1960s British Rock and Pop Chronology
1961
 
 
January JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
3 Washington: Eisenhower breaks relations with Cuba
5 Cliff Richard and the Shadows: "I Love You" [continues as UK #1]
  Liverpool, Litherland Town Hall: Paul McCartney takes over the duties of playing bass with the Beatles.
7 Melody Maker: Chris Barber sacks Monty Sunshine from his band
12 Johnny Tillotson: "Poetry in Motion" [UK #1 for 2 weeks]
  The King Brothers: "Doll House" [Parlophone, charts, UK #21]
Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren: "Bangers and Mash" [Parlophone R 4724, charts, UK #22]
19 Billy Fury: "A Thousand Stars" [Decca F 11311, charts, UK #14]
Russ Conway: "Pepe" [Columbia DB 4564, charts, UK #19]
21 London: A Taste of Honey reopens at the Theatre Royal, moving to the Wyndham Theatre within a month
26 Elvis Presley: "Are You Lonesome Tonight" [UK #1 for 4 weeks]
  Petula Clark: "Sailor" [Pye 7N 15324, charts, UK #1]
Marty Wilde: "Rubber Ball" [Philips PB 1101, charts, UK #9]
Anne Shelton: "Sailor" [Philips PB 1096, charts, UK #10]
Joe Brown: "Shine" [Pye 7N 15322, charts, UK #33]
28 Manchester: Melody Maker Jazz Weekend begins featuring Chris Barber and Acker Bilk
  Melody Maker: Southern Music forms Meridian Music to promote British songs
 
  Other January Artifacts
  Lonnie Donegan: "(Bury Me) Beneath the Willow" / "Leave My Woman Alone" [no chart action]
   
 
February JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
1 London: Increase in pay rate for session musicians from £6 to £7 for a 3-hour recording session
9 Adam Faith: "Who Am I?" / "This is It" [Parlophone R 4735, charts, UK #5]
The Shadows: "F.B.I." [Columbia DB 4580, charts, UK #6]
  Liverpool: The Beatles play their first engagement as the Beatles in the Cavern Club for a lunchtime crowd.
16 Melody Maker: The BBC's entry for the International Festival of Television Arts and Sciences is the "Black and White Minstrel Show;" many are outraged by the "bad taste"
23 Petula Clark: "Sailor" [UK #1 for 1 week]
  The Allisons: "Are You Sure" [Fontana H 294, charts, UK #2]
Johnny Dankworth: "African Waltz" [Columbia DB 4590, charts, UK #9]
Kenny Ball and His Jazzmen: "Samantha" [Pye Jazz Today 7NJ 2040, charts, UK #13]
   
 
March JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
2 The Everly Brothers: "Walk Right Back" / "Ebony Eyes" [UK #1 for 3 weeks]
  Cliff Richard and the Shadows: "Theme for a Dream" [Columbia DB 4593; charts, UK #3]
The King Brothers: "76 Trombones" [Parlophone R 4737, charts, UK #19]
6 London: George Formby dies
9 Matt Monro: "My Kind of Girl" [Parlophone R 4755, charts, UK #5]
Mike Preston: "Marry Me" [Decca F 11335, charts, UK #14]
Krew-Kats: "Trambone" [HMV POP 840, charts, UK #33]
11 Melody Maker: "BBC Bans Grieg 'Rock'" [Groups — Nero and the Gladiators with guitarist, Joe Moretti — may not do rock versions of the classics, in this case, In the Hall of the Mountain King.]
16 Anthony Newley: "And the Heavens Cried" [Decca F 11331, charts, UK #6]
Craig Douglas: "A Hundred Pounds of Clay" [Top Rank JAR 555, charts, UK #9]
23 Elvis Presley: "Wooden Heart" [UK #1 for 6 weeks]
  Helen Shapiro: "Don't Treat Me Like a Child" [Columbia DB 4589, charts, UK #3]
24 Johnny Kidd and the Pirates: "Linda Lu" / "Let's Talk About Us" [HMV POP 853, release]
30 Temperence Seven: "You're Driving Me Crazy" [Parlophone R 4757, charts; UK #1]
Cliff Richard and the Shadows: "Gee Whiz, It's You" [Columbia DC 756, charts, UK #4]
 
