1969 in music
List of notable events in music that took place in the year 1969.
- 1 Events
- 2 Bands formed
- 3 Bands disbanded
- 4 Albums released
- 5 Biggest hit singles
- 6 Some top hit singles
- 7 Published popular music
- 8 Classical music
- 9 Opera
- 10 Musical theater
- 11 Musical films
- 12 Births
- 13 Deaths
- 14 Awards
- 15 Further reading
- 16 References
- 17 External links
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 number3, Three Dog Night at number 4, on the Hot 100 in 1969), and others, and a London Cast album released in April 1969.
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.
- 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 Abbey Road, 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 – Eric Burdon & The Animals disband.
- 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 Bee Gee 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 compositons 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
- 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-Champagne.
- May 23 - The Who release their rock opera Tommy.
- June 2 – John Lennon and Yoko Ono host a "Bed-In" at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Canada. The couple records the song "Give Peace a Chance" live in their suite with Tommy Smothers, Timothy Leary, and several others.
- June 12-25 - First Annual Rock & Roll Revival fifth estate Performers include among others MC5, Johnny Winter, Chuck Berry, Dr. John, Sun Ra, David Peel, The Stooges, Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band
- June 13 – Mick Taylor joins the Rolling Stones.
- 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 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 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 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 – 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 – The Jackson 5 release their debut album, Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5.
- The Jeff Beck Group (reassembled with different line-up in 1971)
- Eric Burdon and the Animals (original Animals reform in 1975)
- See also Category:Musical groups disestablished in 1969
|5||Bayou Country||Creedence Clearwater Revival||-|
|12||Led Zeppelin||Led Zeppelin||-|
|13||Yellow Submarine||The Beatles||Soundtrack|
|22||Neil Young||Neil Young||Re-released January 1969|
|30||Moby Grape '69||Moby Grape||-|
|-||Crimson & Clover||Tommy James and the Shondells||-|
|Donovan's Greatest Hits||Donovan||Compilation|
|English Rose||Fleetwood Mac||Compilation|
|First Edition '69||The First Edition||-|
|The Holy Land||Johnny Cash||-|
|What We Did on Our Holidays||Fairport Convention||-|
|10||20/20||The Beach Boys||-|
|15||Instant Replay||The Monkees||-|
|16||It's Our Thing||The Isley Brothers||-|
|17||Cloud Nine||The Temptations||-|
|22||Stonedhenge||Ten Years After||-|
|-||Bless Its Pointed Little Head||Jefferson Airplane||Live|
|The Gilded Palace of Sin||The Flying Burrito Brothers||-|
|O.K. Ken?||Chicken Shack||-|
|Kick Out the Jams||MC5||Live|
|Near the Beginning||Vanilla Fudge||-|
|Sound of Sexy Soul||The Delfonics||-|
|5||Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde||The Byrds||-|
|7||From Genesis to Revelation||Genesis||-|
|14||Tons of Sobs||Free||-|
|24||Mothermania||The Mothers of Invention||Compilation|
|29||Happy Trails||Quicksilver Messenger Service||-|
|Yer' Album||James Gang||-|
|31||Dusty in Memphis||Dusty Springfield||-|
|-||At Your Birthday Party||Steppenwolf||-|
|Blue Matter||Savoy Brown||-|
|Just to Satisfy You||Waylon Jennings||-|
|My Way||Frank Sinatra||-|
|New! Improved!||Blue Cheer||-|
|Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud||James Brown||-|
|Scott 3||Scott Walker||-|
|Spooky Two||Spooky Tooth||-|
|The Velvet Underground||The Velvet Underground||-|
|Wheatfield Soul||The Guess Who||-|
|Songs from a Room||Leonard Cohen||-|
|8||Three Week Hero||P.J. Proby||-|
|9||Nashville Skyline||Bob Dylan||-|
|15||Green Is Blues||Al Green||-|
