1966 Rock Music Timeline
Simon & Garfunkel #1 Sounds of Silence
Jan '66
The Small Faces
Jan '66
Small Faces have the first of four Top Ten hits in the UK with "Sha La La La Lee", but fail to break through in the US.  (more)
Nancy Sinatra
Feb '66
Frank Sinatra's daughter Nancy has a #1 hit with "These Boots Are Made For Walking".
(more)
Ballad of the Green Berets
Mar '66
Sergeant Barry Sadler goes to #1 with "The Ballad of The Green Beret". (more)
Young Rascals - Good Lovin'
Apr '66
"Good Lovin" is a #1 smash hit for the Young Rascals. (more)
The Mama's and The Papa's
May '66
The Mama's and the Papa's go to #1 with "Monday, Monday" their second top ten hit from their debut album.  (more)
Beach Boys rock masterpiece Pet Sounds
May '66
The Beach Boys release their 11th album "Pet Sounds" and score two more top ten hits with "Sloop John B" and "Wouldn't It Be Nice".
(more)
Percy Sledge
Soul singer Percy Sledge is #1 with "When a Man Loves a Woman" on Atlantic Records. (more)
May '66
The Standells - Dirty Water
Jun '66
Although not from Massachusetts, The Standells take their song about Boston, "Dirty Water", to #11.  (more)
Rolling Stones 1966 Paint It Black
Jun '66
The Rolling Stones are back on top with the single "Paint It Black" with Brian Jones playing the sitar. (video)  (more)
Mothers of Invention
Jul '66
The Mothers of Invention, with Frank Zappa release their double album debut.    (more)
Frank Sinatra
Jul '66
Frank Sinatra is #1 with the single "Strangers In The Night" featuring the scat outro doo-be-doo-be-doo.  (more)
The Troggs - Wild Thing
Jul '66
"Wild Thing" tops the charts by the UK band The Troggs. (more)
The Byrds 1966
Jul '66
The Byrds move from the folk sound towards psychedelic rock with their third album Fifth Dimension. Featuring the reported drug song "Eight Miles High".   (more)
The Beatles last concert 1966
Aug '66
The Beatles release the album Revolver which goes to #1 in the US and UK. On Aug. 29 they play their last concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. after being hounded by the press for the Lennon "Jesus" comment.  (more)
The Lovin' Spoonful
Aug '66
The Lovin' Spoonful go to #1 with "Summer In The City". (more)
The Monkees 1966
Sep '66
Following the relase of their first album in Aug. The Monkees TV show debuts on NBC. Driving the song "Last Train to Clarksville" to #1. (more)
Donovan - Sunshine Superman
Sep '66
UK folkie gone psychedelic, Donovan, has a #1 hit in the US with "Sunshine Superman". In Nov. he goes to #2 with "Mellow Yellow".  (more)
WOR-FM rock
Oct '66
WOR in New York City becomes the first FM radio station with a rock format. (more)
Four Tops 1966
Oct '66
"Reach Out I'll Be There" goes to #1 for Motown artists The Four Tops.
(more)
? and the Mysterians - 96 Tears
Oct '66
? and the Mysterians have their only hit with "96 Tears" which goes to #1.
(more)
The Supremes 1966
Nov '66
The Supremes chalk up two more #1 hits in '66 with "You Can't Hurry Love" and "You Keep Me Hangin' On".  (more)
Cher solo hit 1966
Dec '66
Cher has a #2 solo hit with "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" written by Sonny Bono. (more)
Beach Boys go psychedelic with Good Vibrations
Dec '66
The Beach Boys hit #1 with the psychedelic influenced "Good Vibrations". (more)
Love debut album
May '66
Los Angeles band, Love release their debut album and chart at #33 with the single "My Little Red Book".   (more)
Paul Revere and the Raiders
May '66
Paul Revere & The Raiders have the first of four top ten hits with "Kicks". They would go on to have 14 top 40 singles in the US, but never chart in the UK.
  (more)
Neil Diamond - Cherry, Cherry
Oct '66
After writing hits for the Monkees and Jay & The Americans, Brooklyn, NY singer, songwriter Neil Diamond breaks into the top ten with his second single "Cherry, Cherry". (more)
Count Five - Pyschotic Reaction
Oct '66
San Jose high school combo, Count Five go to #5 with the garage rock classic "Psychotic Reaction".  (more)
1966 in Rock & Roll History

John Lennon is quoted in a London newspaper saying the Beatles are more popular than Jesus, resulting in Beatles record burning events across the southern US. Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass have four albums simultaneously in the US top ten. The Beatles perform their last official concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. NBC has a hit TV show with The Monkees, featuring the comedic exploits of a "Beatlesque" pop group.

