Let’s turn the clock back to 1968 when one of the most iconic instrumentals was released. Mason Williams, the composer of ‘Classical Gas,’ wrote the song as “fuel” for the classical guitar in case anyone wanted to hear him play something. Unfortunately, during recording, “Gasoline” was inadvertently abbreviated to “Gas” by the music copyist, giving it the name “Classical Gas.”
Williams was in his late 20s when he wrote the instrumental hit “Classical Gas.” He was working for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour at the time and wrote some 74 shows. Later, he wrote for The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour and Saturday Night Live. It’s been 55 years since the release of ‘Classical Gas,’ and it still manages to bring a smile to people’s faces.
The performance was standout, and the audience’s reactions were no less spectacular. The song was a big hit, charting at #1 on US Cash Box Top 100 and US Billboard Easy Listening, #2 on US Billboard Hot 100, #2 in Canada, and #9 on the UK Singles Chart. The piece was composed by Mason Williams with instrumental backing by members of the Wrecking Crew, a group of session musicians who played on many famous recordings.
Now, let’s take a moment to pivot gently and provide some upbeat trivia from 1968. A gallon of milk cost 91 cents, a dozen eggs were 53 cents, and a gallon of gas was 34 cents. The president of the United States was Lyndon B. Johnson, and 1968 was a year that marked significant progress in music, fashion, and technology.
The positive feedback from viewers in the YouTube comments section is a testament to the song’s enduring appeal. ‘Classical Gas’ is a classic instrumental that has stood the test of time. Viewers left comments like “Love the old classic instrumentals… these songs mean so much to those that loved them back in the day but even more so now” and “Still amazing.” The audience was completely captivated, and the applause at the end was nothing short of thunderous.
‘Classical Gas’ is one of the greatest instrumentals ever, and Mason Williams’ legacy will live on. It has sold over one million copies, a gold record, and won three Grammys. I urge you to watch this video and share it with your friends because, as the YouTube comments have shown, it’s a timeless classic that never fails to bring joy and put a smile on people’s faces.