1960s British Rock and Pop Chronology
1959
 
 
January JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
1 Havana: Batista flees Cuba as Fidel Castro's troops seize several key cities
European Market Pact goes into effect
2 Conway Twitty: "It's Only Make Believe" [continues as UK #1]
The Big Bopper: "Chantilly Lace" [Mercury AMT 1002; charts; UK #12]
Max Bygraves: "My Ukelele" [Decca F 11077; charts; UK #19]
  USSR launches Lunik I towards moon
3 ABC: Oh Boy! [#17] features 'Cuddly' Dudley, Don Lang, Peter Elliott, Vince Taylor & His Playboys, & William Marshall
7 Washington: Official American recognition of Fidel Castro's Cuban government
8 Paris: DeGaulle proclaimed President of France
9 Shirley Bassey: "As I Love You" [Philips PB 845, re-charts; UK #1]
Ronnie Hilton with the Michael Sammes Singers: "The World Outside" [HMV POP 559; charts; UK #18]
10 ABC: Oh Boy! [#18] features 'Cuddly' Dudley, Don Lang, Mona Baptiste, Peter Elliott, Terry Dene, & Vince Taylor & His Playboys
11 Royal Albert Hall, London: NME Winner's Poll Concert features Cliff Richard, Marty Wilde, Alma Cogan, Lonnie Donegan, and the Mudlarks
16 Billy Fury: "Maybe Tomorrow" [Decca F 11102; release]
17 Britain and Egypt reach agreement over Suez Canal
  ABC: Oh Boy! [#19] features Bill Forbes, Cliff Richard & the Drifters, Mona Baptiste, & Peter Elliott
23 Jane Morgan: "The Day the Rains Came" [UK #1 for 1 week]
The Everly Brothers: "Problems" [London HLA 8781; charts; UK #6]

Russ Conway: "The World Outside" [Columbia DB 4234; charts; #24]
Alma Cogan: "Last Night on the Back Porch" [HMV POP 573; charts; UK #27]
24

ABC: Oh Boy! [#20] features Bill Forbes, the Hewitt Singers, Lonnie Donegan & His Skiffle Group, & Mike Preston
BBC TV: Jimmy Grant's "Saturday Club" premiers with 1st live stereo broadcast

30 Elvis Presley: "One Night" / "I Got Stung" [UK #1 for 3 weeks]
Paul Anka: "(All of a Sudden) My Heart Sings" [Columbia DB 4241; charts; UK #10]
Cliff Richard and the Drifters: "Livin' Lovin' Doll" [Columbia DB 4249; charts; UK #20]
Frankie Vaughan: "That's My Doll" [Philips PB 895; charts; UK #28]
Buddy Holly: "Heartbeat" [Coral Q 72346; charts; UK #30]
31 ABC: Oh Boy! [#21] features Cliff Richard & the Drifters, Don Lang, & Shirley Bassey
   
 
February JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
1 Havana: Fidel Castro becomes Prime Minister of Cuba
3 Iowa: Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson die in a plane crash
Cape Canaveral, Florida: US Army launches Pioneer IV satellite
6 Lonnie Donegan: "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose It's Flavor (on the Bedpost Overnight)" [Pye 7N 15181; charts; UK #3]
Lord Rockingham's XI: "Wee Tom" [Decca F 11104; charts; UK #16]
  Cape Canaveral, Florida: successful test-fire of a Titan intercontinental ballistic missile
7 ABC: Oh Boy! [#22] features Betty Miller, Bill Forbes, & Marty Wilde
13 Chris Barber's Jazz Band: "Petite Fleur" [Pye Nixa NJ 2026; charts; UK #3]
The Beverly Sisters: "Little Drummer Boy" [Decca F 11107; charts; UK #6]
Robert Earl: "Wonderful Secret of Love" [Philips PB 891; charts; UK #17]
14 ABC: Oh Boy! [#23] features Alma Cogan, Billy Fury, Don Lang, Marty Wilde, the Mudlarks, Peter Elliot, & Shirley Bassey
19 Britain signs an agreement with Turkey and Greece granting Cyprus independence
20 Shirley Bassey: "As I Love You" [UK #1 for 4 weeks]
Russ Conway: "Side Saddle" [Columbia DB 4256; charts, UK #1]
20 NME: "Court Will Decide Who Is Lord Rockingham: Robinson Challenges Good for Title"
21 ABC: Oh Boy! [#24] features Betty Miller, Don Lang, Gerry Dorsey, Marty Wilde, & Rikki Henderson
  Melody Maker: Jack Good replaces Lord Rockingham's XI (and director Harry Robinson) with the John Barry Seven. Good retains ownership of Rockingham identity, Robinson takes band on tour. (1)
  Macmillan visits Moscow
23 UK and USSR agree to expand trade and culture relations
27 Buddy Holly: "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" [Coral Q 72360; charts; UK #1]
Malcolm Vaughan: "Wait for Me" [HMV POP 590; charts; UK #13; last chart]
Billy Fury: "Maybe Tomorrow" [Decca F 11102; charts; UK #18]
Michael Flanders: "Little Drummer Boy" [Parlophone R 4528; charts; UK #20]
Reg Owen: "Manhattan Spiritual" [Pye International 7N25009; charts; UK #20]
28 ABC: Oh Boy! [#25] features Bill Forbes, 'Cuddly' Dudley, Dickie Pride, Marty Wilde, Mike Preston, & Tony Sheridan
 
