Ivor Novello Awards – The 1960s

Before we launch into the “Ivors” from the sixties, a quick word about the credits here. The Ivor Novello Awards are, unusually and entirely laudably, given for songwriting rather than performing, but that isn’t necessarily compatible with most people understand music. In the interests of context, I’ve therefore added performer names where I know them (but I didn’t bother researching them in a lot of detail, so please comment below if you see things you feel need changing!)

Apart from the usual pop suspects, it’s great to see awards and nominations for John Barry and Ron Grainer in amongst these lists!

Ivor Novello Awards 1960

The fifth Ivor Novello Awards were broadcast on BBC Television on 6th June 1960, with Eric Robinson conducting the Orchestra, led by David McCallum.

  • The Best Selling and Most Performed Song of the Year: Side Saddle, written by Russ Conway. Also nominated: Living Doll, by Lionel Bart
  • The Most Outstanding Song of the Year, Musically and Lyrically: The Village of St. Bernadette, written by Eula Parker. Also nominated: Maybe This Year, by Ronald Wakley and Marcel Stellman
  • The Year’s Outstanding Novelty Item: The Ballad of Bethnal Green, written by Paddy Roberts. Also nominated: Little White Bull, by Michael Pratt, Lionel Bart and Tommy Steele
  • The Year’s Outstanding Composition in Jazz or Beat Idiom: Beaulieu Festival Suite, written by Kenny Graham. Also nominated: Jazzboatby Joe Henderson
  • The Year’s Outstanding Light Orchestral Composition: Windows of Parish, written by Tony Osborne. Also nominated: Ring Ding, by Steve Race
  • The Year’s Outstanding Contribution to the Score of a Stage Play, Film, TV Programme or Radio Production: Lock Up Your Daughters, written by Lionel Bart and Laurie Johnson. Also nominated: Meet The Familyby Peter Greenwell and Peter Wildeblood
  • Outstanding Personal Services to British Popular Music: Lionel Bart

Ivor Novello Awards 1961

The 1961 ceremony was presented by W.E. Butlin, and broadcast on BBC Television on 20th May 1961. The broadcast was introduced by David Jacobs, and starred Max Bygraves, Georgia Brown, Matt Monro, Craig Douglas, Bert Weedon, Paddy Roberts, Max Harris and Douglas Gamley. Eric Robinson conducted the orchestra which was led by David McCallum.

  • The Best Selling and Most Performed Song of the Year: As Long As He Needs Me, written by Lionel Bart. Also nominated: Apache, performed by The Shadows, written by Jerry Lordan
  • The Most Outstanding Song of the Year, Musically and Lyrically: Portrait Of My Love, written by Norman Newell and Cyril Ornadel. Also nominated: As Long As He Needs Me, by Lionel Bart
  • The Year’s Outstanding Light Orchestral Composition: Seashore, written by Robert Farnon. Also nominated: The Willow Waltz, by Cyril Watters
  • The Year’s Outstanding Composition in Jazz or Beat Idiom: Apache. Also nominated: Hit and Miss, by John Barry
  • The Year’s Outstanding Contribution to the Score of a Stage Play, Film, TV Programme or Radio Production: Oliver, written by Lionel Bart. Also nominated: The Gurney Slade Theme, by Max Harris
  • Judges’ Choice Award (any work which in the opinion of the Judges, is worthy of an Award, but which may not necessarily be governed by Existing Categories): Goodness Gracious Me, written by Herbert Kretzmer and David Lee. Also nominated: The Belle of Barking Creek, by Paddy Roberts
  • Outstanding Personal Services to British Popular Music: Eric Maschwitz
  • Special Award: What Do You Want If You Don’t Want Money?, written by Johnny Worth

Ivor Novello Awards 1962

W.E. Butlin turned up again for the 1962 ceremony, broadcast on BBC Television on 13th May 1962. The broadcast was introduced by Catherine Boyle and starred Cliff Richard and The Shadows, Anthony Newley, Helen Shapiro and Her Hair, Matt Monro, Johnny Dankworth and His Orchestra, Tony Osborne, Ron Grainer and The Ivor Raymonde Singers. Eric Robinson conducted the orchestra, led by David McCallum.

