1960s British Rock and Pop Chronology
1960
 
 
January JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
1 Michael Holliday: "Starry Eyed" [Columbia DB 4378, charts, UK #1]
  South Africa: The government bars non-White students from registering at White universities.
2 Melody Maker: ABC is cancelling "Boy Meets Girls" | BBC plans "Big Beat"
Donald MacLean (BBC exec): "Rock-'n'-Roll is now respectable. The wild stuff has given way to beat ballads, and this is what our audiences want to hear. After all, pop music is now the biggest force in entertainment." (1)
5 Macmillan embarks on tour of Africa
8 New Musical Express: EMI's chairman, Joseph Lockwood, knighted.
15 Cliff Richard and the Shadows: Expresso Bongo [Columbia SEG 7971 EP, charts, UK #14]
Anthony Newley: "Why" [Decca F 11194, charts, UK #1]
16 Melody Maker: The John Barry 7 will take over as the house band for the BBC's Saturday Club as the show moves to include pop and rock oriented material into its format.
19 London: Kenyan constitutional conference begins
22 Adam Faith: "Poor Me" [Parlophone R 4623, charts, UK #1]
Cliff Richard and the Shadows: "A Voice in the Wilderness" [Columbia DB 4398, charts, UK #2]
Craig Douglas: "Pretty Blue Eyes" [Top Rank Jar 159, charts, UK #4]
Mr. Acker Bilk and his Paramount Jazz Band: "Summer Set" [Columbia DB 4382, charts, UK #5]
  Johnny Kidd and the Pirates: "You Got What It Takes" / "Longin' Lips" [UK release]
29 Michael Holliday: "Starry Eyed" [UK #1 for 1 week]
31 Bradford: Gene Vincent walks out of a concert after audience heckling.
 
  Other January Artifacts
  Bremerhaven, West Germany: The US Army discharges Elvis Presley
   
 
February JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
1 US: black college students begin non-violent protests of segregation
5 Anthony Newley: "Why" [UK #1 for 4 weeks]
  Emile Ford and the Checkmates: "On a Slow Boat to China" [Pye 7N 15245, charts, UK #3]
12 Johnny Kidd and the Pirates: "You Got What It Takes" [HMV POP 698, charts, UK #25]
13 Micronesia: France detonates its first atomic weapon
16 London: Largest British peace-time arms budget proposed
19 Lance Fortune: "Be Mine" [Pye 7N 15240, charts, UK #4]
  London: Elizabeth II gives birth to a son, Andrew (the first to a reigning British monarch since 1857)
21 London, Wembly: NME Poll Winners Concert
25 Empire Yard, 538 Holloway Road, London: Joe Meek and William Barrington-Coupe found Triumph Records
26 London: Princess Margaret engaged to Antony Armstrong Jones
27 Melody Maker: The BBC bans the song "Teen Angel"
   
 
March JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
2 West Germany: Elvis Presley ends his tour of service
10 Adam Faith: "Poor Me" [UK #1 for 1 week]
  Max Bygraves: "Fings Ain't Wot They Used t'Be" [Decca F 11214, charts, UK #5]
Tommy Steele: "Little White Bull" [Decca F 11177, re-entry, UK #6]
Billy Fury: "Colette" [Decca F 11200, charts, UK #9]
John Barry Seven: "Hit and Miss" [Columbia DB 4414, charts, UK #10]
Bert Weedon: "Big Beat Boogie" [Top Rank JAR 300; charts; UK #37; re-enters 7 Apr, #29]
Marty Wilde: "Johnny Rocco" [Philips PB 1002; charts; UK #30]
Don Lang: "Sink the Bismark" [HMV POP 714, charts, UK #43]
12 Melody Maker: Interviews with British teens. [On rock music in club settings] "...we have to keep it under control, otherwise the members wouldn't want to do anything else but jive and play." "What becomes obvious in talking to young people..., is that music is far more important to them than to adults. It's easy enough to understand." "'In our crowd,' said one fifteen-year-old boy, 'You have to like rock or you're dead'." (3, 8)
17 Johnny Preston: "Running Bear" [UK #1 for 2 weeks]
  Joe Brown and the Bruvvers: "Darktown Strutters Ball" [Decca F 11207, charts, UK #34]
  New £1 notes issued by Bank of England
18 Last naming of a British steam locomotive
19 Melody Maker : Liverpool Locarno manager, Cyril Isherwood, uses Melody Maker's record charts as program guide. "I had trouble in Newcastle and Liverpool. My coarse ear took time to accustom itself to local inflections of speech...." Tony Brown: "I asked two Liverpook girls to name the best singer in Britain and they responded promptly with Cliff Richard. 'No," I corrected them, 'I mean the best singer.' they looked perplexed. 'Marty Wilde'." (3)
24 Lonnie Donegan: "My Old Man's a Dustman" / "The Golden Vanity" [Pye 7N 15256, charts, UK #1]
Anthony Newley: "Do You Mind" [Decca F 11220, , UK #1]
Cliff Richard and the Shadows: "Fall in Love with You" / "Willie and the Hand Jive" [Columbia DB 4431, , UK #2]
  US: Chuck Berry jailed and fined
31 Lonnie Donegan: "My Old Man's a Dustman" [UK #1 for 4 weeks]
   
