1968 in music
other events of 1969
1970 in music
list of 'years in music'
Perhaps the most famous musical events of 1969 are two legendary concerts. At a Rolling Stones concert in Altamont, California[?], a fan was stabbed to death by Hell's Angels, a biker gang that had been hired to provide security for the event. In retrospect, many commentators have concluded that the violence signalled the failure of the so-called "hippies", who espoused an ethos of free love and peace. Even more famous than the Altamont concert is Woodstock, which consisted of dozens of the most famous performers in the world at the time, playing together in an atmosphere of peace with nature and love, with many thousands of concertgoers; it is still one of the largest concerts in the history of the world.
Soul Shakedown[?] was the debut album by Bob Marley & the Wailers, who would go on to become one of the most popular groups around the world. The album achieved very little popularity outside of the group's native country, Jamaica, but began establishing themselves as superstars there. Musically, Soul Shakedown is more ska than reggae, the style of music the Wailers would eventually make world-famous; the pioneering style of the music helped move ska and rocksteady towards reggae.
David Bowie's debut single, "Space Oddity[?]", became a huge hit this year, partially due to the remarkable coincidence that it was released in the same year as American astronauts first landed on the moon. The song, the story of an astronaut named Major Tom who goes into space and is entranced by the beauty of seeing Earth from such a great distance and consequently lets himself float off into space, never again to return, was chosen by the BBC as the theme song for the television coverage of the moon landing. The remainder of the album, Man of Words/Man of Music[?], was too avant-garde for mainstream acceptance, though it established a devoted fanbase for Bowie, who would go on to become one of the most popular musicians in the world.
King Crimson's In the Court of the Crimson King[?] is a pioneering album in the development of prog rock. The album drew upon influences like Procol Harum, The Moody Blues and The Nice to form an original sound melding rock and roll with classical influences in long, avant-garde pieces of music. Similar albums by The Moody Blues, Procol Harum and The Nice, as well as Genesis, Yes and Pink Floyd were also released this year, expanding the range of prog rock and developing it into a full-fledged genre.
Miles Davis' Bitches Brew[?] is widely considered the first successful full-fledged fusion of rock and roll and jazz, as well as being one of the most famous and well-remembered albums by Davis.
The Stooges' eponymous debut, The Stooges[?], was also released this year to little critical or popular acceptance. The album, however, went on to become one of the most important recordings in the early development of punk rock.
Johnny Cash's At San Quentin[?] included his only Top Ten pop hit, "A Boy Named Sue[?]". The album was a sequel to last year's At Folsolm Prison[?]. Also in country music, Merle Haggard's Same Train, Different Time[?], a tribute to Jimmie Rodgers, was enormously popular and influenced the development of the Bakersfield sound into outlaw country[?] within a few years.
Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso released enormously popular albums in Brazil, Gilberto Gil[?] and Caetano Veloso[?], respectively. The pair's fusion of bossa nova, samba and other native Brazilian folk influences, melded with politically and socially aware lyrics, kickstarted what came to be known as Tropicalia.
- January 18 - Pete Best wins his defamation lawsuit against the Beatles. Best had originally sought $8 million, but ended up being awarded much less.
- January 30 - The Beatles perform for the last time in public, on the roof of Apple Studios at 3 Saville Row, in London. The performance, which was filmed for the Let It Be movie, is stopped early by police after neighbors complain about the noise.
- February 3 - John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr hire Allen Klein[?] as the Beatles' new business manager, against the wishes of Paul McCartney.
- February 4 - Paul McCartney hires the law firm of Eastman & Eastman, Linda Eastman's father's law firm, as general legal counsel for Apple.
- February 7 - George Harrison is admitted to London's University College Hospital with an infected back molar that has infected his tonsils.
- February 8 - George Harrison's tonsils are removed at London's University College Hospital.
- February 15 - Vickie Jones[?] is arrested for impersonating Aretha Franklin in a concert performance. Jones' impersonation was so convincing that nobody in the audience asked for a refund.
- February 17 - Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan record together in Nashville, Tennessee. Only one song, "Girl from the North Country", would be released from these sessions.
- February 18 - Lulu and Bee Gee Maurice Gibb are married in England
- March 1 - During a performance at Miami's Dinner Key Auditorium, Jim Morrison of the Doors is arrested for exposing himself during the show. Morrison is officially charged with lewd and lascivious behavior, indecent behavior, open profanity and public drunkeness.
