1956 in Music

Events in Music


Music release#1 in the Charts

Jan 8 Elvis Presley's "Don't Be Cruel" and "Hound Dog" single goes #1 & stays #1 for a record 11 weeks (for a single)

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

Music releaseMusic Recording

Jan 20 Buddy Holly records "Blue Days Black Night" in Nashville

Singer-songwriter Buddy Holly
Singer-songwriter
Buddy Holly
  • Jan 21 "Comedy in Music (Victor Borge)" closes at Golden NYC after 849 performances
  • Jan 27 "Heartbreak Hotel" single released by Elvis Presley
  • Jan 28 Elvis Presley's 1st appearance on National TV (Dorsey Bros Stage Show)
  • Jan 30 Elvis Presley records his version of "Blue Suede Shoes"
  • Feb 17 Ice Dance Championship at Garmisch won by Pamela Weight/P Thomas GRB
  • Mar 2 "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" single cover released by Elvis Presley
  • Mar 3 Elvis Presley's 1st hit in Billboard's top 10: "Heartbreak Hotel"
  • Mar 15 "My Fair Lady" opens at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC for 2,715 performances
  • Mar 22 "Mr Wonderful" opens at Broadway Theater NYC for 383 performances
  • Mar 22 Musical "Mr Wonderful" with Sammy Davis Jr premieres in NYC
  • Apr 11 Singer Nat Cole attacked on stage of Birmingham theater in racial incident
  • Apr 14 "Silk Stockings" closes at Imperial Theater NYC after 461 performances
  • Apr 14 "Plain & Fancy" closes at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC after 476 performances
  • Apr 21 Elvis Presley's 1st hit record, "Heartbreak Hotel", becomes #1
  • Apr 25 Noel Coward's musical "South Sea Bubble" premieres in London
  • May 3 Frank Loesser's musical "Most Happy Fella" opens at Imperial Theater NYC for 678 performances
  • May 11 Elvis Presley's 1st entry on UK charts with "Heartbreak Hotel"
  • May 24 1st Eurovision Song Contest: Lys Assia for Switzerland wins singing "Refrain" in Lugano

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 29 Arnold Schoenberg's "Modern Psalm" premieres

Composer and Painter Arnold Schoenberg
Composer and Painter
Arnold Schoenberg
  • Jun 13 "Shangri-La" opens at Winter Garden Theater NYC for 21 performances
  • Jun 14 "New Faces of 1956" opens at Barrymore Theater NYC for 221 performances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jun 24 "Steve Allen Show" returns on NBC-TV

TV Personality, Comedian and Composer Steve Allen
TV Personality, Comedian and Composer
Steve Allen

Film release premierFilm Premier

Oct 10 "Giant", directed by George Stevens, starring Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean, premieres in NYC

Appears on tv showTelevision Debut

Nov 5 The Nat King Cole Show debuts on NBC, the first variety program to be hosted by an African-American

Musician Nat King Cole
Musician
Nat King Cole
  • Nov 10 Gene de Paul and Johnny Mercer's musical "Li'l Abner" premieres in NYC
  • Nov 15 "Love Me Tender" (The Reno Brothers) with Elvis Presley premieres in the US
  • Nov 15 "Li'l Abner" opens at St James Theater NYC for 693 performances
  • Nov 24 "Pajama Game" closes at St James Theater NYC after 1063 performances
  • Nov 29 "Bells Are Ringing" opens at Shubert Theater NYC for 925 performances
  • Dec 1 "Candide" opens at Martin Beck Theater NYC for 73 performances
  • Dec 6 "Happy Hunting" opens at Majestic Theater NYC for 413 performances
  • Dec 8 Guy Mitchell's "Singing the Blues" single goes #1 for 10 weeks
  • Dec 16 "Fanny" closes at Majestic Theater NYC after 888 performances
  • Dec 22 "New Faces of 1956" closes at Barrymore Theater NYC after 221 performances

