- Stephen Mallinder born (Sheffield) English rock and electronica bass guitarist, singer, songwriter. Founder member of Cabaret Voltaire.
- Morton Feldman’s Structure II for two cellos; Extensions 5 for two cellos & Three Pieces for Piano premiered in New York
- Viv Albertine born (Sydney) English rock guitarist, singer, songwriter, television director. Founder member of the Slits.
- Johnny Ace’s funeral takes place in Memphis, TN
- Palmolive aka Paloma Romero born (Spain) Spanish rock drummer. Member of the Slits from 1976 to 1978 and the Raincoats from 1978 to 1980.
- Mark Hollis born (London) English singer, songwriter, musician. Founder member of Talk Talk and solo artist.
- Clive Gregson born (Ashton-under-Lyme) English folk and rock singer, guitarist, songwriter. Founder member of Any Trouble and worked with Christine Collister and Richard Thompson.
- Bruce Kaphan born (San Francisco, CA) American pedal steel guitarist, multi-instrumentalist. Member of American Music Club from 1988 to 1994.
- Marian Anderson becomes the first black person to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, her only appearance in a staged opera (as Ulrica in Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera)
- Bohuslav Martinu’s Symphony no.6 “Fantaisies symphoniques” premiered in New York
- Christian Marclay born (San Rafael, CA) Swiss-American composer, visual and sound artist, filmmaker.
- Johnny Clarke born (Kingston, Jamaica) Jamaican reggae singer, songwriter.
- EMI makes a successful bid for the purchase of Capitol Records
- Heitor Villa-Lobos’s Harp concerto premiered in Philadelphia
- Dimitri Shostakovich’s From Jewish Folk Poetry for soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor and piano premiered in St Petersburg
- Steve Earle born (Fort Monroe, VA) American country and rock singer, songwriter, guitarist, activist, record producer, author, broadcaster.
- Grazyna Bacewicz’s Violin Concerto no.5 premiered in Warsaw
- Frankie Knuckles born (New York, NY) American disc jockey, record producer. Known as the Godfather of House Music
- Antonio María Romeu (78) dies in Havana
- The Clifford Brown – Max Roach quintet record the first of three sessions in as many days with the Neal Hefti Orchestra for EmArcy in New York. Clifford Brown (tp) Richie Powell (p) Barry Galbraith (g) George Morrow (b) Max Roach (d) Neal Hefti (arr, cond) plus strings. Tracks cut appear on the album Clifford Brown With Strings
- Heitor Villa-Lobos’s Symphony no.8 premiered in New York
- Simon Rattle born (Liverpool) English conductor.
- Carl Perkins records his first session for Sun subsidiary Flip in Memphis. Tracks cut include Turn Arouns & Movie Magg
- Terry Chimes born (London) English rock drummer, chiropractor. Member of the Clash from 1976 to 1977 and from 1982 to 1983.
- Eddie Van Halen born (Nijmegen) Dutch-American rock guitarist, keyboard player, songwriter. Founder member of Van Halen. Brother of Alex Van Halen (b.1953).
- Albert Hague, Arnold Horwitt, Joseph Stein and Will Glickman’s musical comedy Plain and Fancy opens on Broadway (315 performances)
- Michael Tippett’s opera The Midsummer Marriage premiered in London
- Buck Washington (51) dies in New York
- Howlin’ Wolf – I’ll Be Around / Forty-Four (Chess)
- Elmore James – Standing at the Crossroads / Sunny Land (Flair)
- BB King – Everyday I Have the Blues / Sneaking Around (RPM)
- Elvis Presley – You’re A Heartbreaker / Milkcow Blues Boogie (Sun)
- Muddy Waters – I’m a Natural Born Lover / Lovin’ Man (Chess)
- Errol Garner – Contrasts (EmArcy)
- Peter Maxwell Davies’ Octet for woodwinds premiered in London
- Valentine Davies’ film The Benny Goodman Story opens, starring Steve Allen & Donna Reed
- Little Richard signs to Specialty Records
- Darius Milhaud’s opera David premiered in Milan, lib. A. Lunel (staged performance)
- Heitor Villa-Lobos’s Cello Concerto no.2 premiered in New York
- Jimmy Pursey born (Hersham) English rock singer, songwriter, record producer. Founder member of Sham 69.
- Chou Wen-Chung’s And the Fallen Petals for orchestra premiered in Louisville, KY
- Bill Laswell born (Salem, IL) American jazz, rock and avant-garde bassist, composer, record producer, session player. Worked with Material, Praxis, solo and with many others.
- Ernst Krenek’s Eleven Transparencies for orchestra premiered in Louisville, KY
- Buddy and Bob aka Buddy Holly and Bob Montgomery open for Elvis Presley at a show in Lubbock, TX
- Charles Cuvillier (77) dies in Paris
- Charlie Feathers records his first session for Sun in Memphis. Tracks cut include Peepin’ Eyes
- Art Rupe of Specialty Records in Los Angeles receives a demo tape from Little Richard
- Cheetah Chrome aka Gene O’Connor born (Cleveland, OH) American rock guitarist, record producer . Founder member of Rocket from the Tombs and the Dead Boys.
- Ernst Krenek’s Violin Concerto no.2 premiered on Westdeutsche Radio
- David Murray born (Oakland, CA) American jazz tenor saxophonist, clarinettist, bandleader. Worked with the World Saxophone Quartet and his own groups.
- Billboard announces that for the first time since they were introduced in 1949, 45 rpm discs are outselling the old standard 78
- Karmella Tsepkolenko born (Odessa, Ukraine) Ukrainian composer, author, teacher.
- Igor Stravinsky’s Four Russian Songs for voice and piano premiered in Los Angeles
- Howard Jones born (Southampton) English pop singer, songwriter, keyboard player.
