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Musical comedy The Boy Friend, with songs by Sandy Wilson, plays at The Royale Theatre, Broadway, New York City, USA, during a run of 485 performances. The show stars Julie Andrews, and also features English singer Millicent Martin.
The song Happy Days And Lonely Nights, written back in 1928, enters the UK Sheet Music chart, where it will peak at No4, having been recorded by Ruby Murray, The Fontane Sisters, Frankie Vaughan, The Joe Loss Orchestra and many others.
American trade magazine Billboard gives a rave review to a new Atlantic Records single, I've Got A Woman [aka I Got A Woman], by Ray Charles, describing it as "One of the most infectious blues sides to come out on any label since the summer."
Legendary jazz trumpeter Clark Terry has a recording session for EmArcy Records at Fine Recording Studios, New York City, USA, with Art Blakey playing drums. Tracks recorded are Double Play, Slow Boat, Swahili and Co-Op. Musical arranger for the session is Quincy Jones.
Mark Hollis of Talk Talk is born in Tottenham, London, UK.
American music trade magazine Billboard reports that two MOR crooners, Perry Como and Tony Bennett are about to release r'n'b-flavoured tracks. This is taken as indicative of increased interest from the major record labels in a style which was, until recently, an indpendent phenomenon. Como is reported to have covered Ko Ko Mo, originally by Gene And Eunice, but there is not word about which tracks Bennett has recorded.
Controversial deejay Alan Freed stages his first New York City, USA, show, the Rock'n'Roll Jubilee Ball, at St Nicholas Arena, Harlem, starring Fats Domino, The Drifters, The Harptones, Ruth Brown, Joe Turner and The Moonglows.
Mambo Italiano by Rosemary Clooney reaches No1 in the Popular Singles Chart in the UK.
Muddy Waters records Young Fashioned Ways, I Want To Be Loved and My Eyes, for Chess Records, in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Softly Softly by Ruby Murray reaches No1 in the UK singles chart.
Charles Brown and The Stomp Gordon Band play at the Savoy Ballroom, Los Angeles, California, USA.
Country music duo Joe and Rose Lee Maphis record You Ain't Got The Sense (You Were Borned With) and Your Old Love Letters, for OKeh Records.
Bo Diddley records I'm A Man, for Chess Records, in Chicago, Illinois, USA. The track is an 'answer song' to Muddy Waters' and Willie Dixon's 1954 composition Hoochie Coochie Man. I'm A Man will, in its turn, inspire Muddy Waters to compose and record Manish Boy (aka Mannish Boy).
Jazz great Charlie 'Bird' Parker plays at Birdland, New York City, USA, in what will prove to be his last public performance.
The rock'n'roll movie Blackboard Jungle premieres in the USA, featuring Rock Around The Clock by Bill Haley and His Comets, as the title song.
Blues-soul recording artist Willie Clayton is born in Indianola, Mississippi, USA.
Fats Domino records Blue Monday for Imperial Records at Master Recorders, Hollywood, California, USA.
Bo Diddley releases a new single, Bo Diddley, in the USA on Checker Records.
T.J. Fowler plays at Springbrook Gardens, Lima, Ohio, USA.
T.J. Fowler plays at Springbrook Gardens, Lima, Ohio, USA.
Unchained Melody by Roy Hamilton enters the Billboard Top 40 Singles Chart in the USA. It will peak at No6 during a sixteen-week run on the chart.
Guitar Slim plays at Springbrook Gardens, Lima, Ohio, USA.
Ruth Brown's American hit, Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean, is banned from radio broadcasts by the BBC in the UK, on the grounds that it might encourage wife-beating.
Paul Robeson gives a concert at the California Hall, San Francisco, California, USA, as part of United Nations Week celebrations.
The Hank Snow All-Star Jamboree, featuring Hank Snow, Mother Maybelle And The Carter Sisters, The Rainbow Ranch Boys, Martha Carson And Her Country Gentlemen, The Davis Sisters (including Skeeter Davis) and The Jimmie Rodgers Show plays in Terry Arena, Scottsbluff, Nebraska, USA.
