Top Songs and Major Music Events of 1960

From the debut of The Beatles to hits from Soviet films.

Major musical events of the 1960s

The sixties became the time for the emergence of new cult genres in music. The popularity of psychedelic motifs grew, and electronic sound spread. The 1960s was a year of active creativity for such popular artists as Sophia Loren, Elvis Presley, Marty Robbins and many others.

Debut of The Beatles

By 1960, the British group The Quarrymen had virtually ceased to exist. Its members founded a new team - this is how the legendary "The Beatles" was born.

The band included John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison. Rolling Stone ranks The Beatles as one of the best bands of all time.

Photo of The Beatles, 1960
Photo of The Beatles, 1960

In 1959, the musicians were already performing in clubs, but they had not yet managed to gain popularity. They were in a creative search, often changing the repertoire and name. All the options they came up with, from "The Quarrymen" to "Rainbows", the promoters called too simple and unmemorable. In April 1960, an event took place that partly determined the history of music. The Beatles came up with their name and were able to find their own unique sound.

The idea for the name came from John Lennon and his friend Stuart Sutcliffe, who was the bass player in the band. They wanted the word they invented to sound unusual and could be interpreted in different ways. The title "The Beatles" is indeed a play on words. "Beetles" means "beetles" in English, and the first part of the word, "Beat", refers to musical beats.

Adriano Celentano's first album

The famous Andreano Celentano released his first album "Adriano Celentano con Giulio Libano e la sua orchestra" in 1960. The musician had previously released records and performed on stage, but this was his first full-length record. The magazine "Rolling Stone Italia" gave her 10th place in the ranking of the hundred best Italian songs.

Cover of the album "Adriano Celentano Con Giulio Libano E La Sua Orchestra" (1960)
Cover of the album "Adriano Celentano Con Giulio Libano E La Sua Orchestra" (1960)

The musical accompaniment of the album was created by the orchestra of Giulio Libano, the Swiss singer Anita Traversi also participated in the recording. The composition "Il Tuo Bacio E' Come Un Rock" received worldwide recognition, and has been performed by other musicians more than once. Interestingly, the ironic song "Nikita Rock" included in the album was dedicated to Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev.

Eurovision 1960

In March 1960, the fifth Eurovision Song Contest took place at the Royal Festival Hall in London. Thirteen countries took part in it. The popularity of the competition continued to grow - there were more and more participants, as well as countries where the performances were broadcast. For example, this year it was broadcast for the first time in Finland.

The first place was taken by the composition "Tom Pilliby" from the French singer Jacqueline Boyer. The prize was presented by the Dutch singer Teddy Scholten, who had won first place a year earlier.

World hits

The Grammy Award in 1960 received many worthy compositions. Album of the Year was The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart by American comedian and actor Bob Newhart. The album included Newhart's Texan performance at the Tidelands Club.

Album cover of The Button Down Mind Of Bob Newhart (1960)
Album cover of The Button Down Mind Of Bob Newhart (1960)

The best-selling US single to win the Grammy for Record of the Year was the Theme from the movie "Summer Resort" composed by Percy Faith.

The Grammy for song of the year won the theme to the movie Exodus. This was the only time when this award was received by an instrumental composition, which can hardly be called a song in the full sense of the word. However, the amazing sound of the work of Ernest Gold, of course, deserved such an award.

Rolling Stone named Ray Charles' "Georgia On My Mind" as the best song of the year. The first version of this song was recorded back in the 30s, but performed by the American musician Ray Charles, it reached immense popularity.

In the UK, Elvis Presley's "It's Now or Never" became one of the best-selling tracks. It stayed at the top of the best-selling songs for a record eight weeks.

In the same year, the first version of the musical Oliver!, created by the British Lionell Bart, based on The Adventures of Oliver Twist, saw the light of day. A few years later, his show took place on Broadway, the work received prestigious awards more than once.

Hits of the USSR

According to the Ogonyok magazine, the best song of 1960 was the composition of Mark Bernes "Enemies burned their own hut." For a long time, her sound from the stage was not approved, but Bernes was able to change the attitude of politicians to this work. After his performance of “Enemies burned their own hut”, the hall exploded with applause. This song was known and loved throughout the USSR.

The best-selling record in the USSR was Irina Brzhevskaya's disc "Moscow Windows". For the first time, a composition with this name was performed by Leonid Utyosov.

Popular in 1960 was the song of Nikolai Rybnikov "Tatiana", written to the verses of the poet Konstantin Simonov.

Among the compositions written for films, the song “Road”, written for the film “Special Approach” and “We are two shores”, performed by Gelena Velikanova, received particular popularity.

The 1960s was a bright time when the world saw many culturally significant works, from the British work of The Beatles to the post-war songs of the USSR.


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