Forgot your password?

What Happened in 1960: The Music

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Hits of 1960 - the year, not the decade

Hearing the History: Songs of 1960

In the first year of the new decade, 1960, many historical events that would influence the rest of the decade took place. America and the Soviet Union became more embroiled in the cold war as an American U2 spy plane was shot down while on a mission over the Soviet Union. The Kennedy-Johnson ticket eked out a victory in the presidential election by one of the tiniest margins ever - 113,000 votes out of a total turnout of some 68 million voters. And our involvement in the Vietnam War began with the first troop deployment of 3,500 American soldiers.

hits of  1960

What happened in 1960's Music?

In the world of music important and historical things were happening as well. The Motown sound was officially born (there had been a few releases in 1959) when the label was incorporated in April of 1960 in Detroit Michigan, Motor City USA. The new label would start their historical string of hits with Shop Around by the Miracles, among others.  In England, Eddie Cochran of Summertime Blues fame died in a car crash, a new group called the Beatles formed and promptly began their epic early gigs in Hamburg, Germany. Singles were still the the major way music was released and albums were sold with a lot of filler - unimportant songs recorded to sell the hits - but Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Johnny Cash released notable LPs that were coherent wholes.

The Classic Hitmakers Rule
Elvis got out of the army and staged a comeback on the pop charts. He had 3 number 1 hits in 1960, one of which - Stuck On You - was the very first stereo/mono 45 released by RCA Records. The Everly Brothers' Cathy's Clown made it to number 1 on the charts and was the biggest-selling single of their career. Buddy Holly had his first posthumous hit with True Love Ways after dying in a plane crash in 1959, and they made a movie of his life
years later. And Connie Francis and Brenda Lee, both iconic female singers of the 1950s, had huge hits as well.

Novelty Anyone?
In an increasingly popular and somewhat baffling trend, wacky songs also known in the business as "novelty" tunes were all over the charts. Some were humorous like Mr. Custer and Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, some were tragic like Running Bear and El Paso, some were just plain goofy like Alley Oop, but only one was a dance tune - Chubby Checker's The Twist. One of the classic songs that named a dance and provided the music for it too, it started a major trend in teen dancing.

Twisted Tragedy
It was also the year that the ever-popular teenage tragedy song hit its stride, and several were big hits. Teen Angel and Tell Laura I Love Her both told the tales of adolescents meeting their makers in tragic fashion. El Paso and Running Bear, while being in the running for novelty songs too, also have wrongful and tearful deaths at their cores. Maybe it was the whole cold-war fear of nuclear death and destruction hanging over the country, but tearjerkers like these continued to be big hits.

A Small Distinction
And the prize for the shortest number 1 hit single in history goes to... Stay by Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs. Clocking in at 1 minute and 37 seconds, this song would be covered many times in subsequent years, and everyone who redid the song made it longer. But in its original version it was a tiny slice of doo-wop heaven that was never equaled.


time machine(110573)





1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010
1961 1971 1981 1991 2001 2011
1962 1972 1982 1992 2002 2012
1963 1973 1983 1993 2003  
1964 1974 1984 1994 2004  
1965 1975 1985 1995 2005  
1966 1976 1986 1996 2006  
1967 1977 1987 1997 2007  
1968 1978 1988 1998 2008  
1969 1979 1989 1999 2009  








Add a new comment - No HTML
You must be logged in and verified to post a comment. Please log in or sign up to comment.

Explore InfoBarrel

Auto Business & Money Entertainment Environment Health History Home & Garden InfoBarrel University Lifestyle Sports Technology Travel & Places
© Copyright 2008 - 2016 by Hinzie Media Inc. Terms of Service Privacy Policy XML Sitemap

Follow IB Entertainment