US trade magazine Billboard runs a feature suggesting that the success of r'n'b and jazz artists such as LaVern Baker and Sarah Vaughan on the singles charts is attributable to the number of cover versions being made by white artists.
Fats Domino's original version of Ain't That A Shame enters the Billboard singles chart in the USA, where it will peak at No10 during a thirteen-week run.
The film Young Man With A Horn [aka Young Man Of Music], opens in cinemas in Belgium, Europe. The film, based loosely on the life of Bix Beiderbecke, stars Kirk Douglas as a troubled young jazz trumpeteer, and includes acting roles for popular vocalist Doris Day, and songwiter Hoagy Carmichael.
Bill Haley begins a legal suit against his former label, Essex Records, to prevent them releasing material he recorded before his huge success with Decca.
Maybellene by Chuck Berry enters the Billboard US Top 40 singles chart at No13.
A Federal District Court judge refuses to order the US State Department to issue a passport to singer Paul Robeson, but implies that one could be issued if Robeson denounces the Communist party. Robeson refuses, and tells reporters, "Of course I won't sign it. I consider it an invasion of every constitutional liberty I have."
The Clovers and Ruth Brown play the last night of a week at The Apollo, Harlem, New York City, USA.
Elvis Presley's manager, Col Tom Parker, writes to road manager Bob Neal about the need to school the "young, inexperienced" Elvis in professional behaviour. This comes in the wake of Parker having to give a $50 refund to a gig promoter who complained that Elvis had told "off-colour" jokes during a show in Batesville, Arkansas, USA.
Elvis Presley plays in The Sportcenter, Austin, Texas, USA.
Fourteen year old black boy Emmett Till is abducted, brutally murdered and thrown into the Tallahatchie River after allegedly flirting with a white woman in Greenwood, Mississippi, USA. Tens of thousands will attend his funeral or view his casket, and images of his mutilated body will be published in black magazines and newspapers, rallying popular black support and white sympathy across the USA. Bob Dylan will tell the story in his 1962 song The Death Of Emmett Till. There is also an earlier song, called The Death Of Emmett Till, written by distinguished Los Angeles community leader Ms. A. C. Bilbrew, and recorded in 1955 by The Ramparts for the Los Angeles doo-wop label, Dootone.
The Tommy Whittle Quintet performs You've Done Something To My Heart, A Ghost Of A Chance, Queen Bess and The Finisher, during a live session for the BBC Radio broadcast British Jazz, in London, UK.
Ev'rywhere by David Whitfield reaches No1 in the Sheet Music Sales Chart in the UK.
Frederick J. Troppe of Joliet, Illinois, USA, is awarded US Patent No 2716917A in respect of his invention of a tone modifier for musical instruments of the accordion type.
Big Maybelle releases a new single, One Monkey Don't Stop No Show/Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On, on OKeh Records in the USA.
In Cosimo Matassa's J + M Studios, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. Little Richard finishes his first two-day recording session for Specialty Records. One of the songs recorded at this session is Tutti Frutti.
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Joe Williams plays live with the Count Basie Orchestra at Birdland, New York City.
Only You by The Platters enters the Billboard US Top 40 singles chart, where it will peak at No5. On the same day, The Platters record The Great Pretender for Mercury Records in New York City.
Elvis Presley plays at the Houston Armory, Houston, Mississippi, USA.
B.B. King opens for a series of dates at the 5-4 Club, Los Angeles, California, USA.
British comedian Tony Hancock broadcasts one of the first send-ups of rock'n'roll music on the BBC Light Programme show Hancock's Half Hour in the UK.
Bill Haley and His Comets, Johnnie Ray and LaVern Baker play the second night in a five-day run at The Paramount, Brooklyn, New York City, USA.
Sun Records of Memphis, Tennessee, USA, release Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash, which becomes his first significant seller.
Doo-wop quintet The Scale-Tones are signed by veteran producer and record company owner Joe Davis, to his Jay-Dee label in New York City, USA. They will not enjoy any success until they evolve into The Dubs.