List of notable events in music that took place in the year 1969.
1969 was the last year in which the United States government gave greater financial support, through the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) "Music Program" to opera than it did to other classical music, and the first year in which it gave any support at all to jazz and folk music.
Perhaps the two most famous musical events of 1969 were concerts. At a Rolling Stones concert in Altamont, California, a fan was stabbed to death by Hells Angels, a biker gang that had been hired to provide security for the event. In retrospect, some commentators have concluded that the violence signaled the end of the "hippie" movement, which espoused an ethos of free love and peace. Even more famous than the Altamont concert was the Woodstock festival, which consisted of dozens of the most famous performers in the world at the time, playing together in an atmosphere of peace with nature and love, with many thousands of concert goers; it is still one of the largest concerts in the history of the world. One of those who performed was Ravi Shankar, his presence reflecting a growing interest in Indian and other Eastern music; Shankar later said that the 1960s "got India wrong".
The 1967 musical Hair generated the same-named 1968 album, whose cuts include "Aquarius" and "Let The Sunshine In", "Hair", "Good Morning Starshine", "Easy to Be Hard" (covered, chronologically and respectively, by The 5th Dimension at number 1, The Cowsills at number 2, Oliver at number 3, Three Dog Night at number 4, on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1969), and others, and a London Cast album released in April 1969.
The Isle of Wight Festival saw the return of Bob Dylan to live music after his motorbike accident in 1966.
US and UK pop music remained popular worldwide, with few European acts making the charts outside their home countries; exceptions included Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg, Shocking Blue, Georges Moustaki and Christian Anders.
David Bowie's "Space Oddity" became a huge hit in this year, being released at the time that American astronauts first landed on the moon. The song, the story of an astronaut named Major Tom who goes into space and is entranced by the beauty of seeing Earth from such a great distance and consequently lets himself float off into space, never again to return, was chosen by the BBC as the theme song for the television coverage of the moon landing. The remainder of the album, Man of Words/Man of Music, was too eccentric for mainstream acceptance, though it established a devoted fanbase for Bowie, who would go on to become one of the most popular musicians in the world.
King Crimson's In the Court of the Crimson King is a pioneering album in the development of progressive rock. The album drew upon influences like Procol Harum, The Moody Blues and The Nice to form a sound melding rock and roll with classical influences in long pieces of music. Similar albums by The Moody Blues, Procol Harum and The Nice, as well as Genesis, Yes and Pink Floyd were also released this year, expanding the range of prog rock and developing it into a full-fledged genre.
The Stooges' eponymous debut, The Stooges, was also released this year to little critical or popular acceptance. The album, however, went on to become one of the most important recordings in the early development of punk rock, as did Kick Out The Jams by Detroit protopunkers MC5.
Johnny Cash's At San Quentin included his only Top Ten pop hit, "A Boy Named Sue". The album was a sequel to last year's At Folsom Prison. Also in country music, Merle Haggard's Same Train, Different Time, a tribute to Jimmie Rodgers, was enormously popular and influenced the development of the Bakersfield sound into outlaw country within a few years.
Creedence Clearwater Revival cement their success from the previous year. Having had a single US number 11 hit in 1968 with "Suzie Q", they release not only their second, but also their third and fourth proper studio album in 1969, as well as drawing a total of four top 3 hits from these three albums. Starting with Bayou Country, including the US number 2 hit "Proud Mary", and continuing with Green River and finally Willy and the Poor Boys, which, during the year, transformed them from an up-and-coming underground act to bona fide rockstars. During 1969, Creedence Clearwater Revival had number 2 hits in the US with "Proud Mary", "Green River" and "Bad Moon Rising", and also have a number 3 hit with "Down on the Corner"/"Fortunate Son".
Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso released enormously popular albums in Brazil, Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso, respectively. The pair's fusion of bossa nova, samba and other native Brazilian folk influences, melded with politically and socially aware lyrics, kickstarted what came to be known as Tropicalia. Both musicians moved to London after a period of imprisonment for anti-government activities in Brazil.
Family released their second album, Family Entertainment, in their native Britain. It is their first top 10 album in the United Kingdom, hitting number six. "The Weaver's Answer", which opens the record, becomes their most popular song in their concert performances. By the end of the year, however, they lose and replace two members, and their first attempt to break through commercially in the United States backfires miserably.
Elvis Presley returned to live performances at the International Hotel in Las Vegas; breaking all attendance records in his 57-concert run. He also enjoyed great success with his songs "In the Ghetto" and "Suspicious Minds".
The Wendy Carlos album Switched-On Bach was one of the first classical albums to sell 500,000 copies, and helped bring classical music into the popular sphere, as did Mason Williams' "Classical Gas", played on classical guitar, in addition to being accompanied by one of the first successful music videos. The composition won three Grammy Awards: Best Instrumental Composition, Best Contemporary-Pop Performance, Instrumental, and Best Instrumental Arrangement. In the meantime, German trumpeter Manfred Schoof's free jazz album, European Echoes, a recording of his half-hour free improvisation broadcast on German radio in June 1969, featured international musicians and is regarded as a seminal album in the genre.Alexander von Schlippenbach's The Living Music, recorded a couple of months earlier, is also now regarded as a pioneering work.
