On This Day

October 1961 in Music History

Events in Music

  • Oct 1 The Beach Boys record their debut single "Surfin", introducing a new musical style

Music releaseMusic Premiere

Oct 1 Premiere of Dmitri Shostakovich'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

Film release premierFilm Release

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)

Singer, Dancer and Actress Rita Moreno
Singer, Dancer and Actress
Rita Moreno

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 21 Barbra Streisand opens in "Another Evening with Harry Stones"

Singer-Songwriter and Actress Barbra Streisand
Singer-Songwriter and Actress
Barbra Streisand
  • Oct 23 "Kwamina" opens at 54th St Theater NYC for 32 performances
  • Oct 24 "Evening with Yves Montand" opens at John Golden Theatre, NYC for 55 performances
  • Oct 28 "Fiorello!" closes at Broadhurst Theater NYC starring Tom Bosley after 796 performances and a Pulitzer Prize

Birthdays in Music

  • Oct 2 Robbie Nevil, rocker (A Place Like This)
  • Oct 4 John Secada, Cuban American singer-songwriter, born in Havana, Cuba
  • Oct 5 Sharon Cheslow, American musician, composer and artist
  • Oct 6 Tim Burgess, English drummer (T'Pau), born in Macclesfield
  • Oct 7 Brian Mannix, Australian singer and actor, born in Melbourne, Australia
  • Oct 8 Ted Kooshian, American jazz pianist, born in San Jose, California
  • Oct 10 Martin Kemp, English rock bassist (Spandau Ballet), born in London, England
  • Oct 11 Amr Diab, Egyptian singer (Leily Nehary), born in Port Said, Egypt
  • Oct 18 Wynton Marsalis, American jazz trumpeter (Grammy 1983), born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Oct 25 [Chadwick Gaylord] Chad Smith, American drummer (Red Hot Chili Peppers), born in Saint Paul, Minnesota
  • Oct 29 Randy Jackson, rocker (Jackson 5-ABC), born in Gary, Indiana
  • Oct 31 Larry Mullen Jr, Irish rock drummer (U2-I Will Follow), born in Dublin, Ireland
  • Oct 31 Kate Campbell, American musician, born in New Orleans, Louisiana

Deaths in Music

  • Oct 5 Don Barbour, American singer (The Four Freshmen), dies at 34
  • Oct 19 John Axel Fernstrom, Swedish composer, dies at 63