NME Poll Winners – The 1960s

By the 1960s, the names of the NME Poll Winners should be starting to become rather more familiar to you. The timelines are still a bit confusing, with one year apparently missing in its entirety, but hopefully this will make some kind of sense.

1960

Held at Wembley’s Empire Bowl, presented by Connie Francis.

  • World Male Singer: Elvis Presley
  • World Female Singer: Connie Francis
  • World Vocal Group: Everly Brothers
  • World Musical Personality: Duane Eddy
  • British Vocal Group: King Brothers
  • British Large Band or Orchestra: Ted Heath
  • British Female Singer: Shirley Bassey
  • British Male Singer: Cliff Richard
  • British Vocal Personality: Lonnie Donegan
  • British Small Group: The Shadows
  • Best British Disc of the Year: The Shadows, for Apache
  • New Disc or TV Singer: Emile Ford
  • Instrumental Personality: Russ Conway
  • Artist for Poll Concert: Adam Faith
  • Disc Jockey: David Jacobs

Apache was first released in July 1960, so this is the 1960 poll, for which the party would have been in early 1961.

1961

Held at Wembley’s Empire Bowl, presented by Brenda Lee.

  • World Female Singer: Connie Francis
  • World Musical Personality: Elvis Presley
  • World Male Singer: Elvis Presley
  • World Vocal Group: Everly Brothers
  • British Vocal Personality: Adam Faith
  • British Vocal Group: The Springfields
  • Instrumental Personality: Bert Weedon
  • British Small Group: The Shadows
  • British Large Band or Orchestra: Ted Heath
  • Best British Disc of the Year: John Leyton, for Johnny Remember Me
  • British Male Singer: Cliff Richard
  • Artist For Poll Concert: Billy Fury
  • British Traditional Jazz Band: Acker Bilk
  • British Female Singer: Helen Shapiro
  • New Disc or TV Singer: John Leyton
  • Disc Jockey: David Jacobs

Johnny Remember Me was first released in July 1961, so this is the 1961 poll, for which the party would have been in early 1962.

1962

Presented by Roger Moore.

  • World’s Outstanding Male Singer: Elvis Presley
  • World’s Outstanding Female Singer: Brenda Lee
  • World’s Outstanding Vocal Group: Everly Brothers
  • World’s Outstanding Musical Personality: Elvis Presley
  • British Male Singer: Cliff Richard
  • British Female Singer: Helen Shapiro
  • British Vocal Group: The Springfields
  • British Vocal Personality: Joe Brown
  • British Solo Instrumentalist: Jet Harris
  • British Large Band/ Orchestra: Joe Loss
  • British Small Group: The Shadows
  • British Traditional Jazz Band: Kenny Ball
  • British Disc Jockey: David Jacobs
  • British New Disc or TV Singer: Frank Ifield
  • British Best Disc in 1962: Frank Ifield, for I Remember You
  • Artist for Poll Concert: Billy Fury

This version of I Remember You was first released in May 1962, so this is the 1962 poll, for which the party would have been in early 1963.

1963

Held at Wembley’s Empire Bowl, 3 May 1964, presented by Roy Orbison.

  • World Male Singer: Cliff Richard
  • World Vocal Group: The Beatles
  • World Musical Personality: Elvis Presley
  • World Female Singer: Brenda Lee
  • British Vocal Personality: Joe Brown
  • British Vocal Group: The Beatles
  • British Large Band or Orchestra: Joe Loss
  • British Small Group: The Shadows
  • British Traditional Jazz Band: Kenny Ball
  • Best British Disc Of The Year: The Beatles, for She Loves You
  • British Female Singer: Kathy Kirby
  • Artist For Poll Concert: Billy J Kramer and The Dakotas
  • British Male Singer: Cliff Richard
  • Disc Jockey: David Jacobs
  • New Disc or TV Singer: Gerry Marsden
  • Solo Instrumentalist: Jet Harris

She Loves You was first released in July 1963, so this is the 1963 poll, for which the party would have been in early 1964.

1964

Held at Wembley’s Empire Pool, April 1965, presented by Tony Bennett.

