Bessie Smith records "Down Hearted Blues".
Blind Lemon Jefferson makes his first recordings.
Don Everly is born in Brownie, Kentucky.
Roy Acuff makes first appearance on Grand Ol Opry; Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys record "San Antonio Rose."
Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys make their first appearance on the Grand Ol' Opry.
Alan Lomax interviews Woody Guthrie; Burl Ives begins CBS radio show 'The Wayfaring Stranger.'
After working as a government chemist in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and Berkeley, California, Charles Brown moves to Los Angeles, where he becomes a member of Johnny Moore's Three Blazers.
"Driftin' Blues," by Johnny Moore's Three Blazers, enters the R&B chart. Written and sung by Charles Brown, the song rises to #2 and remains on the R&B chart for half a year. A significant milestone of the early postwar blues, it receives 'Cashbox' magazine's award for R&B record of the year.
Muddy Waters first recording session is "Mean Red Spider". The regular sideman rate is $41.25. Waters receives only half of that amount for this recording.
The first Atlantic Records single is released.
Hank Williams scores his first hit with "Lovesick Blues", signs contract with Grand Ol' Opry.
King Curtis tours with jazz bandleader Lionel Hampton.
Big Joe Turner records "Shake, Rattle and Roll." Written by Atlantic arranger Jesse Stone, the song stays on the charts for 27 weeks.
Drawn to Sun by Presley's first single, Carl Perkins and his band audition for, and are signed by, Phillips in the fall of 1954. Phillips releases Perkins' first single, "Movie Magg," on Sun's Flip subsidiary.
Song publisher and manager Wesley Rose persuades New York-based Cadence Records to sign the Everly Brothers.
Patsy Cline wins an Arthur Godfrey Talent Scout Show with a performance of "Walking After Midnight".
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.
Paul McCartney introduces George Harrison to the Quarrymen at a basement teen club called the Morgue. George joins the group.
Jerry Lee Lewis hits Number One with "Breathless." In April, he scores again, with "High School Confidential."
"Shop Around," by the Miracles, is Motown's first national hit, reaching Number Two on the Billboard chart and topping Billboard's hot R&B singles list for eight weeks.
Seventy-three million Americans tune in to see the Beatles perform on the Ed Sullivan Show.
The Marketts hit #3 with "Out of Limits".
"Baby I Love You" by the Ronettes goes to #24.
"Girls Grow Up Faster Than Boys" by the Cookies charts at #33.
James Brown records "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," a revolutionary single that ushers in a whole new era of soul music. Released that summer, it tops the R&B chart for eight weeks and even cracks the pop Top Ten.
Peter & Gordon's rendition of the Shannon-penned "I Go to Pieces" and Del Shannon's own "Keep Searchin' (We'll Follow the Sun)" both make the Top Ten.
Big Brother and the Holding Company and the Jefferson Airplane headline the First Annual Tribal Stomp at San Francisco's Avalon Ballroom.
The Mamas and the Papas reach Number Four with "California Dreamin'."
After breaking new ground with the single "Strawberry Fields Forever"/"Penny Lane," the Beatles and George Martin begin working in earnest on 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'. Completed four months later-an unheard-of length of time for a rock album-it is a creative and production masterpiece.
Dolly Parton's hit "Dumb Blond" catches Porter Wagoner's ear, she is hired to appear regularly on his TV show.
The debut album 'Buffalo Springfield', containing 12 original songs, is released. First pressings omit "For What It's Worth," which is subsequently added to the album when it becomes a hit. "For What It's Worth," which reaches #7, is Buffalo Springfield's only Top Forty hit.
After signing Aretha Franklin, Jerry 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.
The Experience embarks on a major U.S. tour. The first show is at the Fillmore, in San Francisco. On February 12, Jimi Hendrix returns to Seattle for a show at the Center Arena. Jimi's family is seated in the front row.
Fleetwood Mac's self-titled debut album is released in Britain. It is followed by 'Mr. Wonderful' in September.
The Temptations win Motown its first Grammy for "Cloud Nine."
Tommy James and the Shondells' 'Crimson and Clover', a shorter version of the five-minute album-track, launches the new self-helmed Shondells sound. It tops the US charts and earns a gold disc, becoming the group's biggest US seller.
"To Make Love Sweeter for You" becomes Jerry Lee Lewis' first #1 C&W hit. There will be three others: "There Must Be More to Love Than This" (1970), "Would You Take Another Chance On Me" (1971), and "Chantilly Lace" (1972).
Venus (The Shocking Blue) was a hit.
Founding member Jeremy Spencer leaves Fleetwood Mac and disappears with a Christian cult group while on tour in Los Angeles.
'Pass the Chicken and Listen', the second of two albums for RCA, is released. It is the last collection of new material from the Everly Brothers, who will thereupon record solo, until 1984.
50 Ways to Leave Your Lover (Paul Simon) was a hit.
Fleetwood Mac's Rumours begins its reign at Number One.
Talking Heads' first single, "Love Goes to Building on Fire"/"New Feeling," is released on Sire Records.
Sid Vicious, the Sex Pistols' bassist, is found dead in a Manhattan apartment of a heroin overdose. At the time he was facing a second-degree murder charge for the fatal knifing of his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen.
Celebration (Kool & The Gang) was a hit.
Money and Cigarettes, one of Eric Clapton's stronger albums of the Eighties, is the inaugural release on his own Duck Records label.
Open Your Heart (Madonna) was a hit.
CHOBA B CCCP ("Again in U.S.S.R."), an album of classic rock and roll, is released only in Russia on the state-run Melodiya label. The heavily bootlegged album is legally issued elsewhere in the world, with an additional 14th track, in 1991.
"Beetlebum" by Blur reaches #1.