I was 15 in '61. It wasn't a great year for "bands," unless you were living in LA or NYC. Not in Santa Fe NM.
Most of the pop music in the hinterlands consisted of TOP FORTY hits, and in '61, it was still overwhelmingly solo performers: Elvis, Rick Nelson, Ray Charles, Del Shannon, Brenda Lee. All had 'hits" in '61. Even the Miracles, who had a hit, weren't really a "band," as much as they were an "act."
Mostly our tastes were limited to what came in on 1520 KOMA, in Okie City. 50KW, E/W directional; way up on the high side, that signal bounced off anything. XEROK in Juarez, too (150KW, 800 AM; allegedly, water boiled within 50 feet of the transmitter/tower). And only at night.
My family lived 10 miles north of Santa Fe, which didn't have "pop"--"rock'n'roll"/Top 40--music until Karl Goodwin, a friend of my father's, hired me to play it on his radio station, KTRC, in the Winter of '62. And my JOB was to play Top 40, 4 hours nightly, 5 nights a week. And I sold the show, and wrote the ads.
I also ran the board and played elevator music and paid, religious programs on weekend days. Those days and nights I sat in that control room, smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee, I started to think how to organize senses to accomplish certain conditions.
And, because the station got all kinds or albums from producers, there were lots of genres to select from to my weekend shows.
We were on the Capitol Records mailing list, and so we got Stan Kenton albums, and George Shearing albums, and Sinatra, and Ella and Nancy Wilson and the whole plethora it their catalogue, as well as other labels' releases, too.
Nobody ever offered me payola, but other thatn that, it was fabulous fun and an excellent education!
For your information, recollection, and reflection, the link HERE is to the official, Billboard #1 hits for the year 1961.