1969 Rock Music Timeline
Led Zeppelin debut album, heavy metal
Jan '69
After touring as the New Yardbirds in Sep. 1968, Jimmy Page renames the band Led Zeppelin and releases their debut which goes Top Ten in both the US and UK. (more)
Creedence Clearwater Revival 1969
Jan '69
California rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival have a #2 hit (#1 UK) with "Proud Mary". It would be the first of five CCR singles that would peak at #2 in the US where they never hit #1. (more)
Beatles play Abbey Road rooftop
Jan '69
The Beatles perform live for the last time on the rooftop of Apple Records in London. The band performs five songs including "Get Back". The event is filmed for inclusion in the movie "Let It Be". (more)
Feb '69
Detroit rockers MC5 release their debut album Kick Out The Jams on Elektra. Recorded live at Detroit's Grande Ballroom the album quickly sells over 100,000 copies. (more)
Tommy James - Crimson and Clover
Feb '69
New Jersey band Tommy James and the Shondells go to #1 US with the psychedelic influenced single "Crimson and Clover". (more)
Sly & The Family Stone debut 1969
Feb '69
San Francisco's Sly and the Family Stone go to #1 US, #36 UK with the single "Everyday People". Their album Stand would follow in May including the title track and "I Want To Take You Higher". (more)
Tommy Roe - Dizzy
Mar '69
Atlanta, GA pop singer Tommy Roe goes to number one in the US and UK with the single "Dizzy". (more)
Dusty Springfield in Memphis
Apr '69
UK vocalist Dusty Springfield signs with Atlantic Records and records at American Studios in Memphis and hits the US and UK TopTen with "Son of a Preacher Man". (more)
Desmond Dekker - Israelites reggae
Apr '69
Jamaica's Desmond Dekker scores the first ever reggae Top Ten hit with the song "Israelites". The song goes to #1 in the UK. (more)
The Who - Tommy rock opera
Neil Young
Crosby, Stills & Nash
John and Yoko
The Who release the double concept album "Tommy".  The album goes Top Ten in the US and UK. The single "Pinball Wizard" goes to #4 in the UK. (more)
May '69
May '69
Canadian Neil Young releases his first album with Crazy Horse "Everyone Knows This Is Nowhere" featuring the songs "Cinnamon Girl" and "Down By The River". The album charts at #34 US. (more)
May '69
Crosby, Stills & Nash release their debut album which goes to #6 US. CS&N are a US/UK supergroup with former members of The Byrds, The Hollies and Buffalo Springfield. (more)
Jun '69
Following his divorce from wife Cynthia, John Lennon hooks up with American artist Yoko Ono. They release an album "Two Virgins" and hold "bed-ins" for peace in Amsterdam and Montreal. (more)
Brian Jones dies 1969
Jul '69
The Rolling Stones fire band founder Brian Jones. He is found dead in his pool July 3rd. At a July 5th tribute concert in London's Hyde Park, Brian is replaced by guitarist Mick Taylor . (more)
Thunderclap Newman
Jul '69
The Who's Pete Townshend produces a UK #1 hit, "Something In The Air" for the band Thunderclap Newman. (more)
Bob Dylan - Lay Lady Lay
Blood Sweat & Tears
The Stooges debut 1969
Woodstock rock music festival
The Archies - Sugar, Sugar
Captain Beefheart
Elvis Presley - Suspicious Minds
Allman Brothers Band debut 1969
David Bowie - Space Oddity
Santana - Evil Ways
Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love
Rolling Stoned Altamont concert
The Jackson Five
Peter, Paul and Mary 1969
Easy Rider
Jul '69
David Bowie's single "Space Oddity", released to coincide with the Apollo 11 moon landing, reaches #5 in the UK. It would be re-released in the US in 1973 and hit #15. (more)
Jul '69
Bob Dylan has a Top Ten hit in both the US and UK with the single "Lay Lady Lay" in his new deeper sounding vocal style - which he attributes to quitting smoking. (more)
Jul '69
The low-budget film "Easy Rider" captures the public imagination with a soundtrack by Steppenwolf, The Byrds and The Electric Prunes. (more)
Aug '69
Another hard edged band from Detroit, or in this case nearby Ann Arbor, MI - The Stooges, release their debut on Elektra Records. The album reaches #106 on the US charts. (more)
Aug '69
The Woodstock Music & Art Fair is held Aug 15 - 18 on Max Yasgur's farm in Bethel, NY. 32 of the biggest bands of the day play to a crowd estimated at 500,000. The event is later released as a movie and album.  (more)
Jul '69
With a new lead singer New York City band Blood, Sweat and Tears release their second album and have three US #2 hits, including "Spinning Wheel". BS&T along with the band Chicago popularize "Brass Rock" movement with a prominent horn section in most songs. (more)
Aug '69
With a boost from their appearance at Woodstock, San Francisco band Santana hit the Top Ten in the US with the single "Evil Ways". The album peaks at #4 US, #26 UK. (more)
Oct '69
The Archies, an animated band based on the comic book, have a transatlantic #1 hit with the single "Sugar, Sugar". In real life, the song is performed by studio musicians including lead singer Ron Dante. (more)
Oct '69
UK band Led Zeppelin tour the US and release their second album hitting #1 in the US and UK. They score a US Top Ten single "Whole Lotta Love". (more)
Oct '69
California experimental rock band Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band release their third album - Trout Mask Replica - on Frank Zappa's Straight Records. (more)
Nov '69
Florida's The Allman Brothers Band release their debut album on Capricorn Records to good reviews, but limited sales. (more)
Nov '69
Seven years after his last US #1 hit, Elvis Presley tops the US charts with "Suspicious Minds". (more)
Dec '69
Peter, Paul and Mary top the US charts for the last time with "Leaving On A Jet Plane", a song written by John Denver. (more)
Dec '69
The Altamont Free Concert in Northern California featuring The Rolling Stones, Jefferson Airplane, Santana, The Flying Burrito Brothers and Crosby, Stills, & Nash is marred by violence including a stabbing death in front of the stage.  (more)
Dec '69
Gary, Indiana's The Jackson Five release their debut album on Motown featuring the lead vocals of 11 year old Michael and his four brothers. The single "I Want You Back" would hit US #1, UK #2 in Jan - the first of four straight number one singles in the US.  (more)
Jethro Tull
Aug '69
UK progressive rock band Jethro Tull have a #1 album in the UK (#20 US) with their second album Stand Up. (more)
King Crimson
Oct '69
UK progressive rock band King Crimson release their debut album - In The Court of the Crimson King. The album makes a strong showing reaching #5 UK, #28 US. (more)
1969 in Rock & Roll History:

