Boys.

JULY 26, 1968 FRIDAY

WKYR in Cumberland, Maryland, debuts a country format with three solid days of Buck Owens record.

After started Plantation Records in Nashville, Shelby Singleton first heard the demo of songwriter Tom T. Hall's ''Harper Valley P.T.A.'', he then found an unknown singer, a Music Row secretary named Jeannie C. Riley, to sing it, at just about the same time his ex-wife, Margie, recorded it for another label. The Jeannie C. Riley record hit number 1 on the pop charts in September, going on to sell like million copies.

JULY 28, 1968 SUNDAY

Bobbie Gentry and The Everly Brothers join hos Glen Campbell on the CBS variety series ''The Summer Brothers Smothers Show''.

JULY 29, 1968 MONDAY

Gram Parsons quits The Byrds rather than join the band in apartheid-torn South Africa. He goes on to form The Flying Burrito Brothers, a pioneering band in the developments of country-rock.

Guitarist Marty Schiff is born in Medicine Lodge, Kansas, two years to the date after sister Martina's birth. With a marriage in 1988, she takes the name Martina McBride, and becomes a guitarist in her band.

The Beatles begin four days of recording at London's Abbey Road. The sessions yield ''Hey Jude'', referenced in the lyrics of Martina McBride's 2004 country hit ''God's Will''.

Decca Records released Bill Anderson's ''Happy State Of Mind''.

JULY 30, 1968 MONDAY

Johnny Cash recorded the Carl Perkins-penned ''Daddy Sang Bass'' at the Columbia Recording Studios in Nashville, with The Statler Brothers and Jan Howard providing additional voices.

Bob and Sara Dylan have a son, Samuel Abram Dylan. The previous year, Dylan wrote the future Judy Rodman hit ''I'll Be Your Baby Tonight''.

AUGUST 1, 1968 THURSDAY

Guitarist Charlie Kelley, of The Buffalo Club, is born. The band earns a hit with ''If She Don't Love You'' from its 1997 debut album, although the group breaks up before recording a second.

Jeanne Pruett holds her first Decca recording session, five years after she made her first recordings for RCA.

AUGUST 3, 1968 SATURDAY

During the early morning hours of August 3, 1968, Johnny Cash's guitarist Luther Perkins returned from fishing on Old Hickory Lake to his newly constructed home on Riverwood Drive in Henderson, Tennessee. He apparently went to falls in sleep in the living room while holding a lit cigarette. His daughter awoke around 6:00 am to find the living room in flames and Perkins collapsed near the door and is burned over 50% of his body. An emergency crew rushed Perkins to Vanderbilt University Hospital, where he was kept in intensive care until finally succumbing on Monday, August 5, 1968.

His grave is near the graves of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash at Hendersonville Memorial Park in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Luther Perkins was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.

In 1980, Perkins's daughters from his first marriage filed suit against Johnny Cash for embezzling funds that were to have provided retirement income for Perkins. This lawsuit was filed coincidentally with actions taken by the other founding Tennessee Three member, Marshall Grant, against Cash for wrongfully firing Grant and embezzlement of Grant's retirement funds. Both lawsuits were eventually settled out-of-court.

AUGUST 4, 1968 SUNDAY

Host Glen Campbell welcomes special guests Joan Collins on CBS-TV's ''The Summer Brothers Smothers Show''.

AUGUST 5, 1968 MONDAY

Terri Clark is born in Montreal, Quebec. raised in Calgary, she emerges in 1995 as a feisty, confident vocalist, netting successes such as ''Better Things To Do'', ''Poor Poor Pitful Me'', ''When Boy Meets Girl'' and Girls Lie Too''.

Guitarist Luther Perkins dies at Nashville's Vanderbilt Medical Center of injuries sustained in a fire two days prior. As a member of Johnny Cash's Tennessee Two, he played rhythm on numerous recordings and inspired ''Luther Played The Boogie''.

A country album is released by Maureen Reagan, the daughter of Ronald Reagan. The label has a solid Republican names, Lincoln Records.

Decca Records released Conway Twitty's ''Next In Line''.

AUGUST 6, 1968 TUESDAY

Singer and TV personality Lisa Stewart is born in Louisville, Mississippi. She recorded a number of songs for BNA in the early-1990s and becomes a TNN host later in the decade. She eventually marries former Little Texas member Brady Seals.

AUGUST 7, 1968 WEDNESDAY

Funeral service are held for Johnny Cash's guitarist Luther Perkins, who was killed by a fire at home in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Pallbearers include Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, W.S. Holland and Marshall Grant.

Buck Owens recorded ''I've Got You On My Mind Again'' in the afternoon at Hollywood's Capitol Recording Studios.

AUGUST 9, 1968 FRIDAY

Maxene Andrews announces she will become dean of women at Tahoe Paradise College, effectively dissolving The Andrew Sisters. The group had country hits in the 1940s by collaborating with Bing Crosby and Ernest Tubb.

AUGUST 11, 1968 SUNDAY

Glen Campbell welcomes ''Get Smart'' co-star Barbara Feldon and singer/producer Lee Hazlewood on the CBS variety series ''The Summer Brothers Smothers Show''.

AUGUST 12, 1968 MONDAY

Rex Allen Jr. plays a soldier in the comedic TV movie ''Operation Greasepaint'', starring Awery Schreiber and Jack Burns.

Ray Price recorded ''Sweetheart Of The Year''.

AUGUST 13, 1968 TUESDAY

Eddy Arnold recorded ''They Don't Make Love Like They Used To'' at RCA Studio B in Nashville, Tennessee.

Gospel and rhythm and blues singer Joe Hinton dies of cancer, four years after he earned a pop hit with the Willie Nelson-penned ''Funny''.

AUGUST 14, 1968 WEDNESDAY

Jerry Lee Lewis recorded ''She Still Comes Around (To Love What's Left Of Me)'' at the Columbia Studios in Nashville, Tennessee.