Chutney music was also first recorded in 1969, in Trinidad and Tobago by Sundar Popo.
New York City Ballet celebrates their 25th anniversary with performances at the David H. Koch Theater Lincoln Center.
- January 4 - Guitarist Jimi Hendrix is accused of arrogance by British television producers after playing an impromptu version of "Sunshine of Your Love" past his allotted timeslot on the BBC1 show Happening for Lulu.
- January 12 - Led Zeppelin's eponymous debut album released.
- January 18 - Pete Best wins his defamation lawsuit against The Beatles. Best had originally sought $8 million, but ended up being awarded much less.
- January 30 - The Beatles perform for the last time in public, on the roof of the Apple building at 3 Savile Row, London. The performance, which was filmed for the Let It Be movie, is stopped early by police after neighbors complain about the noise.
- February 3
- February 4 - Paul McCartney hires the law firm of Eastman & Eastman, Linda Eastman's father's law firm, as general legal counsel for Apple Records.
- February 15 - Vickie Jones is arrested for impersonating Aretha Franklin in a concert performance. Jones' impersonation was so convincing that nobody in the audience asked for a refund.
- February 17 - Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan record together in Nashville, Tennessee. Only one song, "Girl from the North Country", would be released from these sessions.
- February 18 - Lulu and Maurice Gibb are married in the UK.
- February 24 - Johnny Cash performs "A Boy Named Sue" at California's San Quentin State Prison
- March 1 - During a performance at Miami's Dinner Key Auditorium, Jim Morrison of the Doors is arrested for allegedly exposing himself during the show. Morrison is officially charged with lewd and lascivious behavior, indecent behavior, open profanity and public drunkenness.
- March 7 - The Who release "Pinball Wizard" as a single with a B-Side of "Dogs (Part Two)."
- March 12
- March 15 - Judy Garland marries Mickey Deans in London.
- March 20 - John Lennon marries Yoko Ono in Gibraltar.
- March 25-31 - John Lennon and Yoko Ono host a "Bed-In" for peace in their room at the Amsterdam Hilton, turning their honeymoon into an antiwar event. Lennon also learns from a morning newspaper that publisher Dick James has sold his shares of Northern Songs to Lew Grade's Associated Television (ATV).
- March 26 - Lotti Golden records her debut LP Motor-Cycle (Atlantic SD 8223) at Atlantic Studios in New York City, featured in Newsweek (July 1969).
- March 29 - At the 14th annual Eurovision Song Contest held at the Teatro Real, Madrid, Spain, the final result is a four-way tie for first place between Spain ("Vivo cantando" - Salomé); United Kingdom ("Boom Bang-a-Bang" - Lulu); Netherlands ("De Troubadour" - Lenny Kuhr) and France ("Un jour, un enfant" - Frida Boccara). As there was no tie-break rule in force up to this time, the four entries involved, who each scored 18 points, are declared ex-aequo winners.
- April 1 - The Beach Boys file a lawsuit against their record label, Capitol Records, for $2,041,446.64 in unpaid royalties and producer's fees for Brian Wilson. Capitol retaliates by deleting most of its Beach Boys catalog, severely limiting the band's income.
- April 8 - Opening for Ten Years After at the Fillmore East in New York City, Family perform their first U.S. concert, and the show is an unmitigated disaster. Vocalist Roger Chapman, on his 27th birthday, throws a microphone stand into the audience, unintentionally in the direction of Fillmore East impresario Bill Graham.
- April 20 - The L.A. Free Festival in Venice, California ends early following a riot of audience members, 117 of which were arrested.
- April 22
- The first complete performance of The Who's rock opera Tommy during a performance in Dolton, Devon, UK
- A Garland for Dr. K., a celebratory collection in honour of the 80th birthday of Alfred Kalmus, consisting of eleven compositions by David Bedford, Harrison Birtwistle, Richard Rodney Bennett, Luciano Berio, Pierre Boulez, Cristóbal Halffter, Roman Haubenstock-Ramati, Henri Pousseur, Bernard Rands, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Hugh Wood is performed at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in the Southbank Centre, London, on a programme that also featured the word premieres of Eight Songs for a Mad King by Peter Maxwell Davies and Linoi II by Birtwistle.
- John Lennon officially changes his name from John Winston Lennon to John Winston Ono-Lennon.
- April 24 - The Beatles make a $5.1 million counter offer to the Northern Songs stockholders in an attempt to keep Associated TV from controlling the band's music.
- April 28 - Chicago releases its debut album, The Chicago Transit Authority.
- May 3
- Sly & the Family Stone release their breakthrough album, Stand!, which became one of the top-selling albums of the decade and made the band one of the most popular acts in rock and soul music.
- Jimi Hendrix is arrested by Canadian Mounties at Toronto's International Airport for possession of narcotics (heroin). Hendrix is released on $10,000 bail.
- May 6 - In London, representatives of Warner Brothers-Seven Arts discuss the purchase of fifteen percent of The Beatles' Northern Songs.
- May 10 - The Turtles perform at the White House. Singer Mark Volman falls off the stage five times.
