Radio Hits in September 1968: Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah-Nah-Nah-Nah

Share This:

In the news in September 1968… Detroit Tigers pitcher Denny McLain became the majors’ first 30-game winner since 1934. No one has accomplished the feat since. Mickey Mantle played the final game in his career.

Hawaii Five-0 debuted on CBS and would eventually became the longest-running crime series in TV history. (Law & Order holds the honor now.) Tick… tick… tick… 60 Minutes also had its CBS premiere.

It was a terrific Top 10 for classic rock acts on the Los Angeles Top 40 station KHJ in late September, 1968, with numerous all-time greats making the list. Let’s dig in!

Debuting at #27 were the 5th Dimension with “Sweet Blindness,” the singing group’s second consecutive Laura Nyro-penned hit. (The other was “Stoned Soul Picnic.”) The song would ultimately reached #13 on the Hot 100.

Bubbling under and jumping from #23 all the way to #13 was the Turtles‘ “Elenore.”

Making an even bigger leap from #24 to #12 was the smash hit “Those Were the Days” from Mary Hopkin. The song was based on a Russian romance song and its English lyrics began “Once upon a time there was a tavern, where we used to raise a glass or two…”

Hopkin’s single, on the Beatles’ Apple label, was produced by none other than Paul McCartney. The song would ultimately reach #1 on several U.S. charts, a most unlikely hit.

Rapidly climbing into the Top 10 was Big Brother & the Holding Company‘s “Piece Of My Heart.” Oddly enough, the song peaked nationally at only #12 and was Janis Joplin‘s second biggest single behind – no surprise – her #1 posthumous hit “Me and Bobby McGee.”

“Midnight Confessions” by the Grass Roots was at #6. These hitmakers from Los Angeles were somewhat mistreated by pop radio during their five-year peak: “Midnight Confessions,” which only hit #5 on Billboard, was their highest-charting single. “Let’s Live For Today” reached #8, “Sooner Or Later” hit #9 and “Temptation Eyes” and “I’d Wait A Million Years” both peaked at #15. Rock oldies stations have deservedly kept many of their songs in regular rotation.

Related: What were the biggest radio hits of 1968?

At #4: Creedence Clearwater Revival‘s “Suzie-Q.” It was the band’s first charting single and only reached #11 nationally. CCR would go on to earn nine Top 10 hits in the coming years.

“I am the God of hell fire… and I bring you… ” You don’t hear songs – hits or otherwise – that start with such lyrics too often. But that’s how “Fire” from The Crazy World of Arthur Brown began. The psychedelic rock song soared all the way to #2 on KHJ and the Hot 100.

Related: More on the incendiary “Fire”

Finally, at #1 on KHJ and nationally was The Beatles‘ “Hey Jude” which had a pretty decent run on the pop charts despite its 7:11 length, holding the top spot for nine weeks – the most of any of the Fab Four’s hits. It was also the band’s first release on their own Apple Records label. Everybody sing along: “Nah, nah, nah, nah-nah-nah-nah…. ”

Related: The #1 singles of 1968

27. “Sweet Blindness” – The Fifth Dimension (Soul City)

13. “Elenore” – The Turtles (White Whale)

12. “Those Were the Days” – Mary Hopkin (Apple)

10. “Piece Of My Heart” – Big Brother & the Holding Company (Columbia)

9. “Love Heals” – Colours (Dot)

8. “Morning Dew” – Lulu (Epic)

7. “My Special Angel” – Vogues (Reprise)

6. “Midnight Confessions” – The Grass Roots (Dunhill)

5. “Girl Watcher” – The O’Kaysions (ABC)

4. “Suzie-Q” – Creedence Clearwater Revival (Fantasy)

3. “Slip Away” – Clarence Carter (Atlantic)

2. “Fire” – The Crazy World of Arthur Brown (Atlantic)

1. “Hey Jude” – The Beatles (Apple)

Best Classic Bands Staff

3 Comments so far

Jump into a conversation
  1. Norm
    #1 Norm 22 September, 2023, 00:32

    OK! All these are great songs. But where is “Hush” from Deep Purple (Tetragrammaton), a #4 on Billboard Hot 100 in September (#2 in Canada)?

    Reply this comment
    • Greg Brodsky
      Greg Brodsky 22 September, 2023, 09:00

      Norm… This particular survey is from Los Angeles’ KHJ.

      Reply this comment
      • Norm
        Norm 24 September, 2023, 21:23

        Yes, I had noticed, thank you, and I even consulted their site ( )
        to realize that Hush (my top 2 for September) was no. 6 (and 6 weeks in their chart until September 4). And, incredibly, another big oversight in my opinion, Street Fighting Man (London) by The Rolling Stones, which was only 3 weeks in their charts (no. 15) until September 11 (still better, anyway, than no. 48 in the Billboard and no. 32 in Canada). But for me, despite the boycott of radio stations, this song was my top 4 of September 1968 with, of course, 1. Hey Jude / 3. Fire / 5. All Along The Wachtower (Reprise), my new acquisition, by Jimi Hendrix, of course… who will be in the charts at the beginning of October but was already at my house in September to the great pleasure of my brother but not my parents an excellent article, by the way, just like the others on Radio Hits, I love them

        Reply this comment

Your data will be safe!Your e-mail address will not be published. Also other data will not be shared with third person.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.