|21||Uncle Meat||The Mothers of Invention||Soundtrack|
|23||With a Little Help from My Friends||Joe Cocker||-|
|25||On the Threshold of a Dream||The Moody Blues||-|
|28||The Chicago Transit Authority||Chicago||-|
|-||Hair||Various Artists||London cast|
|Our Mother the Mountain||Townes Van Zandt||-|
|Ramblin' Gamblin' Man||The Bob Seger System||-|
|3||Stand!||Sly & the Family Stone||-|
|Electronic Sound||George Harrison||-|
|Unfinished Music No. 2: Life with the Lions||John Lennon & Yoko Ono||-|
|12||After the Rain||Muddy Waters||-|
|14||Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere||Neil Young & Crazy Horse||-|
|16||Rehearsals for Retirement||Phil Ochs||-|
|19||Pickin' Up the Pieces||Poco||-|
|More Today Than Yesterday||Spiral Starecase||-|
|23||Surround Yourself with Cilla||Cilla Black||-|
|26||Let the Sunshine In||Diana Ross & the Supremes||-|
|29||Crosby, Stills & Nash||Crosby, Stills & Nash||-|
|-||California Bloodlines||John Stewart||-|
|David's Album||Joan Baez||-|
|Gettin' Down to It||James Brown||-|
|The Meters||The Meters||-|
|This Is Tom Jones||Tom Jones||-|
|The Young Mods' Forgotten Story||The Impressions||-|
|4||At San Quentin||Johnny Cash||Live|
|6||Empty Sky||Elton John||-|
|11||Suitable for Framing||Three Dog Night||-|
|16||Brave New World||Steve Miller Band||-|
|Trout Mask Replica||Captain Beefheart||-|
|20||3614 Jackson Highway||Cher||-|
|21||Deep Purple||Deep Purple||US; third album|
|-||Beck-Ola||The Jeff Beck Group||-|
|Best of Bee Gees||Bee Gees||Compilation|
|An Electric Storm||White Noise||-|
|From Elvis in Memphis||Elvis Presley||-|
|Johnny Winter||Johnny Winter||-|
|Love Man||Otis Redding||-|
|Pongo en tus manos abiertas||Victor Jara||-|
|Pretties for You||Alice Cooper||-|
|A Salty Dog||Procol Harum||-|
|10||Happy Sad||Tim Buckley||-|
|21||The Soft Parade||The Doors||-|
|30||In a Silent Way||Miles Davis||-|
|Truly Fine Citizen||Moby Grape||-|
|-||2525 (Exordium and Terminus)||Zager and Evans||-|
|Early Steppenwolf||Steppenwolf||Live 1967|
|Here We Are Again||Country Joe and the Fish||-|
|More of Old Golden Throat||Johnny Cash||Compilation|
|Wasa Wasa||Edgar Broughton Band||-|
|What About Today?||Barbra Streisand||-|
|1||Stand Up||Jethro Tull||-|
|Tadpoles||Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band||Released on June 9 in US|
|3||Green River||Creedence Clearwater Revival||-|
|5||The Stooges||The Stooges||-|
|14||The Brothers: Isley||The Isley Brothers||-|
|29||My Cherie Amour||Stevie Wonder||-|
|Songs for a Tailor||Jack Bruce||-|
|-||Ahead Rings Out||Blodwyn Pig||-|
|As Safe as Yesterday Is||Humble Pie||-|
|Blind Faith||Blind Faith||-|
|Fathers and Sons||Muddy Waters||-|
|Give It Away||The Chi-Lites||-|
|It's a Mother||James Brown||-|
|The Popcorn||James Brown||-|
|Ssssh||Ten Years After||-|
|The Head Shop||The Head Shop||-|
|1||Five Leaves Left||Nick Drake||-|
|12||Through the Past, Darkly (Big Hits Vol. 2)||The Rolling Stones||Compilation|
|16||Easy||Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell||-|
|19||Then Play On||Fleetwood Mac||-|
|22||The Band||The Band||-|
|23||Hot Buttered Soul||Isaac Hayes||-|
|Puzzle People||The Temptations||-|
|Together||Diana Ross & the Supremes and The Temptations||Duets|
|24||New York Tendaberry||Laura Nyro||-|
|26||Abbey Road||The Beatles||-|
|-||Canned Wheat||The Guess Who||-|
|I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!||Janis Joplin||Solo debut|
|Love Chronicles||Al Stewart||-|
|Noah||The Bob Seger System||-|
|Rock & Roll||Vanilla Fudge||-|
|Supersnazz||The Flamin' Groovies||-|
|Townes Van Zandt||Townes Van Zandt||-|
|1||Juicy Lucy||Juicy Lucy||-|
|The Monkees Present||The Monkees||-|
|6||Get Together with Andy Williams||Andy Williams||-|
|9||Ticket to Ride||Carpenters||Previously titled as Offering.|
|10||Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)||The Kinks||-|
|Hot Rats||Frank Zappa||-|
|In the Court of the Crimson King||King Crimson||-|
|13||Give Me Your Love for Christmas||Johnny Mathis||Christmas|