AUGUST 15, 1968 THURSDAY

''A Time To Sing'', starring Hank Williams Jr., debuts at Nashville's Paramount Theater. The movie includes Williams hit ''It's All Over But The Crying''.

Don and Venetia Everly have a son, Edan Donald Everly, in Burbank, California.

AUGUST 18, 1968 SUNDAY

Kenny Rogers and The First Edition drop in on the CBS-TV series ''The Summer Brothers Smothers Show''. Hosted by Glen Campbell, the episode also features John Hartford and comedians Stiller and Meara.

AUGUST 19, 1968 MONDAY

Mark McGuinn is born in Winnsboro, South Carolina. His experimental, genre-busting brand of country generates an unlikely hit on an independent label during the spring of 2001 with ''Mrs. Steven Rudy''.

''The Monkees'' ends a two-year prime-time run on NBC-TV. The group's ''Last Train To Clarksville'' is named among country's 500 greatest singles in the 2003 Country Music Foundation book ''Heartaches By The Number''.

AUGUST 20, 1968 TUESDAY

Colonel Tom Parker attends a screening of Elvis Presley's forthcoming TV special. The manager blows up because the show doesn't include a Christmas song.

Jan Howard hauls her son, Corky Howard, to the Nashville airport, where he departs for military deployment in Vietnam. She made the same trip with her eldest son exactly two months prior.

Tammy Wynette leaves her Nashville home and husband Don Chapel for a relationship with George Jones.

AUGUST 21, 1968 WEDNESDAY

''If I Were A Carpenter'' songwriter Tim Hardin performs on NBC's ''The Kraft Music Hall'', also featuring Ed McMahon and Sly and The Family Stone.

Alexander Dubček and other reformers are taken into Soviet custody and flown to Moscow. 

AUGUST 22, 1968 THURSDAY

George Jones and Tammy Wynette announce their marriage, although it doesn't actually take place for another six months.

Cynthia Lennon files for divorce from The Beatles' John Lennon, who's been seeing Yoko Ono for nearly two years. John is listed as a co-writer of ''I Feel Fine'', destined to become a country hit for Sweethearts Of The Rodeo.

The Beatles begin two days of recording in London on ''back In The U.S.S.R''. The track is referenced in Brad Paisley's 2009 country hit ''American Saturday Night''.

AUGUST 24, 1968 SATURDAY

Arkansas governor Winthrop Rockefeller begins his re-election campaign with an appearance in Winthrop. Six thousand people are treated to barbecue, soda, watermelon and Johnny Cash.

AUGUST 25, 1968 SUNDAY

Johnny Cash performs ''Folsom Prison Blues'' on the Glen Campbell-hosted CBS replacement series ''The Summer Brothers Smothers Show''. Also appearing, John Hartford and The Stoneman Family.

AUGUST 26, 1968 MONDAY

Merle Haggard recorded ''I Take A Lot Of Pride In What I Am'' at the Capitol Recording Studios in Los Angeles, California.

The latest gossip, Jeannie C. Riley picks up a sassy gold record for her single ''Harper Valley P.T.A''.

Capitol Records released The Beatles' ''Hey Jude''. More than 35 years later, the song is mentioned in the lyrics of Martina McBride's country hit ''God's Will''.

Alexander Dubček and other reformers accede to Soviet demands and sign the Moscow protocols promising to protect socialism in Czechoslovakia.

AUGUST 27, 1968 TUESDAY

Columbia released Marty Robbins' ''I Walk Alone'' and Ray Price's ''She Wears My Ring''.

KNIX-FM signs on the air in Phoenix. Previously operated as a classical station, the signal was purchased for $75,000 by Buck Owens.

AUGUST 28, 1968 WEDNESDAY

Tammy Wynette writes and recorded ''Stand By Your Man'' at the Columbia Recording Studios in Nashville, Tennessee.

Scotty Moore, former guitarist for Elvis Presley, marries his third wife, Emily Hasting.

Elvis Presley finished filming the western ''Charro''.

Police combat Vietnam War protesters at Chicago's Grant Park with tear gas during the Democratic National Convention. Among the demonstrators is Peter, Paul and Marry's Peter Yarrow, writer of the country hit ''Torn Between Two Lovers''.

Alexander Dubček and most of the reformers were returned to Prague. Dubček was forced to resign as first secretary in April 1969 and for the next few years a process of Normalization which included the Removal of reforms implemented in 1968 and those who had been instrumental in the reforms from the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, mass media, judiciary, social and mass organizations. Economic enterprises, which had been given substantial independence during the Prague Spring were bought back into centralized control. Freedom of the Press Act revoked etc.

AUGUST 30, 1968 FRIDAY

Columbia released The Byrds' ''Sweetheart Of The Rodeo'', a landmark album in the growth of country-rock as a genre.

Loretta Lynn recorded ''Your Squaw Is On The Warpath'' in an evening session at Bradley's Barn in Mount Juliet, Tennessee.

Cowboy singer Gene Autry gives a rare locker room pep talk to his baseball team, the California Angels. It is not enough to keep them from finishing the season eighth, among the American League's 10 teams.

Bass player Geoff Firebaugh is born. He replaces Smilin' Jay McDowell as a member of BR549 in 2004.

AUGUST 31, 1968 SATURDAY

Jeannie C. Riley makes her Grand Ole Opry debut.

Merle Haggard's prison-themed ''Mama Tried'' does time at number 1 on Billboard magazine's country singles chart.

SEPTEMBER 1, 1968 SUNDAY

Tom T. Hall recorded ''Ballad Of Forty Dollars'' at the Columbia Recording Studios in Nashville, Tennessee.

SEPTEMBER 3, 1968 TUESDAY

Capitol released Merle Haggard's album ''Mama Tried''.

