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Railroad worker John Henry dies after suffering a heart attack while trying to race a mechanised steam drill on a site along the Georgia Central Line near the Oak and Coosa Mountains, Alabama, USA. The result of the race is that John Henry drilled 27 1/2 feet while the steam drill managed just 21. John Henry's achievement is immortalised in the song that bears his name, which has been recorded in many versions by artists including Harry Belafonte, Furry Lewis, Big Bill Broonzy, Uncle Dave Macon, Leon Bibb, Lead Belly, Johnny Cash, Woody Guthrie, Paul Robeson, Pete Seeger, Bruce Springsteen and Ramblin' Jack Elliott.
Frederick Wilmoth Hendricks is born in Port Of Spain, Trinidad And Tobago, Caribbean. He will find international fame as calypsonian Wilmoth Houdini.
Musical comedy The Girl From Utah closes at The Knickerbocker Theatre, Broadway, New York City, USA, after a run of 140 performances. This production features several songs by Jerome Kern, including They Didn't Believe Me, which will become a popular standard, recorded by artists including Frank Sinatra, George Sanders, Dinah Washington, Jeanette MacDonald, Charlie Parker, Elvis Costello, Stan Kenton, Bill Frisell, Harry Belafonte, Leontyne Price and Marian McPartland.
Rupert Westmore Grant, better known as calypso star Lord Invader, is born in San Fernando, Trinidad.
Robert DeCormier [aka Bob Corman] is born in Poughkeepsie, New York State, USA. He will achieve success as an American musical conductor, arranger, and director, working with many singers and groups, including Harry Belafonte and Peter, Paul and Mary, and Milt Okun.
Harold George is born in Harlem, New York City. He will find fame as Harry Belafonte, hugely popular US singer/actor, and occasional employer of Bob Dylan's talents as a harmonica player.
Blind Blake records Hookworm Blues, Poker Woman Blues, Doing A Stretch, Fightin' the Jug and Slippery Rag in Richmond, Indiana, USA, for Paramount Records.
Blind Blake records Too Tight Blues No2, Hastings Street and Georgia Bound in Richmond, Indiana, USA, for Paramount Records.
A devastating 140mph hurricane hits The Bahamas. It will go down in local legend as The Great Andros Island Hurricane, and will be immortalised in the song Run Come See Jerusalem, written by Bahamian calypso singer Blind Blake.
Ernest Ranglin is born in Manchester, West Central Jamica, Caribbean. He will find success as an extraordinarily versatile guitarist whose talent embraced the jazz, pop, calypso and mento styles, as well as composing music for films. He is perhaps most well-known as the man who played guitar on and arranged the 1963 international hit My Boy Lollipop by Millie Small.
Mrs Wallis Simpson files for divorce which will clear the path for her to marry King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, thus forcing his abdication from the throne. The affair between Edward and Mrs Simpson will inspire calypso musician Blind Blake to write and record the song Love, Love Alone.
Lord Invader, The Duke Of Iron, Macbeth and Gerald Clark And His Band play in a concert entitled Calypso At Midnight, in The Town Hall, New York City, USA.
Calypsonian Lord Beginner with Cyril Blake's Calypso Serenaders records The Dollar And The Pound and I Will Die A Bachelor, for Parlophone Records in Abbey Road Studios, London, UK.
The romantic comedy musical film The Petty Girl, starring Robert Cummings and Joan Caulfield, opens at cinemas in New York, USA. All of the songs in the film, including Fancy Free, Calypso Song, I Loves Ya and The Petty Girl, are written by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer.
The Weavers, including Pete Seeger, record Wreck Of The John B (aka Sloop John B) and The Roving Kind for Decca Records in Decca Recording Studio, Pythian Temple, 135 West 70th Street, New York City, USA.
