1968 Was Serious…and Silly

Photo courtesy of Buddah Records album cover

1968 was a very serious year. The Vietnam War was raging, both Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King were assassinated, and we saw public protests and unrest across the country.

Maybe all of these experiences created the need for something not very serious. For example, there was the song, “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy,” from the band the Ohio Express. Two months after being released, it had sold more than one million copies, and was granted gold disc status in June 1968.

Turns out that the Ohio Express was a real band. But the song that was recorded and released was not the band’s version. The writer of the song recorded a “demo” of the song with record company staff musicians, and sang the lead vocal. The head of the record company like the demo so much that he released it as a single “as is,” without the band contributing a note.

In fact, that is the way Ohio Express singles were released. The touring group, the lads in this clip, were not even informed of the existence of a new single that came out under their name. When fans requested a popular single at a live show, the band was unable to play it because they did not know it was supposed to be their song. Here is another hit “by” Ohio Express called, “Chewy, Chewy.”

Continuing the “not serious” theme, our snack food even got into the act. Screaming Yellow Zonkers is a snack food, made from popcorn with a sugary glaze, that was created in the 1960s. The popcorn came in a black box.

The bottom of the box explained how to determine if it was the bottom: “Open the top, and turn the box upside down. If the Zonkers fall out, this is the bottom. If they fall up, this is the top. If nothing happens, this box is empty.”

Here is a 1968 commercial:

Best wishes,