- Tessa Pollitt born (London) English rock bass guitarist. Member of the Slits from 1976 to 1981.
- Ed Cuffee (56) dies in New York
- John Cage’s Aria for voice & Fontana Mix for tape premiered in Rome
- Ella Fitzgerald begins recording the mammoth 5 album collection Ella Fitzgerald Sings the George and Ira Gershwin Song Book for Verve in Los Angeles with Nelson Riddle conducting and arranging. 53 songs are recorded over 9 days: 5, 7 & 8 Jan, 18 & 26 Mar and 15 to 18 Jul 1959
- Kathy Sledge born (Philadelphia, PA) American R&B singer. Founder member of Sister Sledge and solo artist.
- Kathy Valentine born (Austin, TX) American rock bass guitarist, songwriter. Member of the Go-Gos from 1980 to 1985 and from 1999 to 2013.
- Paul Hester born (Melbourne) Australian rock drummer, session player, broadcaster. Member of Split Enz in 1984 and Crowded House from 1984 to 1994. Died 2005
- Thea Musgrave’s Obliques for orchestra premiered in Glasgow
- Curt Kirkwood born (Wichita Falls, TX) American rock singer, guitarist, songwriter. Founder member of Meat Puppets. Brother of Cris Kirkwood (b.1960).
- The New Musical Express Pollwinners’ Concert takes place in London featuring Chris Barber, John Barry, Lonnie Donegan, Cliff Richard. Marty Wilde and others
- Blixa Bargeld aka Christian Emmerich born (Berlin, Germany) German rock and avant-garde singer, guitarist, songwriter, actor. Member of Einstürzende Neubauten from 1980 and the Bad Seeds from 1983 to 2003.
- Tamla Records is founded in Detroit by Berry Gordy Jr
- Chas Smash aka Carl Smyth born (London) English pop and ska singer, dancer, trumpeter, songwriter. Founder member of Madness.
- Sade aka Helen Folasade Adu born (Ibadan, Nigeria) Anglo-Nigerian pop singer, songwriter, record producer.
- Susanna Hoffs born (Los Angeles, CA) American pop and rock singer, songwriter, guitarist. Founder member of the Bangles and solo artist.
- The Platters have the Billboard number one single for the first of three weeks with Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
- Lamar Stringfield (61) dies in Asheville, NC
- Berry Gordy’s Tamla Records issues its first 45, Marv Johnson’s Come To Me. Recorded in December 1958, the record is licensed to United Artists due to high demand in February
- Buddy Holly records his final demos in his New York apartment
- The first date of a scheduled three week tour of the US Mid-West by Buddy Holly, Dion and the Belmonts, Ritchie Valens The Big Bopper takes place in Milwaukee
- Dmitri Shostakovich’s operetta Moskva, Cheryomushki premiered in Moscow, lib. V. Mass and M. Chervinsky
- Goebel Reeves (59) dies in Long Beach, CA following a heart attack
- Robert Pete Williams makes his first recordings for the Louisiana Folklore Society at the Louisiana State Penetentiary in Angola, LA
- Mark Eitzel born (San Francisco, CA) American rock singer, songwriter, guitarist. Founder member of American Music Club and solo artist.
- Jody Watley born (Chicago, IL) American R&B singer, songwriter, record producer. Member of Shalamar from 1977 to 1984 and solo artist.
- Josip Hatze (79) dies in Split
- Paul Hindemith’s Pittsburgh Symphony premiered in Pittsburgh
- Bohuslav Martinu’s Fantasia Concertante premiered in Berlin
- Hank Ballard & The Midnighters – The Twist / Teardrops On Your Letter (King)
- Coasters – Charlie Brown / Three Cool Cats (Atco)
- Buddy Holly – It Doesn’t Matter Anymore / Raining in My Heart (Coral)
- John Lee Hooker – Maudie / I’m In The Mood (Vee-Jay)
- Marv Johnson – Come to Me / Whisper (Tamla) Reissued on United Artists 2/59
- Link Wray – Raw-Hide / Dixie-Doodle (Epic)
- Art Blakey And The Jazz Messengers – Moanin’ (Blue Note)
- Lou Donaldson – Blues Walk (Blue Note)
- Duane Eddy – Have Twangy Guitar Will Travel (Jamie)
- Lightnin’ Hopkins (Folkways)
- Howlin’ Wolf – Moanin’ In The Moonlight (Chess)
- Steve Lacy – Reflections (New Jazz)
- Blue Mitchell Big Six (Riverside)
- Frank Sinatra – Come Dance With Me (Capitol) Orchestra conducted by Billy May
- Buddy Holly, Richard Valens and The Big Bopper play a show in Clear Lake, IA
- Lol Tolhurst born (Horley, Surrey) English rock drummer. Member of the Cure from 1976 to 1989.
- Big Bopper (28), Buddy Holly (22) and Ritchie Valens (17) killed in a plane crash near Clear Lake, IA. The pilot Roger Peterson is also killed.
- Bohuslav Martinu’s Estampes [Prints] for orchestra premiered in Louisville, KY
- Charles Mingus records the album Blues and Roots for Atlantic in New York. Willie Dennis, Jimmy Knepper (tb) John Handy, Jackie McLean (as) Booker Ervin (ts) Pepper Adams (bars) Mal Waldron, Horace Parlan (p) Charles Mingus (b) Dannie Richmond (d)
- Albert Hague, Dorothy Fields, Herbert Fields, Sidney Sheldon and David Shaw’s musical Redhead opens on Broadway (452 performances)
- Francis Poulenc’s opera La voix humaine [the human voice], lib. Jean Cocteau, premiered in Paris
- Guitar Slim (32) dies in New York of pneumonia
- Buddy Holly’s funeral takes place in Lubbock, TX
- Lloyd Price has the Billboard number one single for the first of four weeks with Stagger Lee
- Paul Barker born (Palo Alto, CA) American rock bass guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, record producer. Member of Ministry from 1986 to 2004, Lard from 1988 to 2000.
- Neil Conti born (Luton) English pop drummer, session player, studio owner. Member of Prefab Sprout from 1983 to 1993.
- George Antheil (58) dies in New York following a heart attack
- Bohuslav Martinu’s symphonic suite Parables premiered in Boston
- Renée Fleming born (Indiana, PA) American soprano singer.
- Warren ‘Baby’ Dodds (60) dies in Chicago following a series of strokes
- Ali Campbell born (Birmingham) English pop and reggae singer, songwriter. Member of UB40 from 1978 to 2008 and solo artist. Son of Ian (1933-2012) and brother of Robin (b.1954) and Duncan (b.1958) Campbell.