Birthdays in Music

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 151

  • Jan 4 Barney Sumner, English rock guitarist, vocalist (New Order-Blue Monday), born in Salford
  • Jan 4 Bernard Albrecht, English pop guitarist (Joy Division)
  • Jan 4 Nels Cline, American guitarist and composer
  • Jan 10 Shawn Colvin, American country folk singer-songwriter (Sunny Came Home), born in Vermillion, South Dakota
  • Jan 11 Robert Earl Keen, American singer
  • Jan 13 Malcolm Foster, rock bassist (Pretenders-Mystery Achievement)
  • Jan 14 Étienne Daho, French singer and songwriter
  • Jan 14 Ben Heppner, Canadian singer
  • Jan 17 Paul Young, rock vocalist/keyboardist (Every Time You Go Away)
  • Jan 18 George Mark Collie, American country singer (Another Old Soldier), born in Waynesboro Tennessee
  • Jan 18 Tom Bailey, English rock vocalist/keyboardist (Thompson Twins-Doctor Doctor), born in Halifax, West Yorkshire
  • Jan 19 Carman Licciardello, American Christian singer
  • Jan 21 Bob Brill, American drummer (Berlin-You Take My Breath Away), born in NYC, New York
  • Jan 22 Steve Riley, American drummer
  • Jan 24 Hanne Krogh, Norwegian singer (Bobbysocks)
  • Jan 24 Lounès Matoub, a famous Berber Kabyle singer (d. 1998)
  • Jan 25 Andy Cox, rock guitarist (Fine Young Cannibals-She Drives Me Crazy)
  • Jan 26 Lisa Boray, [Schulte Nordholt], Dutch singer (Lovers Until the End)
  • Jan 28 Peter Schilling, rocker, born in Stuttgart, Germany
  • Jan 31 Johnny Rotten, [John Lydon], rocker (Sex Pistols-God Save the Queen)
  • Feb 1 Exene Cervenka, American musician
  • Feb 3 Lee Ranaldo, American musician (Sonic Youth)
  • Feb 7 Mark St. John, American musician (Kiss) (d. 2007)
  • Feb 8 Dave Meros, American bassist (Spock's Beard)
  • Feb 11 H.R. [Paul D. Hudson], British-American singer (Bad Brains), born in London, England
  • Feb 11 Didier Lockwood, French violinist
  • Feb 13 Peter Hook, English rock bassist (New Order-Round & Round, Run)
  • Feb 18 Ted Gärdestad, Swedish singer (d. 1997)
  • Feb 19 Dave Wakeling, rock singer/guitarist
  • Feb 19 Peter Holsapple, rocker (Continental Drifters)
  • Feb 26 Keisuke Kuwata, Japanese singer
  • Feb 29 Randy Jackson, rocker (Zebra-I Don't Know, I Don't Care)
  • Mar 2 John Cowsill, rock drummer (The Cowsills - We Can Fly), born in Newport, Rhode Island
  • Mar 2 Mark Evans, Australian rock bassist (AC/DC), born in Melbourne, Victoria
  • Mar 4 Kermit Driscoll, American jazz bassist
  • Mar 5 Teena Marie, American singer
  • Mar 17 Will Rigby, rock percussionist (Amy Rigby Diary of a Mad Housewife)
  • Mar 26 Charly McClain, country singer (Radio Heart), born in Jackson, Tennessee
  • Apr 1 Peter O'Toole, Irish pop bassist (Hothouse Flowers-People)
  • Apr 3 Miguel Bose, Panamanian-born Spanish singer and actor (El Avaro, Queen Margot), born in Panama City
  • Apr 12 Alexander Briley, vocalist (YMCA-Village People)
  • Apr 12 Herbert Grönemeyer, German singer
  • Apr 27 Bryan Harvey, American musician
  • Apr 28 Jimmy Barnes [James Swan], Australian singer-songwriter (For the Working Class Man), born in Glasgow
  • Apr 29 Ron Verlin, rocker (Shooting Star)
  • Apr 29 Ketil Stokkan, Norwegian singer
  • Apr 30 Jorge Chaminé, Portuguese baritone
  • May 2 David Rhodes, English guitarist
  • May 4 Sharon Jones, soul singer (Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings), born in Augusta, Georgia (d. 2016)
  • May 5 Dick Kemper, Amsterdam Neth, rock vocalist/bassist (Vandenberg)
  • May 7 Anne Dudley, British classical and film composer (The Full Monty), born in Beckenham, Kent
  • May 19 Martyn Ware, rocker (Heaven 17-Electric Dreams)
  • May 22 Natasha Shneider, Russian-born musician
  • May 24 Helen Terry, rocker (Now You're Mine)
  • May 25 Sugar Minott, Jamaican singer
  • May 25 David P. Sartor, American music composer
  • May 29 LaToya Jackson, American singer/model (If You Feel the Funk)/posed for Playboy, born in Gary, Indiana
  • May 29 Larry Blackmon, rocker (Cameo-Alligator Woman)
  • May 31 Bart van Poppel, Dutch bassist/guitarist/singer (Tambourine)
  • May 31 Fritz Hilpert, German musician and sound engineer (Kraftwerk)
  • Jun 1 Lisa Hartman Black, American singer/actress (Tabitha, Knots Landing), born in Houston, Texas
  • Jun 3 Danny Wilde, rocker (Rembrandts)
  • Jun 5 Kenny G, saxophonist (Duotones)
  • Jun 5 Richard Butler, English singer (Psychedelic Furs)
  • Jun 14 King Diamond [Kim Petersen], Danish heavy metal musician (Merciful Fate, King Diamond), born in Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Jun 19 Doug Stone, American singer
  • Jun 22 Derek Forbes, rocker (Simple Minds-Water Front)
  • Jun 22 Green [Gartside], rock vocalist (Scritti Politti-Flesh & Blood)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Jun 26 Chris Isaak, American rock singer-songwriter (Wicked Game), born in Stockton, California

