1968: One of the Most Historical Years in History

The world was changing in 1968 and it was quite possibly one of the most unforgettable years in American history because so many significant things took place that year. At the forefront of this commencing decade both the Vietnam War and The Civil Rights Movement were at full mast. 1968 was the year of the Tet Offensive in North Vietnam which saw an escalation of the American involvement in this tragic war while back home in the United States the public opinion of the war was changing from support for the war to anti-war protest.

It was on April 4, 1968 that following years of civil rights activism James Earl Ray murdered the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis Tennessee. Then following Dr. King’s death a few months later in August of that same year, that two black athletes staged a silent demonstration at the Summer Olympics in Mexico City by raising their fists during the national anthem in support of the Black Power Movement that was taking place at the time in America.

1968 was also the year that American television viewers saw its first interracial kiss between a white man and a black woman when Star Trek’s Captain Kirk (William Shatner) smooched the USS Enterprise’s African-American Sergeant Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), and it was televised in living rooms across America in Technicolor as television technology was continuing to advance the transition from black-and-white to full color. In addition, the American media continued to expand itself as 1968 was also the year that the legendary informational news show 60 Minutes took to the air for the first time on CBS.

In June of 1968 Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in Los Angeles California, and later that same year in August of 1968, the Republican National Convention (RNC) nominated Richard M. Nixon to run as the republican candidate in the upcoming November election against democratic incumbent then President Lyndon B. Johnson. In the end Nixon would win the presidency with Spiro Agnew on the ticket as his Vice President, but later resigned in 1974 to avoid an impeachment following The Watergate Scandal.

Many other interesting things took place in 1968; NASA orbited the moon with the Apollo 8 Mission that made astronauts Jim Lovell, Bill Anders, and Frank Borman the first human beings to set foot on the moon. Boeing introduced the first 747 passenger plane, toy maker Mattel introduced Hot Wheels Collectible Cars, and The Beatles introduced Apple Records. Later that year The Beatles released the White Album in America, while overseas in England the renowned Yardbirds appeared for the first time as what later became better known as the legendary band Led Zeppelin and Andy Warhol died.

In 1968 a gallon of gasoline was around thirty-four cents, a gallon of milk was just over one dollar, and a postage stamp was six cents. A new house cost just over $26,000.00 and the cost of a new car was right around $2,400.00. The Zodiac Killer was still on the loose somewhere in California and never found. It was the same year that the Broadway Show Hair opened for the first time and a little bit further down on Broadway the newly relocated Madison Square Garden also opened its doors to the public for the first time.

In sports, the Green Bay Packers defeated the Oakland Raiders at the Orange Bowl in Miami Florida to win Super Bowl II in 1968, the Detroit Tigers beat the St. Louis Cardinals in a seven game set to win the World Series of 68, the Montreal Canadiens swept the St. Louis Blues in four games to win the Stanley Cup in hockey, and the Boston Celtics defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in six games to win their tenth championship in twelve years in basketball. Bobby Unser won the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Speedway, and Cale Yarborough won the Daytona 500. Billie Jean King won the women’s singles tennis championship and John Newcombe won in the men’s doubles at Wimbledon, while in golf Arnold Palmer lost the PGA championship by one stroke to Julius Boros in San Antonio Texas that year.

Significantly my birth year is a shared one with such famous entertainment personalities as Will Smith, LL Cool J, Owen Wilson, Celine Dion, Rachel Ray, Lucy Liu, and Lisa Marie Presley. In addition, with other such iconic public personalities as sportscaster Kenny Albert, Baseball hall of famer Mike Piazza and also former MLB player Gary Sheffield, movie personality Daniel Craig who is currently Agent 007 from the James Bond Movie Series which ironically is one of my all-time favorite film series’ and Ziggy Marley who is the son of the late great music personality Bob Marley. Although the above may appear to be completely random and miscellaneous, for me it is all truly remarkable.

Please note the views and opinions expressed in the written works contained within this site are solely those of the individual authors themselves. They are not intended to, nor meant to imply any type of endorsement, professional relationship, or affiliation to any of the individual people, organizations, or associations mentioned in the site’s publication. All written work is the sole property of the author of this website and may be subject to copyright laws 2019.

Five Guitar Gods That Left A Lasting Impression On Me


My personal love for BB King and his music comes from the early days of learning how to play guitar as a young teen. At a time in life when learning how to play a blues scale was one of the most important parts of equally learning how to jam. While BB King and Lucille his nickname for his famous black Gibson ES-345 guitar often made it look easy, trying to learn his style required just as much listening time as it did playing time. His music taught me how to be a better listener as well as a better guitar player. BB King’s guitar playing style epitomizes what it means to play an instrument with feeling.


Eric Clapton fondly nicknamed “Slow Hand” or simply EC by his followers, and he is by far the most difficult one of the five for me to define. Eric Clapton’s incorporation of feel and technique is at times paralyzing to watch and his articulate phrasing ability leaves intermediate players like me awestruck. Eric Clapton’s chord progressions are conquerable for even the beginner, but from experience it is fair to say that it takes years of mechanical practice to join the chord patterns with his solo parts. Like fine wine Eric Clapton’s playing got even better with time, especially if one considers his early days with Cream. If the intent is to learn EC’s style then three words come to mind: scales, scales, and scales.


David Gilmour’s picking style makes learning and covering his music one of the single most challenging for me personally. Learning to play his chord progressions and subtle fill lines is at times as baffling as it is tedious. David Gilmour has an elusive open chord playing technique and his extensive use of sound effects in the studio makes learning some his note patterns confusing at times, but it equally compliments the smooth sound he is so well-known for. For the beginner to intermediate player, covering Gilmour’s work takes both time and practice to perfect. One suggestion for learning David Gilmour’s playing would be to learn how to bend notes while staying in tune.


JIMMY PAGE
When Jimmy Page comes to mind so do phrases like “innovator of the trade” or “lord of the riff” because as a rock and roll guitarist, Page’s mind-bending riffs are as widely known and as recognizable as the national anthem. Simply put -he is an iconic Rock and Roll guitarist. Jimmy Page and his innovative ability goes far beyond just his use of the violin bow on song’s like Led Zeppelin’s Dazed and Confused for which he renowned for. When one considers the evolution of Rock and Roll into Hard Rock and eventually into what is now known as Heavy Metal, Jimmy Page’s guitar riffs are the embodiment of all. To know Jimmy Page is to know how to drive a power chord home and transition from open chords to barred chords.


Reflecting on Stevie Ray Vaughan is like none other because no matter how one describes his playing it will never change the simple fact that he was gone from us too soon. Vaughan died as the result of a helicopter crash on August 27, 1990 and it was a great loss to the guitar world and those who never had the chance to see him perform live. Once coined the “Pride of Austin Texas” Stevie Ray Vaughan was all about skill and pace. He was blindingly quick and watching him turn a bluesy jam into a ten-minute freestyle like solo was the norm for concertgoers and his Double Trouble bandmates alike. Vaughan’s quick paced rhythms and jaw dropping solos often left onlookers frozen in amazement. Stevie Ray Vaughan was astounding to watch, and he was a highly skilled performer who shared the same two things in common as all the above mentioned do, a love for BB King and a love for the blues.

Please note the views and opinions expressed in the written works contained within this site are solely those of the individual authors themselves. They are not intended to, nor meant to imply any type of endorsement, professional relationship, or affiliation to any of the individual people, organizations, or associations mentioned in the site’s publication. All written works are the sole property of the author of this website and may be subject to copyright laws 2019.