- Eric Zeisl (53) dies in Los Angeles following a heart attack
- Harold Rome and Leonard Gershe’s musical Destry Rides Again opens on Broadway (472 performances)
- Arthur Butterworth’s The Path across the Moors op.17 for orchestra premiered in Manchester
- George Rochberg’s Symphony No.2 premiered in Cleveland
- The Thelonious Monk Orchestra play a show at Town Hall, New York, recorded for the Riverside album The Thelonious Monk Orchestra at Town Hall. Donald Byrd (tp) Eddie Bert (tb) Bob Northern (frh) Jay McAllister (tu) Phil Woods (as) Charlie Rouse (ts) Pepper Adams (bars) Thelonious Monk (p) Sam Jones (b) Art Taylor (d)
- Sam Cooke – Everybody Likes To Cha Cha Cha / Little Things You Do (Keen)
- Skyliners – Since I Don’t Have You / One Night One Night (Calico). Vocal group formed in Pittsburgh in 1958
- Muddy Waters – Mean Mistreater / Walking Thru’ the Park (Chess)
- Cannonball Adderley and Milt Jackson – Things Are Getting Better (Riverside)
- Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Stitt and Sonny Rollins – Sonny Side Up (Verve)
- Billie Holiday – Songs for Distingué Lovers (Verve)
- Julie London – London by Night (Liberty)
- Max Roach with the Boston Percussion Ensemble (EmArcy)
- Pete Seeger – American Favorite Ballads Volume 2 (Folkways)
- Ravi Shankar – India’s Master Musician (World Pacific)
- Laura Karpman born (Los Angeles) American film and television composer.
- Mack Gordon (54) dies in New York of heart failure
- Yrjö Kilpinen (67) dies in Helsinki
- Miles Davis records the first of two sessions for the album Kind of Blue for Columbia in New York. Miles Davis (tp) Cannonball Adderley (as) John Coltrane (ts) Wynton Kelly, Bill Evans (p) Paul Chambers (b) Jimmy Cobb (d). The second takes place on 6 April
- Morton Feldman’s Piano Piece 1952 & Piano Four Hands premiered in New York
- Henry Cowell’s Symphony no.13 “Madras Symphony” premiered in Madras
- Frankie Avalon has the Billboard number one single for the first of five weeks with Venus
- Brian McGee born (Glasgow) Scottish rock drummer. Member of Simple Minds from 1977 to 1981 and Propaganda from 1985 to 1995.
- Marc Blitzstein and Joseph Stein’s musical Juno opens on Broadway. Based on Sean O’Casey’s play Juno and the Paycock, it closes after only 16 performances
- Haydn Wood (76) dies in London
- John Gardner’s cantata The Ballad of the White Horse op.40 premiered in Bournemouth
- Greg Norton born (Rock island, IL) American rock bass guitarist, restauranteur. Member of Hüsker Dü from 1979 to 1988.
- Peter Ablinger born (Schwanenstadt, Austria) Austrian composer, teacher, pianist, conductor.
- Lester Young (49) dies in New York from the effects of alcoholism
- Flavor Flav aka William Drayton born (Queens, NY) American rapper, television personality. Member of Public Enemy from 1984.
- Hilding Rosenberg’s String Quartet no.9 premiered on Swedish radio, Stockholm
- Irene Cara born (New York) American pop singer, actress.
- Terry Hall born (Coventry) English rock and pop singer, songwriter. Founder member of the Specials, the Funboy Three, Colourfield and solo artist.
- Sarah Jane Morris born (Southampton) English pop, jazz and R&B singer. Worked with the Happy End, the Communards and solo.
- Nobuo Uematsu born (Kōchi, Japan) Japanese video game composer, keyboard player.
- Darius Milhaud’s Sonatine for piano op.354 premiered in San Francisco
- Epic Soundtracks aka Kevin Godfrey born (Croydon) English rock drummer, pianist, songwriter. Member of Swell Maps from 1972 to 1980 and worked with Crime and the City Solution and These Immortal Souls. Brother of Nikki Sudden aka Adrian Godfrey (1956-2006). Died 1997
- Billy Mayerl (56) dies in London following a heart attack
- Benjamin Frankel’s Symphony No. 1 premiered in Lunen, Germany
- Alain Monod born (Fribourg, Switzerland) Swiss rock keyboard player. Member of Young Gods from 1990.
- Andrew Farriss born (Perth, Western Australia) Australian rock keyboard player, songwriter. Member of INXS from 1977
- Perry Farrell born (New York, NY) American rock singer, songwriter. Founder member of Jane’s Addiction and Porno for Pyros.
- Ali McMordie born (Belfast) Irish rock bass guitarist, tour manager. Member of Stiff Little Fingers from 1977 to 1982.
- Chuck Berry – Almost Grown / Little Queenie (Chess)
- Fleetwoods – Come Softly to Me / I Care So Much (Dolphin)
- Wilbert Harrison – Kansas City / Listen, My Darling (Fury)
- Donald Byrd – Off To The Races (Blue Note)
- Miles Davis – Porgy And Bess (Columbia)
- Coleman Hawkins – High And Mighty Hawk (Felsted)
- Sonny Rollins – Newk’s Time (Blue Note)
- Nina Simone – Jazz As Played In An Exclusive Side Street Club aka Little Girl Blue (Bethlehem)
- Jackie Wilson – Lonely Teardrops (Brunswick)
- Jimmy & Mama Yancey – Pure Blues (Atlantic)
- Christian Thielemann born (Berlin) German conductor.
- Paul Hindemith’s Five motets for voice and piano premiered in Vienna
- Einojuhani Rautavaara’s String Quartet No. 2 premiered in Helsinki
- Arthur Willner (78) dies in London of heart failure
- Miles Davis records the second of two sessions for the album Kind of Blue for Columbia in New York. Miles Davis (tp) Cannonball Adderley (as) John Coltrane (ts) Bill Evans (p) Paul Chambers (b) Jimmy Cobb (d). See also 2 Mar
- Dimitri Tiomkin’s music for John Sturges’s film The Old Man and the Sea wins the best dramatic score Oscar at the 31st Academy Awards. Andre Previn’s music for Vincente Minnellis film Gigi wins the award for best musical score
- Leonard Bernstein’s Brass Music premiered in New York
- Babyface aka Kenneth Brian Edmonds born (Indianapolis, IN) American R&B singer, songwriter, record producer. Co-Founder of LaFace Records with LA Reid.
- Brian Setzer born (Massapequa, NY) American rock guitarist, singer, songwriter. Founder member of the Stray Cats and the Brian Setzer Orchestra.