- May 16 - HPSCHD, an event conceived by John Cage and Lejaren Hiller as a highly immersive multimedia experience, received its premiere performance before an audience of 6000 at the Assembly Hall of the Urbana Campus, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
- May 23 - The Who release their rock opera Tommy.
- May 30-31 - First Annual Rock & Roll Revival in Detroit; Performers include among others MC5, Johnny Winter, Chuck Berry, Dr. John, Sun Ra, David Peel, The Stooges, Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band
- June 2 - John Lennon and Yoko Ono host a "Bed-In" at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The couple records the song "Give Peace a Chance" live in their suite with Tommy Smothers, Timothy Leary, and several others.
- June 7 - Blind Faith make their first live appearance with a free show In Hyde Park. Among the estimated 36,000 in attendance are Mick Jagger, Mick Fleetwood, Donovan, Chas Chandler, Noel Redding, Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood of Traffic, Terry Hicks of The Hollies, and Mike Hugg of Manfred Mann.
- June 13 - Mick Taylor joins the Rolling Stones.
- June 28 - The Stonewall riots erupt in New York City, marking the launch of the gay liberation movement.
- June 29 - Bass player Noel Redding announces to the media that he has quit the Jimi Hendrix Experience, having effectively done so during the recording of Electric Ladyland.
- July 1 - Cornelius Cardew's Scratch Orchestra holds its first meeting. Brian Eno begins his musical career as a member.
- July 3 - Brian Jones is found dead in the swimming pool at his home in Sussex, England, almost a month after leaving The Rolling Stones.
- July 5 - The Rolling Stones proceed with a free concert in Hyde Park, London, as a tribute to Brian Jones; it is also the band's first concert with guitarist Mick Taylor. Estimates of the audience range from 250,000 to 400,000.
- July 31 - Elvis Presley returns to live performances in Las Vegas. The engagement ends on August 28.
- August 8 - Iain Macmillan photographs the cover picture for The Beatles' album Abbey Road at a north London zebra crossing near the Abbey Road Studios.
- August 9 - Members of would-be folk singer Charles Manson's "family" murder film star Sharon Tate and others, in Tate's home.
- August 15-17 - The Woodstock Music and Art Festival is held at Max Yasgur's dairy farm in Bethel, New York, near Woodstock, New York. Performers include Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Who, The Band, Joan Baez, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Country Joe and the Fish, Ten Years After, and Sly & the Family Stone.
- August 20 - Final session for The Beatles' album Abbey Road at Abbey Road Studios in London, the last time all four members of the band are present in a studio together.
- August 21-24 - The Jazz Bilzen Festival is held in Bilzen, Belgium. Performers include Deep Purple, Shocking Blue, The Moody Blues, Soft Machine, Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, The Move and Blossom Toes.
- August 30-31 - The Isle of Wight Festival is held in Wootton Bridge. Performers include among others The Band, Blodwyn Pig, Edgar Broughton Band, Joe Cocker, Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, Bob Dylan, Family, The Who, Free, Mighty Baby, The Moody Blues, The Nice, The Pretty Things, Third Ear Band.
- September 11 - Janis Joplin releases I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama! her first solo album since leaving the group Big Brother and the Holding Company.
- September 13 - John Lennon and Plastic Ono Band perform at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival 12-hour music festival, backed by Eric Clapton, Klaus Voormann and Alan White. Other performers on the bill include Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and up-and-comers Chicago. It is Lennon's first-ever public rock performance without one or more of The Beatles since meeting Paul McCartney in 1957. He decides before returning to the UK to leave The Beatles permanently. During the show, a chicken is somehow in a feather pillow that Alice Cooper normally uses as a stage routine during his band's performance. Cooper, thinking that all birds fly, throws the chicken into the audience and fans tear the chicken and throw it back on stage. The event would be known as "The Chicken Incident" and Cooper develops his reputation as a shock-rocker.
- September 24 - Deep Purple and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra perform the Concerto for Group and Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall in London, in the first elaborate collaboration between a rock band and an orchestra.
- October 14 - The final single by Diana Ross & The Supremes, "Someday We'll Be Together", is released. The single becomes the final number 1 hit of 1969 (and of the 1960s). After a farewell concert in January 1970, Diana Ross leaves the Supremes for a solo career.
- October 18 - Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band Live at the Fillmore East, NY.
- October 22 - Led Zeppelin's second album is released with the song "Whole Lotta Love".
- November - Simon & Garfunkel give live concert at Iowa State University, where they record the track "Bye, Bye Love" for their upcoming album Bridge Over Troubled Water.
- November 1 - After seven years off the top of the charts, Elvis Presley hits No. 1 on the Billboard chart with "Suspicious Minds".
- November 7 - The Rolling Stones open their US tour in Fort Collins, Colorado.
- November 8 - Simon & Garfunkel, on tour for the first time with a band, give live concert in Carbondale, Illinois, presumably at Southern Illinois University. The concert is not released until 1999 as part of a recording compiled by Head Records, called Village Vanguard.
- November 11 - Simon & Garfunkel give live concert at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. The recording is later released in the 1990s as Back to College on Yellow Dog Records and A Time of Innocence on Bell Bottom Records.