- Luciano Berio’s Cinque Variazioni for piano premiered in Hamburg
- (to 25th) Clifford Brown and Max Roach record the album Study in Brown for EmArcy in New York. Clifford Brown (tp) Harold Land (ts) Richie Powell (p) George Morrow (b) Max Roach (d)
- Carlisle Floyd’s opera Susannah, lib. Floyd, premiered in Tallahassee, FL
- Cole Porter, George S. Kaufman, Leueen MacGrath & Abe Burrows’ musical Silk Stockings opens on Broadway (478 performances)
- Lavern Baker asks Rep. Charles Diggs Jr to look into a bill to allow artists to copyright arrangements after note-for-note versions of her tunes are recorded by the likes of white acts Georgia Gibbs and Vicky Young
- Peter Christopherson born (Leeds) English electronic musician, composer, video director. Founder member of Throbbing Gristle and Coil. Died 2010
- Fats Domino – Don’t You Know / Helping Hand (Imperial)
- Bill Haley and His Comets – Birth of the Boogie / Mambo Rock (Decca)
- Hearts – Lonely Nights / Oo-Wee (Baton)
- Etta James – The Wallflower / Hold Me Squeeze Me (Modern)
- Little Walter – My Babe / Thunderbird (Checker)
- Wrens – Come Back My Love / Beggin’ for Love (Rama)
- Yma Sumac – Mambo! (Capitol)
- Dinah Washington – Dinah Jams (EmArcy)
- Bo Diddley records his first single Bo Diddley for Checker in Chicago. Bo Diddley (g, vo) Willie Dixon (b) Billy Boy Arnold (hca) Otis Spann (p) Jerome Green (perc) Clifton James (d)
- Bheki Mseleku born (Durban, South Africa) South African jazz pianist, saxophonist, guitarist, composer, arranger. Died 2008
- Herbert von Karajan elected chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic
- Elvis Presley makes his regional TV debut on the Louisiana Hayride programme on Shreveport’s KSLA-TV
- Charlie Parker plays the first of two shows at Birdland with Bud Powell (p) Kenny Dorham (tp) Charles Mingus (b) and Art Blakey (d)
- Charlie Parker’s final ever show at Birdland ends in chaos with Parker late and Bud Powell too drunk to play.
- Alan Bush’s children’s operetta The Spell Unbound, lib. Nancy Bush, premiered in Bournemouth
- Charlie Parker visits his friend Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter at her apartment where he stays due to ill health
- Catharina ‘Nina’ Hagen born (Berlin) German rock singer, songwriter, actress.
- Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Sun, Moon, Stars and Man for unison voices and string orchestra premiered in Birmingham
- Charlie Parker (34) dies in New York from a combination of a bleeding ulcer and pneumonia
- Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Prelude on Three Welsh Hymn Tunes for brass band premiered on BBC Radio
- Einar Englund’s concert suite Valkoinen peura [the White Reindeer] premiered in Helsinki
- Fats Domino records Ain’t It a Shame for Imperial in New Orleans
- Elvis Presley employs Colonel Tom Parker as his manager
- Duke Ellington’s Night Creature for jazz orchestra and symphony orchestra premiered in New York
- A tape cartridge forerunner to the music cassette is demonstrated by inventor Bernie Cousino of Toledo, OH
- Olivier Messiaen’s Livre d’orgue [organ book] for organ premiered in Paris
- Johnny Cash auditions for Sam Phillips at Sun Studios in Memphis
- Wally Badarou born (Paris) French jazz, funk, rock and pop keyboard and synthesiser player, session player. Worked with Level 42, Grace Jones and others.
- Johnny Cash makes his first commercial recordings at Sun Studios in Memphis. Tracks cut include Hey Porter
- Alan Freed joins Decca Records in an A&R position
- Ernst Krenek’s Mottete zur Opferung, für das ganze Kirchenjahr [Motet for sacrifice, for the entire liturgical year] for choir premiered in Basel
- Hank Mobley makes his first recordings as leader for Blue Note in Hackensack, NJ. Hank Mobley (ts) Horace Silver (p) Doug Watkins (b) Art Blakey (d). Tracks cut appear on the album Hank Mobley Quartet
- Reba McEntire born (Kiowa, OK) American country singer, songwriter, actress.
- Aaron Copland’s Dirge in Woods for mezzo-soprano and piano premiered in New York
- Peter Sculthorpe’s Sonata for Violin Alone premiered in Melbourne
- Dimitri Tiomkin’s music for William A. Wellman’s film The High and the Mighty wins the best dramatic score Oscar at the 27th Academy Awards. Adolph Deutsch and Saul Chaplin’s music for Stanley Donen’s film Seven Brides for Seven Brothers wins the award for best musical score
- Angus Young born (Glasgow) Scottish-Australian rock guitarist, songwriter. Founder member of AC/DC. Brother of Malcolm Young (b.1953).
- Cardinals – The Door Is Still Open / Misirlou (Atlantic)
- Clovers – Blue Velvet / If You Love Me (Atlantic)
- Lightnin’ Hopkins – They Wonder Who I Am / Evil Hearted Woman (Herald)
- Carl Perkins – Movie Magg / Turn Around (Flip)
- Joe Turner – Flip Flop and Fly / Ti-Ri-Lee (Atlantic)
- Dave Brubeck – Brubeck Time (Columbia)
- Miles Davis Vol.3 (Blue Note)
- Roy Eldridge & Dizzy Gillespie – Roy and Diz (Clef)
- Mahalia Jackson – The World’s Greatest Gospel Singer (Columbia)
- Ben Webster – Music for Loving (Norgran)
- George Antheil’s opera The Wish premiered in Louisville, lib. Antheil
- Darius Milhaud’s Pensée amicale op.342 [friendly thought] for strings premiered in Boston
- Igor Stravinsky’s Greeting Prelude for orchestra premiered in Boston
- Bob Chilcott born (Plymouth) English composer, conductor, singer.
- Lesley Garrett born (Doncaster, Yorkshire) English soprano singer, television personality.
- Neville Staple born (Manchester, Jamaica) Anglo-Jamaican ska and pop singer. Founder member of the Specials and Fun Boy Three.
- Alan Freed’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Easter Jubilee is held at the Paramount Theater in Brooklyn, NY featuring Lavern Baker, the Moonglows, the Moonlighters and the Penguins among others. It breaks attendance records set 23 years earlier
- Kool Herc aka Clive Campbell born (Kingston, Jamaica) Jamaican-American hip hop disc jockey. Considered by many to be the creator of the genre.
- Pete Shelley aka Peter McNeish born (Leigh, Lancs) English rock singer, songwriter, guitarist. Founder member of Buzzcocks and solo artist.
- Sammy Fain, Dan Shapiro, Guy Bolton and Eddie Davis’s musical Ankles Aweigh opens on Broadway (176 performances)
- Andy Shernoff born (New York, NY) American rock bassist, singer, songwriter, writer, producer. Founder member of the Dictators.
- David Van Tieghem born (Washington, DC) American composer, percussionist, actor. Worked with Laurie Anderson and others.
- Nino Rota’s opera Il cappello di paglia di Firenze [The straw hat of Florence] premiered in Palermo, lib. E. Rota and Nino Rota
- Arthur Baker born (Boston, Mass) American hip hop and dance record producer, DJ. Member of Planet Patrol.