- Henry Cowell’s Ensemble for string orchestra premiered in New York
- Eduard van Beinum (58) dies in Amsterdam following a heart attack
- Olivier Messiaen’s Catalogue des Oiseaux [Catalogue of Birds] for piano premiered in Paris
- (& 20 Apr) Harry Belafonte plays two shows at Carnegie Hall, New York, recorded for the RCA Victor album Belafonte at Carnegie Hall. Harry Belafonte (vo) Millard Thomas, Raphael Boguslav (g) Danny Barrajanos (perc) Norman Keenan (b)
- Edward Johnson (80) dies in Guelph, Ontario following a heart attack
- Robert Smith born (Crawley) English rock singer, songwriter, guitarist. Founder member of the Cure.
- Michael Timmins born (Montreal) Canadian rock guitarist, songwriter. Member of the Cowboy Junkies since 1985. Brother of Margo (b.1961) and Peter (b.1965) Timmins.
- Cleveland Watkiss born (London) Jazz, R&B and rock singer. Founder member of the Jazz Warriors and solo artist.
- Claire Delbos (52) dies in Paris after being institutionalized since 1953
- The final episode of Your Hit Parade is shown on CBS television. The radio series ran from 1935 to 1953, and the TV series from 1950
- Buddy Holly has the UK number one single for the first of three weeks with It Doesn’t Matter Anymore
- Peter Maxwell Davies’ Ricercar and Doubles on “To Many a Well” for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, harpsichord, viola and cello premiered in Hanover, NH
- Morton Feldman’s Last Pieces for piano premiered in New York
- Sheena Easton née Orr born (Bellshill, Lanarkshire) Scottish pop singer, songwriter.
- Marco Pirroni born (London) English rock guitarist, songwriter, record producer. Worked with The Models, Rema-Rema, Adam & the Ants, Sinead O’Connor and others.
- Pierre Henry’s ballet Coexistence premiered in Paris
- Roger Eno born (Woodbridge, Suffolk) English electronica and avant-garde composer, pianist, multi-instrumentalist. Brother of Brian Eno (b.1949).
- Pete Seeger quits the Weavers and is replaced by Erik Darling
- Lavern Baker – I Waited Too Long / You’re Teasing Me (Atlantic)
- Freddy Cannon – Tallahassee Lassie / You Know (Swan)
- Bobby Darin – Dream Lover / Bullmoose (Atco)
- Dion & The Belmonts – A Teenager in Love / I’ve Cried Before (Laurie)
- Frankie Ford – Sea Cruise / Roberta (Ace)
- Lefty Frizzell – Long Black Veil / Knock Again True Love (Columbia)
- Johnny Horton – The Battle of New Orleans / All for the Love of a Girl (Columbia)
- BB King – I Am / Worry, Worry (Kent)
- Vince Taylor – Brand New Cadillac / Pledging My Love (Parlophone UK)
- Muddy Waters – Ooh Wee / Clouds in My Heart (Chess)
- Dave Brubeck – In Europe (Columbia)
- Martin Denny – Afro-Desia (Liberty)
- Jack Dupree – Blues From The Gutter (Atlantic)
- Everybody Digs Bill Evans (Riverside)
- Stan Getz – The Steamer (Verve)
- The Genius Of Coleman Hawkins (Verve)
- J.J. Johnson – Blue Trombone (Columbia)
- Blue Mitchell – Out of the Blue (Riverside)
- Gerry Mulligan Quartet – What Is There To Say? (Columbia)
- Lester Young / Teddy Wilson Quartet – Pres and Teddy (Verve)
- Virgil Thomson’s Fugues and Cantilenas for orchestra premiered in Ann Arbor, MI
- Dave Ball born (Blackpool) English electronic musician, songwriter. Member of Soft Cell from 1978 to 1984 and from 2001 and the Grid from 1988 to 1996 and from 2003.
- Randy Travis born (Marshville, NC) American country singer, songwriter, guitarist.
- (& 5 May) John Coltrane records the first two sessions of three for the album Giant Steps for Atlantic in New York. John Coltrane (ts) Tommy Flanagan (p) Paul Chambers (b) Art Taylor (d). The third took place on 2 Dec 1959
- The first Grammy Awards are held in Los Angeles and New York. Domenico Modugno wins record of the year for Nel Blu Dipinto di Blu (Volare) and Henry Mancini album of the year for The Music from Peter Gunn. Other winners include the Kingston Trio, Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie
- Ian McCulloch born (Liverpool) English rock singer, songwriter, guitarist. Founder member of Echo & the Bunnymen and solo artist.
- Charles Mingus records the first of two sessions for the album Mingus Ah Um for Columbia in New York. Jimmy Knepper (tb) John Handy (as, cl) Booker Ervin (ts) Curtis Porter (ts, as) Horace Parlan (p) Charles Mingus (b) Dannie Richmond (d). The second takes place on 12 May
- Luc Ferrari’s Visage IV for ten instruments premiered in Cologne
- Avet Terterian’s The Motherland for soprano, baritone and orchestra premiered in Yerevan, Armenia
- Dennis Chambers born (Baltimore, MD) American jazz drummer, session player.
- Luciano Berio’s Quartetto for strings premiered in Vienna
- Placido Domingo makes his operatic debut in Guadalajara, Mexico singing the role of Pascual in Emilio Arrieta’s zarzuela Marina
- Charles Mingus records the second of two sessions for the album Mingus Ah Um for Columbia in New York. Willie Dennis (tb) John Handy (as, cl) Booker Ervin (ts) Curtis Porter (ts, as) Horace Parlan (p) Charles Mingus (b) Dannie Richmond (d). See also 5 May
- Hilding Rosenberg’s String Quartet no.10 premiered on Swedish radio, Stockholm
- Sidney Bechet (62) dies in Paris of lung cancer
- Peggy Glanville-Hicks’s opera The Glittering Gate premiered in New York. Lib. Glanville-Hicks
- Andrew Eldritch aka Andrew Taylor born (Ely) English rock singer, songwriter. Founder member of the Sisters of Mercy.
- Bohuslav Martinů’s opera Mirandolina premiered in Prague, lib. Martinů
- Jule Styne & Stephen Sondheim’s musical Gypsy opens on Broadway
- Steven Morrissey born (Manchester) English rock singer, songwriter. Founder member of the Smiths and solo artist.
- Rick Smith born (Ammanford, Wales) Welsh electronic musician, composer, DJ. Founder member of Underworld.
- Billie Holiday plays her final show at the Phoenix Theater in New York
- Leff Pouishnoff (67) commits suicide in London
- Lionel Bart, Laurie Jordan and Bernard Miles’s musical Lock Up Your Daughters opens in London (328 performances)
- Ray Charles plays a show at Morris Brown College’s Herndon Stadium in Atlanta, GA which is recorded for the Atlantic album Ray Charles in Person. Ray Charles (vo, keys) Marcus Belgrave, John Hunt (tp) David Newman (as, ts) Bennie Crawford (bars) Edgar Willis (b) Teagle Fleming (d) Marjorie Hendricks, The Raelets (vo)
- Steve Hanley born (Dublin) Anglo-Irish rock bassist. Brother of Paul Hanley (b.1964). Member of the Fall from 1979 to 1998.
