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Ian Thomas Band

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1700  1929
Sometime » The piano is invented by Bartolommeo Cristofori when an instrument in the form of a triangular box on legs has its internal strings struck with hammers, instead of being plucked like those on a harpsichord.

Sometime » Antonio de Torres Jurado “fine tunes” a stringed instrument into a form that we recognize today as the modern guitar. He perfects the top soundboard, changes the string length to 65 cm and makes the fingerboard pattern wider and thicker.

August 12 » Thomas Edison invents the phonograph for playing back stored sounds. The first recording he makes is Mary Had a Little Lamb.

Sometime » Valdemar Poulsen develops magnetic recording onto steel piano wire.

Sometime » The Chicago Automatic Machine and Tool Company invents the jukebox that plays records (as opposed to the cylinder recordings type of player that had been around since 1889).

Sometime » The 78 rpm record is introduced.

1929  1955  1700
Sometime » At the age of only 14, Les Paul invents the electric guitar when he takes the stylus (needle) from his record player and jams it into the wood beneath the strings of an acoustic guitar. The sound from his guitar comes out of the phonograph and gives birth to the amplification required for rock and roll.

Sometime » Telefunken helps develop magnetic tape for use with tape recorders.

August 16 » Blues man Robert Johnson is poisoned, leaving behind a legacy of music that will often be revisited by artists like Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin.

Sometime » The 33 1/3 rpm long play album (LP) is invented by Columbia Records.

Sometime » RCA Records comes out with the 45 rpm single.

Sometime » Todd Storz and Bill Stewart invent Top 40 radio when they are hired by KOWH in Omaha, Nebraska, to find a way to increase the radio station’s 5% audience share. The idea of playing the same songs over and over throughout the day is borrowed from the listening habits of restaurant patrons making selections on a jukebox.

March 21 » The rock ‘n’ roll frenzy officially begins when a riot breaks out at Alan Freed’s concert event, the Moondog Coronation Ball.
September » American Bandstand is broadcast for the first time, under the title, Bob Horn’s Bandstand, from Philadelphia.

June » Gee by The Crows is released. It’s considered to be one of the first rock ‘n’ roll records.

January 14 » The term, rock ‘n’ roll, is first used at a concert promoted by Alan Freed, known as the Rock ‘n’ Roll Jubilee. Freed tries unsuccessfully to copyright the term later in the year.

1955  1960  1929
February 27 » 45 rpm records outsell 78s. Ask your grandparents.
July 9 » The first rock ‘n’ roll song to hit number 1 is (We’re Gonna) Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley and His Comets, hanging in there for 8 weeks.
August 31 » With the help of Willie Dixon on bass, Maybellene gives Chuck Berry a number 5 hit.

January 28 » Little Richard reaches the top 40 with Tutti-Frutti.
April 21 » Heartbreak Hotel hits number 1 for the first of 8 weeks, giving Elvis Presley his first top hit.
April » Carl Perkins stalls at number 2 with Blue Suede Shoes.
October 27 » The double hit, Hound Dog / Don’t Be Cruel gives Elvis the number 1 entry on rock ‘n‘ roll’s list of the top songs of all time when it held its last of 11 weeks at the top.
Throughout » Hollywood recognizes the popularity of rock ‘n’ roll by filming six music-related movies: Don’t Knock the Rock, The Girl Can’t Help It, Rock Around the Clock, Shake Rattle and Rock!, Rock Pretty Baby and Love Me Tender.

September » Jerry Lee Lewis climbs to number 3 with Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On.
September 23 » Buddy Holly gains international attention when That’ll Be the Day jumps to number 1.

March 14 » The Recording Industry Association of America grants Perry Como the very first gold record for Catch a Falling Star.
March 24 » Elvis Presley starts his service with the U.S. army, creating a void that will soon be filled by teen idols and pop acts.
August 4 » Billboard begins its Hot 100 chart for singles. Married people read it too.
November 24 » The Kingston Trio becomes the first group to have a number 1 album when their self-titled LP beats out all the solo competition.
Year-end » Stereo records begin production in both the U.S. and the U.K.