- Rob Dean born (London) English rock guitarist, singer. Member of Japan from 1975 to 1980.
- Henry Busse (60) dies following a heart attack sustained while playing at an undertakers’ convention at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis
- Michael Denhoff born (Ahaus, Germany) German composer, cellist.
- Richard Wolfson born (Solihull) English multi-instrumentalist, record producer, composer, journalist, cameraman. Founder member of Towering Inferno. Died 2005
- The Platters record their first session for Mercury in Los Angeles, including a re-recording of Only You. Vocal group formed in Los Angeles in 1953. Tony Williams, David Lynch (tenor) Zola Taylor (alto) Paul Robi (baritone) Herb Reed (bass)
- An electronic synthesiser developed by the Davis Sarnoff Laboratories of Princeton, NJ is heard publically for the first time on Washington radio station WGMS playing selections by Brahms, Stephen Foster and Irving Berlin and others
- Eddie Jobson born (Billingham, Durham) English rock keyboard player, violinist, session player, composer. Worked with Curved Air, Roxy Music, UK) and others
- Vladimir Tarnopolsky born (Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) Russian composer
- Pérez Prado has both the Billboard and the UK number one single with Cherry Pink (and Apple Blossom White), the first record to top the chart simultaneously on both sides of the Atlantic
- Annisteen Allen – Fujiyama Mama / Wheels of Love (Capitol)
- Nat King Cole – A Blossom Fell / If I May (Capitol)
- Bo Diddley – Bo Diddley / I’m A Man (Checker)
- Fats Domino – Ain’t It a Shame / La-La (Imperial)
- Elmore James – Late Hours at Midnight / The Way You Treat Me (Flair)
- Frank Sinatra – Learnin’ The Blues / If I Had Three Wishes (Capitol)
- Muddy Waters – I Want to Be Loved / My Eyes (Keep Me in Trouble) (Chess)
- Georges Brassens – № 3 (Polydor France)
- Clifford Brown with Strings (EmArcy)
- Paul Desmond – Desmond (Fantasy)
- Stan Getz at the Shrine (Norgran)
- Dizzy Gillespie – Dizzy And Strings (Norgran)
- Les Paul & Mary Ford – Les and Mary (Capitol)
- Sarah Vaughan (EmArcy)
- Lester Young – It Don’t Mean A Thing (Norgran)
- Chuck Berry signs with Chess Records
- George Enescu (73) dies in Paris
- Roddy Radiation aka Roddy Byers born (Coventry) English ska and rock guitarist. Founder member of the Specials.
- Richard Adler, Jerry Ross, George Abbott & Douglass Wallop’s musical Damn Yankees opens on Broadway (1019 performances)
- Jean Negulesco’s musical film Daddy Long Legs opens starring Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron. Music by Alex North
- Steve Diggle born (Manchester) English rock guitarist, singer, songwriter. Founder member of Buzzcocks and Flag of Convenience.
- Aaron Copland’s Canticle of Freedom for chorus premiered in Cambridge, MA
- Heitor Villa-Lobos’s Piano concerto no.5 premiered in London
- Anne Sofie von Otter born (Stockholm) Swedish mezzo-soprano singer.
- Jonathan Jeczalik born (Oxfordshire) English electronic musician, producer, teacher. Worked with Art of Noise.
- Susan Stenger born (Buffalo, NY) American rock and avant-garde bassist, singer. Member of Band of Susans from 1986 to 1996.
- Pauline Oliveros’ Essay for piano; Fugue for piano & Trio for clarinet, horn and bassoon premiered in San Francisco
- Betty Carter (vo) and Ray Bryant (p) record the album Meet Betty Carter and Ray Bryant for Columbia in New York with Jerome Richardson (fl) Wendell Marshall (b) Philly Joe Jones (d)
- A riot takes place at an Elvis Presley show in Jacksonville, FL
- Kate Cutler (90) dies in London
- Olli Kortekangas born (Turku, Finland) Finnish composer, teacher, administrator.
- Francesco Balilla Pratella (75) dies in Ravenna, Italy
- Count Basie and His Orchestra record a session in New York for Clef. Tracks cut appear on Count Basie Swings and Joe Williams Sings. Wendell Culley, Reunald Jones, Thad Jones, Joe Newman (tp) Henry Coker, Bill Hughes, Benny Powell (tb) Bill Graham, Marshal Royal (as) Frank Foster, Frank Wess (ts) Charlie Fowlkes (bars) Count Basie (p) Freddie Green (g) Eddie Jones (b) Sonny Payne (d) Joe Williams (vo) Ernie Wilkins (arr)
- Einar Englund’s Concerto for Cello and Orchestra premiered in Helsinki
- Lonnie Donegan records a session for Pye in London, the first under a new solo contract. Lonnie Donegan (vo, g) Jim Bray (b) Chris Barber
(hca) Dick Bishop (g) Bob Watson (vo) Pete Korrison (mand). Tracks cut include Midnight Special; When The Sun Goes Down; New
Buryin’ Ground & Worried Man Blues
- Zbigniew Preisner born (Bielsko-Biała, Poland) Polish film composer.
- Chuck Berry makes his first recordings for Chess in Chicago. Chuck Berry (g, vo) Johnnie Johnson (p) Jerome Green (perc) Jasper Thomas (d) Willie Dixon (b). Tracks cut include Maybellene & Wee Wee Hours
- Jerry Dammers born (Ootacamund, India) English rock and ska keyboard player, songwriter. Founder member of the Specials and the Special AKA.
- Mary Black born (Dublin) Irish folk and pop singer.
- Luka Bloom aka Kevin Moore born (Newbridge, Ireland) Irish folk singer, songwriter, guitarist. Brother of Christy Moore (b.1945).
- Rosanne Cash born (Memphis, TN) American country singer, songwriter, guitarist, author. Daughter of Johnny Cash (1932-2003).
- Sara Martin (71) dies in Louisville, KY following a stroke
- Wardell Gray (34) found dead in the desert outside Las Vegas with a broken neck. Accidental death was ruled.
- Charles Vidor’s biopic of Ruth Etting, Love Me or Leave Me, opens starring Doris Day and James Cagney
- John McGeoch born (Greenock) Scottish rock guitarist. Member of Magazine from 1977 to 1980, Siouxsie & the Banshees from 1980 to 1982 and Public Image Ltd from 1986 to 1992. Died 2004
- Pascal Dusapin born (Nancy) French composer.