- Danny Pearson born (San Francisco, CA) American rock bass guitarist. Member of American Music Club from 1984 to 2007.
- Karl-Birger Blomdahl’s science fiction opera Aniara premiered in Stockholm
- Stefan Wolpe’s Oboe Quartet premiered in Philadelphia
- Coasters – Along Came Jones / That Is Rock & Roll (Atco)
- Fats Domino – Margie / Im Ready (Imperial)
- Drifters – There Goes My Baby / Oh My Love (Atlantic). 1959 line-up: Ben E King (lead tenor), Charlie Thomas (tenor), Doc Green (baritone), Elsbeary Hobbs (bass)
- Flamingos – I Only Have Eyes For You / At The Prom (End). Vocal group formed in Chicago in 1953. 1959 line-up: Nate Nelson, Tommy Hunt, Terry Johnson, Paul Wilson & Jake Carey
- John Lee Hooker – Tennessee Blues / Boogie Chillun (Vee-Jay)
- Howlin’ Wolf – Howlin’ Blues / I Better Go Now (Chess)
- Johnny Kidd & The Pirates – Please Don’t Touch / Growl (HMV UK). Rock group formed in London in 1959. Line-up: Johnny Kidd (vo) Mick Green (g) Alan Caddy (g) Brian Gregg (b) Clem Cattini (d)
- Carl Mann – Mona Lisa / Foolish One (Philips)
- Lloyd Price – Personality / Have You Ever Had The Blues (ABC-Paramount)
- Wailers – Tall Cool One / Road-Runner (Golden Crest). Rock group formed in Tacoma, WA in 1958
- Dinah Washington – What a Diff’rence a Day Makes / Come On Home (Mercury)
- Cannonball Adderley – Cannonball’s Sharpshooters (EmArcy)
- Chet Baker – Chet (Riverside)
- Roy Haynes – We Three (New Jazz)
- Wynton Kelly – Kelly Blue (Riverside)
- Peggy Lee & George Shearing – Beauty and the Beat! (Capitol)
- The Thelonious Monk Orchestra at Town Hall (Riverside)
- Sun Ra – Jazz in Silhouette (Saturn)
- Tarriers – Hard Travelin’ (United Artists)
- Dave Van Ronk – Sings Ballads, Blues & a Spiritual (Folkways)
- Alan Wilder born (London) English electronica, rock and pop musician, producer, composer. Member of Depeche Mode from 1982 to 1995 and Recoil from 1986.
- The first episode of Juke Box Jury is shown on BBC television hosted by David Jacobs
- Lydia Lunch aka Lydia Koch born (Rochester, NY) American rock singer, poet, writer, actress. Founder member of Teenage Jesus & the Jerks and solo artist.
- Ole Windingstad (73) dies in New York
- Jimmy Jam aka James Harris born (Minneapolis, MN) American R&B record producer, songwriter, keyboard player. Half of Jam & Lewis production team with Terry Lewis.
- Bruce Loose aka Bruce Calderwood born (Fresno, CA) American rock bassist, singer, songwriter. Member of Flipper from 1979.
- Darius Milhaud’s Sonatine for viola and cello op.378 premiered in Saskatoon
- Pierre Boulez’s Improvisation sur Mallarmé III: A la nue accablante tu [Improvisation sur Mallarmé III: Nakedness overwhelming you] for soprano and orchestra premiered in Donaueschingen
- Benjamin Britten’s Fanfare for St Edmundsbury for three trumpets premiered in Bury St Edmunds
- Peter Maxwell Davies’ Prolation for orchestra premiered in Rome
- Kathinka Pasveer born (Zaandam, Netherlands) Dutch flautist.
- Boris Blacher’s Requiem for soprano, baritone, choir and orchestra premiered in Vienna
- Billie Holiday’s hospital room is raided by the NYPD who find a quantity of heroin and charge her with possession
- Nino Rota’s Scuola di guida [Driving School] for speaker and orchestra premiered in Spoleto, lib. M. Soldati
- Marcus Miller born (New York, NY) American jazz bassist, multi-instrumentalist, composer.
- Bohuslav Martinu’s Madrigals (Part-Song Book) premiered in Brno
- Yoritsune Matsudaira’s Sa-Mai for orchestra premiered in Rome
- Samuel Barber’s opera A Hand of Bridge premiered in Spoleto, Italy, lib. G.C. Menotti
- Bohuslav Martinu’s cantata Mikes of the Mountains premiered in Prague
- Melville Shavelson’s film biopic of Red Nichols The Five Pennies opens starring Danny Kaye, Bob Crosby, Louis Armstrong and Barbara Bel Geddes.
- Kathy Mattea born (South Charleston, WV) American country singer, songwriter, guitarist.
- Alan Anton born (Montreal) Canadian rock bass guitarist. Member of the Cowboy Junkies since 1985.
- Ornette Coleman records the album The Shape of Jazz to Come for Atlantic in Los Angeles. Don Cherry (cor) Ornette Coleman (as) Charlie Haden (b) Billy Higgins (d)
- Louis Armstrong survives a massive heart attack in Spoleto, Italy whilst on tour
- Andy McCluskey born (Heswall) English pop and electronica singer, songwriter, bass guitarist. Founder member of Orchestral Manouevres in the Dark.
- Dave Brubeck records the first of three sessions for the album Time Out for Columbia in New York. Paul Desmond (as) Dave Brubeck (p) Gene Wright (b) Joe Morello (d). The others take place on 1 Jul & 18 Aug 1959
- William Alwyn’s Twelve Preludes for piano premiered on BBC Radio
- Brendan Perry born (London) Australian multi-instrumentalist, composer, singer. Founder member of Dead Can Dance and solo artist.