Top 40 Singles of 1966
Worldwide:

  1   Frank Sinatra - Strangers in the Night
  2   Nancy Sinatra - These Boots Are                  Made For Walking
  3   The Beach Boys - Good Vibrations
  4   The Beatles - Yellow Submarine
  5   The Beatles - Paperback Writer
  6   The Rolling Stones - Paint it Black
  7   Simon & Garfunkel
       The Sounds of Silence
  8   The Mamas & The Papas                  Monday Monday
  9   The Beatles - Michelle
10   The Beach Boys - Sloop John B
11   The Rolling Stones
       19th Nervous Breakdown
12   New Vaudeville Band                       Winchester Cathedral
13   Herman's Hermits - No Milk Today
14   The Four Tops
        Reach Out (I'll Be There)
15   The Beatles - Eleanor Rigby
16   Percy Sledge
       When a Man Loves a Woman
17   The Troggs - Wild Thing
18   Los Bravos - Black is Black
19   Lovin' Spoonful - Summer in the City
20   The Troggs - With a Girl Like You
21   The Kinks - Sunny Afternoon
22   Chris Andrews - Yesterday Man
23   The Beach Boys - Barbara Ann
24   Sonny & Cher - Little Man
25   The Mamas & The Papas                 California Dreamin'
26   Donovan - Mellow Yellow
27   Tommy James & the Shondells        Hanky Panky
28   Cher - Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me                      Down)
29   The Hollies - Bus Stop
30   The Hollies - Stop Stop Stop
31   Donovan - Sunshine Superman
32   The Monkees
        Last Train to Clarksville
33   Crispian St Peters - Pied Piper
34   Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich        Bend It
35   Petula Clark - My Love
36   The Supremes - You Can't Hurry Love
37   Ike & Tina Turner
       River Deep Mountain High
38   The Beach Boys - God Only Knows
39   Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler              Ballad of the Green Berets
40   Question Mark & The Mysterians        96 Tears

Top 40 Albums of 1966
Worldwide:

  1   The Beatles - Revolver
  2   The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
  3   Bob Dylan - Blonde On Blonde
  4   Maurice Jarre - Doctor Zhivago
  5   The Rolling Stones - Aftermath
  6   Herb Alpert - Going Places
  7   Herb Alpert - What Now My Love
  8   Simon & Garfunkel
       Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme
  9   Herb Alpert
       Whipped Cream & Other Delights
10   Frank Sinatra - Strangers In The Night
11   The Beatles - 'Yesterday' ... & Today
12   Simon & Garfunkel
       Sounds Of Silence
13   The Mamas & The Papas - If You
        Can Believe Your Eyes & Ears
14   The Beach Boys - Best Of
15   The Rolling Stones
        Big Hits (High Tide & Green Grass)
16   Frank Sinatra - A Man & His Music
17   The Rolling Stones
       Got Live If You Want It!
18   Cream - Fresh Cream
19   The Supremes - Supremes A' Go-go
20   Jim Reeves - Distant Drums
21   Ray Conniff - Somewhere My Love
22   The Mamas & The Papas - Debut
23   The Animals - Animalisms
24   Andy Williams - Greatest Hits
25   The Who - A Quick One
26   Barbra Streisand - Color Me Barbra
27   Barbra Streisand
       My Name Is Barbra, Two
28   The Mothers of Invention - Freak Out!
29   Ray Conniff - Hi-Fi Companion Album
30   Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66
31   Sam & Dave - Hold On I'm Comin'
32   Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler
       Ballads Of The Green Berets
33   Nancy Sinatra - Boots
34   The Rolling Stones
       Bravo Rolling Stones
35   Otis Redding - Complete &                          Unbelievable - The Otis Redding                Dictionary Of Soul
36   John Mayall & Eric Clapton             Blues Breakers
37   Lovin' Spoonful - Daydream
38   The Byrds - Turn, Turn, Turn
39   The Kinks - Face To Face
40   Donovan - Sunshine Superman


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.


"Most rock journalism is people who can't write, interviewing people who can't talk,  for people who can't read."     - Frank Zappa

Originally recorded with just acoustic guitar, producer Tom Wilson adds electric guitar, drums and bass and the song "Sound of Silence" goes to #1.  (more)

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