 
April JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
1 Cape Canaveral, Florida: the first weather satellite, "TIROS-One," launched
2 Melody Maker : " Bobby Darin: "I'll never tour Briatin again in a rock-'n'-roll package show.... I have found the British audiences the noisiest I have played to anywhere in the world" (HL, 20)
3 BBC TV: The Everly Brothers appear on "Saturday Club" to promote "Cathy's Clown" (10)
9 Melody Maker : British Musicians' Union bans performances by members in South Africa
13 London: British "Blue Streak" missile program abandoned
14 Adam Faith: "Someone Else's Baby" [Parlophone R 4643; charts, UK #2]
The King Brothers: "Standing on the Corner" [Parlophone R 4639, charts, UK #4]
15 Finsbury Park EmpireLondon: Duane Eddy performs, Ray Davies and others observe.
18 Chippenham, Wiltshire: Eddie Cochrane killed in car crash, Gene Vincent injured
  London: 75,000 protest nuclear weapons
23 ABC: Jack Good's Wham! debuts
27 London: Harold Pinter's The Caretaker opens
28 Anthony Newley: "Do You Mind" [UK #1 for 1 week]
  Craig Douglas: "The Heart of a Teenage Girl" [Top Rank JAR 340, charts, UK #10]
 
  Other April Artifacts
  South Africa: Prime Minister Hedrik Verwoerd shot in an assassination attempt..
   
 
May JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
1 USSR: Francis Gary Powers shot down in his U2
2 Emile Ford and the Checkmates: "You'll Never Know What You're Missing" [Pye 7N 15268, charts, UK #12]
3 London: Prime ministers of the 10 British Commonwealth nations meet
5 The Everly Brothers: "Cathy's Clown" [UK #1 for 7 weeks]
6 Princess Margaret marries Anthony Armstrong-Jones
9 US: birth-control pills approved
16 Paris: France-UK-US-USSR summit
19 Marty Wilde: "The Fight" [Philips PB 1022; charts; UK #47]
23 Tel Aviv: Israel announces it has captured former Nazi official Adolf Eichmann in Argentina
26 Lonnie Donegan: "I Wanna Go Home" / "Jimmie Brown the Newsboy" [Pye 7N 15267, charts. UK #5]
Billy Fury: "That's Love" [Decca F 11267; , UK #19]
  Paris: "Big Four" summit dissolves over U2 and Francis Gary Powers
 
  Other May Artifacts
   
   
 
June JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
4 Melody Maker: ABC cancels Wham! Jack Good: "ABC thinks there is no longer a public for teenage rock-'n'-roll type programmes" (1).
——. "Lonnie Donegan Dust Up Settles" [Tyler Music (sub. of Essex Music) agrees to pay Lawrence Wright fees for the song "My Old Man's a Dustman" (10).]
6 UK and US announce agreement to share air-launch ballistic missiles
9 Bert Weedon: "Twelfth Street Rag" [Top Rank JAR 360; charts; UK #47
16 Johnny Kidd and the Pirates: "Shakin' All Over" [HMV POP 753, charts UK #1] / "Yes Sir, That's My Baby." Release
  New York City: Alfred Hitchcock's movie, Psycho opens
18 Melody Maker: Gene Vincent annoucnes he's headed home because his daughter has died (HL).
23 Eddie Cochran: "Three Steps to Heaven" [UK #1 for 2 weeks]
  Tommy Steele: "What a Mouth" [Decca F 11245, charts, UK #5]
25 Melody Maker: Gene Vincent's manager, Norman Riley, admits that the telegram was a hoax and that Vincent wanted to return home.
27 Paris: Kruschev et al. walk out of the disarmament conference.
29 London: Television Center opens.
30 Cliff Richard and the Shadows: "Please Don't Tease" [Columbia DB 4479, charts, UK #1]
Adam Faith: "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" / "Made Your" [Parlophone R 4665, charts, UK #5]
   