- Lazare Saminsky (76) dies in Port Chester, NY
- Douglas Lilburn’s Symphony No.2 premiered in Wellington, New Zealand
- Chuck Berry – Back In The USA / Memphis, Tennessee (Chess)
- Johnny Cash – I Got Stripes / Five Feet High and Rising (Columbia)
- Ray Charles – What’d I Say parts 1 & 2 (Atlantic)
- Sam Cooke – Only Sixteen / Let’s Go Steady Again (Keen)
- Phil Phillips & the Twilights – Sea of Love / Juelia (Mercury)
- Shirelles – Dedicated To The One I Love / Look A Here Baby (Scepter)
- Cannonball Adderley – Jump For Joy (EmArcy)
- Mose Allison – Creek Bank (Prestige)
- Art Blakey – Holiday For Skins (Blue Note)
- Kenny Dorham & Cannonball Adderley – Blue Spring (Riverside)
- Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong – Porgy & Bess (Verve)
- Kingston Trio – At Large (Capitol)
- Charles Mingus – A Modern Jazz Symposium Of Music And Poetry (Bethlehem)
- The Max Roach 4 Plays Charlie Parker (Mercury)
- Sonny Stitt – The Hard Swing (Verve)
- Clark Terry – Top and Bottom Brass (Riverside)
- Dave Brubeck records the second of three sessions for the album Time Out for Columbia in New York. Paul Desmond (as) Dave Brubeck (p) Gene Wright (b) Joe Morello (d). The others take place on 25 Jun & 18 Aug 1959
- Bobby Darin has the UK number one single for the first of four weeks with Dream Lover
- Heitor Villa-Lobos’s Concerto Grosso for Woodwind Quartet and Wind Orchestra premiered in Pittsburgh
- Jim Kerr born (Glasgow) Scottish rock singer, songwriter. Founder member of Simple Minds.
- Anjani Thomas born (Honolulu, HA) American jazz singer, songwriter, pianist.
- Sandy West born (Long Beach, CA) American rock drummer. Member of the Runaways from 1975 to 1979. Died 2006
- Richie Sambora born (Perth Amboy, NJ) American rock guitarist, songwriter, singer, record producer. Member of Bon Jovi from 1983.
- Suzanne Vega born (Santa Monica, CA) American rock, pop and folk singer, songwriter, guitarist.
- Harrison Birtwistle’s Refrains and Choruses for wind quintet premiered in Cheltenham
- Peter Maxwell Davies’ St. Michael Sonata for seventeen winds premiered in Cheltenham
- Ernest Bloch (78) dies in Portland, OR of cancer
- James MacMillan born (Kilwinning, Ayrshire) Scottish composer, conductor.
- Billie Holiday (44) dies in New York of cirrhosis
- Jonathan Dove born (London) English composer, arranger.
- Darius Milhaud’s Sonata for cello and piano op.377 premiered in Vancouver
- Harry Fox (77) dies in Los Angeles
- Benjamin Britten’s Missa brevis for choir and organ premiered in London
- The Kingston Trio have the Billboard number one album for the first of fifteen weeks with At Large
- Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh born (Gweedore, Donegal) Irish folk violinist, singer, songwriter. Member of Altan from 1987 and solo artist.
- Bohuslav Martinu’s Nonet no.2 premiered in Salzburg
- Pierre Schaeffer’s Etude aux objets for tape premiered in Paris
- Stanley Jordan born (Chicago) American jazz guitarist, pianist, composer.
- Lavern Baker – So High So Low / If You Love Me (Atlantic)
- Fats Domino – I Want to Walk You Home / I’m Gonna Be a Wheel Someday (Imperial)
- Buddy Holly – Peggy Sue Got Married / Crying, Waiting, Hoping (Coral)
- Little Willie John – Leave My Kitten Alone / Let Nobody Love You (King)
- Johnny and the Hurricanes – Red River Rock / Buckeye (Warwick)
- Chan Romero – The Hippy Hippy Shake / If I Had a Way (Del-Fi)
- Santo & Johnny – Sleep Walk / All Night Diner (Canadian American)
- Nina Simone – I Loves You, Porgy / Love Me or Leave Me (Bethlehem)
- Chuck Berry Is On Top (Chess)
- James Brown – Try Me (King)
- Go Bo Diddley (Checker)
- Duane Eddy – Especially For You (Jamie)
- Serge Gainsbourg No.2 (Philips France)
- Stan Getz – Award Winner (Verve)
- Lee Konitz – Tranquility (Verve)
- Horace Silver – Finger Poppin’ (Blue Note)
- Frank Sinatra – No One Cares (Capitol) Orchestra conducted by Gordon Jenkins
- T-Bone Walker – T-Bone Blues (Atlantic)
- Joe Elliott born (Sheffield) English rock singer, songwriter, guitarist. Member of Def Leppard from 1977.
- Yoshihide Otomo born (Yokohama) Japanese avant-garde guitarist, turntablist, electronic musician, composer. Member of Ground Zero and worked solo and with various collaborators.
- Martin Atkins born (Coventry) English rock drummer, session player. Member of Public Image Ltd from 1979 to 1985 and Pigface from 1990.
- Pat Smear aka George Ruthenberg born (Los Angeles, CA) American rock guitarist. Member of the Germs from 1977 to 1980, Nirvana from 1993 to 1994, Foo Fighters from 1995 to 1997 and from 2006 and solo artist.
- Kurtis Blow aka Kurt Walker born (New York, NY) American rapper, record producer.
- Emil František Burian (55) dies in Pargue
- Wayne Shorter makes his first recordings for Vee-Jay in New York as a member of the Wynton Kelly Quintet. Lee Morgan (tp) Wayne Shorter (ts) Wynton Kelly (p) Paul Chambers (b) Philly Joe Jones (d). Tracks cut appear on the album Kelly Great
- Michael Bradley born (Derry ) Irish rock bass guitarist, radio broadcaster. Founder member of the Undertones.
- Christian Wolff’s Music for Merce Cunningham for sextet or septet premiered in New London, CT
- Pedro Humberto Allende (74) dies in Santiago, Chile
- Wanda Landowska (80) dies in Lakeville, CT
- Dave Brubeck records the third of three sessions for the album Time Out for Columbia in New York. Paul Desmond (as) Dave Brubeck (p) Gene Wright (b) Joe Morello (d). The others took place on 25 Jun & 1 Jul 1959
- Blind Willie McTell (58) dies in Milledgeville, GA following a stroke
- Andrzej Panufnik’s Polonia for orchestra premiered in London
- Edwyn Collins born (Edinburgh) Scottish rock and pop singer, songwriter, guitarist. Founder member of Orange Juice and solo artist.
- Dave Kerman born (Torrance, CA) American rock and avant-garde drummer, session player. Worked with 5uu’s, Present, Ahvak and others.
- Chris Wood born (Whitstable, Kent) English folk singer, violinist, viola player, guitarist, composer.
- Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Zyklus no.9 for solo percussionist premiered in Darmstadt
- Sian Edwards born (West Chiltington, Sussex) English conductor.