- March 9 - The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour is canceled by CBS
- March 12 - The 11th Grammy Awards are presented
- March 12 - Paul McCartney marries Linda Eastman
- March 12 - George Harrison and his wife Patti[?] are arrested in England on charges of cannabis possession after authorities found 120 joints in their home
- March 20 - John Lennon marries Yoko Ono in Gibraltar
- March 25-31 - John Lennon and Yoko Ono host a "bed-in" for peace in their room at the Amsterdam Hilton.
- April 1 - The Beach Boys file a lawsuit against their record label, Capitol Records, for $2,041,446.64 in royalties and producer's fees for Brian Wilson. The band also announces it's starting its own label, Brothers Records[?].
- April 20 - The L.A. Free Festival[?] in Venice, California ends early following a riot of audience members, 117 of which were arrested.
- April 22 - The first complete performance of The Who's rock opera Tommy during a performance in Dolton[?], England
- April 22 - John Lennon officially changes his name from John Winston Lennon to John Ono Lennon.
- April - The Beatles' make a $5.1 million counter offer to the Northern Songs[?] stockholders in an attempt to keep Associated TV from controlling the band's music.
- May 3 - Jimi Hendrix is arrested by Canadian Mounties at Toronto's International Airport for possession of narcotics. Hendrix is released on $10,000 bail.
- May 6 - In London, representatives of Warner Brothers-Seven Arts discuss the purchase of fifteen percent of The Beatles' Northern Songs[?].
- May 10 - The Turtles perform at the White House. Mark Volman[?] falls off the stage 5 times.
- June 2 - John Lennon and Yoko Ono host a "bed-in" at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Canada. The couple records the song "Give Peace a Chance" live in the room with Tommy Smothers, Timothy Leary and a several others.
- August 9 - Sharon Tate & the LaBiancas are found murdered by Charles Manson & "family"
- August 15-17 - The Woodstock Music and Art Festival was held at Max Yasgur's dairy farm in Bethel, New York, near Woodstock, New York. Performers included Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Joan Baez, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Jefferson Airplane and Sly & the Family Stone.
- November 8 - Simon and Garfunkel, on tour for the first time with a band, give live concert in Carbondale, Illinois, presumably at Southern Illinois University[?]. The concert is not released until 1999 as part of a recording compiled by Head Records, called Village Vanguard[?].
- November 11 - Simon and Garfunkel give live concert at Miami University[?] in Oxford, Ohio. The recording is later released in the 1990s as Back To College[?] on Yellow Dog Records and A Time Of Innocence[?] on Bell Bottom Records.
- November 30 - Simon and Garfunkel air TV special Songs Of America, ostensibly an hour-long show that is anti-war and anti-poverty featuring live footage from their 1969 tour.
- November - Simon and Garfunkel give live concert in Ames, Iowa, presumably at Iowa State University, where they record track "Bye, Bye Love" for their upcoming album, Bridge Over Troubled Water.
- I Say a Little Prayer[?] - Aretha Franklin
- 20/20[?] - The Beach Boys
- Abbey Road - The Beatles
- Yellow Submarine - The Beatles
- Odessa[?] - The Bee Gees
- Blind Faith - Blind Faith
- Blood Sweat & Tears[?] - Blood, Sweat & Tears
- Nashville Skyline[?] - Bob Dylan
- Soul Shakedown[?] - Bob Marley & the Wailers (debut)
- Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde[?] - The Byrds
- Ballad of Easy Rider[?] - The Byrds
- Caetano Veloso[?] - Caetano Veloso
- Three in the Attic[?] - Chad & Jeremy[?]
- Chicago Transit Authority[?] - Chicago (debut)
- Surround Yourself with Cilla[?] - Cilla Black
- Goodbye[?] - Cream
- Crosby, Stills & Nash[?] - Crosby, Stills & Nash
- Man of Words/Man of Music[?] - David Bowie (debut; later re-released as Space Oddity)
- This Is[?] - Desmond Dekker[?]
- Barabajagal[?] - Donovan
- The Soft Parade[?] - The Doors
- Empty Sky[?] - Elton John
- From Elvis In Memphis[?] - Elvis Presley
- Dizzy[?] - Tommy Roe[?]
- What We Did on Our Holidays[?] - Fairport Convention
- Unhalfbricking[?] - Fairport Convention
- English Rose[?] - Fleetwood Mac
- And Then Play On[?] - Fleetwood Mac
- From Genesis to Revelation[?] - Genesis
- Gilberto Gil[?] - Gilberto Gil
- Aoxomoxoa[?] - The Grateful Dead
- Live/Dead[?] - The Grateful Dead
- Hollies Sing Dylan[?] - The Hollies[?]
- Hollies Sing Hollies[?] - The Hollies[?]
- He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother[?] - The Hollies[?]
- Words and Music by Bob Dylan[?] - The Hollies[?]