  Other March Artifacts
  Johannesburg: South Africa withdraws from Commonwealth
   
 
April JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
3 Trafalgar Square, London: The "Nuclear Eight" perform at demonstration (including Johnny Chilton, John Picard, John Armitage, Bruce Turner, Alan Elsdon, Vic Bartonc, Johnny Barnes, Johnny Burton, and Diz Disley)
12 Baikonur Cosmodrome, Tyuratam, Kazaksthan, USSR: Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first man to fly in space, orbiting the earth once before making a safe landing
15 Cuba: Airfields bombed
17 Bay of Pigs, Cuba: an invasion by expatriot Cubans attempted and ultimately fails
20 Craig Douglas: "A Hundred Pounds of Clay" [Top Rank JAR 555, charts, UK #9]
27 Adam Faith: "Easy Going Me" [Parlophone R 4708, charts, UK #12]
Billy Fury: "Don't Worry" [Decca F 11334, charts, UK #40]
 
  Other April Artifacts
  London: Pye launches their Piccadilly subsidiary
   
 
May JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
2 Bolton: A fire in a basement jazz club kills 19
4 The Marcels: "Blue Moon" [UK #1 for 2 weeks]
  Washington: Two busloads of Freedom Riders leave for a tour of Southern states to protest segregation at bus stations.
5 Florida: Alan Shepard returns safely after a brief suborbital flight
11 The Shadows: "Frightened City" [Columbia DB 4637, charts, UK #3]
Billy Fury: "Halfway to Paradise" [Decca F 11349, charts, UK #3]
Shirley Bassey: "You'll Never Know" [Columbia DB 4643, charts, UK #6]
Lonnie Donegan: "Have a Drink on Me" [Pye 7N 15354, charts, UK #8]/"Seven Daffodils"
Kenny Ball and His Jazzmen: "I Still Love You All" [Pye Jazz 7NJ 2042, charts, UK #24]
  Washington: President Kennedy orders additional forces to South Vietnam
17 NYC: DJ Peter Trip found guilty of 35 counts of commercial bribery
Montgomery, Alabama: The first Freedom Riders end their trip after attacks and the burning of one of the buses (on the 14th)
18 Floyd Cramer: "On the Rebound" [UK #1 for 1 week]
  Matt Monro: "Why Not Now" / "Can This Be Love" [Parlophone R 4775, charts, UK #24]
  London: Richard Rogers attends the opening of The Sound of Music at the Palace Theatre
London: Lionel Bart opens his own publishing company, Apollo Music [164 Shaftesbury]
25 The Temperance Seven: "You're Driving Me Crazy" [UK #1 for 1 week]
  Temperence Seven: "You're Driving Me Crazy" [UK #1 for 1 week]
Danny Williams: "We Will Never Be As Young As This Again" [HMV POP 839, charts; UK #44]
Russ Conway: "Pablo" [Columbia DB 4649, charts, UK #45]
  US: John Kennedy declares the US will put a man on the moon by the end of the decade
26 London: Fire at Ember Records destroys tape collection
27 Melody Maker: Police are no longer allowing musicians to congregate on Archer Street on Mondays between 2:00 and 5:30 P.M.
28 The Observer, London: Peter Berenson publishishes "The Forgotten Prisoners" describing "prisoners of conscience" and establishing Amnesty International.
31 South Africa: Becomes an independent republic
   
June JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
1 Elvis Presley: "Surrender" [UK #1 for 4 weeks]
  Eden Kane: "Well, I Ask You" [Decca F 11353, charts, UK #1]
3-4 Vienna: John Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev summit
6 Zurich, Switzerland: Psychologist Carl Gustav Jung (85) dies in Kuessnacht on Lake Lucerne
10 Melody Maker: Frank Sinatra never records before 8 P.M.
13 Berlin: Workers demonstrate against Soviet occupation
15 Temperence Seven: "Pasadena" [Parlophone R 4781, charts, UK #4]
Anthony Newley: "Pop Goes the Weasel" / "Bee Bom" [Decca F 11362, charts, UK #12]
22-23 Hamburg, West Germany: The Beatles accompany Tony Sheridan in a recording session for producer, Bert Kaempfert (Lewisohn 1992: 42).
22 Cliff Richard and the Shadows: "A Girl Like You" [Columbia DB 4667, charts, UK #3]
Karl Denver: "Marcheta" [Decca F 11360, charts, UK #8]
25 London: Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger open a folk club in Soho Square
29 Del Shannon: "Runaway" [UK #1 for 3 weeks]
  Helen Shapiro: "You Don't Know" [Columbia DB 4670, charts, UK #1]
Craig Douglas: "Time" [Top Rank JAR 569, charts, UK #9]
   
