1959 Music News
January 5 – The first sessions for Ella Fitzgerald’s George and Ira Gershwin Songbook are held.
January 12 – Tamla Records is founded by Berry Gordy Jr. in Detroit, Michigan.
January 22 – Buddy Holly records some acoustic demos in his New York City apartment, the last songs he recorded. Songs included “Peggy Sue Got Married”, “Crying, Waiting, Hoping”, “Learning the Game”, “What to Do”, “That’s What They Say”, and “That Makes It Tough.”
February 3 – “The Day the Music Died”: Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper are killed in a plane crash in Iowa. Future country star Waylon Jennings was scheduled to be on the plane, but instead gave his seat up to The Big Bopper.
March 2 – April 22 – The recording sessions for the extremely influential Miles Davis jazz album Kind of Blue take place at the CBS 30th Street Studio in New York City. The album is released on August 17 in the United States.
March 11 – The 4th Eurovision Song Contest is held in Cannes, France, and won by the Netherlands with the song “Een beetje” performed by Teddy Scholten.
April 3 – The BBC bans the Coasters song “Charlie Brown” because of the word “spitball”, a decision it reverses later in the month.
April 24 – The Your Hit Parade television series airs its last episode
September 13 – Bo Diddley’s single “Say Man” enters the US R&B charts.
Fall – Bill Haley & His Comets end their groundbreaking association with Decca Records, for whom they had recorded since 1954. Their first recording for the label, “Rock Around the Clock”, helped usher in the rock and roll era. Haley signs with Warner Bros. Records.
Joan Baez performs at the first Newport Folk Festival as a surprise guest and becomes an underground favorite
Otto Luening and Vladimir Ussachevsky co-found the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center in New York City.
The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences sponsors the first Grammy Award ceremony for music recorded in 1958.
Dalida receives a Music Oscar for Best Song and a first foreign award (a “Golden Lion” in Berlin).
Jacques Loussier forms the Play Bach Trio with bassist Pierre Michelot and percussionist Christian Garros.
Ornette Coleman plays a legendary and controversial concert at New York’s Five Spot.
Roy Orbison signs with Monument Records.
The Supremes are founded as a quartet (“The Primettes”).
Jimi Hendrix buys his first electric guitar: a White Single pickup Supro Ozark 1560 S.
Veteran sarodiya and multi-instrumentalist Allauddin Khan records for All India Radio.
Jilin opera is developed in China.