It’s time to wrap up another month. July was a big month for major releases, but there are plenty more to come in the back half of 1968. This project has been a lot of fun so far, and I hope I’ve been doing these releases justice. Here are some other noteworthy July ’68 releases and events before we head into the grind of August:
7/5 Tyrannosaurus Rex – My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair…But Now They’re Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows
This was the debut of Marc Bolan’s band, yet to be called simply T. Rex. As often seems to be the case, retrospective reviews of the album are kinder than the originals.
7/7 The Yardbirds final show took place at the College of Technology in Luton, Bedfordshire, supported by the Linton Grae Sound. Within weeks, Jimmy Page would assemble the New Yardbirds, a.k.a., Led Zeppelin.
7/19 Family – Music in a Doll’s House
Another debut, this one by the English progressive rock band Family. Family is one of those bands I feel I should know more about by now, but I really don’t (other than Ric Grech’s involvement). They’re on my mental list of perhaps unjustly undercelebrated prog bands to check out, which also includes the likes of Gentle Giant and Soft Machine. For an excellent critique of this album, check out fellow blogger Zumpoem’s write-up.
7/22 Merle Haggard – Single: Mama Tried
The title track and first single from his new album released three months later, Mama Tried became a beloved country song and a cornerstone of Haggard’s career. Though not purely autobiographical, it is based on his time as an inmate at San Quentin. It reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles Chart as well as #1 in Canada. It won the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1999, and was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry due to its “cultural, historic, or artistic significance” on March 23, 2016, just 14 days before Haggard’s death. The track has been covered by other artists many times. My favorite cover is the Grateful Dead’s. They performed the song live over 300 times.