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1912
Memphis Blues composer and musician, W.C. Handy, records “Memphis Blues.”

1948
Memphis station WDIA changes to an all-black format. By the following summer, it will become the first radio station in the U.S. staffed entirely by black disc jockeys, and in a few years, it will be the most powerful station in Memphis.

1949
Nashville’s Bullet Records releases the first record by Memphis-based Riley “B.B.” King, host of a popular show on WDIA.

1950
Sam Phillips opens Memphis Recording Service at 706 Union Avenue. He begins recording several local blues artists, including B.B. King, Howlin’ Wolf and James Cotton.

1951
Phillips records “Rocket 88” with singer Jackie Brenston and Ike Turner’s band.

1952
Phillips launches Sun Records.

1953
WDIA disc jockey Rufus Thomas’ “Bear Cat,” an answer record to Big Mama Thornton’s “Hound Dog,” becomes Sun’s first national hit.

Elvis Presley walks into the offices of Sun Record and records a two-sided acetate disc: “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin” as a gift for his mother.

1954
Sun releases “That’s All Right” and “Blue Moon of Kentucky” by Elvis Presley, backed by guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black.

1955
Despite Presley’s growing popularity, his five Sun singles fail to make a dent on the national charts. Phillips sells his contract to RCA Records for $35,000.

Carl Perkins records “Blue Suede Shoes” and “Honey Don’t,” which Sun releases together as a single on January 1, 1956.

With the money from the sale of Elvis Presley’s contract, Sam Phillips launches WHER, the first “All-Girl” radio station.

1956
Roy Orbison’s first Sun single, “Ooby Dooby,” is released.

Sun releases Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line.”

1957
Jerry Lee Lewis’s “Great Balls of Fire” hits Number One. Near the end of the year, he marries his 13-year-old cousin, Myra Gale Brown.

Memphis record label Satellite Records launched in founder Jim Stewart’s garage.

Inspired by the success of Sun, Quinton Claunch, Bill Cantrell and Ray Harris form HI Records.

1958
While on tour in England, Lewis is attacked by the press, who are outraged by his marriage. The furor carries back to the U.S. where is blacklisted from radio and bookings are cancelled.

Ardent Studios was founded by John Fry and was initially a studio in his family’s garage, where he recorded his first Ardent Records 45′s.

1959
HI Records scores its first big hit, “Smokie, Part 2,” by the Bill Black Combo.

Satellite’s first release by a black rhythm and blues act, the Veltones’ “Fool For Love”

1960
Satellite Records scores its first big hit, “Cause I Love You,” by Rufus & Carla Thomas.

1961
Memphis record label Satellite Records adopts the name STAX Records after founders Jim Stewart & Estelle Axton.

STAX signs a distribution deal giving Atlantic first choice on releasing Satellite recordings.

STAX subsidiary label, Volt, was founded, becoming home to Otis Redding, The Bar-Kays, and others.

1962
Otis Redding’s first single, “These Arms of Mine,” is released.

1967
Memphis Rock Band The Box Tops release “The Letter” to international success.

1969
STAX producer and songwriter, Isaac Hayes, steps into the spotlight with “Hot Buttered Soul,” which sold over three million copies.

1972
Memphis Rock band Big Star releases their debut album “#1 Record.”

1984
Memphis Vocalist Jimi Jamison (Target, Cobra) joins PolyGram Recording Artists Survivor.

1998
Memphis Hard Rock band Tora Tora is signed to A&M Records and release their debut album “Surprise! Attack.”

1992
Memphis Hard Rock band Roxy Blue is signed to Geffen Records and release their debut album “Want Some?”

An ad hoc, shortened version of Memphis Rock band Big Star’s “In the Street” was used as the theme song for the sitcom “That ’70s Show,” and in 1999, a new version titled “That ’70s Song (In the Street)” was recorded by Cheap Trick also specifically for the show.

2000
Memphis Hard Rock band Dust For Life is signed to Wind-up Records and release their self-titled debut album.

Memphis Metal band Primer 55 is signed to Island Records and release their debut album “Introduction to Mayhem.”

Vexar Entertainment established.

2001
Memphis Hard Rock band Saliva is signed to Island Records and release their debut album “Every Six Seconds.”

Memphis Alternative Rock band Breaking Point is signed to Wind-up Records and release their debut album “Coming of Age.”

2003
Memphis Rap Group Three 6 Mafia are signed to Universal Records and release their 6th studio album “Da Unbreakables.”

Memphis Hard Rock band Egypt Central is signed to Lava (Universal) Records and release their self-titled debut album.

2004
Memphis Rock band Ingram Hill is signed to Hollywood (Disney) Records and release their debut album “June’s Picture Show.”

2005
Memphis Guitarist Zach Myers joins Atlantic Recording Artists Shinedown.

2006
Memphis Rap Group Three 6 Mafia win an Academy Award, Best original Song, for “It’s hard Out Here For A Pimp.”

2007
Memphis Guitarist Justin Rimer (Breaking Point) joins Wind-Up Recording Artists 12 Stones.