 
July JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
1 Sakhalin Island: Soviets shoot down US reconnaissance aircraft
4 UK protests Cuban nationalization of Havana Shell Oil refinery
6 Aneurin Bevan, Labour architect of the National Health Service, dies
7 Jimmy Jones: "Good Timin'" [UK #1 for 3 weeks]
  The Kaye Sisters: "Paper Roses" [Philips PB 1024, charts, UK #7]
Ken Dodd: "Love is Like a Violin" [Decca F 11248, charts, UK #8]
9 Kruschev pledges military defense of Cuba
14 US reasserts Monroe Doctrine [re Cuba]
16 Melody Maker : "Death Disc Too Grim for Fans?" [Decca postpones British release of Ray Peterson's "Tell Laura I Love Her," even though 530,000 copies of the recording have already been sold internationally] (HL)
——. "This Copying Must Stop!" by Pete Murray [Juke Box Jury has to decide which cover version of "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" to review] (3).
——. "Let's Face the Facts," by George Martin [promotes Parlophone's Paul Hanford cover of Bryan Hyland's recording] (3).
21 The Shadows (London 1958): "Apache" [Columbia DB 4484, charts; UK #1]
George Formby: "Happy Go Lucky Me" / "Banjo Boy" [Pye 7N 15269, charts, UK #40; last charting release]
25 304 Holloway Road, North London: Joe Meek and Major Wilfred Alonzo Banks form a production company
28 Cliff Richard and the Shadows: "Please Don't Tease" [UK #1 for 1 week]
  Bert Weedon: "Apache" [Top Rank JAR 415, charts, UK #44; re-enters 11 Aug, UK #24]
   
 
August JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
4 Johnny Kidd and the Pirates: "Shakin' All Over" [UK #1 for 1 week]
  Shirley Bassey: "As Long as He Needs Me" [Columbia DB 4490, charts, UK #2]
11 Cliff Richard and the Shadows: "Please Don't Tease" [UK #1 for 2 weeks]
13 Melody Maker: Executives at Top Rank Records are planning for its closure
  First two-way telephone conversation by satellite takes place with the help of Echo 1, a balloon satellite
16 Cyprus: independence from the UK
17 Hamburg, West Germany: The Beatles begin performing at the Indra Club.
19 Moscow: A tribunal convicts American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers of espionage
23 Doylestown, Pa.: Broadway librettist, Oscar Hammerstein II dies
25 The Shadows (London 1958): "Apache" [UK #1 for 5 weeks]
  Lonnie Donegan: "Lorelei" / "In All My Wildest Dreams" [Pye 7N 15275, charts, UK #10]
30 Berlin: East German government imposes 5-day partial blockade of West Berlin over rallies
   
 
September JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
1 Emile Ford and the Checkmates: "Them There Eyes" [Pye 7N 15282, charts, UK #12]
12 304 Holloway Road, North London: Wilfred Banks and Joe Meek register RGM Sound
  UK: MOT tests on motor vehicles introduced
  New York City: Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev pounds on his desk with a shoe at a U.N. General Assembly session
13 London: The play, Billy Liar opens at the Cambridge Theatre with Albert Finney
15 Adam Faith "How about That" [Parlophone R 4689, charts, UK #4]
  Berlin: East German government imposes additional 5-day partial blockade of West Berlin over rallies
22 Cliff Richard and the Shadows: "Nine Times Out of Ten" [Columbia DB 4506, charts, UK #3]
24 Newport News, Va.: The USS Enterprise, the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, launched
29 Ricky Valance: "Tell Laura I Love Her" [UK #1 for 3 weeks]
30 Johnny Kidd and the Pirates: "Restless" / "Magic of Love" [release]
 
  Other September Artifacts
  Beaulieu, Hampshire: The Beaulieu Festival ends abruptly with fights between supporters of tradder Mr. Acker Bilk and modernist, Johnny Dankworth.
  304 Holloway Road, North London: Joe Meek sets up his RGM studios
   