- November 15
- 500,000 people march in Washington, D.C. for peace, which becomes the largest anti-war rally in U.S. history. In attendance: Arlo Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Peter, Paul and Mary, John Denver, Mitch Miller, touring cast of Hair
- Musik für die Beethovenhalle in Bonn, a multi-auditorium retrospective concert of the music of Karlheinz Stockhausen, with the world premiere of his Fresco presented in four different foyer spaces continuously over a span of four-and-a-half hours.
- November 29 - Billboard magazine changes its policy of charting the A and B sides of 45 singles on its pop chart. The former policy charted the two sides separately, but the new policy considers both sides as one chart entry. The Beatles are the first beneficiary of the new policy as their current 45 single featuring "Come Together" on one side, and "Something" on the other, accrue enough combined points to make the single a #1 pop hit. Similarly, Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son" and "Down On The Corner" accrue enough combined points to reach number 3 three weeks later.
- November 30 - Simon & Garfunkel air TV special Songs of America, ostensibly an hour-long show that is anti-war and anti-poverty featuring live footage from their 1969 tour.
- December 6
Release date unknown
Biggest hit singles
The following songs achieved the highest chart positions
in the charts of 1969.
||UK 1 - Apr 1969, US BB 1 - May 1969, Canada 1 - Apr 1969, Netherlands 1 - Apr 1969, Switzerland 1 - Apr 1969, Norway 1 - May 1969, Germany 1 - May 1969, Éire 1 - May 1969, Australia 1 for 5 weeks Sep 1969, Australia Goset 1 - May 1969, RYM 6 of 1969, US CashBox 14 of 1969, US BB 21 of 1969, DDD 24 of 1969, Global 33 (5 M sold) - 1969, POP 33 of 1969, Europe 38 of the 1960s, Italy 46 of 1969, Virgin 64, Scrobulate 91 of British, OzNet 115, Germany 217 of the 1960s, WXPN 566, Acclaimed 1367
||The Rolling Stones
||"Honky Tonk Women"
||UK 1 - Jul 1969, US BB 1 - Jul 1969, Switzerland 1 - Jul 1969, Éire 1 - Aug 1969, Australia 1 for 5 weeks Jan 1970, Australia Goset 1 - Aug 1969, US CashBox 2 of 1969, Canada 2 - Aug 1969, Norway 2 - Aug 1969, Germany 3 - Aug 1969, Netherlands 4 - Jul 1969, Australia 4 of 1969, RYM 4 of 1969, DDD 4 of 1969, US BB 8 of 1969, POP 8 of 1969, TheQ 27, Europe 50 of the 1960s, Italy 92 of 1969, Acclaimed 97, Rolling Stone 116, WXPN 189, Germany 209 of the 1960s
||Zager & Evans
||"In the Year 2525 (Exordium & Terminus)"
||UK 1 - Aug 1969, US BB 1 - Jun 1969, Canada 1 - Jul 1969, Netherlands 1 - Aug 1969, France 1 - Mar 1970, Switzerland 1 - Aug 1969, Norway 1 - Aug 1969, Germany 1 - Aug 1969, Éire 1 - Sep 1969, Australia 1 for 1 weeks Jan 1970, Australia Goset 2 - Aug 1969, US CashBox 11 of 1969, Australia 19 of 1969, US BB 39 of 1969, RYM 60 of 1969, POP 75 of 1969, Europe 77 of the 1960s, Germany 109 of the 1960s
||UK 1 - Oct 1969, US BB 1 - Aug 1969, US CashBox 1 of 1969, Canada 1 - Jul 1969, Norway 1 - Nov 1969, Germany 1 - Jan 1970, Éire 1 - Nov 1969, Switzerland 2 - Oct 1969, Netherlands 4 - Sep 1969, Australia Goset 5 - Aug 1969, France 8 - Feb 1970, South Africa 8 of 1969, US BB 10 of 1969, POP 10 of 1969, TOTP 26, Global 33 (5 M sold) - 1969, RYM 40 of 1969, Italy 70 of 1970, DDD 77 of 1969, Germany 157 of the 1960s, Acclaimed 1996
||US BB 1 - Sep 1969, Canada 1 - Sep 1969, Australia 1 for 3 weeks Jun 1970, Australia Goset 1 - Nov 1969, South Africa 1 of 1969, UK 2 - Nov 1969, Netherlands 6 - Oct 1969, France 6 - Mar 1970, Germany 8 - Jan 1970, Norway 10 - Feb 1970, Australia 16 of 1969, RYM 19 of 1969, Scrobulate 19 of oldies, Europe 22 of the 1960s, DDD 23 of 1969, POP 26 of 1969, Global 33 (5 M sold) - 1969, US BB 40 of 1969, Poland 40 - Aug 1999, US CashBox 43 of 1969, Acclaimed 60, Rolling Stone 91, WXPN 121, OzNet 156
Some top hit singles
- "Acqua azzurra, acqua chiara/Dieci ragazze" - Lucio Battisti
- "Ajax, Olé Olé Olé" - Willy Alberti
- "Albatross" - Fleetwood Mac
- "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In" - The 5th Dimension
- "Atlantis" - Donovan
- "Baby, I Love You" - Andy Kim
- "Bad Moon Rising" - Creedence Clearwater Revival
- "Badge" - Cream
- "Ballad of John and Yoko" - The Beatles
- "Ball of Fire" - Tommy James and the Shondells
- "Behind a Painted Smile" - The Isley Brothers
- "Blackberry Way" - The Move
- "Black Pearl" - Checkmates, Ltd.
