1951 - "Rocket 88," considered the first Rock record, is
1952 - Little Richard's first records are released.
1953 - Elvis Presley makes his first (private) recordings.
1954 - Ray Charles forms his own band.
1955 - The movie Blackboard Jungle is released featuring Bill
Haley & The Comets' "Rock Around The Clock." RCA signs Elvis
Presley. The Everly Bros. make their first studio recordings.
1956 - Elvis' first film, Love Me Tender. An impromptu
recording session at Sun Studios for Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins,
Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash, the million dollar quartet.
1957 - Chuck Berry releases the hits "School Day" and "Rock
And Roll Music"
1958 - Elvis is drafted into the U.S. Army
1959 - Buddy Holly is killed in a plane crash.
1960 - Elvis Presley appears on The Ed Sullivan Show
following his Army stint.
1961 - Big soul hits for groups like The Shirelles, The
Marvelettes. Dion splits from The Belmonts.
1962 - The Supremes have their first record released by
Motown. The Twist takes off.
1963 - Surf music rules the airwaves.
1964 - The Beatles hit America leading the British Invasion.
1965 - Bob Dylan plugs in at the Newport Folk Festival
1966 - The Monkees TV series begins. The Beach Boys' Pet
Sounds album arrives.
1967 - Monterey Pop Festival begins the open air Rock festival
concept. The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper is unleashed. Cream issues their
first two albums.
1968 - Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention release We're
Only In It For The Money.
1969 - Woodstock Music & Arts Festival draws half a million
fans to Max Yasgar's farm in New York. The Who's rock opera
Tommy is introduced.
1970 - Deaths of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin within a month
of each other. The Grateful Dead release both Workingman's Dead
and American Beauty. The Beatles break up.
1971 - Deaths of Jim Morrison (The Doors) and Duane Allman
(Allman Bros. Band). Songwriter Carole King releases her Tapesty
1972 - Smokey Robinson leaves The Miracles to go solo.
1973 - Led Zeppelin's tour is a record breaker. Pink Floyd
release Dark Side Of The Moon.
1974 - Bob Dylan & The Band tour together.
1975 - Rod Stewart officially quits The Faces. Bruce
Springsteen releases Born To Run.
1976 - Stevie Wonder's album release Songs In The Key Of
Life would win five Grammy awards. Frampton Comes Alive is
1977 - The Disco influence is felt as Saturday Night Fever
becomes a best selling album. Meatloaf's Bat Out Of Hell is
released. Elvis Presley dies.
1978 - Van Halen release their first album.
1979 - The Who release two movies, go on tour, and eleven
fans are trampled to death at their Cincinnati concert.
1980 - John Lennon is murdered in front of his New York
1981 - Paul McCartney's Wings disbands after over 20 hits.
1982 - The Eagles disband until hell freezes over. Michael
Jackson's Thriller album is released late in the year.
1983 - David Bowie's "Let's Dance" hits Number One with
Stevie Ray Vaughan on guitar.
1984 - Jackie Wilson succumbs to a long illness.
1985 - "We Are The World" is recorded by 46 U.S. artists in
support of suffering people in the USA and Africa.
1986 - The Rolling Stones are awarded a Lifetime Achievement
1987 - Billy Joel tours and records an album in Russia.
1988 - Whitney Houston earns her seventh consecutive Number
One single. Superstar ensemble The Traveling Wilburys release an
album, just before Roy Orbison's passing.
1989 - Milli Vanilli wins 1989 Best New Artist Grammy, only
to have the award taken back when it is revealed that they did not
sing on their own debut album.
1990 - Curtis Mayfield (The Impressions) is paralyzed
preparing for a stage concert. Stevie Ray Vaughan is killed in a
1991- Cardinal O'Connor asks The Pope to excommunicate
Madonna. Guns N' Roses release Use Your Illusion I and II.
Queen's Freddy Mercury dies from complications related to AIDS.
1992 - Seattle becomes the core of Grunge Rock with groups
like Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Prince changes his name.
1993 - U2 finishes up a two year Zoo/Zooropa '93 world tour.
1994 - Kurt Cobain's death is shared by a new generation of
rock fans. Sheryl Crow flies with her Tuesday Night Music Club,
and a tour opening for the reunited Eagles. Hootie & The Blowfish
debut Cracked Rear View Mirror.
1995 - The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame And Museum opens in
Cleveland. Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill is a multi-million
seller. Neil Young and Pearl Jam perform and record together.
1996 - Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men team up for "One Sweet
Day," which tops the charts for an unprecedented 16 consecutive
1997 -Lillith Tour spotlights female headliners.
1998 - "Ginger Spice" Geri Halliwell exits the popular Spice
Girls. The Rolling Stones give concerts in Russia, followed shortly
by Ringo Starr's Fourth All-Starr Band.