1 9 6 8 (USA)
10 x 30 minute episodes
11 x 60 minute episode
Debuting on 11 June 1968, each episode of this off-season cross-country NBC talent show originated from a different city in the United States and introduced little-known young regional professional acts who had never appeared on national television before.
The Tuesday night show was hosted by Lloyd Thaxton and each week a panel of judges selected the act with the greatest potential for national success. An established star also appeared on each telecast, with guests including Bobby Vinton, Neil Diamond, Bobby Goldsboro, Della Reese, Archie Bell & The Drells and The Box Tops.
The telecasts came from Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Antonio, New Orleans, Chicago, Boston, Bloomington (Indiana), Nashville, Philadelphia, St Louis and Palm Beach, Florida.
On its last telecast on 3 September – broadcast from the Ohio State Fair in Columbus – Showcase ‘68 expanded to a full hour (8.00 – 9.00 pm) and the ten weekly winners competed for a final $10,000 prize.
The winner of the grand prize was rock group Sly and the Family Stone, who already had their first hit – Dance to the Music – in the charts when the show went to air. Among the runners-up were Julie Budd, The Chambers Brothers, and The American Breed.
Lloyd Thaxton passed away in October 2008 as a result of multiple myeloma.