This is a summary of 1961 in music in the United Kingdom, including the official charts from that year.
1961 in British music Wikipedia
Popular music in the UK was still dominated by American acts. Skiffle and traditional jazz were still popular.18 March - The Allisons represent the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest, held at Cannes in France. They finish second with "Are You Sure?", a song the duo wrote themselves. The song sells a million copies and goes to number 2 in the official UK singles chart (#1 in some charts).
21 March – The Beatles perform at the Cavern Club for the first time.
September - Myra Hess gives her last public concert, at London's Royal Festival Hall.
The Leeds International Pianoforte Competition is founded by Marion, Countess of Harewood and Fanny Waterman (first competition held in 1963).
See UK No.1 Hits of 1961
Malcolm Arnold – Symphony No. 5
Benjamin Britten –
The National Anthem - arrangement
Alun Hoddinott – Concerto for Piano, Winds and Percussion
Nicholas Maw - Our Lady's Song
Alan Rawsthorne – Concerto for Ten Instruments
Grace Williams – The Parlour
Malcolm Arnold - Whistle Down the Wind, starring Hayley Mills, Bernard Lee and Alan Bates.
Benjamin Frankel - The Curse of the Werewolf directed by Terence Fisher, starring Oliver Reed.
Wilfred Josephs - Cash on Demand, starring Peter Cushing.
16 March - The London production of The Music Man opens at the Adelphi Theatre, starring Van Johnson, Patricia Lambert, Ruth Kettlewell and Dennis Waterman.
20 July - Stop the World – I Want to Get Off (Music, Lyrics and Book: Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse) opens at the Queen's Theatre; it runs for 485 performances.
3 August - Wildest Dreams (by Julian Slade) opens at the Vaudeville Theatre; it runs for 76 performances.
12 October - The London production of Do-Re-Mi opens at the Prince of Wales Theatre; it runs for 169 performances.
London revival of Salad Days (Julian Slade), at Prince's Theatre
The London production of The Sound of Music (Music: Richard Rodgers Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II Book: Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse) opens at the Palace Theatre; it runs for 2385 performances.
The Young Ones, starring Cliff Richard
13 January – Suggs, singer (Madness)
27 January – Gillian Gilbert (New Order)
16 February – Andy Taylor, guitarist (Duran Duran)
20 March – Slim Jim Phantom (The Stray Cats)
Susan Boyle, Scottish singer
Mark White (ABC)
28 April – Roland Gift, singer (Fine Young Cannibals)
4 May - Jay Aston, singer with Bucks Fizz
7 May - Phil Campbell, (Motörhead)
12 May - Billy Duffy, English guitarist and songwriter (The Cult, Theatre of Hate, and The Nosebleeds)
18 May - Russell Senior, guitarist and violinist (Pulp)
20 May – Nick Heyward, singer-songwriter
14 June – Boy George, singer
18 June – Alison Moyet, singer
22 June – Jimmy Somerville, British singer
24 June – Curt Smith, singer (Tears for Fears)
25 June – Ricky Gervais, comedian and singer
3 July – Tim Smith, English singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer (Cardiacs, The Sea Nymphs, Spratleys Japs, and Panixphere)
23 July – Martin Gore, rock musician and songwriter
13 August - Stuart Maconie, DJ and music critic
15 August – Matt Johnson, singer-songwriter
22 August - Roland Orzabal (Tears for Fears)
23 August - Mark Bedford (Madness)
28 August – Kim Appleby, singer (Mel and Kim)
22 November - Stephen Hough, pianist
17 December – Sara Dallin, vocalist (Bananarama)
29 December – Jim Reid, vocalist (Jesus and Mary Chain)
January – Margaret Balfour, mezzo-soprano, 69
26 February - Lee Lawrence, singer, 40 (heart attack)
6 March – George Formby, music hall comedian, singer & songwriter and ukulele player extraordinaire, 56 (heart attack)
8 March – Sir Thomas Beecham, conductor, 81
7 April - W. Arundel Orchard, organist, pianist, composer and conductor, 93
14 August - Heddle Nash, operatic tenor, 67
15 August - Katharine Emily Eggar, pianist, 87
23 November - York Bowen, pianist and composer, 77
25 November - Adelina de Lara, pianist and composer, 89
30 November - Winifred Lawson, opera and concert soprano, 69
30 December - Boris Ord, organist and choirmaster, 64