January 4 – Fender Musical Instruments Corporation is sold to CBS for $13 million.
January 12 – Hullabaloo premieres on NBC. The first show included performances by The New Christy Minstrels, comedian Woody Allen, actress Joey Heatherton and a segment from London in which Brian Epstein introduces The Zombies and Gerry & the Pacemakers.
January 17 – The Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts’ book Ode to a High Flying Bird, a tribute to jazz great Charlie Parker, is published.
The Animals’ show at New York’s Apollo Theater is canceled after the U.S. Immigration Department forces the group to leave the theater.
The Rolling Stones and Roy Orbison travel to Sydney to begin their Australian tour.
January 23 – “Downtown” hits #1 in the US singles chart, making Petula Clark the first British female vocalist to reach the coveted position since the arrival of The Beatles.
January 24 – The Animals appear a second time on The Ed Sullivan Show.
January 27 – Paul Simon broadcasts on BBC’Five to Ten show, discussing and playing 13 songs, 12 of which would appear on his May-recorded and August-released UK-only solo album, The Paul Simon Song Book.
February 6 – Donovan performs the first of three performances on the British television program Ready, Steady, Go! This presents him to a widespread audience for the first time.
February 12 – NME reports the Beatles will star in a film adaptation of Richard Condon’s novel A Talent for Loving. The story is about a 2,253-kilometer (1,400 mi) horse race that takes place in the old west. The film is never made.
February 24 – The Beatles begin filming their second film, Help!
March 6 – The Temptations’ “My Girl”, written by Smokey Robinson and Ronald White, from Motown Records, reaches number 1.
March 18 – The Rolling Stones members Mick Jagger, Brian Jones, and Bill Wyman are fined five pounds for urinating on the wall of a London petrol station. The band had asked to use the restroom, but it was out of order.
March 20 – The 10th Eurovision Song Contest in Naples, Italy, is won by 17-year-old France Gall, representing Luxembourg, with the Serge Gainsbourg-composed “Poupée de cire, poupée de son”.
March 21 – The Supremes have their fourth number-one single, “Stop! In The Name Of Love”, written by H-D-H.
April 11 – The New Musical Express poll winners’ concert takes place featuring performances by The Beatles, The Animals, The Rolling Stones, Freddie and the Dreamers, the Kinks, the Searchers, Herman’s Hermits, The Anita Kerr Singers, The Moody Blues, Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, Donovan, Them, Cilla Black, Dusty Springfield and Tom Jones.
April 21 – The Beach Boys appear on Shindig! performing their most recent hit, “Do You Wanna Dance?”
April 26 – Leopold Stokowski conducts the first complete performance of Charles Ives’ Symphony No. 4, more than ten years after the composer’s death.
May 5 – Alan Price leaves The Animals, to be replaced temporarily by Mick Gallagher and permanently by Dave Rowberry.
May 6 – Keith Richards and Mick Jagger begin work on “Satisfaction” in their Clearwater, Florida, hotel room. Richards came up with the classic guitar riff while playing around with his brand new Gibson “Fuzz box”.
May 8 – The British Commonwealth comes closer than it ever had, or would, to a clean sweep of the US Hot 100’s top 10, lacking only a hit at number 2 instead of “Count Me In” by the American group Gary Lewis & The Playboys.
May 9 – Bob Dylan performs the first of two concerts at London’s Royal Albert Hall, concluding his tour of Europe. Audience members include The Beatles, and Donovan.
May 30 – The Animals appear a third time on The Ed Sullivan Show.
Producer Tom Wilson, (Simon & Garfunkel) records a heavy backing band onto the song “The Sound of Silence”, without the knowledge of Paul Simon, for release on a 45 rpm single, and the B-side, “We’ve Got A Groovey Thing Goin'”. The single will eventually reach number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on New Year’s Day 1966.
The US music press popularize the term “folk rock”, which has been in print at least since the November 2, 1963, issue of Billboard magazine, in which “Devil’s Waitin'” by the Glencoves was said to have a “wide open folk-rock sound.” The term was also used of “Twins” by Kingtones (March 7, 1964), the Men (July 25, 1964), and even of Hoyt Axton. People outside the trade began to take notice of the term in June, 1965.
June 6 – The Supremes have their fifth consecutive number-one single, “Back in My Arms Again, written by H-D-H, from Motown Records.
July 5 – Maria Callas gives her last operatic performance, as Tosca at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
July 9 – The release of the Tamil musical film Aayirathil Oruvan marks the end of the composing partnership between T. K. Ramamoorthy and M. S. Viswanathan.
July 25 – Bob Dylan plays the Newport Folk Festival, is booed for playing electric set with The Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Joan Baez and Donovan also play sets.
The Small Faces release “Whatcha Gonna Do About It”, their first single.
The Beatles release the soundtrack to their second movie Help!
August 14 – The husband-and-wife American pop duo Sonny & Cher earned their first number one hit I Got You Babe. It peaked at that position in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand.
August 15 – The Beatles play at Shea Stadium, the first rock concert to be held in a venue of that size. The concert also set new world records for attendance (55,600+) and for revenue.
August 27 – The Beatles visit Elvis Presley at his home in Bel-Air. It is the only time the band and the singer meet.
September 30 – Donovan appears on Shindig! in the U.S. and plays Buffy Sainte-Marie’s “Universal Soldier”.
October 15 – Guitarist Jimi Hendrix signs a three-year recording contract with Ed Chaplin, receiving $1 and 1% royalty on records with Curtis Knight. The agreement will later cause continuous litigation problems with Hendrix and other record labels.
October 17 – The Animals appear a fourth time on The Ed Sullivan Show.
October 26 – The Beatles are appointed Members of the British Empire (MBE) by the Queen. Since it was unusual for popular musicians to be appointed as MBEs, a number of previous recipients complained and protested.
November 5 – The Who release their iconic single “My Generation” in the UK. This song contains the famous line: “I hope I die before I get old”
November 14 – The Supremes have their sixth number-one record, “I Hear A Symphony”, for Motown Records.
November 26 – Arlo Guthrie is arrested in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, for the crime of littering, perpetrated the day before (Thanksgiving) in the nearby town of Stockbridge. The resultant events and adventure would be immortalized in the song “Alice’s Restaurant”.
The Beatles release their album Rubber Soul, along with the double A-sided single “Day Tripper / We Can Work It Out”. George Harrison’s performance on the sitar on the track “Norwegian Wood” leads to his becoming a pupil of Ravi Shankar.
The Who release their debut album My Generation.
Toho College of Music is established in Kawagoe, Saitama, Japan.
Michael Tippett is invited as guest composer to the music festival in Aspen, Colorado. The visit leads to major changes in his style.
Event Dates Unknown