- Nick ‘Topper’ Headon born (Bromley) English rock drummer. Member of the Clash from 1977 to 1982.
- Ernst Krenek’s Capriccio for cello and orchestra premiered in Darmstadt
- Big Maybelle – Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On / One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show (Okeh)
- John Lee Hooker – Taxi Driver / You Receive Me (Modern)
- Howlin’ Wolf – Who Will Be Next / I Have a Little Girl (Chess)
- Elvis Presley – Baby Let’s Play House / I’m Left You’re Right She’s Gone (Sun)
- Lord Buckley – Hipsters, Flipsters and Finger Poppin’ Daddies Knock Me Your Lobes (RCA Victor)
- Frank Sinatra – In The Wee Small Hours (Capitol) Orchestra conducted by Nelson Riddle
- Martin Swope born (Ann Arbor, MI) American tape manipulator, sound engineer, guitarist. Worked with Mission of Burma and Birdsongs of the Mesozoic.
- Patsy Cline records her first session for Coral in Nashville. Patsy Cline (vo) Harold Bradley (ac g) Grady Martin (el g) Don Helms (steel g) Tommy Jackson (vln) Owen Bradley (p) Bob Moore (b) Farris Coursey (d)
- Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Klavierstücke V-VIII no.4 premiered in Darmstadt
- Michel Dalberto born (Paris) French concert pianist.
- Michael Steele born (Los Angeles, CA) American pop and rock bass guitarist, songwriter, singer. Member of the Runaways in 1975 and the Bangles from 1983 to 1989 and from 1999 to 2005.
- Paul Hindemith’s cantata Ite, angeli veloces [Go, swift messengers] premiered in Wuppertal
- Heitor Villa-Lobos’s Symphony no.4 premiered in Paris
- Red Garland makes his first studio recordings with the Miles Davis Quartet for Prestige in Hackensack, NJ. Miles Davis (tp) Red Garland (p) Oscar Pettiford (b) Philly Joe Jones (d). Tracks cut appear on The Musings Of Miles album
- Jon King born (London) English rock singer, songwriter, percussionist. Founder member of the Gang of Four.
- Cromwell Everson’s song cycle Vier Liefdesliedjies [four love songs] premiered in Stellenbosch, South Africa
- Willy Burkhard (55) dies in Zürich
- Pierre Boulez’s Le Marteau sans Maître [The Hammer without Master] for alto and chamber orchestra premiered in Baden-Baden
- Peter Sculthorpe’s Sonatina for piano premiered in Baden-Baden
- Roberto Gerhard’s Symphony No.1 premiered in Baden-Baden
- Green Gartside aka Paul Julian Strohmeyer born (Cardiff) Welsh pop and rock singer, songwriter. Founder member of Scritti Politti.
- Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson and Hamilton Luske’s animated musical Lady and the Tramp opens. Music by Oliver Wallace and songs by Peggy Lee and Sonny Burke
- Glenn Danzig aka Glenn Anzalone born (Lodi, NJ) American rock singer, songwriter, guitarist, writer. Member of the Misfits from 1977 to 1983, Samhain from 1983 to 1987 and Danzig from 1987.
- Ferde Grofé’s Hudson River Suite for orchestra premiered in Washington, DC
- Joey Baron born (Richmond, VA) American avant-garde and jazz drummer. Worked with Bill Frisell, John Zorn and others.
- Mick Jones born (London) English rock singer, songwriter, guitarist, record producer. Member of the Clash from 1976 to 1983 and Big Audio Dynamite from 1984 to 1997.
- Ivan Julian born (New York, NY) American rock guitarist, bass guitarist, record producer, session player. Member of the Voidoids from 1976 to 1979.
- Martin Price born (Bolton) English keyboard player, electronica producer. Member of 808 State from 1987 to 1991.
- Benjamin Britten’s Alpine Suite for recorder trio & Scherzo for recorder quartet premiered in Aldeburgh
- Santi Debriano born (Panama City) Panamanian jazz bassist, teacher, bandleader. Worked with David Murray, Chico Freeman, Oliver Lake and others.
- Thomas Hampson born (Elkhart, IN) American baritone singer, teacher.
- Cannonball Adderley makes his first recordings for Savoy in New York as a member of the Kenny Clarke Septet. Nat Adderley (cor) Donald Byrd (tp) Cannonball Adderley (as) Jerome Richardson (ts, fl) Horace Silver (p) Paul Chambers (b) Kenny Clarke (d)
- Peter Sculthorpe’s Irkanda I for violin premiered in Melbourne
- Cadillacs – Down the Road / Window Lady (Josie)
- Johnny Cash – Cry Cry Cry / Hey Porter (Sun)
- Ray Charles – A Fool For You / This Little Girl Of Mine (Atlantic)
- Bo Diddley – Diddley Daddy / She’s Fine, She’s Mine (Checker)
- Lonnie Donegan – Rock Island Line / John Henry (Decca UK)
- Bill Haley and His Comets – Razzle-Dazzle / Two Hound Dogs (Decca)
- Lightnin’ Hopkins – My Baby’s Gone / Don’t Need No Job (Herald)
- BB King – Shut Your Mouth / I’m in Love (RPM)
- Little Walter – Roller Coaster / I Got to Go (Checker)
- Clifford Brown & Max Roach – Brown and Roach, Incorporated (EmArcy)
- Bill Haley & His Comets – Shake, Rattle & Roll (Decca)
- Helen Merrill (EmArcy)
- The Modern Jazz Quartet record the album Concorde for Prestige in New York. Milt Jackson (vib) John Lewis (p) Percy Heath (b) Connie Kay (d)
- Ruth Vincent (78) dies in London
- Franco Casavola (64) dies in Bari, Italy
- Bill Haley & His Comets have the Billboard number one single for the first of eight weeks with Rock Around the Clock
- Elvin Jones makes his first studio recordings with the Miles Davis Quintet in New York for Debut Records. Miles Davis (tp) Britt Woodman (tb) Teddy Charles (vib) Charles Mingus (b) Elvin Jones (d). Tracks cut appear on the Blue Moods album
- Elvis Presley records his final full session for Sun in Memphis. Elvis Presley (vo, g) Scotty Moore (g) Bill Black (b) Johnny Bernero (d). Tracks cut include Mystery Train; I Forgot To Remember To Forget & Tryin’ To Get To You
- The Beaux Arts Trio make their concert debut at Tanglewood in Lennox, MA. Menahem Pressler (p) Daniel Guilet (vln) Bernard Greenhouse (cel)
- Cannonball Adderley makes his first recordings as leader for Savoy in New York. Nat Adderley (cor) Cannonball Adderley (as) Hank Jones (p) Paul Chambers (b) Kenny Clarke (d). Tracks cut appear on the Presenting Cannonball Adderley album
- (to 17th) The second Newport Jazz Festival takes place at Freebody Park, Newport, RI with Woody Herman, Louis Armstrong, Max Roach & Clifford Brown, Dinah Washington, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, Gerry Mulligan, Count Basie and others
- Annie Whitehead born (Oldham, Lancashire) English jazz trombonist, session player. Worked with Working Week and others.