 
July JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
2 Ketchum, Idaho: Ernest Hemingway commits suicide at home
6 Danny Williams: "The Miracle of You" [HMV POP 885, charts, UK #41]
  Liverpool: Bill Harry publishes the first issue of Mersey Beat with John Lennon's On The Dubious Origins Of Beatles, Translated From the John Lennon. 5,000 copies sell, including a dozen at Brian Epstein's NEMS.
8 London: Center of Sound opens at 12 Denmark Street
Melody Maker: James Baring becomes the manager of Regent Sound Ltd., 4 Denmark Street, London WC2
13 Mr. Acker Bilk and His Paramount Jazz Band: "That's My Home" [Columbia DB 4673, charts, UK #7]
20 The Everly Brothers: "Temptation" [UK #1 for 2 weeks]
  Adam Faith: "Don't You Know It" [Parlophone R 4735, charts, UK #12]
  Liverpool: Bill Harry publishes the second issue of Mersey Beat with the cover feature on the Beatles recording with Tony Sheridan. Brian Epstein buys twelve-dozen copies for sale in his store.
21 Florida: Captain Virgil "Gus" Grissom safely returns after a sub-orbital flight around the Earth
25 Washington: John Kennedy reports to the nation on Khrushchev's demanded surrender of Berlin
26 Paris: MPs introduce legislation to ban rock concerts
27 Shirley Bassey: "Reach for the Stars" / "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" [Columbia DB 4685, charts, UK #1]
Marty Wilde: "Hide and Seek" [Philips PB 1161, charts, UK #47]
29 Beaulieu: Beaulieu Jazz Festival ends in riots
 
  Other July Artifacts
  Macmillan applies to the EEC for UK membership
   
 
August JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
3 Eden Kane: "Well, I Ask You" [UK #1 for 1 week]
  John Leyton: "Johnny Remember Me" [Top Rank JAR 577, charts, UK #1]
Anthony Newley: "What Kind of Fool Am I?" [Decca F 11376, charts, UK #36]
10 Helen Shapiro: "You Don't Know" [UK #1 for 3 weeks]
12 Berlin: 2,400 flee from East to West Berlin
13 Berlin: East Germany seals the border between the city's eastern and western sectors to halt the flight of refugees
15 Berlin: East Germany begins construction of a wall to isolate their part of the city
17 Tommy Steele: "Writing On the Wall" [Decca F 11372, charts, UK #30 his last charting single]
19 Melody Maker: The Board of Trade reports that record sales are up 15% over the previous year
24 Rus Conway: "Say It with Flowers" [Columbia DB 4665, charts, UK #23]
31 John Leyton: "Johnny Remember Me" [UK #1 for 1 week]
  Lonnie Donegan: "Michael Row the Boat" / "Lumbered" [Pye 7N 15371, charts; UK #6]
Kenny Ball and His Jazzmen: "Someday" [Pye Jazz 7NJ 2047, charts, UK #28]
   
 
September JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
1 Soho, London: The Flamingo Club celebrates its ninth anniversary
7 The Shadows: "Kon Tiki" [Columnbia DB 4637, charts, UK #1]
The Highwaymen: "Michael" [HMV POP 910, charts, UK #1]
Billy Fury: "Jealousy" [Decca F 11384, charts, UK #2]
Terry Lightfoot and His New Orleans Jazzmen: "True Love" [Columbia DB 4696; charts; UK #33]
14 Cleo Laine: "You'll Answer to Me" [Fontana H 326, charts, UK #5]
Eden Kane: "Get Lost" [Decca F 11381, charts, UK #10]
21 Shirley Bassey: "Reach for the Stars" / "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" [UK #1 for 1 week]
  London: Dick James opens his own music publishing company, Suite 2, Charing Cross Road, WC2
28 John Leyton: "Johnny Remember Me" [UK #1 for 3 weeks]
  Helen Shapiro: "Walkin' Back to Happiness" [Columbia DB 4715, charts, UK #1]
30 Paris: Formation of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (beginnings of a movement for a "United States of Europe")
 
  Other July Artifacts
  William Grimshaw Secondary Modern School, Muswell Hill, London: The Ray Davies Quartet forms.
   
 
October JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
5 The Shadows: "Kon Tiki" [UK #1 for 1 week]
  John Leyton: "Wild Wind" [Top Rank JAR 585, charts, UK #2]
6 London: Brian Bennett replaces Tony Meehan in the Shadows
12 The Highwaymen: "Michael" [UK #1 for 1 week]
19 Helen Shapiro: "Walkin' Back to Happiness" [UK #1 for 3 weeks]
  Cliff Richard and the Shadows: "When the Girl in Your Arms Is the Girl in Your Heart" [Columbia DB 4716, charts, UK #3]
Karl Denver: "Mexicali Rose" [Decca F 11395, charts, UK #8]
Hayley Mills: "Let's Get Together" [Decca F 21396, charts, UK #17]
  Litherland, Liverpool: The Beatles and Gerry and the Pacemakers temporarily join forces to play as the "Beatmakers" at the Litherland Town Hall (Lewisohn 1992:47).
26 Adam Faith: "The Time Has Come" [Parlophone R 4837, charts, UK #4]
28 Temperence Seven: "Hard Hearted Hannah" / "Chili Bom Bom" [Parlophone R 4823, charts, UK #28]
  Liverpool: A customer asks Brian Epstein if he carries the recording, "My Bonnie" by the Beatles
   
