Every Friday, I’m publishing my top ten songs from a single year and this week it’s the turn of 1961.
For previous top ten tunes, please click on the year: 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
In 1961, the farthing ceases to be legal tender, the Beatles perform at the legendary Cavern Club in Liverpool for the first time, Sierra Leone gains independence from the UK, betting shops become legal, the act of suicide is decriminalised, the first Mothercare store is opened, police arrest over 1,300 people during a CND rally in London, a volcanic eruption on the South Atlantic British territory Tristan de Cunha causes the entire island population to be evacuated and rehomed in…Surrey, the first edition of Private Eye is published, birth control pills first become available on the NHS, the border between East and West Germany closes and the construction of the Berlin Wall starts, Yuri Gagarin becomes the first man in space, US Cuban exiles and the CIA attempts and fails to overthrow Fidel Castro, John F Kennedy is inaugurated as the new US President, the USSR tests the largest nuclear bomb ever and America is instructed to build bomb shelters by Kennedy, South Africa becomes an independent republic and the films Breakfast at Tiffany’s, West Side Story, The Misfits, The Parent Trap and Babes in Toyland are all released.
What a year! I love 1961 for music, lots of strong choices. Here they are, in no particular order. Spotify playlist at the end as per.
1. At Last by Etta James
2. Will You Love Me Tomorrow by the Shirelles
3. Blue Moon by the Marcels
4. Hit the Road Jack by Ray Charles
5. September in the Rain by Dinah Washington
6. Runaway by Del Shannon
7. Take Good Care of My Baby by Bobby Vee
8. Save the Last Dance For Me by the Drifters
9. Cupid by Sam Cooke
10. Moon River (Choral Version) by Henry Mancini
While At Last is a stunner, it’s Ray Charles that’s my favourite this week. Let me know below, which one is yours.
See you next week for 1962!