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San Diego's Music History: 1962 - 2009

Music stars from San Diego

San Diego's music history dates back to the early 1960's and continues to this day. Look for other music stars to come from San Diego in years to come!

San Diego's music history dates back to the early 1960's and continues to this day. Look for other music stars to come from San Diego in years to come!

1960's

1962 - Rosie & The Originals / Angel Baby national hit 1962
1966 - Iron Butterfly is formed in San Diego. Their national hit in 1968, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vita, won them a reputation as the first Heavy Metal band.
1967 - Gary Puckett & The Union Gap forms in San Diego and goes on to record major hits from '67 through '71.
1967 - Frank Zappa, former student at Mission Hills High School, forms The Mothers of Invention. Their eclectic/progressive rock sound gave Frank Zappa legendary status.

1970's

1972 - Tom Waits is working as a doorman at The Heritage Club in San Diego. The next year he releases the first album, "Closing Time", of a long and storied career.
1974 - The legendary BellyUp Tavern opens in Solana Beach providing a venue for local and nationally touring artists.
1974-1978 - R&R radio station KGB begins the Homegrown Series. Local artists are invited to write and record songs about San Diego County. Approximately 10-12 songs are selected per album and proceeds go to a selected charity.
1976 - Stephen Bishop submits a song to KGB's Homegrown Album series. The submission is rejected because it is on cassette, not reel-to-reel. Stephen Bishop releases the song, On And On, on his first album and becomes a national sensation.

1980's

1981 - First Adams Avenue Street Festival. Every year in September, local and national artists perform in Southern California's largest FREE music festival.
1983 - Beat Farmers combine alternative rock and country music to create an original sound and quirky songs. Known for their wild live performances, they build a huge fanbase.
1984 - First San Diego Street Scene Music Festival. For many years, this annual festival brings new talent to San Diego for a three-day, multistage, event.
1986 - Rugburns - Steve Poltz, Robert Driscoll and Gerald McMullin, meet at UCSD and start playing in the San Diego area.
1989 - The Casbah, a close quarters (75 capacity) music venue, opens near downtown. Bands renowned in various underground music movements make the Casbah a staple in the San Diego scene.

1990's

1990 - San Diego singer Eddie Vedder received a demo tape of songs from three Seattle musicians. After adding vocals to the demo, Eddie flew to Washington and formed Pearl Jam.
1990 - Rocket From The Crypt forms punk band in San Diego.
1991 - Buck 'O Nine, a mutation of metal/punk/reggae/ska forms in San Diego.
1991 - Rugburns become an acoustic duo playing in local coffeehouses.
1992 - Stone Temple Pilots builds fan base in San Diego to avoid Los Angeles corporate scene. Their first album, recorded after moving back to Los Angeles, is a major national hit.
1992 - Blink-182 creates a pop/punk trio. They sign with Geffen Records and become a multi-hit, internationally recognized band.
1992 - Rugburns' first release on Bizarre Planet Records, Morning Wood, gains the duo some national notoriety.
1994 - The Casbah moves to a larger (200 capacity) venue.
1995 - Jewel Kilcher is singing at the Innerchange Coffeehouse. Not long after she is noticed and signed by Atlantic Records. Her first album goes platinum. Two of the hits were co-written with Steve Poltz of the Rugburns.
1996 - Switchfoot forms to create an alt rock, spiritually evocative band. They receive acclaim in the Christian music market.

2000's

2001 - Jason Mraz is playing with a trio in local coffeehouse venues. He signs with Elektra Records in 2003 and releases his first CD, Waiting For My Rocket To Come. A single, The Remedy, received radio, MTV, Vh1 attention.
2003 - Switchfoot releases their major label debut, The Beautiful Letdown. The band is still releasing new work and touring. They also sponsor the Annual Bro-Am Surf Contest and Concert Benefit.
2009 - Adam Lambert is a runner-up contestant in American Idol Season 8 which launched him into a singing and acting career.


Check out San Diego's Live Music Venues to discovers the future stars from San Diego.

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