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Rock 'n Roll Timeline

The Fifties | The Sixties | The Seventies | The Eighties | The Nineties


bullet1951 - "Rocket 88," considered the first Rock record, is released.
bullet1952 - Little Richard's first records are released.
bullet1953 - Elvis Presley makes his first (private) recordings.
bullet1954 - Ray Charles forms his own band.
bullet1955 - 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.
bullet1956 - 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.
bullet1957 - Chuck Berry releases the hits "School Day" and "Rock And Roll Music"
bullet1958 - Elvis is drafted into the U.S. Army
bullet1959 - Buddy Holly is killed in a plane crash.


bullet1960 - Elvis Presley appears on The Ed Sullivan Show following his Army stint.
bullet1961 - Big soul hits for groups like The Shirelles, The Marvelettes. Dion splits from The Belmonts.
bullet1962 - The Supremes have their first record released by Motown. The Twist takes off.
bullet1963 - Surf music rules the airwaves.
bullet1964 - The Beatles hit America leading the British Invasion.
bullet1965 - Bob Dylan plugs in at the Newport Folk Festival spawning Folk-Rock.
bullet1966 - The Monkees TV series begins. The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds album arrives.
bullet1967 - Monterey Pop Festival begins the open air Rock festival concept. The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper is unleashed. Cream issues their first two albums.
bullet1968 - Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention release We're Only In It For The Money.
bullet1969 - 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.


bullet1970 - 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.
bullet1971 - Deaths of Jim Morrison (The Doors) and Duane Allman (Allman Bros. Band). Songwriter Carole King releases her Tapesty album.
bullet1972 - Smokey Robinson leaves The Miracles to go solo.
bullet1973 - Led Zeppelin's tour is a record breaker. Pink Floyd release Dark Side Of The Moon.
bullet1974 - Bob Dylan & The Band tour together.
bullet1975 - Rod Stewart officially quits The Faces. Bruce Springsteen releases Born To Run.
bullet1976 - Stevie Wonder's album release Songs In The Key Of Life would win five Grammy awards. Frampton Comes Alive is released.
bullet1977 - 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.
bullet1978 - Van Halen release their first album.
bullet1979 - The Who release two movies, go on tour, and eleven fans are trampled to death at their Cincinnati concert.


bullet1980 - John Lennon is murdered in front of his New York apartment.
bullet1981 - Paul McCartney's Wings disbands after over 20 hits.
bullet1982 - The Eagles disband until hell freezes over. Michael Jackson's Thriller album is released late in the year.
bullet1983 - David Bowie's "Let's Dance" hits Number One with Stevie Ray Vaughan on guitar.
bullet1984 - Jackie Wilson succumbs to a long illness.
bullet1985 - "We Are The World" is recorded by 46 U.S. artists in support of suffering people in the USA and Africa.
bullet1986 - The Rolling Stones are awarded a Lifetime Achievement Grammy.
bullet1987 - Billy Joel tours and records an album in Russia.
bullet1988 - Whitney Houston earns her seventh consecutive Number One single. Superstar ensemble The Traveling Wilburys release an album, just before Roy Orbison's passing.
bullet1989 - 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.


bullet1990 - Curtis Mayfield (The Impressions) is paralyzed preparing for a stage concert. Stevie Ray Vaughan is killed in a helicopter crash.
bullet1991- 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.
bullet1992 - Seattle becomes the core of Grunge Rock with groups like Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Prince changes his name.
bullet1993 - U2 finishes up a two year Zoo/Zooropa '93 world tour.
bullet1994 - 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.
bullet1995 - 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.
bullet1996 - Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men team up for "One Sweet Day," which tops the charts for an unprecedented 16 consecutive weeks.
bullet1997 -Lillith Tour spotlights female headliners.
bullet1998 - "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.


Copyright 2010 Tim Stouse
Last modified: December 10, 2010
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