  Other February Artifacts
  The Drifters [Shadows]: "Feelin' Fine"
   
 
March JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
6 Marty Wilde: "Donna" [Philips PB 902; charts; UK #3]
Russ Conway: "The World Outside" [Columbia DB 4234; re-charts; UK #24]
7 ABC: Oh Boy! [#26] features Cliff Richard & the Drifters, Marion Ryan, Marty Wilde, Mike Preston, & Vince Eager
9 London: Government announces plan for atomic submarine
13 Eddie Cochrane: "C'mon Everybody" [London HLU 8792; charts; UK #6]
Dickie Valentine: "Venus" [Pye Nixa 7N 15192; charts; UK #20]
14 ABC: Oh Boy! [#27] features Bill Forbes, Billy Fury, Chris Andrews, Don Lang, Peter Elliott, Teddy & Freddy, and Tony Sheridan
18 Ottawa: Macmillan and Eisenhower meet
20 The Platters: "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" [UK #1 for 1 week]
  NME: Cliff Richard to star in the film version of Espresso Bongo
21 London: EMI ceases production of 78 rpm discs
  ABC: Oh Boy! [#28] features 'Cuddly' Dudley, Dickie Valentine, Gerry Dorsey, Marty Wilde, & Tony Sheridan
27 Russ Conway: "Side Saddle" [UK #1 for 4 weeks]
28 ABC: Oh Boy! [#29] features Cliff Richard, The Drifters, the Marino Marini Quartet, Pierce Rodgers, & Ronnie Carroll
 
  Other March Events
  London: Oh Boy! moves from ABC's studios in Wardour Street, Soho to Teddington.
   
 
April JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
3 NME: Harry Robinson and Jack Good work out an amicable agreement over the name "Lord Rockingham"
4 Melody Maker: Wilde Attacks Session Men [complains that session musicians "can't feel rock"] (20)
  ABC: Oh Boy! [#30] features Brenda Lee, Chris Andrews, Dickie Pride, Dean Webb, Don Lang, Lorie Mann, Mike Preston, & Tony Sheridan
9 US: NASA presents its first 9 astronauts
11 ABC: Oh Boy! [#31] features Bill Forbes, 'Cuddly' Dudley, Dickie Pride, Lorie Mann, Marty Wilde, & Pierce Rodgers
13 Cape Canaveral, Florida: US launches Discoverer II polar satellite
15 New York City: Castro arrives to win support for his new government
17 Ricky Nelson: "It's Late" [London HLP 8817; charts; UK #3]
18 ABC: Oh Boy! [#32] features Dickie Pride, the Inkspots, Lonnie Donegan & His Skiffle Group, Lorie Mann, Pierce Rodgers, & Tony Sheridan
24 Buddy Holly: "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" [UK #3 for 3 weeks]
The Crickets: "Love's Made a Fool of You" [Coral Q 72365; charts; UK #26]
25 ABC: Oh Boy! [#33] features Bill Forbes, Billy Fury, 'Cuddly' Dudley, Dickie Pride, Don Lang, Michael Cox, Nicky Martin
   