SEPTEMBER 6, 1968 FRIDAY

Songwriter Lee Thomas Miller is born in Lexington, Kentucky. He writes Tracy Adkins' ''You're Gonna Miss This'', Tim McGraw's ''Southern Girl'', ''Jamey Johnson's ''In Color'' and Brad Paisley's ''Crushin' It''.

SEPTEMBER 7, 1968 SATURDAY

Women's groups throw brass, girdles and nylons into trash cans outside the Miss American pageant in Atlantic City to protest the objectification of women, providing a backdrop for Tammy Wynette's ''Stand By Your Man'', recorded 10 days earlier.

SEPTEMBER 8, 1968 SUNDAY

''The Summer Brothers Smothers Show'', a summer replacement series hosted by Glen Campbell, closes its run on CBS.

SEPTEMBER 9, 1968 MONDAY

Buck Owens performs for president Lyndon Johnson at the White House. His set list includes ''Act Naturally'', ''Together Again'', ''Gentle On My Mind'', ''Orange Blossom Special'' and ''I've Got A Tiger By The Tail''.

Future ''Hee Haw'' star Gunilla Hutton appears with Alan Alda and Dustin Hoffman on CBS-TVs one-hour summer replacement series ''Premiere''.

SEPTEMBER 11, 1968 WEDNESDAY

Tom T. Hall recorded ''That's How I Got To Memphis'' in Nashville at the Columbia Recording Studios. Bobby Bare gets a hit two years later with the same song.

Bobbie Gentry and Eddy Arnold appear on NBC's ''The Kraft Music Hall''.

SEPTEMBER 13, 1968 FRIDAY

Jeannie C. Riley wins a $390,000 breach of contract lawsuit filed against her and Plantation Records owner Shelby Singleton in Nashville by Little Darlin' Records founder Aubrey Mayhew, who claimed she was signed to his label.

SEPTEMBER 14, 1968 SATURDAY

Merle Haggard performs ''Mama Tried'' on Dick Clark's ''American Bandstand''.

Two of Roy Orbison's three sons, Tony and Roy Jr. die when the family's house catches fire in Nashville, Tennessee.

SEPTEMBER 16, 1968 MONDAY

''The Andy Griffith Show'' ends its eight-year prime-time run on CBS. The show featured The Dillards, a bluegrass group that influenced The Eagles, as recurring TV band The Darlings beginning in 1963.

Roy Acuff is named the head of the Tennessee Citizens For Nixon-Agnew Committee, as Richard Nixon runs for president.

Capitol Records released Sonny James' ''Born To Be With You''.

SEPTEMBER 17, 1968 TUESDAY

Funeral service are held in Nashville for Roy Orbison's two sons. Dewayne and Tony Orbison, who died in a fire three days earlier. In attendance are Roy Acuff, Tex Ritter, Leroy Van Dyke and manager Wesley Rose.

SEPTEMBER 18, 1968 WEDNESDAY

Porter Wagoner recorded ''The Carroll County Accident''.

SEPTEMBER 19, 1968 THURSDAY

Red Foley dies from a heart attack in a hotel room in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Grandfather to Debby Boone, Foley was a steady country hitmaker from 1944-1956, earning membership in the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1967. His last song is a gospel title '')There'll Be) Peace In The Valley (For Me)''.

Dean Martin sings John Hartford's ''Gentle On My Mind'' while hosting the NBC variety series ''The Dean Martin Show''.

SEPTEMBER 20, 1968 FRIDAY

When his band is delayed with transportation problems, Johnny Cash meets guitarist Bob Wootton prior to a show in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Wootton claims he can play all of Cash's songs and becomes a band member that night.

Mel Tillis recorded ''Who's Julie''.

SEPTEMBER 21, 1968 SATURDAY

Ronna Reeves is born in Big Spring, Texas. Signed during the 1990s to Mercury Records, and later River North, she becomes the first artist to have a non-circular CD released and earns a spot in country's Walkway of Stars.

SEPTEMBER 22, 1968 SUNDAY

The Jordanaires sings Red Foley's ''(There'll Be) Peace In The Valley (For Me)'' during Foley's funeral at the Madison Church of Christ in Tennessee. Others on hand include Minnie Pearl, Porter Wagoner, Roy Acuff, Brenda Lee, Grandpa Jones, Webb Pierce and Pat Boone.

SEPTEMBER 26, 1968 THURSDAY

Cream's rock single ''Sunshine Of Your Love'' is certified gold. The central guitar riff is briefly referenced in Wynonna's 1994 country hit ''Girls With Guitars''.

SEPTEMBER 27, 1968 FRIDAY

United Artists released Bobby Goldsboro's ''Autumn Of My Life''.

Songwriter Don Chapel, who's already filed for ''D-I-V-O-R-C-E'' from Tammy Wynette, files an alienation suit against George Jones, claiming the Possum lured his wife away with numerous gifts, including a new Lincoln Continental.

Carl Perkins recorded ''Restless'' at the Columbia Recording Studios in Nashville. A 1991 version of the song wins a Grammy award for Best Country Vocal Collaboration for Mark O'Connor, Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs and Steve Wariner.

SEPTEMBER 28, 1968 SATURDAY

Dewey Phillips, the disc jockey who first put Elvis Presley on the radio, dies of heart failure in his sleep at his mother's house in Memphis, Tennessee. His last years had been spent in a wandering state, it was only through Sam Phillips' intervention that he stayed out of jail on driving under influence, vagrancy, and disorderly conduct chages, and at the end, he was no longer able to hold down any kind of job in radio, as his once-brilliant gift for free association degenerated into incoherent babble. Sam Phillips put him on the payroll and took care of his family, arranging for him to be admitted into hospital psychiatric programs on more than one occasion, but Dewey was simply incapable of helping himself. He stopped by the Sun studio to see Sam the day before he died. He was hacking and coughing and told Sam he thought it was pneumonia, but then he shambled off to his mother's house, where he died that night in his sleep. He was forty-two years old, a ''lonely man with the heart of a boy'', wrote Bob Johnson in a moving tribute in the Press-Scimitar.