- "Boom Bang-a-Bang" - Lulu
- "The Boxer" - Simon & Garfunkel
- "A Boy Named Sue" - Johnny Cash
- "Break Away" - The Beach Boys
- "Breakfast In Bed"- Dusty Springfield
- "Bringing on Back the Good Times" - Love Affair
- "But You Know I Love You" - The First Edition
- "(Call Me) Number One" - The Tremeloes
- "Cloud Nine" - The Temptations
- "Come Back and Shake Me" - Clodagh Rodgers
- "Conversations" - Cilla Black
- "Crimson and Clover" - Tommy James & the Shondells
- "Crystal Blue Persuasion" - Tommy James and the Shondells
- "Weine Nicht,Kleine Eva" - Die Flippers
- "Dizzy" - Tommy Roe
- "Do Your Thing" - Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band
- "Don't Forget to Remember" - The Bee Gees
- "Don't Give In to Him" - Gary Puckett & The Union Gap
- "Early in the Morning" - Vanity Fare
- "Easy to Be Hard" - Three Dog Night
- "Everyday People" - Sly & the Family Stone
- "First of May" - The Bee Gees
- "For Once in My Life" - Stevie Wonder
- "Frozen Orange Juice" - Peter Sarstedt
- "Galveston" - Glen Campbell
- "Gentle on My Mind" - Dean Martin
- "Get Together" - The Youngbloods
- "Gimme Gimme Good Lovin'" - Crazy Elephant
- "Give Peace a Chance" - Plastic Ono Band
- "Going in Circles" - Friends of Distinction
- "Good Morning Starshine" - Oliver
- "Good Times (Better Times)" - Cliff Richard
- "Goodbye" - Mary Hopkin
- "Goodnight Midnight" - Clodagh Rodgers
- "Grazing In The Grass" - Friends Of Distinction
- "Happy Heart" - Andy Williams
- "Hare Krishna Mantra" - Radha Krishna Temple
- "Hawaii Five-O" - The Ventures
- "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" - The Hollies
- "Hello Susie" - Amen Corner
- "Hooked On A Feeling" - B. J. Thomas
- "Hot Fun In The Summertime" - Sly & The Family Stone
- "I Can Hear Music" - The Beach Boys
- "I Can't Get Next to You" - The Temptations
- "I Can't See Myself Leaving You" - Aretha Franklin
- "I Don't Know Why" - Stevie Wonder
- "If" - Al Hirt
- "(If Paradise Is) Half as Nice" - Amen Corner
- "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" - Marvin Gaye
- "I'd Wait a Million Years" - The Grass Roots
- "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" - Bobbie Gentry
- "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" - Diana Ross & the Supremes and The Temptations
- "I'm Gonna Make You Mine" - Lou Christie
- "I'm Livin' in Shame" - Diana Ross & the Supremes
- "Indian Giver" - 1910 Fruitgum Company
- "In the Ghetto" - Elvis Presley
- "Israelites" - Desmond Dekker and the Aces
- "I Started a Joke" - The Bee Gees
- "It Miek" - Desmond Dekker and the Aces
- "It's Getting Better" - "Mama" Cass Elliot
- "It's Your Thing" - The Isley Brothers
- "I Want to Be with You" - Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band
- "Jean" - Oliver
- "Je t'aime... moi non plus" - Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg
- "Jingle Jangle" - The Archies
- "Johnny One Time" - Brenda Lee
- "Laughing" - The Guess Who
- "Lay Lady Lay" - Bob Dylan
- "Leaving on a Jet Plane" - Peter, Paul and Mary
- "Let Me" - Paul Revere & the Raiders
- "The Liquidator" - Harry J All Stars
- "Listen to the Band" - The Monkees
- "Live and Learn" - Andy Williams
- "Living In The Past" - Jethro Tull
- "L'homme a l'harmonica" - Ennio Morricone
- "Ljuva sextital" - Brita Borg
- "Love (Can Make You Happy)" - Mercy
- "Love Child" - Diana Ross & the Supremes
- "Love Me Tonight" - Tom Jones
- "Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet" - Henry Mancini
- "Look Homeward Angel" - Velvet Crest
- "Make Me An Island" - Joe Dolan
- "Man of the World" - Fleetwood Mac
- "Melting Pot" - Blue Mink
- "Mind, Body and Soul - The Flaming Ember
- "Mon bel amour d'été" - Mireille Mathieu
- "More Today Than Yesterday" - Spiral Starecase
- "My Blue Ridge Mountain Boy" - Dolly Parton
- "My Cherie Amour" - Stevie Wonder
- "My Sentimental Friend" - Herman's Hermits
- "My Way" - Frank Sinatra
- "Natural Born Bugie" - Humble Pie
- "Nobody's Child" - Karen Young
- "Nothing But A Heartache"- The Flirtations
- "Oh Happy Day" - Edwin Hawkins Singers
- "Oh Well" - Fleetwood Mac
- "One" - Three Dog Night