  • The Most Performed Work of the Year: My Kind of Girl, written by Leslie Bricusse. Also nominated: Portrait of My Love, by Cyril Ornadel and Norman Newell
  • The ‘A’ Side of the Record Issued in 1961 Which Achieved the Highest Certified British Sales: Walkin’ Back To Happiness, written by Michael Hawker and John Schroeder. Also nominated: Are You Sure, by Bob Allison and John Allison
  • The Most Outstanding Song of the Year, Musically and Lyrically: What Kind of Fool Am I?, written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley. Also nominated: No Greater Love, by Michael Carr and Bunny Lewis
  • The Year’s Outstanding Light Orchestral Composition: The Secrets of the Seine, written by Tony Osborne. Also nominated: Stranger on the Shore, by Acker Bilk
  • The Year’s Outstanding Original Jazz Composition: African Waltz, written by Galt Macdermot. Also nominated: Duddly Dell, by Dudley Moore
  • The Year’s Outstanding Score of a Musical Stage Play: Stop The World I Want to Get Off, written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley
  • The Year’s Outstanding Composition in a Film, Radio Production or Television Programme: The Maigret Theme, written by Ron Grainer. Also nominated: The Avengers’ Theme, by Johnny Dankworth
  • Outstanding Services to British Music: Cliff Richard and The Shadows

Ivor Novello Awards 1963

For the third year running, W.E. Butlin presented the eighth Ivor Novello ceremony, broadcast on BBC Television on 4th May 1963. The broadcast was introduced by Catherine Boyle and starred Acker Bilk, Matt Monro, The Tornados, Steve Race, Ron Grainer, Gordon Franks and Cliff Richard and The Shadows.

  • The Most Performed Work of the Year: Stranger on the Shore, written by Acker Bilk. Also nominated: Wonderful Land, by Jerry Lordan
  • The ‘A’ Side of the Record Issued in 1962 Which Achieved the Highest Certified British Sales: Telstar, written by Joe Meek. Also nominated: Bachelor Boy, by Cliff Richard and Bruce Welch
  • The Most Outstanding Song of the Year, Musically and Lyrically: My Love and Devotion, written by Howard Barnes, Harold Fields and Joe Roncoroni. Also nominated: Jeannie, by Norman Newell and Russ Conway
  • The Year’s Outstanding Light Orchestral or Other Non-Vocal Composition: Nicola, written by Steve Race. Also nominated: Turkish Coffee, by Tony Osborne
  • The Year’s Outstanding Original Jazz Composition: Outbreak of Murder, written by Gordon Franks. Also nominated: Revival, by Joe Harriott
  • The Year’s Outstanding Score of a Musical: Summer Holiday, performed by Cliff Richard and The Shadows. Also nominated: Blitz, written by Lionel Bart
  • The Year’s Outstanding Composition in a Film, Radio Production or Television Programme: Steptoe and Son, written by Ron Grainer. Also nominated: March from A Little Suite, by Trevor Duncan
  • Special Award for Outstanding Services to British Popular and Light Music: Lawrence Wright

Ivor Novello Awards 1964

As we now know, 1963 was the year when popular music changed for good, with The Beatles rising to fame. For the 1964 award ceremony, they evolved quickly, ditching most of the jazz instrumentals and switching to a heavy focus on the Fab Four.

  • The Most Broadcast Work of the Year: She Loves You, performed by The Beatles and written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Also nominated: Dance One, by Elaine Murtagh, Valerie Murtagh and Ray Adams
  • The ‘A’ Side of the Record Issued in 1963 Which Achieved the Highest Certified British Sales: She Loves You, by The Beatles. Also nominated: I Want To Hold Your Hand, same artist
  • The Year’s Outstanding Song: If I Ruled The World, written by Leslie Bricusse and Cyril Ornadel. Also nominated: All My Loving, by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
  • The Year’s Outstanding Orchestral / Instrumental Composition: Carlos’ Theme, written by Ivor Slaney. Also nominated: Scarlett O’Hara, by Jerry Lordan
  • The Year’s Outstanding Jazz Work: What the Dickens, written by Johnny Dankworth. Also nominated: Sweet September, by Bill McGuffie
  • The Year’s Outstanding Score of a Musical Show, For Stage, Cinema, Television or Radio: Theme from The Avengers, written by Johnny Dankworth. Also nominated: Half a Sixpence, by David Heneker
  • The Year’s Most Amusing or Novel Composition: Flash, Bang, Wallop, written by David Heneker. Also nominated: Harvest of Love, by Benny Hill and Tony Hatch
  • Special Award for Outstanding Services to British Music: The Beatles and some additional hangers-on (Brian Epstein, George Harrison, John Lennon, George Martin, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr)
  • Special Award in Recognition of Fifty Years’ Service to the Music Industry: Performing Rights Society

Ivor Novello Awards 1965

The tenth ceremony, somewhat hilariously sponsored by Sir Billy Butlin (yes, him), took place on 13th July 1965 at the Savoy Hotel.

