In May 1968, Richard Harris' epic, multi-part "MacArthur Park" reached the Top Forty, where it would eventually crest at Number Two. It clocked in at an epochal 7:20.
Two months later, the Beatles recorded their own lengthy single, "Hey Jude." It was released on August 26, 1968, and went to Number One for nine weeks.
But Jimmy Webb, the author of "MacArthur Park," wasn't peeved by the chart position of "Hey Jude" as much as he was by its length. "After I put 'MacArthur Park' out and it was 7 minutes 20 seconds long," Webb said in 2005, "the Beatles put out 'Hey Jude' and it was 7:21, one second longer." He has claimed that the band specifically edited the single so that it would be longer than "MacArthur Park."
There's only one problem with this theory: "Hey Jude" actually runs only 7:11, just like the store. It makes a nice story, though, Jimmy.