- Clyde McPhatter leaves the Drifters
- Terry Chambers born (Swindon) English rock drummer. Member of XTC from 1977 to 1982.
- William Alwyn’s Autumn Legend for English horn and orchestra premiered in Cheltenham
- Randall Bewley born (Bradenton, FL) American rock guitarist, songwriter. Founder member of Pylon. Died 2009
- Jem Finer born (Stoke) English folk and rock multi-instrumentalist, conceptual artist, composer. Founder member of the Pogues.
- Ilmari Hannikainen (62) drowns during a sailing trip off the coast near Helsinki, possibly suicide
- Isaak Dunayevsky (55) dies in Moscow following a heart attack
- Count Basie and His Orchestra record a session in New York. Wendell Culley, Reunald Jones, Thad Jones, Joe Newman (tp) Henry Coker, Bill Hughes, Benny Powell (tb) Bill Graham (as) Marshall Royal (as, cl) Frank Wess (ts, fl) Frank Foster (ts, arr) Charlie Fowlkes (bars) Count Basie (p) Freddie Green (g, arr) Eddie Jones (b) Sonny Payne (d) Joe Williams (vo) Wild Bill Davis, Ernie Wilkins (arr). Tracks cut appear on Count Basie Swings and Joe Williams Sings (Clef) & April in Paris (Verve)
- Johnny Cash records a session for Sun in Memphis. Johnny Cash (vo, ac g) Luther Perkins (el g) Marshall Grant (b). Tracks cut include Folsom Prison Blues; So Doggone Lonesome; Luther Played the Boogie & Mean Eyed Cat
- Slim Whitman has the UK number one single for the first of eleven successive weeks with Rose Marie
- Jack Webb’s film Pete Kelly’s Blues opens, starring Jack Webb, Janet Leigh, Edmond O’Brien & Peggy Lee. Music by Arthur Hamilton, Ray Heindorf, David Buttolph and Matty Matlock
- Gene Vincent suffers severe injuries to his left leg in a motorcycle accident. He is shortly discharged from from the US Navy
- Chuck Berry – Maybellene / Wee Wee Hours (Chess)
- Harptones – Life Is But a Dream / You Know You’re Doing Me Wrong (Paradise)
- Elmore James – Happy Home / No Love in My Heart (Flair)
- Little Willie John – All Around the World / Don’t Leave Me Dear (King)
- Platters – Only You / Bark Battle & Ball (Mercury)
- Frank Sinatra – Same Old Saturday Night / Fairy Tale (Capitol)
- Turbans – When You Dance / Let Me Show You (Around My Heart) (Herald)
- Muddy Waters – Mannish Boy / Young Fashioned Ways (Chess)
- Clifford Brown/Max Roach – Study In Brown (EmArcy)
- Fisk Jubilee Singers (Folkways) Gospel group formed at Fisk University in Nashville, TN in 1871
- Peggy Lee & Ella Fitzgerald – Songs From Pete Kelly’s Blues (Decca)
- Charles Mingus / John LaPorta – Jazzical Moods Vol.1 (Period)
- John Jacob Niles – American Folk and Gambling Songs (Camden)
- Dinah Washington – For Those in Love (EmArcy)
- The Sounds and Music of the RCA Electronic Music Synthesizer (RCA Victor) recorded at the David Sarnoff Research Center, Princeton, NJ. John Preston (narrator) Harry F Olson (synth)
- Hamid Drake born (Monroe, LA) American jazz drummer, percussionist, bandleader, session player. Worked with William Parker and others.
- Carmen Miranda (46) dies in Los Angeles following a heart attack
- Atlantic Records launches the Atco subsidiary
- Marion Bauer (72) dies in South Hadley, MA following a heart attack
- Sonny Boy Williamson II makes his first recordings for Chess in Chicago. Sonny Boy Williamson II (vo, hca) Otis Spann (p) Muddy Waters, Jimmy Rogers (g) Willie Dixon (b) Fred Below (d)
- Mulgrew Miller born (Greenwood, MS) American jazz pianist, bandleader. Worked with Art Blakey, Kenny Garrett, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, Tony Williams and others.
- Florence Easton (72) dies in New York of a heart ailment
- Colin Moulding born (Swindon) English rock bassist, songwriter, singer. Member of XTC from 1977 to 2007.
- Malcolm Arnold’s Tam o’ Shanter Overture premiered in London
- Colonel Tom Parker officially becomes Elvis Presley’s manager
- Pete Seeger called to testify by the Committee on Un-American Activities of the House of Representatives but refuses to answer their questions and is charged with ten counts of contempt
- WINS radio station in New York adopts policy of not playing white cover versions of black R&B songs
- Lightnin’ Slim makes his first recordings for Excello Records in Crowley, LA. Lightnin’ Slim (vo, g) Cleve White (hca) Sammy Drake (d). Tracks cut include I Can’t Be Successful & Lightnin’ Blues
- Jeffrey Daniel born (Los Angeles, CA) American R&B and funk singer, dancer. Founder member of Shalamar.
- Beres Hammond born (Annotto Bay, Jamaica) Jamaican reggae singer, songwriter.
- Diamanda Galas born (San Diego, CA) American rock and avant-garde singer, songwriter, pianist, painter.
- Martin Jackson born (Manchester) English rock and pop drummer, songwriter. Member of Magazine from 1977 to 1978 and Swing Out Sister from 1985 to 1989.
- Anthony Thistlethwaite born (Lutterworth, Leics) English rock saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, session player. Worked with the Waterboys.