  • Outstanding Male Singer: Elvis Presley
  • Outstanding Female Singer: Brenda Lee
  • Outstanding Vocal Group: The Beatles
  • Outstanding Musical Personality: Elvis Presley
  • British Male Singer: Cliff Richard
  • British Female Singer: Dusty Springfield
  • British Vocal Group: The Beatles
  • British Vocal Personality: Cliff Richard
  • British Rhythm and Blues: The Rolling Stones
  • British Instrumental Unit: The Shadows
  • British TV or Radio Programme: Ready Steady Go!
  • British Disc Jockey: Jimmy Savile
  • British New Disc or TV Singer: Mick Jagger
  • British Disc This Year: The Animals, for The House of the Rising Sun

The House of the Rising Sun was first recorded by The Animals in May 1964, so this is the 1964 poll, for which the party would have been in early 1965.

1965

Presented by Jimmy Savile.

  • World Male Singer: Elvis Presley
  • World Musical Personality: Elvis Presley
  • British R & B Group: The Rolling Stones
  • Disc Jockey: Jimmy Savile
  • World Female Singer: Dusty Springfield
  • World Vocal Group: The Beatles
  • British Vocal Group: The Beatles
  • British Male Singer: Cliff Richard
  • British Vocal Personality: John Lennon
  • British Female Singer: Dusty Springfield
  • New Disc or TV Singer: Donovan
  • British Instrumental Unit: The Shadows
  • Best New Group: Seekers
  • Best TV or Radio Show: Top of the Pops
  • Best New Disc of the Year: The Rolling Stones, for (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction was first released in June 1965, so this is the 1965 poll, for which the party would have been in early 1966.

1966

Held at Wembley Pool, presented by Jimmy Savile and Simon Dee.

  • World Male Singer: Elvis Presley
  • World Female Singer: Dusty Springfield
  • World Vocal Group: The Beach Boys
  • World Musical Personality: Elvis Presley
  • British Vocal Group: The Beatles
  • British Instrumental Unit: The Shadows
  • Best Male Singer: Cliff Richard
  • British Vocal Personality: Cliff Richard
  • Best R&B Group: Spencer Davis
  • Best TV/Radio Show: Top of the Pops
  • Top Disc Jockey: Jimmy Savile
  • British Female Singer: Dusty Springfield
  • New Disc Singer: Stevie Winwood
  • Best New Group: Spencer Davis
  • Best British Disc This Year: The Beatles, for Eleanor Rigby

Eleanor Rigby was first released in August 1966, so this is the 1966 poll, for which the party would have been in early 1967.

1967

Presented by Roger Moore.

  • World’s Top Vocal Group: The Beatles
  • Best R & B Group: The Rolling Stones
  • Britain’s Top Singer: Cliff Richard
  • World’s Top Female Singer: Dusty Springfield
  • Top DJs: Jimmy Savile
  • Top TV Show: Top of the Pops
  • Best New Singer: Engelbert Humperdinck
  • Best New Group: Bee Gees

1968

Held at Wembley’s Empire Pool, 11 May 1969, presented by Jimmy Savile and Tony Blackburn.

  • World Male Singer: Elvis Presley
  • World Female Singer: Lulu
  • World Vocal Group: The Beatles
  • World Musical Personality: Elvis Presley
  • British Vocal Group: The Beatles
  • British Female Singer: Lulu
  • Top Disc Jockey: Jimmy Savile
  • Best TV/ Radio Show: Top of The Pops
  • Best New Group: Love Affair
  • British Vocal Personality: Cliff Richard
  • British R&B Group: The Rolling Stones
  • Best British Disc This Year: The Beatles, for Hey Jude
  • British Male Singer: Tom Jones
  • New Disc Singer: Mary Hopkins
  • British Instrumental Unit: The Shadows

Hey Jude was first released in August 1968, so this is the 1968 poll, for which the party would have been in early 1969.

1969

Despite what the NME website says, I don’t believe there was a 1969 poll, hence there being no results to print. The ceremony related to the 1968 poll, detailed above.

See also

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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