|14||Elvis in Person at the International Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada||Elvis Presley||Live|
|16||Captured Live at the Forum||Three Dog Night||Live|
|20||Wedding Album||John Lennon and Yoko Ono||-|
|22||Led Zeppelin II||Led Zeppelin||-|
|25||Ummagumma||Pink Floyd||Double LP; live + studio|
|27||Second Winter||Johnny Winter||-|
|-||Basket of Light||Pentangle||-|
|Tom Jones Live in Las Vegas||Tom Jones||Live|
|5||Let It Bleed||The Rolling Stones||-|
|18||Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5||The Jackson 5||-|
|29||Grand Funk||Grand Funk Railroad||-|
|Okie from Muskogee||Merle Haggard and the Strangers||-|
|-||Blue Cheer||Blue Cheer||-|
|Concerto for Group and Orchestra||Deep Purple & the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra||Live|
|Liege & Lief||Fairport Convention||-|
Release date unknown
Biggest hit singles
The following songs achieved the highest chart positions in the charts of 1969.
|1||The Beatles||"Get Back"||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|
|2||The Rolling Stones||"Honky Tonk Women"||1969||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|
|3||Zager & Evans||"In the Year 2525 (Exordium & Terminus)"||1969||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|
|4||The Archies||"Sugar Sugar"||1969||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|
|5||Elvis Presley||"Suspicious Minds"||1969||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
- "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
- "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
- "Gentle on My Mind" – Dean Martin
- "Get Together" – The Youngbloods
- "Give Peace a Chance" – Plastic Ono Band
- "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'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
- "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 Theme from Romeo and Juliet" – Henry Mancini
- "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
- "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
- "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
- "Try (Just A Little Bit Harder)"- Janis Joplin
- "Two Little Boys" – Rolf Harris
- "Undun" - The Guess Who
- "Viva Bobby Joe" – The Equals
- "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 Bergman & Marilyn Bergman m. Michel LeGrand
- "Yellow River" w.m. Christie
- "You Don't Love Me When I Cry" w.m. Laura Nyro
- Benjamin Britten –
- Suite for harp, Op. 83
- Who Are These Children?, song cycle for tenor and piano, Op. 84
- 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 –
- Leif Thybo – Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
- Eduard Tubin - Symphony No. 9, "Sinfonia semplice"
- Gordon Crosse – The Grace of Todd
- Jakov Gotovac – Petar Svačić
- Henri Pousseur – Votre Faust (Milan: Piccola Scala, 15 January)
- 1776 Broadway production opened at the 46th Street Theatre on March 16, transferred to the St. James Theatre on December 28, 1970, and transferred to the Majestic Theatre on April 27, 1971, for a total run of 1217 performances
- Ann Veronica ( Music: Cyril Ornadel, Lyrics: David Croft) London production opened at the Cambridge Theatre on April 17 and ran for 44 performances
- Canterbury Tales Broadway production
- Coco (Music: André Previn, Lyrics: Alan Jay Lerner, Book: Alan Jay Lerner) Broadway production opened at the Mark Hellinger Theatre on December 18 and ran for 329 performances
- Dear World Broadway production opened at the Mark Hellinger Theatre on February 6 and ran for 132 performances
- La Strada (Music and Lyrics: Lionel Bart) Broadway production opened at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on December 14 and ran for one performance
- Mame London production opened at the Theatre Royal on February 20 and ran for 443 performances
- Promises, Promises London production opened at the Prince of Wales Theatre on October 2 and ran for 560 performances
- Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?