Sam Phillips made all the funeral arrangements, helping Dewey's widow Dot, to pick out the casket and staying with her from the time of his death right up until the burial. He arranged for the service to be held at the Memphis Funeral Home, and, after a suitable period of suspense, Elvis Presley even showed up with several of his guys, expressing his genuine and heartfelt sorrow to Dot Phillips. Dewey  is buried in Hardin County, Tennessee at the Crump Cemetery. Sam Phillips, his sons Knox and Jerry were among the half dozen pallbearers. Knox and Jerry and their good friend and fellow pallbearer singer Dickey Lee had elected to drive out to the graveside service with Claude Cockrell, one of Dewey's more uninhibited associates.  

Bobby Goldsboro, Jeannie C. Riley and Bing Crosby join voices on ''Nashville cats'', ''Gentle On My Mind'' and ''Little Green Apples'' on ABC's ''The Hollywood Palace''. Riley also delivers her hit ''Harper Valley P.T.A.''.

She really socks it to 'em, Jeannie C. Riley goes to number 1 on the Billboard country chart with ''Harper Valley P.T.A.'', written by Tom T. Hall.

SEPTEMBER 30, 1968 MONDAY

Capitol Records released Buck Owens' ''I've Got You On My Mind Again'', and Decca released the Conway Twitty album ''Next In Line''.

OCTOBER 1, 1968 THUESDAY

Kelly Willis is born in Lawton, Oklahoma. She earns critical acclaim during the 1990s for her traditionally leaning brand of country, receiving a nomination from the Academy of Country Music for Top New Female.

Elvis Presley attends the funeral for Dewey Phillips, the Memphis disc jockey who first interviewed the singer on the air. Pallbearers include producer Sam Phillips, his sons Knox and Jerry and singer Dickey Lee.

Steel guitarist Little Roy Wiggins, best known for his work on numerous Eddy Arnold hits, presents a guitar to vice president Hubert Humphrey when the Democrat visits Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame''.

Singer / songwriter Kevin Griffin is born in Atlanta. He's a founding member of the rock trio Better Than Ezra and a writer on the Sugarland country hit ''Stuck Like Glue''.

OCTOBER 2, 1968 WEDNESDAY

Roy Rogers and dale Evans, The Sons Of The Pioneers and Kate Smith appear on NBC's ''The Kraft Music Hall''.

OCTOBER 3, 1968 THURSDAY

Linda Ronstadt recorded ''Silver Threads And Golden Needles'', at TTG  ("two terrible guys'' Ami Hadani and Tom Hidley'' )  Recording Studios in Los Angeles.

OCTOBER 4, 1968 FRIDAY

Jan Howard recorded ''My Son'' a song dedicated to son Jimmy Howard, who is serving in Vietnam, at Bradley's Barn in Mount Juliet, Tennessee.

OCTOBER 5, 1968 SATURDAY

''Slipping Around'' singer Margaret Whiting performs the national anthem at Tiger Stadium in Detroit, where the St. Louis Cardinals defeat the Tigers, 7-3, in a World Series game.

OCTOBER 6, 1968 SUNDAY

The Tennessean reports the Little Jimmy Dickens Smoke House will open on Richard Jones Road in Nashville within the next 60 days.

OCTOBER 9, 1968 WEDNESDAY

King Records is sold to Starday, seven months after the death of King founder Syd Nathan. Among the master tapes changing hands are recordings by Moon Mullican, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Cowboy Copas and The Delmore Brothers.

OCTOBER 10, 1968 THURSDAY

Roger Miller performs the fiddle classic ''Orange Blossom Special'' during a return engagement on NBC's ''The Dean Martin Show''.

OCTOBER 11, 1968 FRIDAY

Roni Stoneman, of The Stoneman Family, marries George Hemrick, her second husband in Nashville, Tennessee.

OCTOBER 12, 1968 SATURDAY

John Sebastian leaves The Lovin' Spoonful for a solo career. Two years earlier, the pop band earned a hit with ''Nashville Cats'', deemed one of the 500 all-time greatest country singles in the Country Music Foundation book ''Heartaches By The Number''.

"Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud" (King #12715) by "Soul Brother Number One," James  Brown, tops the charts. "Say It Loud" was merely the most successful of the wave of political  slogan songs exploiting black pride.

OCTOBER 13, 1968 SUNDAY

Marty Robbins finished 12th driving a 1967 Dodge Charger at the National 500 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina.

OCTOBER 14, 1968 MONDAY

Decca Records released Loretta Lynn's ''Your Squaw Is On The Warpath''.

Bobbie Gentry guests a second time on CBS-TV's ''The Carol Burnett Show''.

OCTOBER 15, 1968 TUESDAY

Tex Ritter and ray Stevens perform when Republican presidential candidate Richard Nixon makes a campaign stop in Knoxville, Tennessee.

OCTOBER 16, 1968 WEDNESDAY

Eddy Arnold welcomes Jimmie Rodgers and jazz trumpeter Al Hirt to ''The Kraft Music Hall'' on NBC-TV. Arnold performs ''Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye'' and teams with Rodgers for ''Kisses Sweeter Than Wine'', ''It's Over'' and ''Honeycomb''.

OCTOBER 17, 1968 THURSDAY

Glen Campbell nets his first two gold albums for ''By The Time I Get To Phoenix'' and ''Gentle On My Mind''.

Dean Martin performs the Porter Wagoner hit ''Green Green Grass Of Home'' while hosting his NBC variety series, ''The Dean Martin Show''.

Guitarist and harmonica player Garley Foster dies. He was a member of The Carolina Tar Heels, a string band that landed two songs on the Smithsonian Institute's influential ''Anthology Of American Folk Music''.

OCTOBER 18, 1968 FRIDAY

Bob Wills is inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame during the second annual Country Music Association awards at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.

