On This Day

January 1961 in Music History

Events in Music

  • Jan 12 "Show Girl" opens at Eugene O'Neill Theater NYC for 100 performances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 15 Berry Gordy signs The Supremes with Motown Records

Founder of Motown Records and Songwriter Berry Gordy
Founder of Motown Records and Songwriter
Berry Gordy
Singer and Actress Diana Ross
Singer and Actress
Diana Ross
  • Jan 16 "Conquering Hero" opens at ANTA Theater NYC for 8 performances
  • Jan 21 Francis Poulenc's "Gloria" premieres in Boston (Boston Symphony and Chorus Pro Musica under conductor Charles Münch)
  • 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 27 Leontyne Price and Franco Corelli make their debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in "Il trovatore", final curtain call lasts 35 mins

Opera Soprano Leontyne Price
Opera Soprano
Leontyne Price

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

Birthdays in Music

  • Jan 2 Orrett Rhoden, Jamaican concert pianist, born in Kingston, Jamaica
  • Jan 3 Erwin Blom, Dutch singer/guitarist (Eton Crop)
  • Jan 5 Iris DeMent, American country singer (Our Town), born in Paragould, Arizona
  • Jan 10 Nadja Salerni-Sonnenberg, Italian concert violinist, born in Rome, Italy
  • Jan 13 Suggs [Graham McPherson], English singer-songwriter (Madness), born in Hastings, England
  • Jan 14 Mike Tramp [Trempenau], Danish heavy metal rocker (White Lion - "Mane Attraction"), born in Copenhagen Denmark
  • Jan 16 Paul Raven, English rock bassist (Killing Joke), born in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom (d. 2007)
  • Jan 16 Jill Sobule, American singer-songwriter ("I Kissed a Girl"), born in Denver, Colorado
  • Jan 22 Daniel Johnston, American musician and visual artist (Hi, How Are You), born in Sacramento, California (d. 2019)
  • Jan 26 Neil Taylor, British touring and session guitarist (Tears For Fears - "Everybody Wants To Rule The World"; Robbie Williams), born in Bristol, England
  • Jan 27 Gillian Gilbert, rocker (New Order-Round & Round), born in Manchester, England
  • Jan 27 Margo Timmins, Canadian rock singer (Cowboy Junkies)
  • Jan 27 Martin Degville, rocker (Sigue Sigue Sputnik-Love Missile F-111)
  • Jan 27 Rudi Mauger, rocker (Crew Cuts)
  • Jan 27 Tessa Niles, British session and touring singer (Eric Clapton; Duran Duran; Robbie Williams), born in Ilford, Essex, England
  • Jan 29 Eddie Jackson, American heavy metal rock bassist (Queensrÿche - "Silent Lucidity"), born in Robstown, Texas
  • Jan 31 Lloyd Cole, English rocker (Lloyd Cole and the Commotions), born in Buxton, Derbyshire

Deaths in Music

  • Jan 11 Elena Gerhardt, German mezzo-soprano singer (b. 1883)
  • Jan 13 Blanche Ring, American singer ("In The Good Old Summer Time"), and stage and screen actress, dies at 89
  • Jan 14 Henry Geehl, English composer, dies at 79
  • Jan 15 Francesco Maria Saraceni, Italian composer, dies at 49
  • Jan 16 Janos Viski, Hungarian composer, dies at 54
  • Jan 21 John Joseph Becker, composer, dies a day before 75th birthday