 
November JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
1 London: Clubs with music and dance may serve alcohol until 3 A.M. seven nights per week
2 Danny Williams: "Moon River" [HMV POP 932, charts, UK #1]
Mr. Acker Bilk and His Paramount Jazz Band: "Stars and Stripes Forever" / "Creole Jazz" [Columbia SCD 2155, charts, UK #22]
The Moontrekkers: "Night of the Vampire" [Parlophone R 4814, charts, UK #50]
4 Melody Maker: Drum City opens at 114 Shaftesbury Avenue, London
  New York, Carnegie Chapter Hall: Bob Dylan performs
9 Elvis Presley: "Little Sister" / "His Latest Flame" [UK #1 for 4 weeks]
  Frankie Vaughan: "Tower of Strength" [Philips PB 1195, charts, UK #1]
Kenny Ball and His Jazzmen: "Midnight in Moscow" [Pye Jazz 7NJ 2049, charts, UK #2]
Marty Wilde: "Tomorrow's Clown" [Philips PB 1191, charts, UK #33]
  Liverpool, The Cavern Club: Brian Epstein attends a lunchtime performance by the Beatles.
14 Indianapolis: Ray Charles arrested on drug charges
16 The Shadows: "The Savage" [Columbia DB 4726, charts, UK #10]
18 Paris: Audience riots after a Vince Taylor concert
23 Shirley Bassey: "I'll Get By" [Columbia DB 4737, charts, UK #10]
Terry Lightfoot and His New Orleans Jazzmen: "King Kong" [Columbia SCD 2165; charts; UK #29]
30 Mr. Acker Bilk with the Leon Young String Chorale: "Stranger on the Shore" [Columbia DB 4750, charts, UK #2]
Russ Conway: "Toy Balloons" [Columbia DB 4738, charts, UK #7]
   
 
December JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
2 Melody Maker: Equity suspends Frankie Vaughan after he crosses a picket line to perform on Sunday Night at the London Palladium
3 Liverpool: Brian Epstein meets with the Beatles to talk about "matters to their mutual advantage" (Lewisohn 1992: 35)
6 Liverpool: The Beatles accept Epstein's management offer
7 Frankie Vaughan: "Tower of Strength" [UK #1 for 3 weeks]
  Temperence Seven: "Charleston" [Parlophone R 4851, charts, UK #22]
Aretha Franklin: "Rockabye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody" [Fontana release, no chart]
10 London: Blues Incorporated plays the interval at the Marquee Club (Shapiro 1996: 95).
13 Liverpool: Mike Smith travels to the Cavern Club to audition the Beatles for a possible Decca audition (Lewisohn 1992: 37).
  London: The Musicians' Union blacklists The Mecca circuit for the Bradford Locarno Ballroom's policy of refusing admission to single black males
  London: Cliff Richard's The Young Ones premiers
14 Billy Fury: "I'd Never Find Another You" [Decca F 11409, charts, UK #5]
15 Liverpool: The Beatles meet with Brian Epstein and sign management contract.
18 London: EMI General Marketing Manager Ron White sends a letter to Brian Epstein declining a request for an audition.
23 Melody Maker: Seven band leaders will resign from the Musicians' Union to form a breakaway organization (the British Federation of Musicians) over the Mecca Locarno blacklisting.
28 Danny Williams: "Moon River" [UK #1 for 2 weeks]
  John Leyton: "Son, This Is She" [HMV POP 956, charts, UK #15]
31 Britain: A major snowstorm blankets the nation, cancelling New Year's Eve shows and blocking highways
  Liverpool. Neil Aspinal drives Beatles to London for Decca audition.
  The Marshall Plan expires after distributing more than 12 billion dollars in foreign aid
 
  Other 1961 Artifacts
 
  • Private Eye magazine begins publication
  • Ian Fleming publishes Thunderball
  • Film, Carry On Regardless released
  • Tony Richardson's film, A Taste of Honey released
  •   Detroit: James Jamerson switches from double bass to a Fender Precision electric bass

     
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    Copyright © 1995 — 30 December, 2010 Gordon Thompson