1960 Rock Music Timeline
Jan '60
The teenage tragedy songs  "Running Bear" by Johnny Preston and "Teen Angel" by Mark Dinning are
Teen Tragedy Songs, Teen Angel, Running Bear
Elvis Presley is Back! 1960
Mar '60
After two years in the Army, Elvis proves he's still got it with three #1 US hits (two #1's in the UK) in 1960, "Stuck on You", "It's Now or Never" and "Are You Lonesome Tonight" featuring a new, more adult sound. (more)
Eddie Cochran killed 1960
Apr '60
21 year old Eddie Cochran is killed in a car crash in the UK. Gene Vincent is seriously hurt and never fully recovers. (more)
Roy Orbison - Only the Lonely
May '60
Former rockabilly singer / guitarist Roy Orbison goes for a smoother sound and hits #2 US, #1 UK with his single "Only the Lonely". (more)

Apr '60
grammy awards 1960
The US based National Association of Record Merchandisers holds the first Grammy Awards - with Frank Sinatra winning for his album "Nice 'n Easy". (more)
Everly Brothers 1960
May '60
The Everly Brothers have their 4th and final US #1 hit with "Cathy's Clown" #1 UK. They would continue to top the charts in the UK through the early 60's. (more)
Brenda Lee
Jun '60
15 year old country and rockabilly veteran, Brenda Lee, tops the US Pop Charts, #6 UK with "I'm Sorry" featuring the lush production of the new Nashville sound. (more)
Connie Francis first number one song 1960
Aug '60
Scoring hits since 1957, Connie Francis has her first #1 with "Everybody Is Somebody's Fool". She hits #1 again in the US in Sept. with "My Heart Has a Mind of It's Own". (more)
Johnny Kidd and the Pirates
UK band Johnny Kidd and the Pirates have a #1 smash in the UK with "Shakin' All Over". (more)
Aug '60
Joan Baez releases her first album of traditional folk songs, produced by Fred Hellerman of The Weavers. (more)
The Ventures Walk Don't Run
Sep '60
Tacoma, WA band The Ventures hit #2 US with the instrumental "Walk Don't Run", considered a forerunner of surf music. (more)
Motown - The Miracles
Sep '60
Berry Gordy's Motown label has its' first Top 10 US hit when The Miracles "Shop Around" reaches #2 US. (more)
Chubby Checker - The Twist - 1960
Sep '60
18 year old Philadelphia singer Chubby Checkers' cover of Hank Ballards' "The Twist" goes to #1 US and becomes a nationwide dance craze. (more)
The Drifters Save The Last Dance For Me 1960
Oct '60
'Save the Last Dance For Me" by the Drifters hits #1 US, #2 UK. Lead vocalist Ben E. King leaves the group for a solo career. (more)
Stay - Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs
Nov '60
South CarolinaDoo Wop group, Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs score a #1 hit in the US with the single "Stay". (more)
Teen idol Bobby Rydell
Feb '60
back to back #1 hits in the US. The teen tragedy genre would be an enduring hit formula into the early '70's. (more)
17 year old Phidelphia, PA teen idol, Bobbie Rydell, scores his second top ten hit with "Wild One" which charts at #2 US, #7 UK. (more)
Sam Cooke Chain Gang 1960
Bobby Vee Devil or Angel
Johnny Burnette You're Sixteen 1960
After moving to RCA, singer Sam Cooke has his biggest hit since 1957 with the single "Chain Gang" which goes to #2 US, #9 UK. (more)
Oct '60
Oct '60
Fargo, ND native Bobby Vee has his first US Top Ten hit with "Devil or Angel" on Liberty Records. (more)
Dec '60
After leaving Memphis for California, Rockabilly pioneer Johnny Burnette scores as a solo artist with "You're Sixteen" #8 US, #3 UK. (more)
1960 in Rock & Roll History:

The first Grammy Awards ceremony is held in Las Vegas. Teen tragedy songs are popular. In real life tragedy, American rock star Eddie Cochran is killed in a UK car accident. Elvis Presley returns from military service in Germany. Chubby Checker starts a nationwide dance craze with his cover of Hank Ballard's song "The Twist".