- "The Onion Song" - Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
- "Pastorale" - Ramses Shaffy & Liesbeth List
- "Pinball Wizard" - The Who
- "Proud Mary" - Creedence Clearwater Revival
- "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" - B. J. Thomas
- "Reuben James" - Kenny Rogers and The First Edition
- "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town" - Kenny Rogers and The First Edition
- "Run Away Child, Running Wild" - The Temptations
- "Saved By The Bell" - Robin Gibb
- "Someday We'll Be Together" - Diana Ross & the Supremes
- "Something/Come Together" - The Beatles
- "Something in the Air" - Thunderclap Newman
- "Something's Happening" - Herman's Hermits
- "Son Of A Preacher Man"- Dusty Springfield
- "Sorry Suzanne" - The Hollies
- "Soul Deep" - The Box Tops
- "Soulful Strut" - Young-Holt Unlimited
- "Space Oddity" - David Bowie
- "Spinning Wheel" - Blood, Sweat & Tears
- "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" - Crosby, Stills & Nash
- "Sunday Mornin'" - Oliver
- "Surround Yourself with Sorrow" - Cilla Black
- "Sweet Caroline" - Neil Diamond
- "Sweet Cherry Wine" - Tommy James and the Shondells
- "Sweet Dream" - Jethro Tull
- "That's The Way God Planned It" - Billy Preston
- "These Eyes" - The Guess Who
- "This Girl Is a Woman Now" - Gary Puckett & The Union Gap
- "This Girl's In Love With You" - Dionne Warwick
- "This Magic Moment" - Jay and the Americans
- "Till You Get Enough" - Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band
- "Time Is Tight" - Booker T. & the M.G.'s
- "Time of the Season" - The Zombies
- "To Love Somebody - Nina Simone
- "Too Busy Thinking About My Baby" - Marvin Gaye
- "Touch Me" - The Doors
- "Traces" - Classics IV
- "Tracy" - Cuff Links
- "Try (Just A Little Bit Harder)"- Janis Joplin
- "Two Little Boys" - Rolf Harris
- "Undun" - The Guess Who
- "Viva Bobby Joe" - The Equals
- "When I Die" - Motherlode
- "Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)?" - Peter Sarstedt
- "Who Do You Love?" - Juicy Lucy
- "Whole Lotta Love" - Led Zeppelin
- "Why?" - The Cats
- "Workin' On a Groovy Thing" - The 5th Dimension
- "The Worst That Could Happen" - The Brooklyn Bridge
- "Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday" - Stevie Wonder
- "You Showed Me" - The Turtles
- "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" - Dionne Warwick
- "You've Made Me So Very Happy" - Blood, Sweat & Tears
Published popular music
- 1776: all songs by Sherman Edwards
- "Aa Jaane Jaan" w. Rajendra Krishan, m. Laxmikant-Pyarelal, from the film Intaqam
- "The April Fools" w. Hal David m. Burt Bacharach from the film The April Fools
- "Bad Moon Rising" w.m. John C. Fogerty
- "The Brady Bunch theme", by Frank DeVol
- "Bridge over Troubled Water" w.m. Paul Simon
- "Didn't We?" w.m. Jimmy Webb
- "Down on the Corner" w.m. John C. Fogerty
- "Everybody's Talkin'" w.m. Fred Neil
- "Hawaii Five-O" m. Mort Stevens
- If You Could Read My Mind" w.m. Gordon Lightfoot
- "In The Ghetto" w.m.Mac Davis
- "Is That All There Is?" w.m. Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller
- "Israelites" w.m. Desmond Dekker & Leslie Kong
- "Keem-O-Sabe" m. Bernard Binnick & Bernice Borisoff
- "Jean" w.m. Rod McKuen from the film The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
- "Just Leave Everything to Me" w.m. Jerry Herman, from the film version of Hello, Dolly!
- "Leaving on a Jet Plane" w.m. John Denver
- "Le métèque" w.m. Georges Moustaki
- "Marrakesh Express" w.m. Graham Nash
- "Mere Sapno Ki Rani" w. Anand Bakshi, m. Sachin Dev Burman, from the film Aradhana
- "Mná na hÉireann" w. Peadar Ó Doirnín, m. Seán Ó Riada
- "Odds and Ends (Of a Beautiful Love Affair)" w. Hal David m. Burt Bacharach
- "Piddle, Twiddle And Resolve" w.m. Sherman Edwards
- "Proud Mary" w.m. John C. Fogerty
- "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" w.m. Jimmy Holiday, Randy Myers & Jackie DeShannon
- "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" w.Hal David m. Burt Bacharach. Introduced by B. J. Thomas on the soundtrack of the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The song won the Academy Award.