Plans are announced for the creation of the Opryland theme park in Nashville. Affiliated with the Grand Ole Opry, the grounds eventually provide a home for Roy Acuff, while the park spawns such acts as Little Texas, Diamond Rio, Chely Wright and Deborah Allen.

John Lennon and girlfriend Yoko Ono are arrested at their London apartment for possession of marijuana. Lennon is a co-writer on two future country hits, ''I Feel Fine'' and the ironically titled ''I Don't Want To Spoil The Party''.

Glen Campbell wins two honors, Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year, during the second annual Country Music Association awards at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. NBC tapes the show for the first time for a November telecast.

OCTOBER 21, 1968 MONDAY

The Flying Burrito Brothers, including Chris Hillman and Gram Parsons recorded ''Sin City'' in Los Angeles.

Carl Smith recorded ''I Overlooked An Orchid''. Mickey Gilley has a hit with the same song in 1974.

OCTOBER 22, 1968 TUESDAY

Shelby Lynne is born in Quantico, Virginia. Highly revered by critics for her emotive singing and wide stylistic range, she earns two minor country hits in 1990 but oddly wins the Grammy for Best New Artist 11 years later.

Johnny Cash makes the last of seven appearances supporting Republican Arkansas governor Winthrop Rockefeller's re-election campaign, performing in El Dorado.

OCTOBER 23, 1968 WEDNESDAY

Fiddler Duane ''Junior'' Bryant is born in Pecos, Texas. He joins Ricochet, which cops a pair of awards from the Academy of Country Music in 1996, netting such hits as ''Daddy's Money'', ''What Do I Know'' and ''He Left A Lot To Be desired''.

MGM Pictures released Elvis Presley's ''Live A Little, Love I Little.  It was directed by Norman Taurog, who had directed several previous Presley films. This was to be Taurog's final film. (Shortly thereafter, he went blind.) The film introduced the song "A Little Less Conversation"; an alternate take of which would form the basis of a remix that returned Presley to international music sales charts in 2002. This film had Presley sharing the screen with another legendary singing idol, Rudy Vallee, whose career dated to the 1920s. But Vallee, then in his late 1960s, did not sing in this movie.

Johnny Cash performs at Carnegie Hall in New York. In the audience are Bob Dylan and Janis Joplin.

OCTOBER 24, 1968 THURSDAY

''See the tree, how big it's grown...'' Dean martin performs ;;Honey'' on his NBC series ''The Dean Martin Show''.

Skeeter Davis plays a rally in Texarkana as Arkansas governor Winthrop Rockefeller continues his re-election campaign.

OCTOBER 25, 1968 FRIDAY

After a three-month run, the ABC music series ''It's Happening'' airs for the last time. A weekday program, it featured the rock band Paul Revere and The Raiders. Bass player Freddy Weller is destined to be a country hitmaker within a year.

OCTOBER 28, 1968 MONDAY

Jimmy Dean pops up as a guest on NBC-TVs ''Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In''.

OCTOBER 29, 1968 TUESDAY

Elvis Presley begins filming ''The Trouble With Girls''.

Arkansas native Jim Ed Brown appears in Fort Smith as Republican governor Winthrop Rockefeller campaigns for re-election.

OCTOBER 30, 1968 WEDNESDAY

''Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison'' is certified gold, becoming the first live country album to earn that distinction.

Jan Howard's oldest son, Jimmy Howard, is killed in action in Vietnam.

NOVEMBER 2, 1968 SATURDAY

Conway Twitty collects the first of his number 1 country singles with ''Next In Line''

NOVEMBER 3, 1968 SUNDAY

While performing in Atlanta, Jerry Lee Lewis hits a man in the audience in the face with the microphone stand for saying something derogatory about the music. The man dies in 1970, and his estate sues Lewis five years later.

NOVEMBER 4, 1968 MONDAY

Capitol released Glen Cambell's ''Wichita Lineman'' album.

Decca released Jan Howard's ''My Son'' just days after the boy she wrote it for, Jimmy Howard, was killed in Vietnam.

NOVEMBER 5, 1968 TUESDAY

RCA Victor released ''If I Can Dream''. ''If I Can Dream" is a song made famous by Elvis Presley, written by Walter Earl Brown and notable for its direct quotations of Martin Luther King Jr. The song was published by Elvis Presley's music publishing company Gladys Music, Inc. It was recorded by Presley in June 1968, two months after Kings assassination. The recording was first released to the public as the finale of Presley's '68 Comeback Special.

Although the song is not technically gospel music, Presley performed the song with the intensity and intonations of southern gospel. It has since appeared on various Presley gospel and/or inspirational compilations.

Brown was asked to write a song to replace "I'll Be Home for Christmas" as the grand finale on NBC's "Elvis" (June 20–23, 1968). He wrote "If I Can Dream", and when Presley heard it he proclaimed "I'm never going to sing another song I don't believe in. I'm never going to make another picture I don't believe in''.

Steve Binder, who produced Presley’s 1968 television comeback special, has often recalled the origin of Presley’s hit “If I Can Dream.” Presley and Binder were looking for a way to end the show. The two had discussed Elvis’ dismay over the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy. Binder was struck by the conversation and ordered W. Earl Brown, a songwriter working on the show, to come up with a song incorporating Presley’s concern to use as the finale to the show. So even though Presley did not write the song, his viewpoint was expressed in its composition. This enabled him to run rough shod over some of the song’s hokier lyrics when he delivered it.

When Colonel Tom Parker heard the song demonstrated by Earl Brown, he said: "This ain't Elvis' kind of song''. Elvis was also there, unbeknownst to him, and he said: "I'd like to try it, man." Earl Brown said that when Elvis recorded the song, Brown saw tears rolling down the cheeks of the three back up singers. One of them whispered to him: "Elvis has never sung with so much emotion before. He means every word''.