Singer Chris Isaak
Singer
Chris Isaak
  • Jun 30 Adrian Wright, Sheffield, rock vocalist (Human League-Only Human)
  • Jun 30 Ronald Winans, gospel singer (Winans)
  • Jul 2 Jeffrey Cooper, rock guitarist (Midnight Star-No Parking)
  • Jul 6 John Jorgenson, singer (Desert Rose Band-Love Reunited), born in Madison, Wisconsin
  • Jul 8 Russell Christian, rocker (Christians-Harvest the World)
  • Jul 13 Mark "The Animal' Mendoza [Glickman], American bassist (Twisted Sister-We're Not Gonna Take It), born in Long Island, New York
  • Jul 14 Bob Birch, American musician (Elton John), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2012)
  • Jul 15 Joe Satriani, American guitarist, born in Westbury, New York
  • Jul 15 Ian Curtis, English rock vocalist (Joy Division-Transmission) (d. 1980)
  • Jul 18 Audrey Landers [Hamburg], American actress/singer (Dallas, Chorus Line), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Jul 20 Paul Cook, English rock drummer (Sex Pistols), born in London
  • Jul 22 Mick Pointer, rock drummer (Marillion)
  • Jul 29 Patti Scialfa, American singer (As Long as I Can Be), wife to Bruce Springsteen, born in Deal, New Jersey
  • Jul 30 Phil Fearon, rocker (Galaxy, Kandidate-I Don't Want to Lose You)
  • Aug 2 Isabel Pantoja, Spanish spanish singer (Genio y Figura)
  • Aug 3 Kirk Brandon, rocker (Theatre of Hate, Spear of Destiny-Outland)
  • Aug 5 Ferdi Bolland, Dutch singer/guitarist (Bolland & Bolland)
  • Aug 8 Chris Foreman, guitarist (Madness-Burning Down the House)
  • Aug 8 David Grant, Jamaica, singer/songwriter (Stop & Go, Heaven Knows)
  • Aug 14 Sharon Bryant, vocalist (Atlantic Star-Touch a 4 Leaf Clover)
  • Aug 15 Vinny Denunzio, rocker
  • Aug 15 Lorraine Desmarais, French-Canadian jazz pianist and composer
  • Aug 18 John Debney, American composer
  • Aug 18 Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz, American musician
  • Aug 20 Rick Olsen, rock guitarist (Berlin-Take My Breath Away)
  • Aug 25 Matt Aitken, English songwriter and rocker (Stock Aitken & Waterman-Road Block), born in Coventry, England
  • Aug 27 Glen Matlock, rock bassist (Sex Pistols)
  • Aug 29 GG Allin, American rock singer (d. 1993)
  • Sep 4 Blackie Lawless, American musician, lead singer in W.A.S.P.
  • Sep 5 Roine Stolt, Swedish guitarist (The Flower Kings), born in Uppsala, Sweden
  • Sep 7 Michael J Feinstein, pianist (Isn't It Romantic)

Weddings in Music


HeartWedding of Interest

Mar 19 Author Aldous Huxley (62) weds musician and author Laura Archera (45)