- Willie Dixon – Walking the Blues / If You’re Mine (Checker)
- El Dorados – At My Front Door / What’s Buggin’ You Baby (Vee-Jay)
- Smiley Lewis – I Hear You Knockin’ / Bumpity Bump (Imperial)
- Elvis Presley – Mystery Train / I Forgot To Remember To Forget (Sun)
- Louis Armstrong – Satch Plays Fats (Columbia)
- Erroll Garner – Solitaire (Mercury) Solo piano
- The Treniers On TV (Epic)
- Original Soundtrack – Oklahoma! (Capitol)
- Bruce Foxton born (Woking) English rock bassist, songwriter, singer. Member of the Jam from 1975 to 1982, Stiff Little Fingers 1991 to 2006 and solo artist.
- Alan Freed’s First Anniversary Rock ‘n’ Roll Party takes place at the Paramount Theater in Brooklyn, NY featuring Tony Bennett, Chuck Berry, the Cardinals, Red Prysock and others
- Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen’s musical film It’s Always Fair Weather opens starring Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse. Music by Betty Comden, Adolph Green and André Previn
- Rudolf Kattnigg (60) dies in Klagenfurt, Germany
- Steve Jones born (London) English rock guitarist, songwriter. Member of the Sex Pistols from 1975 to 1978 and the Professionals from 1980 to 1982.
- Thea Musgrave’s Cantata for a Summer’s Day premiered in Edinburgh
- Carl Friedberg (82) dies in Meran, Italy
- Henry Cowell’s Hymn and Fuguing Tune no.10 for oboe and strings premiered in Santa Barbara, CA
- Frank Stokes (67) dies in Memphis following a stroke
- Joe Morris born (Newhaven, CT) American jazz guitarist, bandleader, session player.
- (& 14 Sep) Little Richard records his first sides for Specialty in New Orleans. Little Richard (vo, p) Lee Allen (ts) Red Tyler (bars) Huey Smith (p) Justin Adams (g) Frank Fields (b) Earl Palmer (d). Ten tracks are cut including Tutti Frutti & I’m Just A Lonely Guy
- Darius Milhaud’s Symphony no.7 premiered in Venice
- Keith Morris born (Los Angeles, CA) American rock singer, songwriter. Member of Black Flag from 1976 to 1979 and Circle Jerks from 1979 to 1990.
- The Dexter Gordon Quartet record a session for Bethlehem in Hollywood, CA. Dexter Gordon (ts) Kenny Drew (p) Leroy Vinnegar (b) Lawrence Marable (d). Tracks cut appear on the album Daddy Plays The Horn. This is Gordon’s first session as leader for seven years and one of only two throughout the 1950s
- The Errol Garner Trio record the album Concert By The Sea live in Carmel, CA. Erroll Garner (p) Eddie Calhoun (b) Denzil Best (d)
- Andrei Gavrilov born (Moscow) Russian concert pianist.
- ITV (Independent Television) begins broadcasting in the UK
- Dexter Gordon signs to Dootone, but cuts only one session for the label – and nothing further until 1960
- Steve Severin aka Steven Bailey born (London) English rock bass guitarist, songwriter, record producer. Member of Siouxsie & the Banshees from 1976 to 1996.
- Zucchero aka Adelmo Fornaciari born (Reggio Emilia, Italy) Italian pop and rock singer, songwriter, guitarist.
- Carlene Carter aka Rebecca Carlene Smith born (Nashville) American country singer, songwriter, guitarist. Daughter of June Carter (1929-2003).
- Debbie Reynolds marries Eddie Fisher
- Miles Davis’s first ‘classic’ quintet plays its debut show in Baltimore, MD. Davis (tp) John Coltrane (ts) Red Garland (p) Paul Chambers (b) Philly Joe Jones (d)
- Kenny Kirkland born (Brooklyn, NY) American jazz pianist, session player. Worked with Dizzy Gillespie, Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Sting and others. Died 1998
- The Coasters are formed in Los Angeles. Carl Gardner, Leon Hughes (tenor) Billy Guy (baritone) Bobby Nunn (bass)
- Donald Byrd makes his first studio recordings as leader for Savoy in New York. Donald Byrd (tp) Frank Foster (ts) Hank Jones (p) Paul Chambers (b) Kenny Clarke (d). Tracks cut appear on the Byrd’s Word album
- Clovers – Nip Sip / If I Could Be Loved by You (Atlantic)
- Fats Domino – All By Myself / Troubles Of My Own (Imperial)
- Lightnin’ Hopkins – Blues for My Cookie / Had a Gal Called Sal (Herald)
- Howlin’ Wolf – Come to Me, Baby / Don’t Mess With My Baby (Chess)
- Elmore James – Dust My Blues / I Was a Fool (Flair)
- Dave Brubeck – Jazz Red Hot And Cool (Columbia)
- Howard Hewett born (Akron, OH) American R&B, funk and Gospel singer. Founder member of Shalamar and solo artist.
- Phil Oakey born (Hinckley, Leics) English pop and electronica singer, songwriter. Founder member of the Human League.
- Yo-Yo Ma born (Paris) Franco-American cellist, composer.
- Frieda Hempel (70) dies in Berlin
- Darius Milhaud’s Symphony no.6 premiered in Boston
- Vicente Minnelli’s film Kismet opens, starring Howard Keel & Ann Blyth. Music by Alexander Borodin, Robert Wright and George Forrest
- Riccardo Stracciari (80) dies in Rome
- Fred Zinnemann’s film Oklahoma! opens, starring Gordon MacRae & Gloria Grahame. Music by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II
- Fumio Hayasaka (41) dies in Tokyo of tuberculosis
- Luciano Berio’s orchestral work Nones premiered in Rome
- Pierre Boulez’s Livre pour quatuor for string quartet premiered in Donaueschingen
- John Cage’s Music for Piano 21-36; 37-52 premiered in Clarkstown, NY
- Buddy Holly opens a show for Elvis Presley in Lubbock, TX
- The Hamburg Staatsoper opens replacing the previous building that was destroyed during the second world war
- Leonid Desyatnikov born (Kharkiv, Ukraine) Russian composer.
- Leonard Bernstein’s Prelude, Fugue and Riffs for clarinet and jazz ensemble premiered on ABC TV
- Iannis Xenakis’ Metastasis for orchestra premiered in Donaueschingen
- Ernst Krenek’s opera Pallas Athene Weint [Pallas Athena is crying], lib. Krenek, premiered in Hamburg
- Vanessa Briscoe Hay born (Atlanta, GA) American rock singer, songwriter, keyboard player. Member of Pylon from 1978 ot 1983, 1989 to 1991 and from 2004 and Supercluster from 2007.