Band-related errors prevented the first take from becoming the master. After filming for the TV special was completed for its eventual editing, then broadcast in December of the year, the song was released as a single - If I Can Dream/Edge Of Reality - in November 1968. It charted on Billboard's Hot 100 for 13 weeks, peaking at number 12, with more than one million sales; though the RIAA has only certified the song as gold (500,000 units shipped) as of March 27, 1992. In Canada the song peaked at 6 on RPMs top singles chart, lasting more than several weeks.

The song has appeared in many Presley compilations since its release, a number of which are related to the '68 Comeback Special or Inspirational meshes. Sony BMG remastered the song in 2004, for future compilations. The song is referred to as stereo mix (as opposed to the 2004 remaster honorific) in '68 Comeback Special releases after 2004. Other compilations, such as Platinum - A Life In Music, include alternative takes on the song that are not as polished as the official takes. For instance, the background vocalists are not present in most of these takes, specifically with "If I Can Dream". In 2005 a new version featuring Elvis Presley backed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was released on the Elvis Forever album and an eponymous album which reached number 1 on the Australian, Scottish and United Kingdom album charts.

Hank Willimas Jr. recorded ''Custody'' in Nashville using the alias Luke The Drifter Jr.

Richard Nixon is elected President of the United States defeating Democratic candidate Hubert Humphrey.

NOVEMBER 6, 1968 WEDNESDAY

George Jones recorded ''I'll Share My World With You''.

''Solitary Man'' songwriter Neil Diamond and his wife, Jayne, have their second daughter, Elyn.

Columbia Records released Johnny Cash's ''Daddy Sang bass''.

NOVEMBER 7, 1968 THURSDAY

Dottie West and Don Gibson recorded ''Rings Of Gold'' at RCA Studio B in Nashville, Tennessee.

NOVEMBER 8, 1968 FRIDAY

The Beatles' John Lennon divorces Cynthia Lennon. Several songs find new life as hits for country artists including Sweethearts Of The Rodeo's ''I Feel Fine'' and Rosanne Cash's ''I Don't Want To Spoil The Party''.

Blues singer and songwriter James ''Kokomo'' Arnold dies in Chicago. He wrote ''Milk Cow Blues'', and Robert Johnson recorded a version of Sleepy John Estes' song, re-titled "Milkcow's Calf Blues", at his last recording session on June 20, 1937. It was released by Vocalion Records in September 1937 as the B-side to "Malted Milk''.

In 1941, Johnnie Lee Wills (younger brother of Bob Wills) recorded a version which was released the same year by Decca Records as "Milkcow Blues" by Johnny Lee Wills & His Boys. It was sung by Cotton Thompson. Bob Wills also recorded it on the Tiffany Transcriptions with a vocal by Tommy Duncan. The Wills/Duncan release "Brain Cloudy Blues" is heavily influenced by "Milk cow blues" too.

Elvis Presley, accompanied by Scotty Moore on guitar and Bill Black on bass, recorded a rockabilly-blues version retitled "Milkcow Blues Boogie" at Sun Studios at 706 Union Avenue on December 20, 1954. The arrangement was closer to Wills' version than to the Arnold original. The single was released on December 28, 1954 with "You're A Heartbreaker" as the B-side, but would not be released on LP until 1959, when it was included on the RCA Victor LP ''A Date With Elvis''. The tune was also released as a 45 rpm single, along with "You're A Heartbreaker" on RCA Victor records (47-6382). It is listed as 2:34 minutes long, with the publisher Leeds Music ASCAP. It has catalog number F2WW-8044.

Eddie Cochran's version of "Milk Cow Blues" was posthumously released on the album ''Never To Be Forgotten''.

NOVEMBER 9, 1968 SATURDAY

Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant marries Maureen Wilson. He is destined to join Alison Krauss in recording a Top 5 country album, ''Raising Sand'', in 2007.

NOVEMBER 10, 1968 SUNDAY

Chris Cagle is born in De Ridder, Louisiana. Following his national arrival in 2000, he fashions a number of hits around a tumultuous personal life, earning a Top New Artist nomination from the Academy of Country Music.

Neil Young recorded ''Sugar Mountain'' during a performance at the Canterbury House in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Country Music Foundation book ''Heartaches By The Number'' ranks it among country 500 greatest singles of all-time.

NOVEMBER 11, 1968 MONDAY

Roy Drusky recorded ''Where The Blue And Lonely Go'' in Nashville, Tennessee.

NOVEMBER 12, 1968 TUESDAY

Jerry Lee Lewis recorded ''To Make Love Sweeter For You'' at the Columbia Recording Studios in Nashville, Tennessee.

NOVEMBER 13, 1968 WEDNESDAY

Faron Young recorded ''Wine Me Up'' at Nashville's Columbia Recording Studios.

Tompall and The Glaser Brothers recorded ''California Girl (And The Tennessee Square)'', written by former Sun Records producer Jack Clement, in Nashville, Tennessee.

NOVEMBER 14, 1968 THURSDAY

Conway Twitty recorded ''Darling, You Know I Wouldn't Lie'' and ''I Love You More Today'' in the afternoon at Nashville's Columbia Recording Studios.

Minnie Pearl performs the comedic Little Jimmy Dickens hit ''Out Behind The Barn'' as a guest on ''The Dean Martin Show'' on NBC-TV.

NOVEMBER 15, 1968 FRIDAY

The largest anti-war rally in United States history takes place at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. John Denver provides music, along with Arlo Guthrie, Pete Seeger, producer Mitch Miller and Peter, Paul and Mary.

NOVEMBER 18, 1968 MONDAY

Loretta Lynn recorded ''Woman Of The World (Leave My World Alone)'' in the evening at Bradley's Barn in Mount Juliet, Tennessee.

One month after receiving his first two gold albums, Glen Campbell collects a third with ''Wichita Lineman''.

Decca Records released Jack Greene's ''Until My Dreams Come True'.

