The Day the Music Died in 1967

I’ve mentioned before that one of the benefits of this replay project is the discovering of new music. My 1966 replay introduced me to the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds in its entirety; 1967 introduced me to Jefferson Airplane’s Surrealistic Pillow and Moby Grape. No new discoveries to report for 1968 as of yet. I am currently reading Rob Kirkpatrick’s 1969: The Year Everything Changed. I just finished a chapter covering the new music of that year: the precursor of punk rock, The Stooges and MC5. However, most of 1968’s biggest albums, The Beatles’ White Album (November), Rolling Stones’ Beggar’s Banquet (December), and Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland (October), all came out after baseball season. I also have all three committed to memory from my high school and college days. But I have re-discovered an artist who performed at the Monterey Music Festival and grew in popularity in the spring of 1968, posthumously.

Otis Redding died on December 10, 1967 in a plane crash. Years later, Don McLean would pen a hit song about the day Buddy Holly died in a plane crash in 1959. He called it “the day the music died”. Three members of Lynryd Skynyrd were killed in a 1977 plane crash, but that band plays on. Otis was silenced on that day in December, 1967 and we all truly lost a great talent. Like Hendrix, he was popular in Europe before making a splash at Monterey. Three days before his death, he recorded “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay”. He whistled the last verse, meaning to come back and fill it in with lyrics. He did not get the chance to do so.

“Sittin’ By the Dock of the Bay” was released in January, 1968, and became a number one song, the first posthumous number one single in U.S. chart history. Redding’s popularity in the U.S. among white audiences took off. Three Otis Redding albums were released in 1968. Some recommended lesser-known tracks are “Nobody Knows You When You Are Down and Out”, “Cigarettes and Coffee” from his first album, The Soul Album, released in 1966, and any live rendition of “Shake”. Members of Otis’ band who went on to further glory: Issac Hayes (‘a bad mother… shut yo mouth’ who died three years ago today), and Steve Cropper and Donald “Duck” Dunn, best known for their work with John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd on the Blues Brothers album and movie. Otis Redding is now known as the King of Soul. Listen to his music which (apologies to Mr. McLean) will never die, and you will agree Otis is king.

Otis Redding’s 70th birthday will be celebrated the weekend of September 9, 2011 in his hometown of Macon, Georgia.

Replay update: 1968 baseball will be updated when play reaches the end of July (currently July 19). Still intrigued with the depth and fun of Out of the Park Baseball 12 while toying with 1901 and 1920 replays. I mentioned on Twitter recently my next baseball project will be OOTP12, likely 1920. I will continue the 1968 NFL and AFL football replay now the NFL is back in session. Stay tuned for a football update here.

Thank you for following! Happy 40th birthday to SABR!

Tigers sweep Series with Wilson shutout, 1-0.

St. Louis, Oct. 8 – The Detroit Tigers swept the World Series with their fourth one-run victory against the St. Louis Cardinals. Twenty-game winner Earl Wilson, knocked out of the Series opener, demonstrated why many considered the Tiger right hander to be the best hurler in the American League. In previous series games, the Cardinals squandered several scoring opportunities, and today was no different as the Birds could only nibble and peck against the strong arm of Wilson, never able to muster a knockout blow. Norm Cash drove in the game’s only run by slicing a double off the glove of third baseman Mike Shannon to score Bill Freehan in the second inning. Detroit once again cashed in on Cardinal miscues as Freehan had reached base after being hit by a Steve Carlton pitch. Don Wert moved Freehan into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt to set the stage for Cash. Carlton held the Tigers to a run despite opening singles by Detroit in the third and fourth innings. The southpaw used his strikeout pitch to dodge further trouble as Carlton finished with six whiffs before being lifted for a pinch-hitter in the fifth inning.
Continue reading “Tigers sweep Series with Wilson shutout, 1-0.”

Lolich, Tigers shut down Cardinals, 2-1.

St. Louis, Oct. 7 – The change of scenery in the World Series did not bring a different result. The Detroit Tigers continued to hold the advantage over the St. Louis Cardinals with their third consecutive one-run victory in the 1967 World Series. The clubs committed five errors in the game, but the Tigers were the team capable of taking advantage of key opportunities. Detroit starter Mickey Lolich closed out the game to leave the Cardinals in desperate straits.

Lou Brock opened the Cardinal first with a jam shot back to Lolich. The portly southpaw dropped the ball, yet despite stopping and restarting, Brock still beat Lolich’s throw to first. Brock is one of the few Cardinals enjoying his time at the plate, but on the base paths has been a different story. Bill Freehan erased Lolich’s gaffe by throwing Brock out stealing for the third consecutive time in the series. The play was like rain on the Cardinals’ homecoming parade. Brock was getting on base this series, but his speed has been neutralized by Freehan. A rejuvenated Lolich struck out Curt Flood and Roger Maris to end the inning. The Tigers then pounced on the reeling Cardinals. Willie Horton opened the second with a blast over the left field wall. After Northrup popped out to short, series hero Norm Cash launched the ball over Flood’s head in center field. The ball bounced off the wall, and Cash chugged around to third base. The Cardinals brought the infield in as Freehan stepped in to bat. With a full count, Briles got the ground ball he needed. However, second baseman Julian Javier uncharacteristically let the ball go between his legs, and the Tigers had a quick two-run lead. Freehan was thrown out attempting to steal second base. Don Wert struck out to end the inning, but a sense of concern, perhaps dread, draped itself over Busch Stadium.
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