Events in Music in 1961

  • Jan 12 "Show Girl" opens at Eugene O'Neill Theater NYC for 100 performances
  • Jan 16 "Conquering Hero" opens at ANTA Theater NYC for 8 performances
  • Jan 21 "Conquering Hero" closes at ANTA Theater NYC after 8 performances

Music release#1 in the Charts

Jan 26 "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" by Elvis Presley hits #1

Singer & Cultural Icon Elvis Presley
Singer & Cultural Icon
Elvis Presley

Music releaseMusic Single

Jan 30 "I Fall to Pieces" single released by Patsy Cline (Billboard Song of the Year 1961)

Country Music Singer Patsy Cline
Country Music Singer
Patsy Cline
  • Feb 10 Walter Piston's 7th Symphony premieres

Music releaseMusic Recording

Feb 13 Frank Sinatra launches Reprise label under Warner Bros Records

Singer and Actor Frank Sinatra
Singer and Actor
Frank Sinatra
  • Mar 1 Cellist Jacqueline du PrĂ©s debut in Wigmore Hall
  • Mar 2 "13 Daughters" opens at 54th St Theater NYC for 28 performances
  • Mar 9 Supremes release "I Want A Guy" & "Never Again"
  • Mar 18 6th Eurovision Song Contest: Jean-Claude Pascal for Luxembourg wins "Nous les amoureux" in Cannes
  • Mar 21 The Beatles' first appearance at the Cavern Club in Liverpool
  • Mar 25 "13 Daughters" closes at 54th St Theater NYC after 28 performances
  • Mar 25 "Gypsy" closes at Broadway Theater NYC after 702 performances
  • Mar 25 Elvis Presley performs live on the USS Arizona
  • Apr 3 "Happiest Girl in the World" opens at Martin Beck NYC for 97 performances

Appears on tv showTV Show Appearance

Apr 5 Barbra Streisand appears on "Jack Paar Show"

Singer-songwriter & Actress Barbra Streisand
Singer-songwriter & Actress
Barbra Streisand
  • Apr 8 "Show Girl" closes at Eugene O'Neill Theater NYC after 100 performances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 11 Bob Dylan makes his 1st appearance at Folk City, Greenwich Village

Singer-Songwriter Bob Dylan
Singer-Songwriter
Bob Dylan

Music awardsMusic Awards

Apr 12 3rd Grammy Awards: Theme From a Summer Place, Ray Charles wins 4

Musician Ray Charles
Musician
Ray Charles
  • Apr 13 "Carnival!" opens at Imperial Theater NYC for 719 performances
  • Apr 15 "Music Man" closes at Majestic Theater NYC after 1375 performances
  • Apr 23 "Tenderloin" closes at 46th St Theater NYC after 216 performances
  • Apr 25 "Young Abe Lincoln" opens at Eugene O'Neill Theater NYC for 27 performances
  • May 7 "Young Abe Lincoln" closes at Eugene O'Neill NYC after 27 performances
  • May 15 "Bonanza" by Al Caiola Orchestra hits #19
  • May 18 "Donnybrook!" opens at 46th St Theater NYC for 68 performances
  • May 20 Henzes opera "Elegy for Young Lovers," premieres in Schwetzingen
  • May 22 "Mother-In-Law" by Ernie K-Doe hits #1
  • May 22 "Touchables In Brooklyn" by Dickie Goodman hits #42
  • Jun 3 "Wildcat" closes at Alvin Theater NYC after 172 performances
  • Jun 13 "Billy Barnes People" opens at Royale Theater NYC for 8 performances
  • Jun 16 Soviet ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev defects to West at Le Bourget Airport in Paris
  • Jun 17 "Billy Barnes People" closes at Royale Theater NYC after 8 performances
  • Jun 22 Beatles record Aint She Sweet, Cry for a Shadow, When the Saints Go Marching In, Why, Nobody's Child & My Bonnie, in Hamburg
  • Jun 24 "Happiest Girl in the World" closes at Martin Beck NYC after 97 performances
  • Jun 24 Beatles record "If You Love Me Baby"
  • Jul 15 "Donnybrook!" closes at 46th St Theater NYC after 68 performances
  • Jul 23 Bricusse & Newley's musical "Stop the world I want to ..." premieres
  • Jul 29 Bob Dylan injured in car accident
  • Aug 2 Beatles 1st gig as house band of Liverpool's Cavern Club
  • Sep 26 "From the Second City" opens at Royale Theater NYC for 87 performances
  • Sep 28 "Purlie Victorious", a farce by Ossie Davis, opens on Broadway
  • Sep 29 Bob Dylan's 1st recording session-backup harmonica for Caroline Hester
  • Oct 1 Premiere of Dmitri Shostakovitsch's 12nd Symphony
  • Oct 3 "Sail Away" opens at Broadhurst Theater NYC for 167 performances
  • Oct 7 "Bye Bye Birdie" closes at Martin Beck Theater NYC after 607 performances
  • Oct 10 "Milk & Honey" opens at Martin Beck Theater NYC for 543 performances
  • Oct 12 "Let It Ride" opens at Eugene O'Neill Theater NYC for 68 performances
  • Oct 14 "How to Succeed in Business" opens at 46th St NYC for 1415 performances
  • Oct 18 "West Side Story", directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, the film adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical, starring Natalie Wood, is released (Academy Awards Best Picture 1962)
  • Oct 21 Barbra Streisand opens in "Another Evening with Harry Stones"
  • Oct 23 "Kwamina" opens at 54th St Theater NYC for 32 performances
  • Oct 24 "Evening with Yves Montand" opens at John Golden NYC for 55 performances
  • Oct 28 "Fiorello!" closes at Broadhurst Theater NYC after 796 performances
  • Nov 2 "Kean" opens at Broadway Theater NYC for 92 performances
  • Nov 18 "Gay Life" opens at Shubert Theater NYC for 113 performances
  • Nov 18 "Kwamina" closes at 54th St Theater NYC after 32 performances
  • Dec 3 The Beatles meet future manager Brian Epstein
  • Dec 9 "From the Second City" closes at Royale Theater NYC after 87 performances
  • Dec 9 "Let It Ride" closes at Eugene O'Neill Theater NYC after 68 performances
  • Dec 11 Elvis Presley's "Blue Hawaii" album goes #1 & stays #1 for 20 wks
  • Dec 13 The Beatles sign a formal agreement to be managed by Brian Epstein
  • Dec 13 Jimmy Dean's Big Bad John album is country music 1st million $ seller

Film release premierFilm Premier

Dec 13 "The Young Ones" directed by Sidney J. Furie, starring Cliff Richard, Robert Morley and Carole Gray premieres in London

  • Dec 16 "Evening with Yves Montand" opens at John Golden NYC after 55 performances
  • Dec 18 Britain's EMI Records originally rejects the Beatles
  • Dec 21 Beatles record "Sweet Georgia Brown" & "Ready Teddy"
  • Dec 27 Styne, Comden and Green's musical "Subways are for Sleeping" premieres at St James Theater NYC for 205 performances
  • Dec 30 Moscow: premier of Dmitri Sjostakovitch' 4th Symphony (out 1936)
  • Dec 31 "lrma La Douce" closes at Plymouth Theater NYC after 527 performances