February 3 » Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper are killed in a plane crash.
August 17 » Ray “The Genius” Charles goes to number 6 with What’d I Say, his first major hit.
October 5 » Bobby Darin’s, Mack the Knife is a killer as 50% of all hits are now rock related.

1960  1965  1955
July 25 » Roy Orbison peaks at the number 2 spot with a heartfelt recording of Only the Lonely.
September 19 » The Twist hits number 1 on the first of two occasions for Chubby Checker.

January 30 » The Shirelles start the “girl group” revolution as Will You Love Me Tomorrow sees its first of 2 weeks at number 1.
December 11 » Please Mr. Postman gives Motown its first number 1 when The Marvelettes take the song to the top for a week.

January 13 » Adults discover The Twist craze and propel the song back to number 1, eighteen months after its first domination of the charts.
May 5 » The West Side Story soundtrack begins the first of 54 weeks at number 1.

August 10 » Fingertips – Pt. 2 enjoys the first of 3 weeks at number 1, giving 13 year old Little Stevie Wonder his first hit.
September 7 » The last big doo wop hit drops out of the top 10. Denise by Randy and The Rainbows hangs on at number 10 for 2 weeks before ending the doo wop era.
Sometime » Philips introduces the compact audio cassette, a new tape recording format.

February 9 » The Beatles start the British Invasion when they appear on The Ed Sullivan Show.
April 4 » The top 5 songs on the Billboard singles chart are by The Beatles. Can’t Buy Me Love is at number 1, followed by Twist and Shout, She Loves You, I Want to Hold Your Hand and Please Please Me.
July 11 » The Supremes have their first of 5 consecutive number 1 hits, with Where Did Our Love Go.
December 11 » Sam Cooke, the greatest soul singer of all time, is shot and killed under mysterious circumstances. What a Wonderful World.
Year-end » The Beatles have 19 hits in 1964 alone, and account for 60% of all record sales in the U.S. from January to March.

1965  1970  1960
July 10 » The Rolling Stones have the first of 4 weeks of Satisfaction at number 1.
July 25 » Bob Dylan turns electric when he performs three songs with a backup band at the Newport Folk Festival. After a lot of booing he returns to play two folk songs on acoustic guitar.
September 13 » What would become the most covered pop song of all time is released as a U.S. single by The Beatles, eighteen months after it was first conceived. Yesterday wasn’t a U.K. single until 1976.
December 3 » The Beatles redefine the long play album format with the release of Rubber Soul.

May 16 » The Beach Boys release Pet Sounds, their best album.
July 30 » The Troggs do the Wild Thing at the top of the charts.
August 29 » The Beatles play their last concert at Candlestick Park.
December 10 » The Beach Boys see their elaborate and expensive recording of Good Vibrations pay off, as the song takes over the number 1 position.

June 1 » The Beatles release their masterpiece, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which ushers in The Summer of Love.
June 16 » The Monterey Pop Festival features The Mamas and The Papas, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and The Who.

August 3 » The Doors hit the top with Hello, I Love You, their second and last number 1 song.
September 28 » Hey Jude begins a 9 week perch at the top of the U.S. singles chart on the way to becoming the biggest hit of the 1960s. The new song from The Beatles also broke barriers with its length of over 7 minutes.

January 17 » Led Zeppelin introduces heavy rock when it releases its self-titled album, which is followed up by Led Zeppelin II before the end of the year.
August 15 » The original Woodstock is held.

1970  1975  1965
March » Simon and Garfunkel split up.
April » The Beatles break up. It wouldn’t be made official until the end of the year when Paul McCartney has no choice but to sue his former bandmates.
Fall » Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin die of drug overdoses.

January 23 » Elton John hits number 8 with Your Song, his first of a string of top 10 hits in the 1970s.
June 19 » Carole King enters the spotlight before It’s Too Late when Tapestry goes number 1, and James Taylor’s cover of You’ve Got a Friend later takes a turn at the top of the singles chart.

January 15 » Don McLean’s, American Pie, is the highlight of the year, hitting number 1 early on.

February 24 » Killing Me Softly With His Song gives Roberta Flack her second consecutive Billboard song of the year.
March 23 » Pink Floyd releases the classic, Dark Side of the Moon.
August 1 » The beginning of the decline in the quality of popular music was acknowledged with the debut in theatres of American Graffiti. It offered the first official look back at times when music was much better than what was currently being produced. This trend continues today in the form of retrospective box sets and endless reunion tours.