 
May JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
1 Anthony Newley: "I've Waited So Long" [Decca F 11127; charts; UK #3]
Frankie Vaughan and the Kaye Sisters: "Come Softly to Me" [Philips PB 913; charts; UK #9]
Joan Regan: "May You Always" [HMV POP 593; charts; UK #9]
2 ABC: Oh Boy! [#34] features Alma Cogan, Cliff Richard & the Drifters, Marty Wilde, & Mike Preston
7 Agreement for UK to purchase atomic weapon components from the US
8 Johnny Kidd and the Pirates: "Please Don't Touch" [UK release; rec 18 Apr 59] / "Growl" [ditto]
  Cliff Richard and the Drifters: "Mean Streak" [Columbia DB 4290; charts; UK #10]
Anthony Newley: Idle on Parade [Decca DFE 6566; EP charts; UK #13]
Lonnie Donegan: "Fort Worth Jail" [Pye Nixa 7N 15198; charts; UK #14]
9 Melody Maker: "Stars, theatre staff scared of these Rock and Riot Shows" [injuries from "pay-day rowdies" who throw fire extinguisters and chairs] (1, 20)
  ABC: Oh Boy! [#35] features Billy Fury, Conway Twitty, 'Cuddly' Dudley, Dean Webb, Dickie Pride, Marty Wilde, Maureen Kershaw, Tony Sheridan & the Wreckers
15 Elvis Presley: "A Fool Such as I" / "I Need Your Love Tonight" [UK #1 for 5 weeks]
Russ Conway: "Roulette" [Columbia DB 4298; charts; UK #1]
Bert Weedon: "Guitar Boogie Shuffle" [Top Rank JAR 117; charts; UK #10]
Ricky Nelson: "Never Be Anyone Else But You" [London HLP 8817; charts; UK #14]
Cliff Richard and the Drifters: "Never Mind" (/ "Mean Streak") [Columbia DB 4290; charts; UK #21]
16 ABC: Oh Boy! [#36] features Bill Forbes, Conway Twitty, Don Lang, Marty Wilde, Mike Jackson, Mike Preston, & Pierce Rodgers
22 Ruby Wright: "Three Stars" [Parlophone R 4556; charts; UK #19]
Fats Domino: "Margie" [London HLP 8865; charts; UK #18]
The Everly Brothers: "Take a Message to Mary" [London HLA 8863; charts; UK #29]
23 ABC: Oh Boy! [#37] features Bill Forbes, Billy Fury, Cliff Richard, Dickie Pride, Marty Wilde, Renee Martz, & Terry White
28 London: UK announces end of import quotas
  Cape Canaveral, Florida: US launches and recovers two monkeys
29 The Everly Brothers: "Poor Jenny" [London HLA 8863; charts; UK #14]
30 ABC: Oh Boy! [#38] the final show of the series features Bill Forbes Billy Fury, Cliff Richard, 'Cuddly' Dudley, Dickie Pride, Don Lang, Lorie Mann, Marty Wilde, Mike Preston, & Peter Elliott
 
  Other May Artifacts
  Lansdowne Road, Holland Park, London: Lansdowne Recording Studios Open. Owned by Denis Preston and designed by Joe Meek, the studios would become a favorite for independent producers.
   
 
June JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
1 BBC TV: Jukebox Jury premiers and features Alma Cogan, Gary Miller, Pete Murray and Susan Stranks. The program replaces Drumbeat.
5 Marty Wilde: "A Teenager in Love" [Philips PB 926; charts; UK #2]
Ruby Murray: "Goodby Jimmy Goodbye" [Columbia DB 4305; charts; UK #10; last chart]
9 Board of Trade now allows direct purchase of US LPs and musical instruments
10 UK launches third "Black Knight" missile
11 London: Hovercraft unveiled
12 Anthony Newley: "Personality" [Decca F 11142; charts; UK #13]
Craig Douglas: "A Teenager in Love" [Top Rank JAR 133; charts; UK #13]
Johnny Kidd: "Please Don't Touch" [HMV POP 615; charts; UK #25]
19 Russ Conway: "Roulette" [UK #1 for 2 weeks]
23 Manchester: Northern Royal Variety Show [Marty Wilde and Cliff Richard are the first rockers on the show]
26 Lonnie Donegan: "Battle of New Orleans" [Pye 7N 15206; charts; UK #2]
Billy Fury: "Margo" [Decca F 11128; charts; UK #28]
  Quebec: Queen Elizabeth and President Eisenhower open the St. Lawrence Seaway
 
  Other June Artifacts
  Billy Fury: "Margo" [enters UK charts]
   