- El Profesor Hippie
- Goodbye, Mr. Chips
- Hello, Dolly!
- Oh! What a Lovely War
- Paint Your Wagon
- Przygoda z piosenką
- Sweet Charity
- Bremenskiye musykanty (Town Musicians of Bremen)
- January 4 – Boris Berezovsky, pianist
- January 5 – Marilyn Manson, rock singer
- January 14 – Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters)
- January 25 – Kina, American singer-songwriter
- January 27 – Cornelius, musician
- February 1
- February 5 – Bobby Brown, (New Edition)
- February 21 – James Dean Bradfield (Manic Street Preachers)
- March 1 – Dafydd Ieuan, drummer (Super Furry Animals)
- March 11 – Pete Droge, folk musician
- March 25 – Cathy Dennis, singer
- April 11 – Cerys Matthews, singer
- April 27
- April 29 – Master P, rapper, record label owner
- May 13 – Buckethead (born Brian Caroll), guitarist.
- May 14 – Danny Wood (New Kids on the Block)
- May 18 – Martika, singer
- May 24 – Rich Robinson (The Black Crowes)
- May 29 – Chandler Kinchla (Blues Traveler)
- May 31 – Sarah-Jane McGrath (lyricist, singer-songwriter - performer)
- 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
- July 2 - Jenni Rivera, American singer-songwriter, producer, and actress (d. 2012)
- July 5 – RZA, rapper, record producer
- July 7
- July 8
- July 10 – Jonas Kaufmann, operatic tenor
- August 6 – Elliott Smith (d. 2003)
- August 17
- August 18
- August 19 – Clay Walker, country singer
- August 29 – Me'Shell NdegeOcello
- September 5 – Dweezil Zappa, guitarist and son of Frank Zappa
- September 6 – CeCe Peniston, singer
- September 16 – Marc Anthony, singer-songwriter
- September 17 – Lynette Diaz, singer-songwriter
- September 24
- October 3 – Gwen Stefani, vocalist (No Doubt)
- October 9 – PJ Harvey, singer-songwriter
- October 16 – Wendy Wilson, Wilson Phillips
- October 17 - Wyclef Jean (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, The Wallflowers, son of Bob Dylan and Sara Lownds
- December 19 – Aziza Mustafa Zadeh, Azerbaijani jazz musician and singer
- December 24 – Mariko Shiga, Japanese singer (d. 1989)
- January 4 – Paul Chambers, jazz bassist (b. 1935) (tuberculosis)
- January 17 - Grażyna 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 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 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)
- 1969: The Year Everything Changed by Rob Kirkpatrick. Skyhorse Publishing, 2009. ISBN 978-1-60239-366-0.
- Donna M. Binkiewicz, Federalizing the Muse: United States Arts Policy and the National Endowment for the Arts 1965-1980 (University of North Carolina Press, 2004), p255
- O'Mahony, John (8 June 2008). "Ravi Shankar bids Europe adieu". The Taipei Times (UK). Retrieved 18 July 2009.
- World Charts. Accessed 19 November 2014
- Mason Williams, The Classical Gas Years. Accessed 19 November 2014
- The story of Classical Gas
- Allmusic.com Review by Stewart Mason. Accessed 19 November 2014
- The History of Jazz Music: Alexander Von Schlippenbach. Accessed 19 November 2014
- British Pathe, "Judy Garland Wedding To Mickey Deans 1969". Accessed 10 May 2041