Throughout » Pop starts to wear thin as disco makes its move.

1975  1980  1970
Throughout » The career of Elton John peaks as he chalks up three number 1 hits and a fourth that makes number 4.

Throughout » With his Frampton Comes Alive! album, Peter Frampton starts a long running industry trend of issuing live recordings.

February » Fleetwood Mac’s long awaited follow-up to their self-titled album from 1975 is released. Rumours would become one of the best selling albums of all time.
August 16 » Elvis Presley dies of prescription drug abuse.

Throughout » The Bee Gees saturate the airwaves with their falsetto sound laid over a driving beat.

July 2 » The first Walkman (the TPS-L2) is made available by its inventor, Sony.
Throughout » Classic rock bands like The Eagles, The Doobie Brothers and Supertramp are fading fast as the decade comes to a close.
Year-end » Disco is officially pronounced dead, although it is still prevalent in today’s music.

1980  1985  1975
February 16 » Queen is in their prime when Crazy Little Thing Called Love hits number 1, and is matched by Another One Bites the Dust later in the year.
December 8 » John Lennon is murdered.

August 1 » MTV launches its music video channel, airing what are really just commercials for songs. Video Killed the Radio Star, a song by The Buggles that barely scraped into the top 40, is the first video shown.

Throughout » Hall and Oates provide bookend number 1 hits for the year, with I Can’t Go for That and Maneater, on their way to becoming the most successful duo of all time.

Throughout » CDs begin appearing on store shelves, a new format developed jointly by Philips and Sony.
November » Tina Turner mounts a comeback when she releases a cover of Al Green’s, Let’s Stay Together.

Throughout » Huey Lewis and The News continue releasing hit after hit from the Sports album.

1985  1990  1980
July 13 » Live Aid is held in London, England and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to help starving Africans.
September 21 » Money for Nothing goes to number 1 for Dire Straits, on the strength of an original video, a digital recording and the background vocals of Sting.

Throughout » Rock veterans Heart, Steve Winwood, Peter Gabriel, Robert Palmer and Boston all return with number 1 hits.

May 16 » U2 comes on strong when With or Without You makes number 1.
August » After spending more than one Night in the Ruts, Aerosmith makes a major comeback with their Permanent Vacation album.
Year-end » CDs outsell records.

Throughout » More rock ‘n’ roll comebacks occur with top songs by George Harrison, Cheap Trick, The Beach Boys and Chicago.
December 6 » Roy Orbison dies of a heart attack.

January 28 » The Traveling Wilburys supergroup pushes its way up to the number 3 position with their Volume 1 album. Members include Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, George Harrison, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne.

1990  1995  1985
Fall » The Righteous Brothers re-enter the top 40 with two different recordings of Unchained Melody, a song included in the movie, Ghost.

July 13 » Bryan Adams sets a U.K. record when (Everything I Do) I Do It for You begins a 16 week hold on the number 1 spot.
November 30 » Billboard modifies the way chart positions are calculated, which now favour rap and country artists.
Year-end » CDs outsell cassettes.

May 9 » Queen watches their 1975 hit, Bohemian Rhapsody, go to number 2 after it is featured on the soundtrack for the movie, Wayne’s World.

October 30 » Meat Loaf hits number 1 on the albums chart with Bat Out Of Hell II: Back Into Hell.

April 8 » Kurt Cobain brings an end to Nirvana by shooting himself.
November » 1970s icons, The Eagles, return as Hell Freezes Over.

1995  2000  1990
April 4 » The first new single by The Beatles in 25 years, Baby It’s You, is released.
August 9 » Jerry Garcia dies of a heart attack, ending an era of incredibly successful tours by The Grateful Dead.
August » With his new single, Lenny Kravitz suggests that Rock and Roll is Dead, and he may be right.
September 2 » The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opens in Cleveland, Ohio.

March 30 » Celine Dion steals the top position on the Adult Contemporary chart for the first of 19 weeks, with Because You Loved Me.

