Tuesday 10pm: MaxMusic 20th Century – 1956 (Part 3)

January 3 – Bach: The Goldberg Variations, Glenn Gould’s debut solo piano recording, is released by Columbia Records in the United States; it sells 40,000 copies by 1960.
January 26
The North American premiere of Carlos Chávez’s Third Symphony is given by the New York Philharmonic conducted by the composer.
Buddy Holly’s first recording sessions for Decca Records take place in Nashville, Tennessee.
Roy Orbison signs with Sun Records.
January 27 – Elvis Presley’s single “Heartbreak Hotel” / “I Was the One” is released. It goes on to be Elvis’s first #1 hit.
January 28 – Elvis Presley makes his national television debut on The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show.
February 3 – The Symphony of the Air, conducted by Leonard Bernstein, gives the world première of Robert Moevs’s Fourteen Variations for Orchestra (composed in 1952) in New York.
February 11 – Henry Barraud’s Concertino for Piano and Winds receives its world-première performance by Eugene List and members of the New York Chamber Ensemble in New York City.
March – The Coasters’ recording career begins, with “Turtle Dovin'”.
March 10 – Carl Perkins’ single “Blue Suede Shoes” enters the R&B charts, the first time a country music artist has made it on the R&B charts.
March 21 – World première of Heitor Villa-Lobos’s Eleventh Symphony, by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Charles Münch, at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
March 22 – Carl Perkins is injured in a car accident near Wilmington, Delaware, on his way to New York City to make an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. He spends several months in hospital.
March 24 – The first regularly scheduled nationally broadcast rock & roll show, Rock ‘n Roll Dance Party, with Alan Freed as host, premières on the CBS Radio Network.
March 26 – Colonel Tom Parker formally becomes Elvis Presley’s manager.
March 31 – Elvis Presley films a screen test for Paramount Pictures.
April 3 – Elvis Presley makes his first appearance on The Milton Berle Show.
April 6 – Paramount Pictures signs Elvis Presley to a three-picture deal.
April 10 – A group of racial segregationists (followers of Asa Earl Carter) rush the stage at a Nat King Cole concert in Birmingham, Alabama, but are quickly captured.
April 22 – The 2i’s Coffee Bar opens in Old Compton Street, Soho, London; its basement rapidly becomes a pioneering venue for rock & roll music in Britain, Tommy Steele being resident from July.
May – Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch, a CBS Radio Sunday evening program on the air since 1940 (except for a hiatus from 1942–45), ends its run.
May 2 – For the first time in Billboard magazine history, five singles appear in both the pop and R&B Top Ten charts. They are Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel” (#1 pop, #6 R&B), Carl Perkins’ “Blue Suede Shoes” (#4 pop, #3 R&B), Little Richard’s “Long Tall Sally” (#9 pop, #1 R&B), the Platters’ “(You’ve Got) The Magic Touch” (#10 pop, #7 R&B) and Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers’ “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” (#7 pop, #4 R&B). Presley’s and Perkins’ singles also appeared on the country and western Top Ten chart at #1 and #2 respectively.
May 6
Elvis Presley appears on the Milton Berle show.
In Paris, Heitor Villa-Lobos records his Bachiana Brasileira No. 9 with the strings of the Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française, for EMI.
May 6–28 – In Paris, Heitor Villa-Lobos supervises the recording of his Bachianas Brasileiras No. 6 by Fernand Dufrene (flute) and René Plessier (bassoon) and his Bachianas Brasileiras No. 2 with the Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française, the four suites of his Descobrimento do Brasil, his Chôros No. 10 and his Invocação em defesa da patria, with Maria Kareska (soprano), the Chorale des Jeunesses musicales de France, and the Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française for EMI.
May 8
Ernst Toch’s Third Symphony is awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music.
Benjamin Britten’s opera Gloriana is given its US premiere in Cincinnati, in concert form conducted by Josef Krips.
May 24 – First-ever Eurovision Song Contest from the Kursaal Theatre, Lugano, Switzerland. Seven countries participate, each with two songs. Switzerland is declared the winner, with Lys Assia singing “Refrain”.
June – The winners of the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition, held in Brussels and devoted this year to the piano, are:
First Prize: Vladimir Ashkenazy

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