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January 1960 - The teenage tragedy songs  "Running Bear" by Johnny Preston and "Teen Angel" by Mark Dinning (shown above) are back to back #1 hits. The teen tragedy genre would be an enduring hit formula into the early '70's.February 1960 - 17 year old Philadelphia, PA teen idol Bobbie Rydell scores his second US Top Ten hit with "Wild One" which peaks at #2.February 1960 - Detroit, MI songwriter - producer 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.February 1960 - 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. March 1960 - After two years in the Army, Elvis proves he's still got it with three #1 hits in 1960, "Stuck on You", "It's Now or Never" and "Are You Lonesome Tonight" featuring a new, more adult sound.April 1960 - American rock star Eddie Cochran is killed in a car crash in the UK at the age of 21. Gene Vincent, another American rocker, is also in the car and sustains serious injuries from which he never fully recovers.April 1960 - Frank Sinatra wins the first "Album of the Year Grammy" for his album Nice and Easy. 1960 was the first year the National Association of Record Merchandisers held the Grammy Awards.May 1960 - Wilmington, NC native Billy Bland has his first hit with the single "Let The Little Girl Dance" which reaches #7 Pop, #11 R&B. May 1960 - Former rockabilly singer/guitarist Roy Orbison goes for a smoother sound and tops the charts with his single "Only the Lonely". June 1960 - The Everly Brothers have their fourth US and UK #1 hit with the single "Cathy's Clown". June 1960 - Cliff Richard's backing band The Shadows go to #1 UK with the instrumental "Apache". A cover version by Danish guitarist Jorgen Ingmann would go to US #2 a year later. July 1960 - 15 year old country and rockabilly veteran, Brenda Lee, tops the Pop Charts with "I'm Sorry" featuring the lush production of the new Nashville sound. July 1960 - 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 and hits #3 R&B.July 1960 - Wisconsin guitar duo The Fendermen take their cover of "Mule Skinner Blues" to #5 US Pop, #32 UK.July 1960 - Scoring hits since 1957, Connie Francis has her first #1 with "Everybody Is Somebody's Fool". She hits #1 again in September with the single "My Heart Has a Mind of It's Own". August 1960 - UK rock band Johnny Kidd and the Pirates have a #1 smash in the UK with the single "Shakin' All Over".August 1960 - 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.August 1960 - New Orleans R&B star Fats Domino scores his 11th Top Ten Pop hit with "Walkin' To New Orleans" #6 US Pop, #2 R&B.September 1960 - Tacoma, WA band The Ventures top the charts with the instrumental "Walk Don't Run", considered a forerunner of surf music.September 1960 - Detroit's Motown label has its' first top ten hit when The Miracles "Shop Around" reaches #2.September 1960 - Philadelphia, PA singer Chubby Checkers' cover of Hank Ballards' song "The Twist" goes to #1 and spawns a nationwide dance craze.September 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.October 1960 - Fargo, ND native Bobby Vee has his first Top Ten hit with the single "Devil or Angel" on Liberty Records.October 1960 - 'Save the Last Dance For Me" by the Drifters hits #1. It would be lead vocalist Ben E. King's last hit with the group as he leaves for a solo career.November 1960 - Doo Wop group, Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs score a #1 hit with "Stay".Mid - 1960 - Joan Baez, the darling of the Greenwich Village folk scene, records her first album of traditional folk songs, produced by Fred Hellerman of the Weavers. The album fails to crack the Billboard Top 200.November 1960 - New Orleans singer songwriter Joe Jones scores a Top Five Pop and R&B hit with "You Talk Too Much". November 1960 - Jacksonville, FL singer songwriter Johnny Tillotson hits #2 US, #1 UK with the single "Poetry In Motion".December 1960 - After leaving Memphis for California, rockabilly pioneer Johnny Burnette scores as a solo artist with "You're Sixteen" #8 US, #3 UK. Twist instructions from Cameo Parkway Records - home of Chubby Checker.
1960 Photo Gallery
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