February » It is announced that a sheep has successfully been cloned, leaving fans of rock ‘n’ roll to wonder if in the future they may hear music from cloned versions of Buddy Holly, John Lennon, Sam Cooke, Jimi Hendrix and others.
August 19 » The classic line-up of Fleetwood Mac is back with The Dance, an MTV effort that will earn several Grammy nominations.
September 22 » Elton John’s musical tribute to Princess Diana, Candle in the Wind 1997, is released. It takes only 37 days to sell almost 32 million copies, making it the best selling single of all time.
Sometime » Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan release highly acclaimed albums. Dylan’s, Time Out of Mind, later wins a Grammy for Album of the Year, over McCartney’s, Flaming Pie.

May 14 » Frank Sinatra dies of a heart attack at the age of 82.
September » Aerosmith has their first number 1 hit with I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing from the Armageddon soundtrack.
Year-end » Consumers over the age of 30 purchase more music than those under 30, for the first time ever. It is suspected that teenagers buy less music because they are more likely to download for free what they listen to in the form of MP3 sound files.

March 20 » Cher takes 25 years between number 1 singles as Believe goes all the way to the top for the first of 3 weeks.
September 21 » David Bowie’s newest album, hours..., becomes the first by a major artist to be made available by Internet download, and $17.98. It is issued in the Liquid Audio format, and includes the bonus track, No One Calls, not available on the retail release.
November 10 » It is announced that The Eagles have the biggest selling album of the millennium (in the U.S.), when Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 reaches the 26 million mark.
December » The world’s top music publishers report that You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ (BMI) was the most played song, and Happy Birthday (ASCAP) the most performed song of the last 100 years.

2000  1995
February 23 » Carlos Santana makes it into the record books when he collects 8 Grammy Awards in recognition of his popular Supernatural album and its singles.
March 8 » Billy Joel and Dave Brubeck help the Smithsonian Institute celebrate the 300th birthday of the piano.
October 14 » Pearl Jam sets a new Billboard record when it debuts 5 new albums on the chart in the same week. All are double CDs recorded on their recent tour.
November 7 » Warner Brothers Records releases the first batch of DVD audio discs as Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s Brain Salad Surgery album becomes available in the new music format.
Throughout » Music file sharing is very popular at sites like MP3.com and through the use of Napster software, before lawsuits from the large record companies bring the free services to a halt.

Spring » Rock ‘n’ roll is in fine form when impressive albums from artists like Stevie Nicks (Trouble in Shangri-La), Electric Light Orchestra (Zoom), John Phillips (Pay Pack and Follow), Saga (House of Cards), Aerosmith (Just Push Play), The Bee Gees (This Is Where I Came In), Journey (Arrival) and Blue Öyster Cult (Curse of the Hidden Mirror) are released.
Fall » Three giants of rock ‘n’ roll, Paul McCartney, Elton John and Bob Dylan, release standout albums in the form of Driving Rain, Songs From the West Coast and Love and Theft, respectively, all within weeks of each other.
Late Fall » Fund-raising efforts, such as America: A Tribute to Heroes and The Concert for New York, are released, with proceeds donated to victims of the New York terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001. And 20 years after The Guitar Man was in the top 40 in the U.S., a three song charity single, titled America the Beautiful, returns Elvis Presley to the charts when it hits number 6 in sales.
November 29 » George Harrison dies of cancer at the age of 58. Horse to the Water, the last recording he appears on that is released during his lifetime, is a song he co-wrote with son Dhani. The track is included on the Small World Big Band CD by ex-Squeeze member, Jools Holland.
Year-end » Billboard’s top album of the year is 1 by The Beatles. It comes thirty-one years after the group split up.

May 3 » Dick Clark hosts American Bandstand’s 50th ... A Celebration! anniversary show, taped over a three day period. Performers include Cher, Kiss and Stevie Wonder.
June 16 » Elvis Presley reclaims the record in the U.K. for the most number 1 singles, with 18, when a remix of A Little Less Conversation hits the top.
Fall » Limited editions of new releases (by Tom Petty, Mark Knopfler, Bob Dylan, U2, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Tom Cochrane, Elton John, James Taylor), become widespread as record companies battle a slump in CD sales.

Early » It is announced that computer software, such as Hit Song Science, is being used to analyze songs to predict if they are good enough to become hits.

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