- Bohuslav Martinu (68) dies in Liestal, Switzerland of stomach cancer
- The Casbah Coffee Club opens in Liverpool. The first group to appear are the Quarry Men who replace scheduled headliners the Les Stewart Quartet
- Rolf Liebermann appointed director of the Hamburg Opera, a post he holds until 1973
- Coasters – Poison Ivy / I’m A Hog For You (Atco)
- Eddie Cochran – Somethin’ Else / Boll Weevil Song (Liberty)
- Bobby Darin – Mack The Knife / Was There A Call For Me (Atco)
- Bo Diddley – Say Man / The Clock Strikes Twelve (Checker)
- Everly Brothers – (‘Til) I Kissed You / Oh, What a Feeling (Cadence)
- Howlin’ Wolf – I’ve Been Abused / Mister Airplane Man (Chess)
- Sandy Nelson – Teen Beat / Big Jump (Original Sound)
- Neil Sedaka – Oh Carol / One Way Ticket (RCA Victor)
- Barrett Strong – Money (That’s What I Want) / Oh I Apologize (Tamla)
- Wailers – Mau-Mau / Dirty Robber (Golden Crest)
- Muddy Waters – Take the Bitter With the Sweet / She’s Into Somethin’ (Chess)
- Cannonball Adderley – Cannonball Takes Charge (Riverside)
- Dave Brubeck – Gone With The Wind (Columbia)
- Miles Davis – Kind Of Blue (Columbia)
- Philly Joe Jones – Drums Around The World (Riverside)
- Jackie McLean – New Soil (Blue Note)
- Thelonious Monk – 5 By Monk By 5 (Riverside)
- Thelonious Monk – Misterioso (Riverside)
- Ken Nordine – Next (Dot)
- Bud Powell – The Scene Changes (Blue Note)
- Staple Singers – Uncloudy Day (Vee-Jay)
- Luigi Nono’s Composition for orchestra No.2: Polish Diary ’58 premiered in Darmstadt
- Kenneth Leighton’s Burlesque op.19 for orchestra premiered in London
- Morten Harket born (Oslo) Norwegian pop singer, songwriter. Founder member of A-Ha.
- Hans Werner Henze’s ballet-pantomime L’usignolo dell’imperatore [The emperor’s nightingale] premiered in Venice
- Nino Rota’s opera Lo scoiattolo in gamba [the smart squirrel] premiered in Venice, lib. E. De Fillippo
- Omer Simeon (57) dies in New York of throat cancer
- Krzysztof Penderecki’s Strophen for soprano, speaker and ten instruments premiered in Warsaw
- Sally Barker born (Barrow upon Soar, Leicestershire) English folk singer, songwriter, guitarist.
- Santo & Johnny have the Billboard number one single for the first of two weeks with Sleep Walk
- Agnes Nicholls (82) dies in London
- Mississippi Fred McDowell makes his first recordings in Como, MS for Alan Lomax and Shirley Collins and the Library of Congress archives
- Josef Matthias Hauer (76) dies in Vienna
- Luciano Berio’s opera Allez-Hop! premiered in Venice, lib. I. Calvino
- Drummie Zeb aka Angus Gaye born (London) English reggae drummer, singer, record producer. Founder member of Aswad.
- Gerard Hoffnung (34) dies in London following a cerebral haemorrhage
- Ernst Krenek’s Sechs Motetten nach Worten von Franz Kafka [Six Motets to words by Franz Kafka] premiered in Berlin
- Alan Rawsthorne’s Symphony No. 2 premiered in Birmingham
- The Jazz Epistles record the album Jazz Epistle Verse 1 for Continental Records in Sophiatown, South Africa. Hugh Masekela (tp) Jonas Gwangwa (tb) Kippie Moeketsi (as) Dollar Brand (p) Johnny Gertze (b) Makhaya Ntshoko (d) Formed in Johannesburg in 1959, the group split the following year during the cultural crackdown that followed the Sharpeville massacre
- Eugen Suchon appointed professor of music theory at Bratislava University, a post he holds until 1974
- Duane Eddy – Some Kind-A Earthquake / First Love, First Tears (Jamie)
- Percy Faith – The Theme From ‘A Summer Place’ / Go-Go-Po-Go (Columbia)
- Isley Brothers – Shout parts 1 & 2 (RCA Victor)
- Miracles – Bad Girl / I Love Your Baby (Motown / Chess). Vocal group formed in Detroit in 1955. 1959 line-up: Smokey Robinson, Ronnie White, Bobby Rogers, Claudette Rogers (vo) Marv Tarplin (g)
- Roy Orbison – Paper Boy / With the Bug (Monument)
- Joan Baez / Bill Wood / Ted Alevizos – Folksingers ‘Round Harvard Square (Veritas) A collection of solo, duo and trio recordings. Baez’s first appearance on record
- Johnny Cash – Songs of Our Soil (Columbia)
- Ray Charles – What’d I Say (Atlantic)
- Shirley Collins – False True Lovers (Folkways)
- Back to Back: Duke Ellington and Johnny Hodges Play the Blues (Verve)
- Michael Flanders and Donald Swann – At the Drop of a Hat (Parlophone UK) recorded live at the Fortune Theatre, London on 21 Feb 1957
- Stan Getz – The Soft Swing (Verve)
- I’m John Lee Hooker (Vee Jay)
- An Evening Wasted With Tom Lehrer (Lehrer) recorded live on 20 & 21 Mar 1959 at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
- More Of Tom Lehrer (Lehrer) Same tracks as above but recorded in the studio
- Charles Mingus – Jazz Portraits (United Artists)
- Jimmy Reed – Rockin’ With Reed (Vee Jay)
- Marty Robbins – Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs (Columbia)
- Youssou N’Dour born (Dakar) Senegalese mbalax singer, songwriter, percussionist.
- Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Refrain no.11 for chamber ensemnble premiered in Berlin
- Bobby Darin has the Billboard number one single for the first of nine weeks over two runs with Mack the Knife
- Chris Lowe born (Blackpool) English electronic musician, songwriter. Founder member of the Pet Shop Boys.
- Duke Pearson makes his first recordings with the Donald Byrd Quintet for Blue Note in Englewood Cliffs, NJ. Donald Byrd (tp) Jackie McLean (as) Duke Pearson (p) Doug Watkins (b) Lex Humphries (d). Tracks cut are included on the album Fuego
- Dmitri Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto no.1 premiered in St Petersburg
- Mario Lanza (38) dies in Rome of a pulmonary embolism
- (& 9th) Ornette Coleman records the album Change Of The Century for Atlantic in New York. Don Cherry (cor) Ornette Coleman (as) Charlie Haden (b) Billy Higgins (d)
- Thomas Wydler born (Zurich) Swiss rock drummer. Member of Die Haut from 1982 to 1985 and the Bad Seeds from 1985.
- Krzysztof Penderecki’s Psalms of David for choir and percussion premiered in Kraków
- Kirsty MacColl born (London) English pop singer, songwriter. Daughter of Ewan MacColl (1915-89). Died 2000
- Steve Martland born (Liverpool) English composer. Died 2013
- Alex Paterson born (London) English electronic musician, composer, DJ. Founder member of the Orb.