  • The Most Performed Work of the Year: Can’t Buy Me Love, performed by The Beatles, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Also nominated: Hard Day’s Night
  • The ‘A’ Side of the Record Issued in 1964 Which Achieved the Highest Certified British Sales: Can’t Buy Me Love. Also nominated: I Feel Fine, same artist
  • Outstanding Song of 1964: Downtown, written by Tony Hatch. Also nominated: Losing You, by Tom Springfield and Clive Westlake
  • The Year’s Outstanding Orchestral / Instrumental Composition: Bombay Duckling, written by Max Harris
  • The Year’s Outstanding Theme from Radio, TV or Film: Not So Much A Programme, More A Way Of Life, written by Caryl Brahms, Ron Grainer and Ned Sherrin. Also nominated: Hard Day’s Night
  • The Year’s Outstanding Score of a Stage Musical: Robert and Elizabeth, written by Ron Grainer and Ronald Millar. Also nominated: Maggie May, written by Lionel Bart
  • Special Award for Outstanding Services to British Music: Paddy Roberts

Ivor Novello Awards 1966

The 1966 ceremony, also sponsored by Sir Billy Butlin, took place at the Hammersmith Palais, London, and was introduced by Brian Matthew with Joe Loss and His Orchestra. It was broadcast on the BBC Light Programme on 12th July 1966.

  • The Most Performed Work of the Year: I’ll Never Find Another You, written by Tom Springfield. Also nominated: March of the Mods, written by Tony Carr
  • The ‘A’ Side of the Record Issued in 1965 Which Achieved the Highest Certified British Sales: We Can Work It Out, performed by The Beatles, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Also nominated: Help
  • Outstanding Song of 1965: Yesterday, performed by The Beatles, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Also nominated: Where Are You Now My Love, written by Tony Hatch and Jackie Trent
  • The Year’s Outstanding Beat Song: It’s Not Unusual, performed by Tom Jones, written by Gordon Mills and Les Reed. Also nominated: Look Through Any Window, by Graham Gouldman and Charles Silverman
  • The Year’s Outstanding Novelty Composition: A Windmill In Old Amsterdam, written by Ted Dicks and Myles Rudge. Also nominated: Mrs Brown, You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter, written by Trevor Peacock
  • The Year’s Outstanding Score of a Stage Musical: Charlie Girl, written by David Heneker and John Taylor
  • The Year’s Outstanding Contemporary Folk Song: Catch the Wind, by Donovan
  • The Year’s Outstanding Instrumental Composition: March of the Mods, written by Tony Carr. Also nominated: The Kiss, by Jack Parnell
  • Special Award for Outstanding Services to British Music: BBC TV, for the production of the series A Song For Europe

Ivor Novello Awards 1967

Still sponsored by Sir Billy Butlin, the twelfth ceremony took place at the Lyceum Ballroom, London, was introduced by Brian Matthew with Joe Loss and His Orchestra, and was broadcast on the BBC Light Programme on 27th March 1967.

  • The Most Performed Work of the Year: Michelle, performed by The Beatles, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Also nominated: Yesterday
  • The ‘A’ Side of the Record Issued in 1966 Which Achieved the Highest Certified British Sales: Yellow Submarine, performed by The Beatles, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Also nominated: What Would I Be, written by Jackie Trent
  • Britain’s International Song of the Year: Winchester Cathedral, written by Geoff Stephens. Also nominated: Call Me, written by Tony Hatch
  • Film Song of the Year: Born Free, written by John Barry and Don Black. Also nominated: Time Drags By, performed by The Shadows, written by Hank Marvin, Bruce Welch, Brian Bennett and John Rostill
  • Novelty Song of the Year: Hev Yew Gotta Loight, Boy?, written by Allan Smethurst. Also nominated: Dedicated Follower of Fashion, written by Ray Davies
  • Instrumental Composition of the Year: The Power Game, written by Wayne Hill. Also nominated: Khartoum, written by Frank Cordell
  • Special Award for Outstanding Services to British Music: Joe Loss

Ivor Novello Awards 1968

For some reason, from 1968 onwards, history no longer seems to record the nominated but losing entries.

