The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


Atlantic Records

1947

Atlantic Records is founded by Ahmet Ertegun and Herb Abramson. The label's initial releases feature such jazz and blues artists as Joe Morris, Tiny Grimes and Eddie Safranski.

1949

Granville "Stick" McGhee's "Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee" hits the Juke Box chart, becoming the first Atlantic record to have national impact.

1949

Ruth Brown records "Teardrops from My Eyes," the first major hit of her career.

1952

Ray Charles does his first session for Atlantic, cutting four songs. Over the next seven years, he will record such classics as "Mess Around," "I Got a Woman," "Hallelujah, I Love Her So" and "What'd I Say."

1953

Jerry Wexler, a former Billboard magazine writer, joins Atlantic. He soon begins producing records with Ertegun.

1953

The Drifters, featuring Clyde McPhatter on lead vocals, record "Money Honey."

1954

Big Joe Turner records "Shake, Rattle and Roll." Written by Atlantic arranger Jesse Stone, the song stays on the charts for 27 weeks.

1954

LaVern Baker records "Tweedlee Dee." the first of a string of hits for Atlantic.

1955

esuhi Ertegun, Ahmet's brother, joins Atlantic and proceeds to develop a legendary jazz roster that includes John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus and the Modern Jazz Quartet.

1957

Atlantic releases "Youngblood"/"Searchin" by the Coasters. Written and produced by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, the song stays on the charts for most of the year. Leiber and Stoller will go on to produce and record numerous hits by the Coasters and other Atlantic artists such as the Drifters, Ben E. King and LaVern Baker.

1960

Wexler strikes a handshake deal giving Atlantic distribution rights to Memphis-based Stax Records. The labels' eight-year association will yield scores of hits by such artists as Otis Redding, Sam and Dave and Booker T. and the MGs, literally shaping the sound of Sixties soul music.

1966

Ertegun signs the English group Cream. Atlantic will become a major force in British rock, releasing albums by such artists as the Bee Gees, Mott the Hoople, Yes, Genesis, Derek and the Dominos, Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Led Zeppelin.

1967

Buffalo Springfield, signed to Atlantic by Ertegun, scores a hit with "For What It's Worth." Two of the band's members will go on to form Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, one of Atlantic's premier acts of the Seventies.

1967

After signing Aretha Franklin, Wexler records "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)" at Rick Hall's Fame Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The song hits Number Nine on the pop charts.

1967

Warner-Seven Arts buys Atlantic for $17.5 million. In 1970, Warner will buy Elektra Records, creating what will become one of the most powerful music corporations in the world.

1971

Atlantic announces the signing of the Rolling Stones. The group's recordings will appear on their own label, Rolling Stones Records.

1995

Atlantic continues to be a major force in the record industry, with an artist roster that includes Stone Temple Pilots, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, Phil Collins, Liz Phair and Collective Soul.