The Beatles perform for the last time on the roof of Apple Records. David Bowie's single Space Oddity is a major hit in the UK and coincides with the US moon landing. The Woodstock Music & Art Fair is held in Bethel, NY with 500,000 attending. Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones drowns. A man is stabbed to death at the Rolling Stones free concert at California's Altamont Speedway. Elvis Presley returns to #1 after a seven year absence.

Top 40 Singles of 1969

1   The Beatles - Get Back
  2   Archies - Sugar Sugar
  3   Zager & Evans - In the Year 2525
  4   The Rolling Stones
       Honky Tonk Woman
  5   Elvis Presley - Suspicious Minds
  6   Elvis Presley - In the Ghetto
  7   The Beatles
       The Ballad of John & Yoko
  8   The Beatles - Come Together
  9   Tommy James & the Shondells        Crimson & Clover
10   Edwin Hawkins Singers
       Oh Happy Day
11   Creedence Clearwater Revival          Proud Mary
12   Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg        Je T'Aime (Moi Non Plus)
13   Fifth Dimension
       Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In
14   Tommy Roe - Dizzy
15   Creedence Clearwater Revival          Bad Moon Rising
16   The Beatles - Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
17   The Beatles - Something
18   Desmond Dekker - Israelites
19   Donovan - Atlantis
20   The Foundations
        Build Me Up Buttercup
21   Simon & Garfunkel - The Boxer
22   Bee Gees - I Started a Joke
23   Robin Gibb - Saved By the Bell
24   Bee Gees - Don't Forget to Remember
25   Tammy Wynette - Stand By Your Man
26   Creedence Clearwater Revival          Down On the Corner
27   John Lennon - Give Peace a Chance
28   Marmalade - Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
29   The Cowsills - Hair
30   The Doors - Touch Me
31   The Hollies
       He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother
32   Creedence Clearwater Revival          Green River
33   Stevie Wonder
        Yester-Me Yester-You Yesterday
34   Fleetwood Mac - Oh Well (Part 1)
35   Mary Hopkin - Goodbye
36   The Hollies - Sorry Suzanne
37   Blood Sweat & Tears
       Spinning Wheel
38   Dusty Springfield
       Son of a Preacher Man
39   Sir Douglas Quintet - Mendocino
40   The Zombies - Time of the Season

Top 40 Albums of 1969

1   The Beatles - Abbey Road
  2   Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin 2
  3   The Rolling Stones - Let It Bleed
  4   Original Cast - Hair
  5   Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin
  6   The Who - Tommy
  7   Blood Sweat & Tears
       Blood, Sweat & Tears
  8   Johnny Cash - At San Quentin
  9   The Band - The Band
10   Blind Faith - Blind Faith
11   Crosby, Stills & Nash
       Crosby, Stills & Nash
12   Bob Dylan - Nashville Skyline
13   The Beatles - Yellow Submarine
14   Iron Butterfly - In-a-gadda-da-vida
15   Creedence Clearwater Revival          Green River
16   Chicago - Chicago Transit Authority
17   Elvis Presley - From Elvis In Memphis
18   Barbra Streisand - Funny Girl
19   Bee Gees - Best Of The Bee Gees
20   Cream - Goodbye
21   Tom Jones - This Is Tom Jones
22   The Moody Blues
       On The Threshold Of A Dream
23   Frank Sinatra - My Way
24   Captain Beefheart
       Trout Mask Replica
25   Jethro Tull - Stand Up
26   King Crimson - In The Court Of The             Crimson King
27   Jose Feliciano - 10 To 23
28   Creedence Clearwater Revival          Bayou Country
29   Dusty Springfield - Dusty in Memphis
30   Sly & The Family Stone - Stand!
31   Jefferson Airplane - Volunteers
32   The Rolling Stones
       Through The Past Darkly
33   Elvis Presley - Elvis - NBC TV Special
34   Neil Young
       Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
35   The Moody Blues - To Our Children's          Children's Children
36   Diana Ross & The Supremes & The             Temptations Soundtrack From TCB
37   Fairport Convention - Liege & Lief
38   Frank Zappa - Hot Rats
39   Cream - The Best Of Cream
40   The Velvet Underground
        Velvet Underground

All chart information above is from Tsort and uses a formula based on splitting the world into four regions based on sales, the USA (about 35%), other English speaking countries (about 20%), the rest of Europe (about 25%) and the rest of the world (about 20%).  We feel this is the best methodology available to show the global impact of a song or album. More detailed chart info is available on the Tsort website. Actual US & UK charts are linked at the bottom of each year timeline on this site.

I am not a leader. Neither yours nor anyone else's. I am a rock musician, a mirror. You see yourself when you see The Who."   
- Pete Townshend

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