 
July JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
3 Bobby Darin: "Deam Lover" [UK #1 for 4 weeks]
9 South Vietnam: 2 US soldiers killed
10 Cliff Richard and the Drifters: "Living Doll" [Columbia DB 4306; charts; UK #1]
Paul Anka: "Lonely Boy" [Columbia DB 4324; charts; UK #3]
  USSR launches and recovers 2 dogs and a rabbit
17 Tanzania: Mary Leakey discovers the fossil remains of Zinjanthropus boisei
New York: Billie Holiday dies
21 Britain: Obscene Publications Act comes into effect allowing works with "literary merit"
  New York: Judicial ruling that Lady Chatterley's Lover can be shipped through the mail
24 Elvis Presley: "A Big Hunk o' Love" [RCA 1136; charts; UK #4]
Frankie Vaughan: "The Heart of a Man" [Philips PB 930; charts; UK #5]
Tony Brent: "Why Should I Be Lonely" [Columbia DB 4304; charts; UK #24; last chart]
25 Dover: Saunders-Roe Hovercraft makes first channel crossing (2 hrs)
31 Cliff Richard and the Drifters: "Living Doll" [UK #1 for 6 weeks]
Buddy Holly: "Midnight Shift" [Brunswick 05800; charts; UK #26]
 
  Other July Artifacts
  The Drifters [Shadows]: "Jet Black"
The "Drifters" change their name to the "Shadows"
   
 
August JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
7 Craig Douglas: "Only Sixteen" [Top Rank JAR 159; charts; UK #1]
Winifred Atwell: "Summer of the Seventeenth Doll" [Decca F 11143, charts, UK #24]
  London: Royal pregnancy announced
  Florida: launch of "Explorer Six," which will send back a picture of the Earth
14

Tommy Steele: "Tallahasse Lassie" [Decca F 11152; charts; UK #16]
Freddy Cannon: "Tallahassee Lassie" [Top Rank JAR 135; charts; UK #17]

21 Russ Conway: "China Tea" [Columbia DB 4337; charts; UK #5]
Ronnie Hilton: "The Wonder of You" [HMV POP 638; charts; UK #22]
22 Melody Maker: Gala [label] cuts price of 45 rpms to 4s starting 1 October [competitor prices at 6s; LPs recently went to 16s 9d]
26 Introduction of the Morris Mini-Minor and the Austin Seven
28 Manuel and his Music of the Mountains: "Theme from Honeymoon" [Columbia DB 4323; charts; UK #22]
Tommy Steele: "Give, Give, Give" [Decca F 11152; charts; UK #28]
   
 
September JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
4 Ricky Nelson: "Sweeter than You" [London HLP 8927; charts; UK #19]
5 Introduction of Subscriber Trunk Dialing (STD) in UK
11 Craig Douglas: "Only Sixteen" [UK #1 for 4 weeks]
The Everly Brothers: "('Til) I Kissed You" [London HLA 8934; charts; UK #2]
Ricky Nelson: "Just a Little Too Much" [London HLP 8927; charts; UK #11]

Lonnie Donegan: "Sal's Got a Sugar Lip" [Pye 7N 15267; charts; UK #13]
Buddy Holly: "Peggy Sue Got Married" [Coral Q 72376; charts; UK #13]
12 USSR launches Lunik II to moon (lands 13/14 Sept)
  ABC TV: Boy Meets Girls debuts with Marty Wilde
18 Frankie Vaughan: "Walkin' Tall" [Philips PB 931; charts; UK #28]
25 Marty Wilde: "Sea of Love" [Philips PB 959; charts; UK #3]
   