Top 60 Singles of 1960

  1   Elvis Presley
       Are You Lonesome Tonight?
  2   Elvis Presley - It's Now Or Never
  3   Chubby Checker - The Twist
  4   The Drifters
       Save the Last Dance For Me
  5   Sam Cooke - Wonderful World
  6   Percy Faith
       Theme From 'A Summer Place'
  7   Roy Orbison - Only The Lonely
  8   The Everly Brothers - Cathy's Clown
  9   Edith Piaf - Milord
10   Brenda Lee - I'm Sorry
11   Brian Hyland - Itsy Bitsy Teeny                    Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini
12   The Shadows - Apache
13   Elvis Presley - Stuck On You
14   Blue Diamonds - Ramona
15   Jim Reeves - He'll Have to Go
16   Connie Francis
       Everybody's Somebody's Fool
17   Johnny Preston - Running Bear
18   Ray Charles - Georgia On My Mind
19   The Shirelles
       Will You Love Me Tomorrow
20   Johnny Tillotson - Poetry in Motion
21   The Ventures - Walk Don't Run
22   Jan & Kjeld - Banjo Boy
23   Lolita - Seemann, deine Heimat ist             das Meer
24   Paul Anka - Puppy Love
25   Bob Azzam - Mustapha
26   Brothers Four - Greenfields
27   Lale Andersen
       Ein Schiff wird kommen
28   Smokey Robinson & The Miracles        Shop Around
29   Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs        Stay
30   Heidi Bruhl - Wir wollen niemals                 auseinandergehn
31   Jimmy Jones - Good Timin'
32   Paul Anka - My Home Town
33   Ted Herold - Moonlight
34   Club Honolulu - Itsy Bitsy Teeny                  Weeny Honolulu Strandbikini
35   Duane Eddy - Because They're                   Young
36   Cliff Richard - Please Don't Tease
37   Elvis Presley - A Mess of Blues
38   Connie Francis - Jealous of you
39   Fats Domino -Walking to New Orleans
40   Johnny Burnette - You're Sixteen,              You're Beautiful (And You're Mine)
41   Hollywood Argyles - Alley-oop
42   Floyd Cramer - Last Date
43   Mark Dinning - Teen Angel
44   Sam Cooke - Chain Gang
45   Bobby Rydell - The Wild One
46   Vico Torriani - Kalkutta liegt am                  Ganges (Madeleine)
47   Mina - Il Cielo In Una Stanza
48   Johnny Horton - North to Alaska
49   Connie Francis - Die Liebe ist ein                seltsames Spiel
50   Lonnie Donegan - My Old Man's a              Dustman
51   Ricky Valance - Tell Laura I Love Her
52   Hank Locklin
       Please Help Me, I'm Falling
53   Bobby Rydell - Swingin' School
54   Dion & The Belmonts
       Where Or When
55   Paul Anka - Adam & Eve
56   Bob Luman - Let's Think About Living
57   Brenda Lee - Sweet Nothin's
58   Cliff Richard - I Love You
59   Don Costa - Never On Sunday
60   Johnny Preston - Cradle of Love

All chart information above is from Tsort and uses a formula based on splitting the world into four regions based on sales, the USA (about 35%), other English speaking countries (about 20%), the rest of Europe (about 25%) and the rest of the world (about 20%).  We feel this is the best methodology available to show the global impact of a song or album. More detailed chart info is available on the Tsort website. Actual US & UK charts are linked at the bottom of each year timeline on this site.

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All text copyright 2010-2015 Rock Music Timeline.
Feb '60
Detroit, MI songwriter Berry Gordy Jr. founds Tamla Records in 1959 scoring hits in 1960 with Marv Johnson's "You Got What It Takes" #2 R&B, #10 Pop, #7 UK, along with Barrett Strong's "Money" #2 R&B, #23 Pop. (more)

Feb '60
Birmingham, AL singer songwriter Jimmy Jones goes to #2 US Pop, #3 UK with his single "Handy Man". In May his follow-up single "Good Timin" hits #3 US, #1 UK. (more)
Wilmington, NC native Billy Bland has his first hit with the single "Let The Little Girl Dance" which reaches #7 Pop, #11 R&B. (more)

Jul '60
Songwriters Kim Fowley and Gary Paxton assemble a studio band they name the Hollywood Argyles to record their song "Alley Oop" which tops the US Pop chart, #3 R&B. (more)
Jul '60
Jul '60
Wisconsin guitar duo The Fendermen take their cover of "Mule Skinner Blues" to #5 US Pop, #32 UK. (more)

Aug '60
New Orleans R&B veteran Fats Domino scores his 11th Top Ten Pop hit with "Walkin' To New Orleans" #6 US Pop, #2 R&B. (more)

Jun '60
Cliff Richard's backing band The Shadows go to #1 UK with "Apache". A cover version by Danish guitarist Jorgen Ingmann would go to US #2 a year later. (more)
Jul '60
R&B veteran Ike Turner marries his back up singer and moves her to lead vocals, scoring their first hit with "A Fool In Love" #2 R&B, #27 Pop. (more)

Nov '60
New Orleans singer songwriter Joe Jones scores a Top Five Pop and R&B hit with "You Talk Too Much". (more)
Nov '60
Jacksonville, FL singer songwriter Johnny Tillotson hits #2 US, #1 UK with the single "Poetry In Motion". (more)
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