1960: Elvis comes home, everyone’s doing the Twist

Chubby Checker’s recording of “The Twist” inspires the first global dance craze.

Philadelphia-based label Cameo-Parkway had a string of success with Checker and Bobby Rydell, the latter’s 1960 single “Wild One” hitting #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Legendary artists like Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, John Coltrane and Ray Charles had popular releases in 1960, including Fitzgerald’s landmark live album Ella in Berlin, which went on to be inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.

After two years serving overseas, Elvis returns home to the States and immediately films G.I. Blues. His recording of “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” was a topper on both the Pop Singles and R&B charts.

Meanwhile, The Silver Beetles change their name to The Beatles following a tour of Scotland and begin their residency in Hamburg, Germany, still three years away from releasing their first record.

Listen to some of 1960’s biggest songs below and let us know if you think it was the Greatest Year in Music in the  comments or across social media with #XPNGreatestYear.


Bing & Satchmo – Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong
Change of the Century – Ornette Coleman
Ella in Berlin: Mack the Knife – Ella Fitzgerald
Elvis is Back! – Elvis Presley
The Genius Hits the Road – Ray Charles
Giant Steps – John Coltrane
Have Guitar Will Travel – Bo Diddley
It’s Everly Time – The Everly Brothers
Joan Baez – Joan Baez
Me and My Shadows – Cliff Richard
Nice ‘n’ Easy – Frank Sinatra
That’s All – Bobby Darin
Portrait in Jazz – Bill Evans Trio
Ride This Train – Johnny Cash
Swingin’ on the Moon – Mel Tormé

Category: 60s


Article by: Julie Miller