- The Miles Davis Quintet appear on NBC’s Steve Allen Show, John Coltrane’s first television appearance with the group
- Stan Kenton marries Ann Richards in Los Angeles
- John Lee Hooker records his first sides for Vee Jay with whom he stayed until 1964. Tracks cut include Unfriendly Woman; Wheel and Deal; Mambo Chillun & Time is Marching
- Ofer Ben-Amots born (Haifa, Israel) Israeli-American composer, teacher, pianist, theorist
- Thomas Newman born (Los Angeles) American film composer, conductor. Brother of David (b.1954) and son of Alfred (1901-70) Newman.
- Fred Hersch born (Cincinnati, OH) American jazz pianist.
- Dick Twardzik (24) dies in Paris of a heroin overdose
- Jackie McLean makes his first recordings as leader for Adlib in New York. Donald Byrd (tp) Jackie McLean (as) Mal Waldron (p) Doug Watkins (b) Ronald Tucker (d). Tracks cut appear on The New Tradition album
- Graeme Revell born (Auckland) New Zealand film composer, electronic musician, keyboard player, french horn player. Founder member of SPK.
- Robin Eubanks born (Philadelphia) American jazz trombonist, teacher, session player. Worked with Dave Holland and others. Brother of Kevin Eubanks (b.1957)
- Miles Davis’s first ‘classic’ quintet make their first recordings for Columbia in New York despite still owing Prestige four albums. Miles Davis (tp) John Coltrane (ts) Red Garland (p) Paul Chambers (b) Philly Joe Jones (d)
- Leonard Bernstein’s incidental music for Lillian Hellman’s play The Lark premiered in Boston
- Basil Gabbidon born (Buff Bay, Jamaica) Anglo-Jamaican reggae singer, guitarist. Founder member of Steel Pulse.
- Dimitri Shostakovitch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 premiered in St Petersburg
- Richard Sale’s film Gentlemen Marry Brunettes opens, starring Jane Russell & Jeanne Crain. Music by Robert Farnon
- Alan Hovhaness’s Symphony No.2 Mystery Mountain premiered in Houston. The concert is conducted by Leopold Stokowski in his first appearance as artistic director of the Houston Symphony Orchestra
- The first edition of Leonard Feather’s Encyclopaedia of Jazz published in New York
- Louis Armstrong – A Theme From the Threepenny Opera (Mack the Knife) / Back o’ Town Blues (Columbia)
- Lavern Baker – Play It Fair / Lucky Old Sun (Atlantic)
- Chuck Berry – Thirty Days / Together (Chess)
- Bobby Charles – Later Alligator / On Bended Knee (Chess)
- Ray Charles – Greenbacks / Blackjack (Atlantic)
- Tennessee Ernie Ford – Sixteen Tons / You Don’t Have to Be a Baby to Cry (Capitol)
- John Lee Hooker – Lookin’ for a Woman / I’m Ready (Modern)
- Julie London – Cry Me A River / S’Wonderful (Liberty)
- Carl Perkins – Gone, Gone, Gone / Let the Juke Box Keep on Playing (Sun)
- Frank Sinatra – Love and Marriage / The Impatient Years (Capitol)
- Sonny Boy Williamson – Don’t Start Me to Talkin’ / All My Love in Vain (Checker)
- Stan Getz – West Coast Jazz (Riverside)
- James Brown makes his first demo recordings at radio station WIBB in Macon, GA including an early version of Please, Please, Please
- The Staple Singers make their first recordings for Vee-Jay in Chicago. Tracks cut include God’s Wonderful Love
- Carlo Giulini appointed director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
- The Vienna Staatsoper reopens after being largely rebuilt following bomb damage sustained during the second world war
- Sergei Prokofiev’s opera Voyna i mir [War and Peace] premiered in Moscow, lib. Prokofiev
- The Everly Brothers make their first studio recordings for Columbia in Nashville. Tracks cut include The Sun Keep Shining & Keep A Lovin Me. After the first single sells poorly, Columbia show no further interest in the duo
- Dave Alvin born (Downey, CA) American rock and country singer, songwriter, guitarist. Member of the Blasters from 1979 to 1986, X from 1986 to 1987 and solo artist. Brother of Phil Alvin (b.1953).
- Jerry Ross (29) dies in New York of bronchiectasis
- Mikis Theodorakis’s Symphony No.1 premiered in Athens
- Henry Cowell’s Symphony no.6 premiered in Houston
- Samuel Barber’s ballet Souvenirs premiered in New York
- The Miles Davis Quintet record a session for Prestige in Hackensack, NJ. Miles Davis (tp) John Coltrane (ts) Red Garland (p) Paul Chambers (b) Philly Joe Jones (d). Tracks cut appear on the album Miles: The New Miles Davis Quintet
- James P. Johnson (61) dies in New York following a stroke
- Stanley Bate’s Symphony No. 4 premiered in London
- Benjamin Britten’s Hymn to St Peter for choir and organ premiered in Norwich
- Bo Diddley makes his television debut on the Ed Sullivan Show
- RCA buys Elvis Presley’s contract from Sun for $35,000
- Kyle Gann born (Dallas, TX) American critic, composer, teacher.
- Guy Ropartz (91) dies in Lanloup, France
- Ludovico Einaudi born (Turin) Italian composer, pianist.
- The Jazz Messengers record four sets live at the Café Bohemia, New York. Kenny Dorham (tp) Hank Mobley (ts) Horace Silver (p) Doug Watkins (b) Art Blakey (d). Tracks cut appear on the albums The Jazz Messengers At The Cafe Bohemia, Vol. 1 & 2
- Clem Burke born (New York, NY) American rock drummer. Member of Blondie from 1974 to 1982 and from 1997.
- Bill Haley & His Comets have the UK number one single for the first of five weeks over two runs with Rock Around The Clock
- Luís Freitas Branco (65) dies in Lisbon
- Arthur Honegger (63) dies in Paris of thrombosis
- Billy Idol aka William Broad born (Stanmore) English rock singer, songwriter. Member of Generation X from 1976 to 1981 and solo artist.
- Michael Obst born (Frankfurt) German composer, teacher.