The Guardian newspaper reports that, "Hell
The Trinidad All Steel Percussion Orchestra (TASPO) sails on the SS San Mateo from Trinidad, Caribbean, headed for England. Later in the month, they will perform at The South Bank Exhibition, London, UK. This is considered to have been the first exposure of white Britons to steel band music in a live context. By the end of the year, steel band music will have become hugely popular in the UK.
Blind Blake And His Royal Victoria Hotel Calypsos release a new 2-EP 45rpm set, A Second Album Of Bahamian Songs, on Art Records in the USA.
Trinidadian singer Young Tiger appears on British television singing a calypso-style song, I Was There (at the Coronation), which described in great detail the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, which had taken place earlier in the day. Young Tiger had in fact recorded the song two months earlier based on advance information he had been given about the Coronation. Other songs inspired by Queen Elizabeth II include God Save The Queen (1977) by The Sex Pistols and Her Majesty (1969) by The Beatles.
The stage show John Murray Anderson's Almanac - A Musical Harlequinade, starring Harry Belafonte, with songs by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, plays at The Imperial Theatre on Broadway, New York City, USA, during a run of 229 performances.
Harry Belafonte records Kalenda Rock [Mourning Song] in RCA Victor's Manhattan Center, New York City, USA. Pianist on the session is Ray Charles.
Harry Belafonte records The Drummer And The Cook, The Fox, Delia and Soldier, Soldier in RCA Victor's Manhattan Center, New York City, USA.
At the end of a run of 229 performances, the stage revue John Murray Anderson's Almanac - A Musical Harlequinade, starring Harry Belafonte, closes at The Imperial Theatre on Broadway, New York City, USA.
The musical film Carmen Jones, a contemporary version of the opera Carmen by Georges Bizet, starring Harry Belafonte, Pearl Bailey and Dorothy Dandridge opens in the USA.
Harry Belafonte records Matilda, Matilda! for RCA Victor Records at Radio Recorders, Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood, California, USA.
Belafonte by Harry Belafonte reaches No1 in the Billboard US popular albums chart.
Hound Dog by Elvis Presley begins its fourth of eleven weeks at No1 in the Billboard Top Forty singles chart in the USA. On the same day, Let The Good Times Roll by New Orleans duo Shirley And Lee enters the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart, and Calypso by Harry Belafonte reaches No1 in the Billboard popular albums chart.
The Top 5 singles in the UK, according to today's edition of the New Musical Express [NME] newspaper are as follows :
  1. Mary's Boy Child by Harry Belafonte [RCA]
  2. Wake Up Little Susie by The Everly Brothers [London]
  3. My Special Angel by Malcolm Vaughan [HMV]
  4. Ma, He's Making Eyes at Me by The Johnny Otis Show/Marle Adams [Capitol]
  5. Great Balls of Fire by Jerry Lee Lewis [London]
The movie musical Bop Girl (aka Bop Girl Goes Calypso) is released to cinemas in Venezuela, South America. The movie stars Judy Tytler, but also features appearances by Bobby Troup, The Mary Kaye Trio, The Goofers, Lord Flea and Nino Tempo.
Lord Myrie [guitar and vocals], Cecil Mitchell? [banjo] and James Convery [marimba box], record the album Calypso Jamaica in Kingston, Jamaica, for Cook-Microfusion Records.
The Kingston Trio record Oh Sail Away for Capitol Records in Los Angeles, California, USA.
Rory Storm And The Hurricanes, including drummer Ringo Starr, are fulfilling a three month residency at the Rock And Calypso Ballroom, Butlins, Skegness, England, UK, Europe.
The Cashbox magazine mono LP chart published on this day in the USA is as follows :