HeartWedding of Interest

May 22 Actress Anita Ekberg (24) weds actor and singer Anthony Steel (36) in Florence, Italy

Actress Anita Ekberg
Actress
Anita Ekberg
  • Aug 5 Actress-singer Shirley Jones (22) weds film and stage actor Jack Cassidy (29)

HeartWedding of Interest

Dec 28 Singer Patti Page (29) weds choreographer Charles O'Curran in Las Vegas, Nevada

Singer Patti Page
Singer
Patti Page

Deaths in Music

  • Jan 3 Alexander Tikhonovich Gretshaninov, Russian/US composer, dies at 91
  • Jan 4 Alexandr Tikhonovich Grechaninov, composer, dies at 91
  • Jan 5 Mistinguett, French singer (b. 1875)
  • Jan 12 Norman Kerry, American actor (Air Eagles, Phantom of Opera), dies at 61
  • Jan 27 Erich Kleiber, Austrian conductor, dies
  • Feb 4 Peder Gram, Danish composer, dies at 74
  • Feb 18 Gustave Charpentier, French opera composer (Louise), dies at 95
  • Feb 21 Edwin Franko Goldman, composer, dies at 78
  • Feb 27 Frank Dailey, orchestra leader (Music at Meadowbrook), dies at 54
  • Feb 27 Gunther Ramin, German organist/composer/choir conductor, dies at 57
  • Mar 5 Erich Itor Kahn, composer, dies at 50
  • Mar 11 Sergey Nikiforovich Vasilenko, Russian opera composer, dies at 83
  • Mar 16 Joseph John Richards, composer, dies at 77
  • Mar 25 George Luther Foote, composer, dies at 70
  • Mar 26 Thomas Alexandrovich de Hartmann, composer, dies at 70
  • Apr 10 Bozidar Sirola, composer, dies at 66
  • Apr 10 Jozef Szulc, Polish composer, dies at 81
  • Apr 20 Jaap Vranken, organist/composer (Stabat mater), dies
  • Apr 20 Lieven Duvosel, Flemish music composer (Levensschets), dies at 78
  • Apr 29 Nemesio Otano y Eugenio, composer, dies at 75
  • May 12 Vladimir Ambros, composer, dies at 65
  • May 29 Hermann Abendroth, German conductor (Gewandhausorkest), dies at 73
  • Jun 4 Max Kowalski, composer, dies at 73
  • Jun 23 Reinhold Glière, Russian-Soviet composer, dies at 81
  • Jun 26 Clifford Brown, US jazz trumpeter (Joyspring, Jordu), dies at 25
  • Jul 13 Vladimir Grigor'yevich Zakharov, composer, dies at 54
  • Jul 14 Jaroslav Ridky, composer, dies at 58
  • Jul 26 Miguel Bernal Jiminez, composer, dies at 46
  • Aug 30 Jose Antonio de Donostia, composer, dies at 70
  • Sep 6 Felix Borowski, composer, dies at 84
  • Sep 15 Henry Clough-Leiter, composer, dies at 82
  • Sep 21 Robert Mills Delaney, composer, dies at 53
  • Sep 27 Gerald Finzi, British composer (Dies natalis), dies at 55 of disseminated shingles, complicated by encephalitis
  • Oct 6 Walter Herlihy, announcer (Music at Meadowbrook), dies at 42
  • Oct 19 Isham Jones, American musician (b. 1894)
  • Oct 26 Walter Gieseking, German pianist/composer, dies at 60
  • Nov 2 Jacob Weinberg, Russian-born Jewish composer, dies at 77
  • Nov 5 Art Tatum [Arthur Tatum Jr], American jazz pianist and composer, dies from complications of uremia at 47
  • Nov 7 Una Mae Carlisle, US pianist/singer, dies at 40
  • Nov 11 Victor Young, orchestra leader (Milton Berle Show), dies at 56
  • Nov 22 Theodore Kosloff, Russian-born actor, ballet dancer and choreographer, dies at 74
  • Nov 24 Guido Cantelli, Italian conductor (b. 1920)
  • Nov 26 Tommy Dorsey, big bandleader, dies at 51
  • Dec 8 Edgar Leslie Bainton, composer, dies at 76
  • Dec 9 Hans Barth, German-born American composer, dies at 59
  • Dec 12 Lorenzo Perosi, composer, dies at 83