- Gary Kemp born (London) English pop songwriter, guitarist, actor. Founder member of Spandau Ballet. Brother of Martin Kemp (b.1961).
- Erkki-Sven Tüür born (Kärdla, Estonia) Estonian composer, flautist, rock musician.
- Ram ‘ Minor’ Hall (62) dies in Sawtelle, CA
- Heitor Villa-Lobos’s String Quartet no.17 premiered in Washington, DC
- Sven-Erik Bäck’s A Game Around a Game for strings and percussion premiered in Donaueschingen
- Pierre Boulez’s Tombeau for soprano and orchestra premiered in Donaueschingen
- Bobby Darin has the UK number one single for the first of two weeks with Mack The Knife
- Igor Stravinsky’s Epitaphium for flute, clarinet and harp premiered in Donaueschingen
- Stanley Bate (47) dies in London of an overdose (probably accidental) of sleeping pills
- Charles Ives’s He Is There! for choir and orchestra premiered in Norwalk, CT
- Mikis Theodorakis’s ballet Antigone premiered in London
- Bob Merrill, Joseph Stein and Robert Russell’s musical Take Me Along opens on Broadway (448 performances)
- Alfred Matthew “Weird Al” Yankovic born (Downey, CA) American pop and rock parodist, singer, songwriter, accordionist, polka musician.
- Walter Piston’s Three New England Sketches for orchestra premiered in Worcester, MA
- Hilding Rosenberg’s String Quartet no.11 premiered on Swedish radio, Stockholm
- Rowland S Howard born (Melbourne) Australian rock guitarist, singer, songwriter. Founder member of the Birthday Party, These Immortal Souls and solo artist. Died 2009
- Heitor Villa-Lobos’s Harmonica concerto premiered in Jerusalem
- Ronnie Scott’s jazz club opens in London
- Dave Brubeck Quartet – Take Five / Blue Rondo a la Turk (Columbia)
- Fats Domino – Be My Guest / I’ve Been Around (Imperial)
- Drifters – Dance With Me / True Love True Love (Atlantic)
- John Lee Hooker – Hobo Blues / Crawlin’ Kingsnake (Vee-Jay)
- Marty Robbins – El Paso / Running Gun (Columbia)
- Muddy Waters – Recipe for Love / Tell Me, Baby (Chess)
- Lavern Baker – Blues Ballads (Atlantic)
- Harry Belafonte at Carnegie Hall (RCA Victor)
- Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers at the Jazz Corner of the World, Vol. 1 (Blue Note)
- Miles Davis – Jazz Tracks (Columbia) Three tracks recorded in May 1958, the rest of the album comprised of a US issue of Ascenseur Pour L’échafaud
- Duke Ellington – Anatomy Of A Murder (OST) (Columbia)
- Ronnie Hawkins (Roulette)
- Kingston Trio – Here We Go Again! (Capitol)
- Charles Mingus – Ah Um (Columbia)
- Max Roach – Quiet As It’s Kept (Mercury)
- Ray Charles signs to ABC-Paramount
- Bryan Adams born (Kingston, Onatrio) Canadian rock singer, guitarist, songwriter.
- Richard Barrett born (Swansea) Welsh composer, electronic musician. Worked with Elision Ensemble, FURT and the Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble.
- Alberto Guerrero (73) dies in Toronto
- Smokey Robinson marries Claudette Rogers of the Miracles in Detroit
- (& 10th) Wayne Shorter makes his first recordings as leader for Vee-Jay in New York. Lee Morgan (tp) Wayne Shorter (ts) Wynton Kelly (p) Paul Chambers (b) Jimmy Cobb (d). Tracks cut are included on the album Introducing Wayne Shorter
- Sam (Pasco) Moore (72) dies in San Francisco
- Henry Cowell’s Antiphony for Divided Orchestra premiered in Kansas City, MO
- Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein, H. Lindsay and R. Crouse’s musical The Sound of Music opens on Broadway (1443 performances)
- Heitor Villa-Lobos (72) dies in Rio de Janeiro of uremia
- Rick Besoyan’s musical Little Mary Sunshine opens off Broadway (1143 performances without transferring to a larger theatre)
- Nino Rota’s opera La notte di un nevrastenico [The night of a neurasthenic] premiered on RAI radio, lib. R. Bacchelli
- Erik Bergman’s Aubade op. 48 for orchestra premiered in Helsinki
- Miles Davis records the first of three sessions for the album Sketches of Spain for Columbia in New York. Bernie Glow, Taft Jordan, Louis Mucci, Ernie Royal (tp) Miles Davis (flh, tp) Dick Hixson, Frank Rehak (tb) John Barrows, Jim Buffington, Earl Chapin (frh) Jimmy McAllister (tu) Albert Block, Eddie Caine (fl) Harold Feldman (ob, cl) Danny Bank (bcl) Janet Putman (harp) Paul Chambers (b) Jimmy Cobb (d) Elvin Jones (perc) Gil Evans (arr, cond). The other two take place on 10 & 11 Mar 1960
- Alan Freed is fired by New York radio station WABC for refusing to sign a statement that he’d never given airplay to records in exchange for money or gifts
- Henry Cowell’s Iridescent Rondo in Old Modes for accordion solo premiered in New York
- Sam M. Lewis (74) dies in New York
- Ernst Krenek’s Hausmusik for violin, piano, guitar and soprano recorder premiered on RIAS Radio, Berlin
- Ed Ball born (London) English rock guitarist, singer, songwriter, record executive. Worked with the Television Personalities, Biff Bang Pow, the Times and others.
- Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick, Jerome Weidman and George Abbott’s musical Fiorello! opens on Broadway (795 performances)
- Alan Freed is fired by New York television station WNEW despite denying that he has been involved in payola
- Roger Sessions’s Quintet for strings premiered in New York
- Pierre Henry’s Investigations for tape premiered in Paris
- Witold Lutoslawski’s Five Songs premiered in Katowice
- Albert Ketèlbey (84) dies in Cowes, Isle of Wight
- Charlie Burchill born (Glasgow) Scottish rock guitarist, songwriter, keyboard player. Founder member of Simple Minds.
- Viktoria Mullova born (Moscow) Russian concert violinist.
- Yoritsune Matsudaira’s Danza Rituale e Finale for orchestra premiered in Tokyo
- Sally Timms born (Leeds) English rock singer, songwriter. Member of the Mekons, from 1985 and solo artist.
