January 1961 in Music History

Events in Music

  • Jan 5 The Beatles perform with Paul McCartney on bass guitar for the 1st time, at Litherland Town Hall, in Lancashire, England
  • 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
  • Jan 21 Francis Poulenc's "Gloria" premieres in Boston< Massachusetts by Boston Symphony and Chorus Pro Musica under conductor Charles Münch

#1 in the Charts

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

Music History

Jan 27 Leontyne Price and Franco Corelli make debuts at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in "Il trovatore"; final curtain call lasts 35 minutes

Music Single

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

Birthdays in Music

  • Jan 2 Orrett Rhoden, Jamaican concert pianist, born in Kingston, Jamaica
  • Jan 3 Erwin Blom, Dutch rock singer and guitarist (Eton Crop)
  • Jan 5 Iris DeMent, American country singer ("Our Town"), born in Paragould, Arizona
  • Jan 5 Piotr Baron, Polish jazz saxophonist and composer (Salve Regina; Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus), born in Wrocław, Poland
  • Jan 10 Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Italian concert violinist, born in Rome, Italy
  • Jan 13 Suggs [Graham McPherson], English singer-songwriter (Madness), born in Hastings, England
  • Jan 13 Wayne Coyne, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, keyboardist, and theremin player (The Flaming Lips - "Do You Realize??"), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Jan 14 Mike Tramp [Trempenau], Danish heavy metal rocker (White Lion - "Mane Attraction"), born in Copenhagen Denmark
  • Jan 16 Jill Sobule, American singer-songwriter ("I Kissed a Girl"), born in Denver, Colorado
  • Jan 16 Paul Raven, English rock bassist (Killing Joke), born in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom (d. 2007)
  • 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, British rock keyboard and guitar player (New Order - "Round & Round"), born in Manchester, England
  • Jan 27 Margo Timmins, Canadian folk-rock singer (Cowboy Junkies - "Sweet Jane"; "Anniversary Song"), born in Montreal, Quebec
  • Jan 27 Martin Degville, British rock singer-songwriter (Sigue Sigue Sputnik - "Love Missile F-111"), born in Walsall, England
  • 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, American composer and conductor, dies a day before his 75th birthday