NOVEMBER 19, 1968 TUESDAY

Roy Rogers and dale Evans host the first broadcast of the Country Music Association awards, taped the previous month on NBC-TV. Glen Campbell wins Entertainer and Male Vocalist of the Year.

NOVEMBER 20, 1968 WEDNESDAY

Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs have acting roles in ''The Beverly Hillbillies'' for the seventh and final time. The theme song, ''The Ballad Of Jed Clampett'', is closely associated with the bluegrass duo.

NOVEMBER 21, 1968 THURSDAY

Jan Howard performs on Bill Anderson's show in St. Louis, Missouri, her first concert date since she lost her oldest son in Vietnam. Also on the bill, Kitty Wells, Johnny Wright and Carl Smith.

Jean Shepard marries Benny Birchfield.

Sonny James recorded the Roy Orbison song ''Only The Lonely'' at the Columbia Recording Studios in Nashville, Tennessee.

NOVEMBER 22, 1968 FRIDAY

A production of ''Hair'' opens in Los Angeles, with Jennifer Warnes in the cast. Warnes will score a country hit with 1979s ''I Know A Heartache When I See One''.

NOVEMBER 23, 1968 SATURDAY

The animated NBC-TV special ''Mouse On The Mayflower'' features Tennessee Ernie Ford narrating the story of Thanksgiving. 

Tammy Wynette sits a number 1 in Billboard with ''Stand By Your Man''.

NOVEMBER 24, 1968 SUNDAY

Dusty Springfield sings ''Son Of A Preacher Man'' from New York ob CBS' telecast of ''The Ed Sullivan Show''. The Country Music Foundation's ''Heartaches By The Number'' ranks her recording among the 500 greatest country singles of all-time.

NOVEMBER 25, 1968 MONDAY

Stella Parton has a son, Tomothy Rauhoff, in Knoxville, Tennessee.

NOVEMBER 26, 1968 TUESDAY

Glen Campbell recorded ''Galveston'' at Los Angeles Capitol Recording Studios.

NOVEMBER 27, 1968 WEDNESDAY

Bobby Goldsboro picks up the only gold album of his career with ''Honey''.

The John Wayne movie ''Hellfighters'' opens in theaters. Featured in a minor role is Cactus Pryor, who earned a 1950 country hit with ''Cry Of The Dying Duck In A Thunder Storm'', a satire on Tennessee Ernie Ford's ''The Cry Of The Wild Goose''.

NOVEMBER 28, 1968 THURSDAY

Sonny James sings ''Born To Be With You'' on a buckboard float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The first national Women's Liberation Organization conference draws more than 200 women to Chicago. The event happens while Tammy Wynette is lodged at number 1 with ''Stand By Your Man'', a song that has raised feminists' ire.

DECEMBER 1968

Leonard Chess sold his Chess Records company to GRT (General Recorded Tape) for $6.5 million in order to concentrate on the expansion of his rapidly growing radio and television empire.

DECEMBER 1, 1968 SUNDAY

Jerry and Shirley Williams get married. They have a son, Mark, who gains a foothold as a country recording artist more than 25 years later, under the name Mark Wills.

Singer/songwriter Neil Young marries Susan Acevedo at his home in Topanga Canyon, California. He is destined to write Linda Ronstadt's ''Love Is A Rose''.

DECEMBER 2, 1968 MONDAY

Decca Records released Conway Twitty's ''Darling, You Know I Wouldn't Lie''.

DECEMBER 3, 1968 TUESDAY

Waylon Jennings recorded Chuck Berry's ''Brown Eyed Handsome Man'' and ''Cedartown, Georgia'' at Nashville's RCA Studio B during evening session.

Elvis Presley's comeback special airs on NBC-TV. From the show, he scores minor pop hits with ''If I Can Dream'' and Memories''.  The special is commonly referred to as the '68 Comeback Special, because of subsequent developments in Presley's career. It was directed by Steve Binder and produced by Binder and Bonus How. Music from the special was released before the broadcast, on the album ''Elvis (NBC TV Special)''. Presley's informal jamming in front of a small audience in the special is regarded as a forerunner of the "unplugged" concept, later popularized by MTV.  The famous opening sequence, featuring the "Trouble"/"Guitar Man" medley and concluding with the iconic ELVIS sign in red lightbulbs, was subsequently copied or paid homage to by various artists. 

Columbia released Carl Perkins ''Restless''. A recording of the song by Mark O'Conner, Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs and Steve Wariner wins a Grammy award for Best Country Vocal Collaboration in 1992.

DECEMBER 4, 1968 WEDNESDAY

Waylon Jennings recorded ''Just To Satisfy You'' for the first time in a solo session at Nashville's RCA Studio B. He re-recorded it 13 years later as a duet with Willie Nelson.

Buck Owens recorded ''We're Gonna Get Together'' with Susan Raye and ''Who's Gonna Mow Your Grass'' during the afternoon at the Capitol Tower in Hollywood, California.

Hank Williams Jr. recorded ''Cajun Baby'' in Nashville. The song represents a collaboration between Bocephus and his father, Hank Williams, who had never finished writing it. Junior completed the composition before recording it.

''Islands In The Stream'' songwriter Robin Gibb marries with his first wife, Molly Hullis.

DECEMBER 5, 1968 THURSDAY

The movie ''Killers Three'' opens with Merle Haggard playing a sheriff who gets killed by Dick Clark. The picture incorporates his performance of ''Mama Tried''.

DECEMBER 6, 1968 FRIDAY

President-elect Richard Nixon sends out more than 60,000 letters to potential members of his administration, including Elvis Presley.

The Beatles' Apple Records released ''James Taylor'' the debut album by a respected singer/songwriter who authors George Jones' country hit ''Bartender's Blues''.

DECEMBER 8, 1968 SUNDAY

The Association appears on ''The Ed Sullivan Show'', performing ''Never My Love'', a song that becomes a country hit for Vern Gosdin 10 years later. The episode also features Ray Charles, Liza Minnelli and comedian Richard Pryor.