  • The Most Performed Work of the Year: Puppet on a String, written by Phil Coulter and Bill Martin
  • The ‘A’ Side of the Record Issued in 1967 Which Achieved the Highest Certified British Sales: The Last Waltz, written by Barry Mason and Les Reed
  • Britain’s International Song of the Year: A Whiter Shade of Pale, performed by Procul Harum, written by Gary Brooker and Keith Reid
  • Best British Song, Musically and Lyrically: She’s Leaving Home, performed by The Beatles, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
  • Novelty Song of the Year: Grocer Jack, written by Keith West and Mark Wirtz
  • Best Instrumental Theme: Love in the Open Air, written by Paul McCartney
  • Special Award: Leslie Bricusse, for The Film Score Doctor Dolittle
  • Outstanding Services to British Music: Alan Herbert

Ivor Novello Awards 1969

The fourteenth Ivor Novello Awards were sponsored by the BBC, and took place on 22nd May 1969.

  • The Most Performed Work of the Year: Congratulations, performed by Cliff Richard, written by Phil Coulter and Bill Martin
  • The ‘A’ Side of the Record Issued in 1968 Which Achieved the Highest Certified British Sales: Hey Jude, performed by The Beatles, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
  • Britain’s International Song of the Year: Delilah, written by Barry Mason and Les Reed
  • The Most Romantic Song of the Year: I Close My Eyes And Count To Ten, written by Clive Westlake
  • Outstanding Dance / Beat Song of the Year: Build Me Up Buttercup, written by Michael D’Abo and Tony Macaulay
  • Novelty Song of the Year: I’m The Urban Spaceman, written by Neil Innes
  • Light Music Composition of the Year: Ring of Kerry, written by Peter Hope
  • Outstanding Services to British Music: Andrew Gold (presented posthumously)

Further Reading

NME Poll Winners – The 1950s

The jazz newspaper New Musical Express launched in 1952, a jazz newspaper which grew from the ashes of the Accordion Times and Musical Express. In mid-November, it famously launched the UK’s first singles chart, a top twelve.

I think they launched the NME Poll in 1952, with the poll winners’ party a couple of months later, but honestly NME’s own timeline on their website is a bit sketchy. I’ve done my best to make sense of it, but I’m not sure I fully understand it!

1952

The party for the 1952 awards, held at the Royal Albert Hall, 19 April 1953, presented by Scott Brady and Mary Castle.

  • Dance Band: Ted Heath and His Music
  • Female Vocalist: Lita Roza
  • Outstanding Musician: Ronnie Scott
  • Small Band: Johnny Dankworth Seven
  • Male Vocalist: Dickie Valentine

1953

Held at the Royal Albert Hall, 25 April 1954, presented by Nat ‘King’ Cole. I believe the NME article actually unintentionally omits the 1954 results.

1954

Held at the Royal Albert Hall, 14 February 1955, presented by Nigel Patrick.

  • Large Band: Ted Heath and His Music
  • Male Vocalist: Dickie Valentine
  • Small Band: Ronnie Scott and His Orchestra
  • Female Vocalist: Lita Roza
  • Musician of the Year: Eric Delaney
  • Vibraphone Player: Victor Feldman
  • Piano Player: Bill McGuffie
  • Trumpet Player: Kenny Baker
  • Vocal Group: Stargazers
  • Alto Sax Player: Johnny Dankworth
  • Bass Player: Johnny Hawksworth
  • Clarinet Player: [illegible] – NME website says Carl Barriteau, but this is an error
  • Baritone Sax Player: Harry Klein
  • Trombone Player: Don Lusher
  • Arranger: Reg Owen
  • Tenor Sax Player: Tommy Whittle
  • Guitar Player: Bert Weedon
  • Outstanding Drummer: [illegible] – NME website says Jack Parnell, but this is an error
  • Band You Would Most Like To See At The NME Pollwinners’ Concert: Johnny Dankworth’s Orchestra

These results are listed in the 1954 article on the NME website but a scan on the 1955 page, so this is the 1954 poll, for which the party would have been in early 1955.

1955

Held at the Royal Albert Hall, 29 January 1956.