- Josip Štolcer-Slavenski (59) dies in Belgrade
- Darius Milhaud’s cantata Le château de feu op.338 [the castle of fire] premiered in Paris
- Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein’s musical Pipe Dream opens on Broadway (245 performances)
- Cadillacs – Speedo / Let Me Explain (Josie). Vocal group formed in New York in 1953, led by Earl Carroll
- Willie Dixon – Crazy for My Baby / I Am the Lover Man (Checker)
- Fats Domino – Poor Me / I Can’t Go On (Rosalie) (Imperial)
- Elmore James – Blues Before Sunrise / Good Bye (Flair)
- Little Willie John – Need Your Love So Bad / Home At Last (King)
- Dean Martin – Memories Are Made of This / Change of Heart (Capitol)
- Platters – The Great Pretender / I’m Just A Dancing Partner (Mercury)
- Robins – Smokey Joe’s Café / Just Like A Fool (Atco)
- Cannonball Adderley – Presenting Cannonball (Savoy)
- Miles Davis – The Musings Of Miles (Prestige)
- Carry On Rockin’ aka Rock And Rollin’ With Fats Domino (Imperial) Reissued with new title 4/56. Collection of new tracks and old singles
- Kenny Dorham – Afro-Cuban (Blue Note)
- Music for Torching With Billie Holiday (Clef)
- Hank Mobley Quartet (Blue Note)
- Sonny Rollins records a session for Prestige in Hackensack, NJ. Sonny Rollins (ts) Ray Bryant (p) George Morrow (b) Max Roach (d). Tracks cut appear on the album Worktime.
- Ernst Toch’s Symphony no.3 premiered in Pittsburg
- Charlie Cow Cow Davenport (61) dies in Cleveland, OH of thrombosis
- Tennessee Ernie Ford has the Billboard number one single for the first of six weeks with Sixteen Tons
- Cassandra Wilson born (Jackson, MS) American jazz singer.
- Rick Buckler born (Woking) English rock drummer. Member of the Jam from 1975 to 1982.
- Bright Sheng born (Shanghai) Chinese composer, conductor, pianist.
- Bohuslav Martinu’s cantata The Opening of the Springs premiered in Prague
- Edgar Varèse’s La procession de Vergès for electronic tape premiered in Cambridge, MA
- Paul van Kempen (62) dies in Amsterdam
- Franz Syberg (51) dies from a heart attack following a fire at his farm in Denmark
- Paul Simonon born (London) English rock bass guitarist, songwriter, singer, painter. Member of the Clash from 1976 to 1986, Havana 3AM and The Good, the Bad & the Queen.
- Zoltan Kodály’s Hymn of Zrínyi for baritone and chorus premiered in Budapest
- Carl Perkins records Blue Suede Shoes at a session for Sun in Memphis. Tracks also cut include Honey Don’t; Sure To Fall & Tennessee. Carl Perkins (vo, g) Jay Perkins (g) Clayton Perkins (b) W.S. Holland (d)
- Ed Kuepper born (Bremen) Australian rock singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist. Member of the Saints from 1974 to 1979, the Laughing Clowns from 1979 to 1984, the Aints from 1991 to 1995 and solo artist.
- Chuck Berry records a session for Chess in Chicago. Tracks cut include No Money Down; Downbound Train & You Can’t Catch Me. Chuck Berry (vo, g) Otis Spann (p) Willie Dixon (b) Ebby Hardy (d)
- Scott LaFaro makes his first recordings for Wing in New York with Buddy Morrow And His Orchestra
- Michael Tippett’s Sonata for four horns premiered in London
- Dave Allen born (Cumbria) English rock bassist, songwriter. Member of the Gang of Four from 1977 to 1981 and from 2004 to 2008 and Shriekback from 1981 to 1992 and from 1999.
- Charles Mingus records Mingus at the Bohemia live at the Cafe Bohemia in New York for Debut. Eddie Bert (tb) George Barrow (ts) Mal Waldron (p) Charles Mingus (b) Willie Jones, Max Roach (d)
- The Weavers play a sell-out comeback show at Carnegie Hall, New York following three years inactivity due to the McCarthy HUAC witch hunt. It is recorded for the Vanguard album The Weavers at Carnegie Hall. Lee Hays, Ronnie Gilbert (vo) Fred Hellerman (vo, g) Pete Seeger (vo, g, bjo)
- Charlie Hicks (Lincoln) shoots a man dead in Atlanta who he alleged threatened his common-law-wife. He is sentenced to twenty years in prison where he dies.
- Chuck Berry – The Downbound Train / No Money Down (Chess)
- Johnny Cash – Folsom Prison Blues / So Doggone Lonesome (Sun)
- Bo Diddley – Bring It to Jerome / Pretty Thing (Checker)
- Bill Haley and His Comets – See You Later, Alligator / The Paper Boy (On Main Street, U.S.A.) (Decca)
- John Lee Hooker – Mambo Chillun / Time Is Marching (Vee-Jay)
- Little Richard – Tutti-Frutti / I’m Just A Lonely Guy (Speciality)
- Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers – Why Do Fools Fall In Love / Please Be Mine (Gee)
- Frank Sinatra – (Love Is) The Tender Trap / Weep They Will (Capitol)
- Joe Turner – The Chicken and the Hawk (Up, Up and Away) / Morning, Noon and Night (Atlantic)
- Muddy Waters – Sugar Sweet / Trouble, No More (Chess)
- Julian “Cannonball” Adderley (Emarcy)
- Kenny Clarke – Bohemia After Dark (Savoy)
- Bill Haley & His Comets – Rock Around The Clock (Decca)
- Lotte Lenya Sings Berlin Theatre Songs By Kurt Weill (Columbia)
- Thelonious Monk Plays the Music of Duke Ellington (Riverside)
- Horace Silver Quintet Volume 2 (Blue Note)
- Roberto Valverde aka Robo born (Cali, Colombia) Colombian-American rock drummer. Member of Black Flag from 1978 to 1981 and the Misfits from 1982 to 1983 and 2005 to 2010.
- George Martin appointed head of Parlophone Records
- Big Bill Blues: William Broonzy’s story as told to Yannick Bruynoghe published by Cassell
- Joseph Canteloube’s song collection Chants d’Auvergne book 5 published
- Ain’t That A Shame, Blue Monday (both Antoine Domino, Dave Bartholomew) Blue Suede Shoes (Carl Perkins) Bo Diddley (Ellas McDaniel) Folsom Prison Blues (Johnny Cash) The Great Pretender (Buck Ram) In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning (Bob Hilliard, Dave Mann) Love and Marriage, The Tender Trap (both Sammy Cahn, James Van Heusen) Maybelline (Chuck Berry, Russ Frato, Alan Freed) Tutti Frutti (Richard Penniman, D. La Bostrie, Joe Lubin) Unchained Melody (Hy Zaret, Alex North) Why Do Fools Fall In Love? (Frankie Lymon, George Goldner) You’re Sensational (Cole Porter)