DECEMBER 9, 1968 MONDAY

Merle Haggard recorded ''Hungry Euyes'' and ''Silver Wings'' at the Capitol Recording Studio in Los Angeles, California.

Jimmie Davis marries Nashville singer Anna Gordon in Ringgold, Georgia.

Johnny Cash plays a benefit for Native Americans at the St. Francis Indian Mission in South Dakota. The set list includes the appropriate ''The Ballad Of Ira Hayes''.

B.J. and Gloria Thomas married at the Chapel Of The Bells in Las Vegas, Nevada. She ends up writing one of his country hits, ''New Looks From An Old Love''.

DECEMBER 10, 1968 TUESDAY

Colonel Tom Parker outlines terms for Elvis Presley to return to Las Vegas at the under-construction International Hotel. He eventually contracts for a four-week engagement at $400,000.

Singer/songwriter Billy Cox dies. He is best remembered for writing a pair of country standards, ''Filipino Baby'', a hit for Ernest Tubb and Cowboy Copas, and ''Sparkling Brown Eyes'', a success for Webb Pierce.

Marty Robbins recorded ''It's A Sin''.

DECEMBER 11, 1968 WEDNESDAY

A plane carrying Tex Ritter is hijacked from Nashville to Cuba. Ritter cancels one show and is returned to Miami.

DECEMBER 12, 1968 THURSDAY

Dean Martin sings the Robert Mitchum country hit ''Little Ole Wine Drinker Me'' during ''The Dean Martin Show'' on NBC-TV. George Burns also makes an appearance.

DECEMBER 13, 1968 FRIDAY

In an Unusual concert bill, Jerry Lee Lewis performs at The Forum in Los Angeles, with Jim Morrison and The Doors.

DECEMBER 17, 1968 TUESDAY

The movie ''Candy'' opens in American theaters. The cast includes ''Yesterday, When I Was Young'' songwriter Charles Aznavour and Ringo Starr, plus music by The Byrds.

DECEMBER 18, 1968 WEDNESDAY

Eddy Arnold and Burl Ives are guests on a Christmas themed edition on the NBC-TV show ''The Kraft Music Hall''.

DECEMBER 19, 1968 THURSDAY

Gary Puckett and The Union Gap, featuring future country songwriter Kerry Chater, rack up a gold single with ''Over You''. Chater's writing credits will include, ''I Know A Heartache When I See One'', ''If I Had You'' and ''You're Not Leavin' Here Tonight''.

Glen Campbell plays a CIA agent in a skit on Bob Hope's NBC Christmas special, also featuring Carol Lawrence and Janet Leigh.

Roy Clark and Minnie Pearl are gusts on ''The Jonathan Winters Show''. The CBS show also features boxer Sugar Ray Robinson and pop group The Association.

DECEMBER 20, 1968 FRIDAY

Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton recorded ''Yours Love''.

Bob Wills becomes a member of the National Cowboy Hall Of Fame in Oklahoma City.

Claude King recorded the late Johnny Horton's ''All For The Love Of A Girl'' in an evening session at Columbia Studio B in Nashville.

Jeannie C. Riley earns her only gold album with ''Harper Valley P.T.A''.

DECEMBER 21, 1968 SATURDAY

Brad Warren is born in Tampa, Florida. He joins sibling Brett Warren to form The Warren Brothers, who pick up a nomination from the Academy of Country Music in 2001. They co-write Toby Keith's ''Red Solo Cup'', Keith Urban's ''Little Bit Of Everything'' and Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift's ''Highway Don't Care''.

Glen Campbell performs ''Wichita Lineman'' on a holiday edition of ''The Hollywood Palace'' on ABC-TV. Host Bing Crosby naturally sings ''White Christmas''.

Glen Campbell gets hot-wired to the number 1 position on the Billboard country singles chart with ''Wichita Lineman''.

DECEMBER 22, 1968 SUNDAY

Singer/songwriter Lori McKenna is born in Stoughton, Massachusetts. She writes Hunter Hayes' single ''I Want Crazy'' RaeLynn's ''God Made Girls'' and Little Big Town's ''Girl Crush''.

DECEMBER 23, 1968 MONDAY

Epic released Tammy Wynette's album ''Stand By Your Man''.

DECEMBER 24, 1968 TUESDAY

Apollo 8, was the first human space flight to leave Earth orbit and enter a different orbit around the moon.

DECEMBER 25, 1968 WEDNESDAY

John Jorgenson receives his first guitar for Christmas. Within two decades, he earns high marks for his work on the instrument in The Desert Rose Band.

DECEMBER 26, 1968 THURSDAY

A man threatening to kill Waylon Jennings breaks into J.D.'s in Phoenix after hours and forces the Waylors to lie on the floor. The man is killed while running from police.

Roy Rogers and Dale Evans appear on CBS-TV's ''The Jonathan Winters Show''.

DECEMBER 27, 1968 FRIDAY

Two 150-pound marble urns and a marble of Hank Williams' hat are stolen from his grave in Montgomery, Alabama. The memorial objects will be recovered over the next four days.

DECEMBER 28-30, 1968 SATURDAY/MONDAY

Numerous rock festivals were held in the late sixties and early seventies. Among the more notable ones were the Miami Pop Festival in Hallandale, Florida. The show featured Fleetwood Mac, the Grateful Dead, Chuck Berry, Joni Mitchell, Iron Butterfly, Canned Head, Procol Harum, and others.

DECEMBER 30, 1968 MONDAY

Frank Sinatra recorded ''My Way'' in Hollywood. The song becomes a staple of Elvis Presley's live shows.

DECEMBER 31, 1968 TUESDAY

Elvis Presley holds a New Year's Eve party for 200 guests at Memphis' Thunderbird Lounce. Performers include B.J. Thomas, Billy Riley and Ronnie Milsap.

Columbia Records released Marty Robbins' ''It's A Sin''.



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