- "Suspicious Minds" w.m. Fred Zambon
- "Sweet Caroline" w.m. Neil Diamond
- "Teddybjörnen Fredriksson" w.m. Lasse Berghagen
- "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?" w. Alan and Marilyn Bergman m. Michel Legrand
- "Yellow River" w.m. Christie
- "You Don't Love Me When I Cry" w.m. Laura Nyro
- Rob du Bois
- Because Going Nowhere Takes a Long Time, version for soprano, clarinet, and piano
- Enigma, for flute, bass clarinet, percussion, and piano
- Jeu, for oboe
- Pastorale I, for oboe, clarinet, and harp (revised version)
- Réflexions sur le jour où Pérotin le Grand ressuscitera, for wind quintet
- Souvenir, for violin
- Symposion, for oboe, violin, viola, and cello
- Trio agitato, for horn, trombone, and tuba
- Benjamin Britten
- Gavin Bryars - The Sinking of the Titanic
- Sylvano Bussotti - Rara Requiem
- Gian Paolo Chiti - Violin Concerto
- George Crumb
- Night of the Four Moons for alto, alto flute/piccolo, banjo, electric cello, and percussion
- Madrigals, Books III (for soprano, harp, and percussion) and Books IV for soprano, flute/alto flute/piccolo, harp, double bass, and percussion
- Mario Davidovsky - Synchronisms No. 5 for percussion players and tape
- Peter Maxwell Davies - St Thomas Wake
- Vagn Holmboe - String Quartet no. 10, Op. 102
- György Ligeti - Ramifications for 12 solo strings (1968-69)
- Francis Jackson - Sonata for Organ No. 1
- Miklós Rózsa - Concerto for Cello
- Dmitri Shostakovich - Symphony No. 14, Op. 135, for soprano, bass, string orchestra and percussion
- Karlheinz Stockhausen
- Dr K-Sextett, for flute, bass clarinet, viola, cello, percussion (tubular chimes and vibraphone), and piano
- Fresco. for four orchestral groups
- Hymnen, Third Region, electronic music with orchestra
- Momente (third and final version)
- Stop (Paris version, for 19 players)
- Leif Thybo - Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
- Eduard Tubin - Symphony No. 9, "Sinfonia semplice"
- Iannis Xenakis
- Synaphaï, for piano and orchestra
- Persephassa, for 6 percussionists
- Anaktoria, for clarinet, bassoon, horn, string quartet and double bass
- Hans Zender - Canto II, for soprano, chorus and orchestra (after Ezra Pound's Canto XXXIX)
- Aradhana, Hindi film
- Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?, British film
- El Profesor Hippie, Argentine musical comedy
- Goodbye, Mr. Chips, starring Peter O'Toole and Petula Clark
- Hello, Dolly!, starring Barbra Streisand and Walter Matthau
- Oh! What a Lovely War, starring Maggie Smith and Dirk Bogarde
- Paint Your Wagon, starring Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood
- Przygoda z piosenk? (Adventure with Song) Polish musical comedy
- Sweet Charity, starring Shirley MacLaine
- Bremenskiye musykanty (Town Musicians of Bremen), Soviet musical cartoon
- Nik Cohn - Pop - From The Beginning (later editions as Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom)
- January 4 - Boris Berezovsky, pianist
- January 5 - Marilyn Manson, Industrial rock metal singer-songwriter and visual artist
- January 14 - Dave Grohl, American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, film director and activist (Nirvana, Foo Fighters and Slipknot)
- January 25 - Kina, American singer-songwriter
- January 27 - Cornelius, musician
- February 1
- February 5 - Bobby Brown, (New Edition)
- February 13 - Joyce DiDonato, American operatic lyric-coloratura mezzo-soprano
- February 19 - Burton C. Bell, American musician and vocalist (Fear Factory)
- February 21 - James Dean Bradfield (Manic Street Preachers)
- March 1 - Dafydd Ieuan, drummer (Super Furry Animals)
- March 11 - Pete Droge, folk musician
- March 13 - Susanna Mälkki, Finnish cellist and orchestra conductor.
- March 18 - Andy Cutting, accordionist
- March 25 - Cathy Dennis, British singer, songwriter, composer, record producer, musician and actress
- April 11 - Cerys Matthews, Welsh singer, songwriter, author and broadcaster
- April 27
- April 29 - Master P, rapper, record label owner
- May 7 - Mox Cristadoro, Italian drummer (Monumentum)
- May 13 - Buckethead (born Brian Caroll), guitarist.
- May 14 - Danny Wood (New Kids on the Block)
- May 18 - Martika, American singer-songwriter and actress,
- May 24 - Rich Robinson (The Black Crowes)
- May 29 - Chandler Kinchla (Blues Traveler)
- May 31 - Sarah-Jane McGrath, singer-songwriter
- June 5 - Brian McKnight, singer-songwriter
- June 7 - Armando Tranquilino, composer
- June 13 - Søren Rasted, Aqua
- June 15 - Ice Cube, rapper
- June 16 - Bénabar, singer-songwriter
- June 25
- June 28 - Danielle Brisebois, American producer, singer-songwriter and former child actress.