2. Judy At Carnegie Hall - Judy Garland

3. Something For Everybody - Elvis Presley

4. Great Motion Picture Themes - Various Artists

5. Goin' Places - Kingston Trio

6. Sinatra Swings - Frank Sinatra

7. Yellow Bird - Lawrence Welk

8. Astronaut - Bill Dana

9. Come Swing With Me - Frank Sinatra

10. Jump Up Calypso - Harry Belafonte

11. Quarter To Three - Gary U.S. Bonds

12. Four Preps On Campus - Four Preps

13. Never On Sunday - Soundtrack

14. Camelot - Original Cast

15. TV Sing Along With Mitch - Mitch Miller

16. Paul Anka - Sings His Big 15 Volume II

17. Knockers Up - Rusty Warren

18. Stars For A Summer Night - Various Artists

19. Ebb Tide - Earl Grant

20. Your Request Sing Along With Mitch - Mitch Miller

Rupert Westmore Grant, better known as calypso star Lord Invader, dies in hospital following a short illness, in Queens, New York, USA, aged 47.
Cy Grant performs a topical calypso on the BBC tv current affairs programme Tonight in London, England, UK.
Cy Grant performs a news-based calypso on the BBC-tv topical magazine show Tonight, broadcast live from London, England, UK, Europe.
As part of the Forest Hills Music Festival, Harry Belafonte and Miriam Makeba play the second of three nights at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, New York City, USA.
As part of the Forest Hills Music Festival, Harry Belafonte and Miriam Makeba play the last of three nights at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, New York City, USA.
Harry Belafonte plays the first of five nights at The Opera House, Chicago, Illinois, USA, with Nana Mouskouri.
Harry Belafonte plays the third of five nights at The Opera House, Chicago, Illinois, USA, with Nana Mouskouri.
Harry Belafonte plays at The Ravinia Festival Highland Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Popular calypso singer and recording artist Sir Lancelot dies of natural causes, aged 98, in Anaheim, California, USA.
The Notting Hill Carnival sets West London, England, UK, alight with the very best in West Indian music, dance, food and culture, drawing in a crowd of 750,000 people.
The eight-day long Trinidad And Tobago Steelpan Jazz Festival begins. Artists appearing over the next eight days include Steel Pulse, Al Jarreau, David 'Fathead' Williams, David Rudder and others.
Stricken with cancer, calypso singer and songwriter The Mighty Terror is confined at the Radiotherapy Centre, St James Medical Complex, Trinidad.
Calypso singer and songwriter The Mighty Terror dies of cancer in Trinidad, Caribbean, aged 86.
Singer and actor Cy Grant, the first black person to have been featured regularly on television in the United Kingdom, dies aged 90 in Highgate, London, England, UK, Europe. He was perhaps best-known for his frequent appearances on the BBC current affairs show Tonight. He was also a political activist, working to increase recognition of the achievements and rights of black people. In 1974, he set up the Drum Arts Centre in London, to provide a springboard and a national centre for black artistic talent.
Guitarist and songwriter Steven Springer, best-known as a member of the Trinidad Tripoli Steel Band, dies aged 60 of cancer, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. Springer also played with Sir Lancelot Pinard and the band Sanctuary, and he founded the musical project Tropicooljazz.
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The 57th Grammy Awards event is held at The Staples Center, Los Angeles, California, USA. Sam Smith is the big winner on the night, collecting trophies for Best New Artist, Song of the Year (Stay with Me), Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album, ahead of Miley Cyrus, Coldplay, Ariana Grande, Katy Perry and Ed Sheeran. The full list of 57th Annual Grammy Awards Winners is as follows : Record of the Year: Stay with Me, Sam Smith Album of the Year: Morning Phase, Beck Song of the Year: Stay With Me (Darkchild Version), Sam Smith, James Napier, William Phillips, Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty Best Country Album: Miranda Lambert, Platinum Best R'n'B Performance: Drunk in Love, Beyonce featuring Jay Z Best Rock Album: Beck, Morning Phase Best Pop Vocal Album: Sam Smith, In the Lonely Hour Best Pop Solo Performance: Happy, Pharrell Williams Best New Artist: Sam Smith Producer of the Year, Non-Classical: Max Martin for Bang Bang, Break Free, Dark Horse, Problem, Shake It Off, Unconditionally Best Folk Album: Old Crow Medicine Show, Remedy Best Americana Album: Rosanne Cash, The River and the Thread Best American Roots Song: A Feather's Not a Bird, Rosanne Cash And John Leventhal Best American Roots Performance: A Feather's Not a Bird, Rosanne Cash Best R'n'B Album: Toni Braxton And Babyface, Love Marriage Divorce Best Urban Contemporary Album: Pharrell Williams, G I R L Best R'n'B Song: Drunk in Love, Shawn Carter, Rasool Diaz, Noel Fisher, Jerome Harmon, Beyonce Knowles, Timothy Mosely, Andre Eric Proctor And Brian Soko, songwriters (Beyonce feat. Jay Z) Best Traditional R'n'B Performance: Jesus Children, Robert Glasper Experiment featuring Malcolm Jamal Warner And Lalah Hathaway Best Rap