- The Young Mods' Forgotten Story[?] - The Impressions
- It's Our Thing[?] - The Isley Brothers
- Live at Yankee Stadium[?] - The Isley Brothers
- The Brothers: Isley[?] - The Isley Brothers
- Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5[?] - Jackson 5
- Get Down to It[?] - James Brown
- Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud[?] - James Brown
- It's a Mother[?] - James Brown
- The Popcorn[?] - James Brown
- I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama![?] - Janis Joplin (solo debut)
- Bless Its Pointed Little Head[?] - Jefferson Airplane
- Volunteers[?] - Jefferson Airplane
- Stand Up[?] - Jethro Tull
- David's Album[?] - Joan Baez
- Joe South's Greatest Hits Vol.1[?] - Joe South[?]
- Rhymes and Reason[?] - John Denver (debut)
- Johnny Cash[?] - Johnny Cash
- The Holy Land[?] - Johnny Cash
- More Old Golden Throat[?] - Johnny Cash
- Jackson - Johnny Cash
- At San Quentin[?] - Johnny Cash
- Hello, I'm Johnny Cash[?] - Johnny Cash
- Grand Canyon Suite[?] - Johnny Cash
- Clouds[?] - Joni Mitchell
- In the Court of the Crimson King[?] - King Crimson (debut)
- Arthur or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire[?] - The Kinks
- New York Tendaberry[?] - Laura Nyro[?]
- Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin
- Led Zeppelin II - Led Zeppelin
- M.P.G.[?] - Marvin Gaye
- Easy[?] - Marvin Gaye
- Same Train, Different Time[?] - Merle Haggard & the Strangers
- Pride in What I Am[?] - Merle Haggard & the Strangers
- Okie from Muskogee[?] - Merle Haggard & the Strangers
- The Instrumental Sounds of Merle Haggard's Strangers[?] - Merle Haggard & the Strangers
- Bitches Brew[?] - Miles Davis
- Moby Grape '69[?] - Moby Grape
- Truly Fine Citizen[?] - Moby Grape
- Instant Replay[?] - The Monkees
- Present the Monkees[?] - The Monkees
- To Our Children's Children's Children[?] - The Moody Blues
- On the Threshold of a Dream[?] - The Moody Blues
- Mott the Hoople[?] - Mott the Hoople (debut)
- Brother Red's Travelling Salvation Show[?] - Neil Diamond
- Touching You, Touching Me[?] - Neil Diamond
- The Nice[?] - The Nice
- Ornette at 12[?] - Ornette Coleman
- Love Man[?] - Otis Redding
- Rehearsals for Retirement[?] - Phil Ochs
- Ummagumma[?] - Pink Floyd
- More[?] - Pink Floyd
- A Salty Dog[?] - Procol Harum
- I'm All Yours-Baby![?] - Ray Charles
- Doing His Thing[?] - Ray Charles
- Let It Bleed[?] - The Rolling Stones
- Four in Blue[?] - Smokey Robinson & the Miracles
- My Cherie Amour[?] - Stevie Wonder
- The Stooges[?] - The Stooges (debut)
- My Brother the Wind, Vol. 1[?] - Sun Ra
- My Brother the Wind, Vol. 2[?] - Sun Ra
- As I Am[?] - The Troggs
- Trogglomania[?] - The Troggs
- Turtle Soup[?] - The Turtles
- The Velvet Underground[?] - The Velvet Underground
- Country Folk[?] - Waylon Jennings
- Just to Satisfy You[?] - Waylon Jennings
- Waylon Jennings[?] - Waylon Jennings
- Tommy - The Who
- My Own Peculiar Way[?] - Willie Nelson
- Yes[?] - Yes (debut)
- Elephant Mountain[?] - The Youngbloods
- January 5 - Marilyn Manson
- January 14 - Dave Grohl, Nirvana, Foo Fighters
- February 5 - Bobby Brown
- March 11 - Pete Droge[?]
- May 20 - Susan Cowsill[?], The Cowsills[?], Continental Drifters[?]
- May 24 - Rich Robinson[?], The Black Crowes
- May 29 - Chandler Kinchla[?], Blues Traveler
- August 29 - Me'Shell NdegeOcello[?]
- September 5 - Dweezil Zappa, son of Frank Zappa
- October 3 - Gwen Stefani, No Doubt
- October 9 - P.J. Harvey
- October 16 - Wendy Wilson[?], Wilson Phillips[?]
- November 19 - Travis McNabb[?], Better Than Ezra
- November 29 - Jon Knight[?], New Kids on The Block[?]
- December 26 - Peter Klett[?], Candlebox[?]
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