- Fritz Brun (81) dies in Grosshöchstetten, Switzerland
- The second Grammy Awards held in Los Angeles and New York. Bobby Darin wins record of the year for Mack the Knife and Frank Sinatra wins album of the year for Come Dance with Me!. Other winners include Arthur Rubinstein, Duke Ellington, the Kingston Trio, Ella Fitzgerald and Dinah Washington
- Cherie Currie born (Encino, CA) American rock singer, sculptor. Member of the Runaways from 1975 to 1979 and solo artist.
- Bobby Bland – I’ll Take Care of You / That’s Why (Duke)
- Jacques Brel – Ne me quitte pas / La valse à mille temps (Philips France)
- Freddy Cannon – Way Down Yonder In New Orleans / Fractured (Swan)
- Clovers – Love Potion #9 / Stay Awhile (United Artists)
- Roy Orbison – Up Town / Pretty One (Monument)
- Count Basie Orchestra – Chairman of the Board (Roulette)
- The Genius Of Ray Charles (Atlantic)
- Ornette Coleman – The Shape Of Jazz To Come (Atlantic)
- Ornette Coleman – Tomorrow Is The Question! (Contemporary)
- Lou Donaldson – LD+3 (Blue Note)
- Ella Fitzgerald Sings the George and Ira Gershwin Song Book volumes 1 to 5 (Verve) Issued as a box set and separately
- Coleman Hawkins Encounters Ben Webster (Verve)
- Lightnin’ Hopkins – Country Blues (Tradition)
- Yusef Lateef – Other Sounds (New Jazz)
- Julie London – Your Number Please (Liberty)
- Platters – Reflections (Mercury)
- Sonny Rollins and the Contemporary Leaders (Contemporary)
- Horace Silver – Blowin’ The Blues Away (Blue Note)
- Cecil Taylor – Looking Ahead (Contemporary)
- Steve Jansen aka Stephen Batt born (Beckenham) English rock drummer, composer, session player. Founder member of Japan and Rain Tree Crow. Brother of David Sylvian (b.1958).
- Avery Parrish (42) dies in New York
- Val Guest’s film Espresso Bongo opens starring Laurence Harvey, Sylvia Sims and Cliff Richard. Music by Robert Farnon
- John Coltrane records the third session of three for the album Giant Steps for Atlantic in New York. John Coltrane (ts) Wynton Kelly (p) Paul Chambers (b) Jimmy Cobb (d). The others took place on 4 & 5 May 1959
- LaMonte Young’s Vision for piano, two brass, recorder, four bassoons and string quartet premiered in Berkeley, CA
- Ernest Bloch’s Piano Quintet no.2 premiered in New York
- Jakov Gotovac’s opera Stanac premiered in Zagreb. Lib. Vojmila Rabadana
- Gene Vincent plays his first UK show at the Tooting Granada, London
- Barbara Buchholz born (Duisburg, Germany) German composer, theremin player.
- Marco Stroppa born (Verona) Italian composer, teacher.
- Malcolm Arnold’s ballet Sweeney Todd premiered in Stratford on Avon
- Grant Green makes his first recordings for Delmark in Chicago as a member of the Jimmy Forrest Quintet. Jimmy Forrest (ts) Harold Mabern (p) Grant Green (g) Gene Ramey (b) Elvin Jones (d). Tracks cut appear on the albums All The Gin Is Gone and Black Forrest
- Carl Orff’s opera Oedipus der Tyrann [Oedipus the Tyrant] premiered in Stuttgart, lib. Sophocles trans. F. Hölderlin
- Hilding Rosenberg’s String Quartet no.12 premiered on Swedish radio, Stockholm
- The Kingston Trio have the Billboard number one album for the first of nine weeks with Here We Go Again!
- Charlie Johnson (68) dies in New York
- Henry Cowell’s Mela for orchestra premiered in New Delhi
- Bob Stinson born (Minneapolis, MN) American rock guitarist. Founder member of the Replacements. Brother of Tommy Stinson (b.1966). Died 1995
- Ben E King makes his first solo recordings for Atco in New York
- McCoy Tyner makes his first recordings for Savoy in Englewood Cliffs, NJ with the Curtis Fuller Sextet. Thad Jones (tp) Curtis Fuller (tb) Benny Golson (ts) McCoy Tyner (p) Jimmy Garrison (b) Dave Bailey (d). Tracks cut appear on the Curtis Fuller album Imagination
- Grant Marshall aka Daddy G born (Bristol) English rapper, DJ, musician, composer. Founder member of Massive Attack.
- Jackie Fox aka Jackie Fuchs born (Los Angeles, CA) American rock bassist, lawyer. Member of the Runaways from 1975 to 1977.
- Juhan Simm (74) dies in Tartu, Estonia
- Igor Stravinsky’s Double Canon for string quartet premiered in New York
- Chuck Berry arrested under the Mann Act (transportation of minors across a state line for the purpose of prostitution) after taking a fourteen year old waitress from New Mexico to his club in California. He receives a five year prison sentence
- Germaine Tailleferre’s musical play Mémoires d’une bergère [Memoirs of a shepherdess] premiered on RTF, Paris, lib. P. Jullian
- Charles Henry “Chuck” Mosley born (Los Angeles, CA) American rock singer, songwriter. Member of Faith No More from 1985 to 1988, Bad Brains from 1990 to 1992 and Cement from 1992 to 1995.
- Scott LaFaro makes his first recordings for Riverside in New York as a member of the Bill Evans Trio. Bill Evans (p) Scott LaFaro (b) Paul Motian (d). Tracks cut appear on the album Portrait In Jazz
- Robin Milford (56) commits suicide by taking an aspirin overdose
- Paul Westerberg born (Minneapolis, MN) American rock singer, songwriter, guitarist . Founder member of the Replacements and solo artist.
- Don Weis’s biopic The Gene Krupa Story aka Drum Crazy starring Sal Mineo opens
- Coasters – Run Red Run / What About Us (Atco)
- Howlin’ Wolf – Natchez Burning / You Gonna Wreck My Life (Chess)
- Johnny & the Hurricanes – Beatnik Fly / Sand Storm (Warwick)
- Viscounts – Harlem Nocturne / Dig (Madison)
- Mickey Baker – The Wildest Guitar (Atlantic)
- Jacques Brel – 4 aka La Valse à Mille Temps (Philips France)
- Johnny Griffin – The Little Giant (Riverside)
- Hank Mobley & Lee Morgan – Peckin’ Time (Blue Note)
- Jimmy Smith – The Sermon (Blue Note)
- The Fabulous Wailers (Golden Crest)
- John Cage and David Tudor – Indeterminacy: New Aspect of Form in Instrumental and Electronic Music (Folkways) Issued autumn
- Shirley Collins – Sweet England (Argo UK)
- John Fahey – Blind Joe Death (Takoma) 100 copies pressed
- João Gilberto – Chega de Saudade (Odeon Brazil)