- July 2 - Jenni Rivera, American singer-songwriter, producer and actress (d. 2012)
- July 5 - RZA, American rapper, record producer and author
- July 7
- July 8
- July 10 - Jonas Kaufmann, operatic tenor
- July 24 - Jennifer Lopez, American singer, actress, songwriter, performer, dancer, author, philanthropist and producer
- August 6 - Elliott Smith, indie singer-songwriter (d. 2003)
- August 12 - Tanita Tikaram, British pop/folk singer-songwriter
- August 17
- August 18
- August 19 - Clay Walker, country singer
- August 20 - Abigail Hopkins, English singer-songwriter, actress and theatre director
- August 29 - Meshell Ndegeocello, funk singer-songwriter and rapper
- September 5 - Dweezil Zappa, guitarist and son of Frank Zappa
- September 6 - CeCe Peniston, singer
- September 16 - Marc Anthony, singer-songwriter
- September 17
- September 19 - Jóhann Jóhannsson, Icelandic composer (d. 2018)
- September 24
- October 3 - Gwen Stefani, American singer, songwriter, fashion designer and actress (No Doubt)
- October 9 - PJ Harvey, English musician, singer-songwriter, writer, poet and composer
- October 16 - Wendy Wilson, American singer and television personality Wilson Phillips
- October 17 - Wyclef Jean, Haitian rapper, musician and actor(Fugees)
- October 22 - Helmut Lotti, Belgian singer
- October 30 - Snow, reggae musician
- November 3 - Robert Miles, DJ
- November 4 - Sean Combs (P. Diddy), rapper
- November 9 - Scarface, rapper
- November 13 - Josh Mancell, American drummer and composer (The Moon Upstairs)
- December 4
- December 9 - Jakob Dylan, American rock singer-songwriter (The Wallflowers), son of Bob Dylan and Sara Lownds
- December 19 - Aziza Mustafa Zadeh, Azerbaijani jazz musician and singer
- December 21 - Julie Delpy, French-American actress, film director, screenwriter, and singer-songwriter.
- December 24 - Mariko Shiga, Japanese singer (d. 1989)
- December 30 - Matt Goldman, American record producer
- January 4 - Paul Chambers, jazz bassist (b. 1935) (tuberculosis)
- January 17 - Gra?yna Bacewicz, Polish composer and violinist (b. 1909)
- February 15 - Pee Wee Russell, jazz clarinetist (b. 1906)
- February 20 - Ernest Ansermet, conductor (b. 1883)
- February 23 - Constantin Silvestri, conductor and composer (b. 1913)
- March 25 - Billy Cotton, bandleader (b. 1899)
- March 26 - Clara Dow, operatic soprano (b. 1883)
- April 2 - Fortunio Bonanova, baritone (b. 1895)
- April 4 - Fanny Anitùa, operatic contralto (b. 1887)
- April 10 - Fernando Ortiz, ethnomusicologist (b. 1881)
- April 20 - Benny Benjamin ("Papa Zita"), drummer (b. 1925) (stroke)
- April 22 - Amparo Iturbi, Spanish pianist (b. 1898)
- April 23 - Krzysztof Komeda, jazz musician and composer (b. 1931) (haematoma)
- April 29 - Julius Katchen, pianist (b. 1926) (cancer)
- May 1 - Ella Logan, actress and singer (b. 1913)
- May 17 - Maria Olszewska, operatic contralto (b. 1892)
- May 22 - Nicola Salerno, Italian lyricist (b. 1910)
- May 9 - Elias Breeskin, violinist, conductor and composer (b. 1896)
- May 23 - Jimmy McHugh, US composer and pianist (b. 1894)
- June 14
- June 17 - Rita Abatzi, rebetiko musician (b. 1914)
- June 22 - Judy Garland, singer and actress (b. 1922) (overdose of barbiturates)
- July 3 - Brian Jones, guitarist, founder member of The Rolling Stones (b. 1942) (drowned)
- July 5 - Wilhelm Backhaus, pianist (b. 1884)
- July 10 - Thomas King Ekundayo Phillips, church music composer (b. 1884)
- July 11 - Hina Spani, operatic soprano (b. 1896)
- July 20 - Roy Hamilton, American singer (b. 1929; stroke)
- July 26 - Frank Loesser, US songwriter (b. 1910)
- August 6 - Theodor Adorno, exponent of the "New Music" (b. 1903)
- August 11 - Miriam Licette, operatic soprano (b. 1885)
- August 13 - Jacob do Bandolim, mandolin player and composer (b. 1918)
- September 5 - Josh White, blues musician (b. 1914)
- September 14 - Alice Zeppilli, operatic soprano (b. 1885)
- October 3 - Skip James, blues musician (b. 1902)
- October 4 - Natalino Otto, Italian singer (b. 1912)
- October 22 - Tommy Edwards, singer (b. 1922)
- November 8 - Ricardo Aguirre, protest singer (b. 1939)
- November 13 - Boris Kroyt, classical violinist and violist, member of the Budapest String Quartet from 1936 to 1967 (b. 1897)
- November 18 - Ted Heath, bandleader (b. 1902)
- November 23 - Spade Cooley, swing musician and murderer (b. 1910) (heart attack)
- December 1 - Magic Sam, blues musician (b. 1937) (heart attack)
- December 5 - James "Stump" Johnson, blues pianist (b. 1902)
- December 6 - Walther Aeschbacher, Swiss conductor and composer (b. 1901)
- December 22 - Wilbur Hatch, pianist, composer and conductor (b. 1902)
- December 24 - Mary Barratt Due, pianist, music teacher (b. 1888)
- date unknown - Marcel LaFosse, trumpeter (b. 1895)
- probable - Mississippi Joe Callicott, blues musician (b. 1900)