  • Outstanding American Feminine Singer: Doris Day
  • The World’s Outstanding Musical Personality: Bill Haley
  • Top Male Singer: Dickie Valentine
  • Outstanding American Male Singer: Frank Sinatra
  • Outstanding British Musical Personality: Dickie Valentine
  • World’s Outstanding Singer: Frank Sinatra
  • Outstanding British Feminine Singer: Alma Cogan
  • Outstanding British Male Singer: Dickie Valentine
  • World’s Outstanding Vocal Group: Four Aces
  • Large Band Section: Ted Heath and His Music
  • Favourite Disc Jockey: Jack Jackson
  • Small Bands: The Kirchins
  • British Vocal Group: Stargazers

Dickie Valentine and Alma Cogan both had their commercial peak was in 1955, so this is the 1955 poll, for which the party would have been in early 1956.

1956

Held at the Royal Albert Hall, early February 1957, presented by John Gregson.

  • Large Band: Ted Heath
  • Small Band: The Kirchins
  • Musician Of The Year: Eddie Calvert
  • Favourite American Singer- Female: Doris Day
  • Favourite American Singer- Male: Frank Sinatra
  • Female Dance Band Vocalist: Rose Brennan
  • Male Solo Singing Star: Dickie Valentine
  • Female Solo Singing Star: Ruby Murray
  • Favourite Musical Personality: Dickie Valentine
  • Most Promising New Band: Ronnie Scott
  • Vocal Group: Stargazers
  • Male Dance Band Vocalist: Robbie Britton
  • Outstanding Popular Singer In The World: Frank Sinatra

The correct date for this one is harder to judge, but Eddie Calvert had three hits in 1956 and only one the following year, so I believe this is the 1956 poll, for which the party would have been in early 1957.

1957

Held at the Royal Albert Hall, presented by Tony Wright and Roger Moore.

  • Favourite American Female Singer: Doris Day
  • World’s Outstanding Popular Singer: Pat Boone
  • Favourite American Male Singer: Pat Boone
  • Favourite British Female Singer: Alma Cogan
  • World’s Outstanding Vocal Group: The Platters
  • British Large Bands: Ted Heath
  • Favourite British Male Singer: Dickie Valentine
  • British Musical Personality: Tommy Steele
  • World’s Outstanding Musical Personality: Elvis Presley
  • British Vocal Groups: King Brothers
  • British Disc Jockey: Jack Jackson
  • Small Groups (Skiffle): Lonnie Donegan
  • Small Groups (Traditional) : Chris Barber
  • Small Groups (Modern Jazz): Tony Kinsey

Connie Francis‘s commercial peak was in 1957, and that was Cliff Richard‘s first year of hits, so this is the 1957 poll, for which the party would have been in early 1958.

1958

Held at the Royal Albert Hall, presented by Pete Murray.

  • Favourite US Female Singer: Connie Francis
  • World’s Outstanding Popular Singer: Elvis Presley
  • Favourite US Male Singer: Elvis Presley
  • World’s Outstanding Vocal Group: Everly Brothers
  • World’s Outstanding Musical Personality: Elvis Presley
  • Outstanding Vocal Personality: Frankie Vaughan
  • Favourite Male Singer: Frankie Vaughan
  • Small Group: Lonnie Donegan
  • Favourite Female Singer: Alma Cogan
  • Vocal Group: Mudlarks
  • Outstanding Instrumental Personality: Eddie Calvert
  • Large Band: Ted Heath
  • Favourite New Singer (Under 21): Cliff Richard
  • Favourite Disc Jockey: Pete Murray

Connie Francis‘s commercial peak was in 1958, and that was Cliff Richard‘s first year of hits, so this is the 1958 poll, for which the party would have been in early 1959.

1959

Held at Wembley’s Empire Bowl.

  • World’s Outstanding Male Singer: Elvis Presley
  • World’s Outstanding Female Singer: Connie Francis
  • World’s Outstanding Musical Personality: Elvis Presley
  • World’s Outstanding Vocal Group: Everly Brothers
  • Favourite British Male Singer: Cliff Richard
  • Favourite British Female Singer: Shirley Bassey
  • Favourite British Vocal Group: The Mudlarks
  • Favourite British Vocal Personality: Frankie Vaughan
  • Favourite British Instrumentalist: Russ Conway
  • Favourite British Large Band or Orchestra: Ted Heath
  • Favourite British Small Group: Lonnie Donegan
  • Favourite British Disc Jockey: Pete Murray
  • Favourite British New Disc or TV singer: Craig Douglas
  • Favourite British Disc of Year: Cliff Richard, for Living Doll
  • Favourite British Artist for Poll Concert: Marty Wilde

Living Doll was first released in July 1959, so this is the 1959 poll, for which the party would have been in early 1960.

See also