 
October JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
2 Miki and Griff: "Hold Back Tomorrow" [Pye 7N 15213; charts; UK #26]
3 UK postal codes introduced
4 USSR launches Lunik III to moon, transmits pictures from dark side
8 UK general election: Conservatives maintain majority
9 Jerry Keller: "Here Comes Summer" [UK #1 for 1 week]
Cliff Richard and the Shadows: "Travellin' Light" [Columbia DB 4351; charts; UK #1]
Johnny and the Hurricanes: "Red River Rock" [London HL 8948; charts; UK #3]
Cliff Richard and the Shadows: "Dynamite" [Columbia DB 4351; charts; UK #16]
Chris Barber's Jazz Band: "Lonesome" [Columbia SCD 2166; charts; UK #27]
16 Bobby Darin: "Mack the Knife" [UK #1 for 2 weeks]
Fats Domino: "I Want to Walk You Home" [London HLP 8942; charts; UK #14]
Eddie Cochrane: "Somethin' Else [London HLU 8944; charts; UK #22]
  Washington: US announces opposition to UK jet sale to Cuba
23 Clinton Ford: "Old Shep" [Oriole CB 1500; charts; UK #27]
Joe "Mr. Piano" Henderson: "Treble Chance" [Pye Nixa N 15147; charts; UK #28]
  New York City: Frank Lloyd Wright's Gugenheim Museum of Art opens
30 Cliff Richard and the Shadows: "Travelin' Light" [UK #1 for 5 weeks]
Emile Ford and the Checkmates: "What Do You Want to Make Those Eyes at Me for" [Pye 7N 15225; charts; UK #1]
Paul Anka: "Put Your Head on My Shoulder" [Columbia DB 4355; charts; UK #7]
Mike Preston: "Mr. Blue" [Decca F 11167; charts; UK #12]
Dickie Valentine: "One More Sunrise (Morgen)" [Pye 7N 15221; charts; UK #14; last chart]
David MacBeth: "Mr. Blue" [Pye 7N 15231; charts; UK #18]
Dickie Pride: "Primrose Lane" [Columbia DB 4340; charts; UK #28]
  39 Gerrard Street, Soho, London: Ronnie Scott opens his first jazz club
   
 
November JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
1 First section of the M1 Motorway opened
4 Lansdowne Studios, Holland Park: Joe Meek storms out of a recording session and his position as manager.
  New York City: The Sound of Music opens
6 Gracie Fields: "Little Donkey" [Columbia DB 4360; charts; UK #20]
10 New York City: UN passes resolution condemning South African apartheid
13 Frankie Laine: "Rawhide" [Philips PB 965; charts; UK #6]
Russ Conway: "Snow Coach" [Columbia DB 4368; charts; UK #7]
20 Adam Faith: "What Do You Want" [Parlophone R 4591; charts; UK #1]
Russ Conway: "More and More Party Pops" [Columbia DB 4373; charts; UK #5]
The Beverly Sisters: "Little Donkey" [Decca F 11172; charts; UK #14]
Anne Shelton: "Village of St. Bernadette" [Philips PB 969; charts; UK #27]
Bert Weedon: "Nashville Boogie" [Top Rank JAR 221; charts; UK #29]
  London: Expresso Bongo featuring Cliff Richard and music by Monty Norman premieres
27 Winifred Atwell: "Piano Party" [Decca F 11183; charts; UK #10; last chart]
28 Melody Maker: "New LPs at only 7s 11d" [US LPs now cheaper]
 
  Other November Artifacts
  Lonnie Donegan: "San Miguel"/"Talking Guitar Blues" [UK release; UK charts 4 December; UK #19]
   
 
December JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
4 Johnny Kidd and the Pirates: "Feelin'" [rec 2 Nov] /"If You Were the Only Girl in the World" [UK release]
  Adam Faith: "What Do You Want" [UK #1 for 3 weeks]
Tommy Steele: "Little White Bull" [Decca F 11177; charts; UK #6]
Lonnie Donegan: "San Miguel" [Pye 7N 15237; charts; UK #19]
  Cape Canaveral, Florida: launch and recovery of a monkey
5 Melody Maker: "Musicians See Red at Pink Zone" [plan that eliminates parking in the West End prohibits drummers and bassists from working and puts a damper on lunch jazz] (HL)
11 Marty Wilde: "Bad Boy" [Philips PB 972; charts; UK #7]
18 Adam Faith: "What Do You Want" [continues as UK #1]
Emile Ford and the Checkmates: "What Do You Want to Make those Eyes at Me for" [UK #1 for 6 weeks]

Max Bygraves: "Jingle Bell Rock" [Decca F 11176; charts; UK #7]
Fats Domino: "Be My Guest" [London HLP 9005; charts; UK #11]
Alma Cogan: "We Got Love" [HMV POP 670; charts; UK #26]
 
  Other December Artifacts
  The Shadows: "Saturday Dance"

Other 1959 Artifacts
London: Vox introduces its AC30 amplifier late in the year
Abbey Road Studios, London: EMI purchases a Telefunken four-track stereo tape recording deck that uses 1" tape.
London: MacGibbon and Kee publish Colin MacInnes' Absolute Beginners
 
JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
 
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This site is a living document. I welcome corrections and suggestions. Gordon Thompson, Department of Music, Skidmore College
Copyright © 1995 — 30 September, 2009 ; Gordon Thompson