 
October JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
1 Melody Maker: The arrival of Sony transistor radios
6 Johnny Kidd and the Pirates: "Restless" [HMV POP 790, charts, UK #22]
17 Washington: The US will embargo American shipping to Cuba
20 Roy Orbison: "Only the Lovely" [UK #1 for 2 weeks]
21 Britain launches first nuclear-powered submarine
22 Melody Maker. "The Duke of Denmark Street: The Lawrence Wright Story — 50 Years of Show Business," Hubert W. David (8-page supplement).
24 Baikonur, USSR: An R-16 intercontinental ballistic missle explodes on the launch pad. The worst space program disaster in history injures 30 and kills 92, including Marshal Mitrofan Nedelin.
26 London: The film, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning opens at the Warner Theatre, Leichester Square
27 Bert Weedon: "Sorry Robbie" [Top Rank JAR 517, UK #28]
  Paris: Formation of Les Nouveau Réalistes.
   
 
November JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
1 London: Macmillan announces that the US will use the UK for Polaris bases
  Washington: Eisenhower announces US determination to defend the US base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
3 Elvis Presley: "It's Now of Never" [UK #1 for 8 weeks]
6 Austin, Texas: Johnny Horton dies in car crash after concert
8 United States: John F. Kennedy elected President
10 Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren: "Goodness Gracious Me" [Parlophone R 4702, charts, UK #4]
The Shadows: "Man of Mystery" / "The Stranger" [Columbia DB 4530, charts, UK #5]
12 Melody Maker: "The Short, Busy Life of Cliff Richard" [called "nigger" when he first moved to England] (15)
16 Liverpool: The Iron Door Club closes under the burden of facilities fines
17 Adam Faith: "Lonely Pup (In a Christmas Shop)" [Parlophone R 4708, charts, UK #4]
  UK: last men called up under universal conscription
24 Lonnie Donegan: "Lively" / "Black Cat (Cross My Path Today)" [Pye 7N 15312, charts, UK #13]
   
 
December JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
1 Cliff Richard and the Shadows: "I Love You" [Columbia DB 4547, charts, UK #1]
Max Harris: "Gurney Slade" [Fontana H 282, charts, UK #11]
  Liverpool: The Beatles begin arriving home after Hamburg officials revoked their visas
2 Johnny Kidd and the Pirates: "Big Bon' Baby" [rec 7 Oct] / "Weep No More, My Baby" [ditto]
5 Life : "British Couple's Kooky Styles" [comments on Mary Quant]
8 Emile Ford and the Checkmates: "Counting Teardrops" [Pye 7N 15314, charts, UK #4]
Mr. Acker Bilk and his Paramount Jazz Band: "Buona Sera" [Columbia DB 4544, charts, UK #7]
Lonnie Donegan: "Virgin Mary" / "Beyond the Sunset" [Pye 7N 15315, charts, UK #27]
9 ITV: Coronation Street premieres.
10 Melody Maker: BBC bans Irish "Rebel" discs
15 Matt Monro: "Portrait of My Love" [Parlophone, charts, UK #3]
17 The Casbah Coffee Club, West Derby, Liverpool: The Beatles regroup and rehearse after returning from Hamburg, initiating a new bassist, Chas Newby (to replace Stu Sutcliffe who had chosen to remain in Germany).
22 Marty Wilde: "Little Girl" [Philips PB 1078; charts; UK #16]
27 Town Hall Ballroom, Hatton Hill Road, Litherland, Liverpool: The Beatles play a remarkable show in which they stun locals (some of whom think the band is from Germany).
29 Cliff Richard and the Shadows: "I Love You" [UK #1 for 2 weeks]
  Tommy Steele: "Must Be Santa" [Decca F 11299; charts; UK #40]
31 The Casbah Coffee Club, West Derby, Liverpool: Chas Newby plays bass with the Beatles one last time, having decided to return to school.
 
  Other December Artifacts
  The Clissold Arms, Muswell Hills, London: Ray and Dave Davies make appearances as The Kelly Brothers.
   

Other 1960 Artifacts
London: Vox introduces its Continental electronic organ
Switzerland: Studer introduces its professional studio quality tape recorder, the Studer C37
Venice, Italy: John Schlesinger's documentary, Terminus wins an award at the International Film Festival
London: Royal Shakespeare Company formed
London: Ian Fleming publishes his novel, For Your Eyes Only

Return to UK Rock Chronology Index
1959 1961
This site is a living document. I welcome corrections and suggestions. Gordon Thompson, Department of Music, Skidmore College
Copyright © 1995 — 15 August, 2010 ; Gordon Thompson