Album: Eminem, Marshall Mathers LP2 Best Rap Song: I, K. Duckworth And C. Smith, songwriters (Kendrick Lamar) Best Rap/Sung Collaboration: The Monster, Eminem feat. Rihanna Best Rap Performance: I, Kendrick Lamar Best Comedy Album: Weird Al Yankovic, Mandatory Fun Best Spoken Word Album: Joan Rivers, Diary of a Mad Diva Best Blues Album: Johnny Winter, Step Back Best Alternative Music Album: St. Vincent, St. Vincent Best Rock Song: Ain't It Fun, Hayley Williams and Taylor York Best Metal Performance: Last in Line, Tenacious D Best Rock Performance: Lazaretto, Jack White Best Contemporary Instrumental Album: Chris Thile and Edgar Meyer, Bass and Mandolin Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album: Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, Cheek to Cheek Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: Say Something, Great Big World And Christina Aguilera Best Bluegrass Album: The Earls of Leicester, The Earls of Leicester Best Country Song: I'm Not Going to Miss You, Glen Campbell And Julian Raymond, songwriters (Glen Campbell) Best Country Duo/Group Performance: Gentle on My Mind, The Band Perry Best Country Solo Performance: Something in the Water, Carrie Underwood Best Music Film: 20 Feet From Stardom, Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer And Judith Hill Best Music Video: Happy, Pharrell Williams Best Song Written for Visual Media: Let It Go, Kristen Anderson-Lopez And Robert Lopez, songwriters (Idina Menzel) Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media: Grand Budapest Hotel, Alexandre Desplat, composer Best compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media: Frozen, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez, Tom MacDougall And Chris Montan, compilation producers Best Musical Theater Album: Beautiful: the Carole King Musical, Jessie Mueller, principal soloist; Jason Howland, Steve Sidwell And Billy Jay Stein, producers (Carole King, composer/lyricist) Best Latin Jazz Album: Arturo O'Farrill And The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, The Offense of the Drum Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album: Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band, Life in the Bubble Best Jazz Instrumental: Trilogy, Chick Corea Trio Best Jazz Vocal Album: Dianne Reeves, Beautiful Life Best Improvised Jazz Solo: Fingerprints, Chick Corea Best Dance/Electronic Album: Syro, Aphex Twin Best Dance Recording: Rather Be, Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne Best Tropical Latin Album: Carlos Vives, Mas And Corazon Profundo Best Regional Mexican Music Album: Vicente Fernandez, Mano a Mano Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative: Calle 13, Multiviral Best Latin Pop Album: Ruben Blades, Tangos Best Roots Gospel Album: Mike Farris, Shine For All the People Best Contemporary Christian Music Album: For King and Country, Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong Best Gospel Album: Erica Campbell, Help Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song: Messengers, Lecrae featuring For King and Country Best Gospel Performance/Song: No Greater Love, Smokie Norful And Aaron W. Lindsey, songwriters (Smokie Norful) Best Contemporary Classical Composition: John Luther Adams, Adams, John Luther: Become Ocean (Ludovic Morlot And Seattle Symphony) Best Classical Compendium: Partch, Partch: Plectra And Percussion Dances Best Classical Solo Vocal Album Anne Sofie Von Otter, Douce France (Carl Bagge, Margareta Bengston, Mats Bergstrom, Per Ekdahl, Bengan Janson, Olle Linder And Antoine Tamestit) Best Classical Instrumental Solo: Jason Vieaux, Play Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance: Hilary Hahn And Cory Smythe, In 27 Pieces - The Hilary Hahn Encores Best Choral Performance: Craig Hella Johnson, The Sacred Spirit of Russia (Conspirare) Best Opera Recording: Charpentier: La Descente D'Orphee Aux Enfers Best Orchestral Performance: John Adams (City Noir) Producer of the Year, Classical: Judith Sherman Best Surround Sound Album: Beyonce, Beyonce Best Remixed Recording Non-Classical: All of Me (Tiestos Birthday Treatment Remix, Tijs Michiel Verwest, remixer (John Legend) Best Engineered Album Non-Classical: Beck, Morning Phase Best Historical Album: Hank Williams, The Garden Spot Programs, 1950 Best Album Notes: John Coltrane, Offering: Live at Temple University Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package: Jack White, Susan Archie And Dean Blackwood, The Rise And Fall of Paramount Records, Vol. One (1917-27) Best Recording Package: Pearl Jam, Lighting Bolt Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) : New York Tendaberry, Billy Childs feat. Renee Fleming And Yo-Yo Ma Best Arrangement, Instrumental or a Capella: Daft Punk, Pentatonix Best Instrumental Composition: The Book Thief, John Williams Best Children's Album: I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World Best World Music Album: Angelique Kidjo, Eve Best Reggae Album: Ziggy Marley, Fly Rasta Best Regional Music Album: Jo-El Sonnier, The Legacy Best New Age Album: Ricky Kej And Wouter Kellerman, Winds of Samsara