A Chronology of Rock Music - The 1930s

Excerpted from my book "A History of Rock and Dance Music"

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Origins 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s

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These, of course, are my personal opinions on when genres where invented, who invented them, and which were the most significant events. To understand how I justify these opinions you have to read my book "A History of Rock Music".

1930
  • The first "fanzines", science fiction pulp magazines "Comet" and "Time Traveller", are founded, to allow sci-fi fans to communicate
  • Leon Termen invents the first rhythm machine, the "Rhythmicon"
  • Warner Brothers buys Brunswick
1931
  • EMI (Electrical and Musical Industries), formed by the merge of Gramophone and the British subsidiary of Columbia, opens the largest recording studio in the world at Abbey Road in London, while the USA division of Columbia is sold
  • Edgar Varese premieres a piece for percussions, Ionisation
  • George Beauchamp invents the electric guitar (the Rickenbacker)
  • Gene Autry's Silver Hairde Daddy Of Mine popularizes the "honky-tonk" style of country music
1932
  • Thomas Dorsey's Precious Lord invents gospel music in Chicago
  • Milton Brown and Bob Wills invent "western swing"
1933
  • Cuban bandleader Ignacio Pineiro releases Echale Salsita, the song that gives the name "salsa" to Cuba's dance music
  • Only six million records are sold in the USA
  • Jimmie Rodgers dies
  • Sales of "race records" drop to $6 million
  • The IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) is founded to represent the recording industry worldwide
1934
  • John Lomax and his son Alan begin recording black music of the southern states, and discover the gospel genre of "rocking and reeling"
  • Laurens Hammond invents the Hammond organ
  • The first magazine devoted to jazz music, Down Beat, is published
1935
  • The radio program "Hit Parade" is launched
  • Woody Guthrie writes the Dust Bowl Ballads and becomes the first major singer-songwriter
  • Max Gordon founds the jazz club "Village Vanguard" in New York
1936
  • Roy Acuff becomes the first star of Nashville's country music
  • Bluesman Robert Johnson cuts his first record
  • Carl Stalling begins scoring the soundtracks for Warner Brothers' cartoons
  • The Gibson company produces its first electric guitar, the ES-150
1937
  • Records by the "big bands" are the best sellers
  • The mambo is born in Cuba
1938
  • a Carnegie Hall concert by the piano trio of Albert Hammons, Meade Lux Lewis and Pete Johnson launches the boogie-woogie craze
  • CBS buys USA's Columbia
1939
  • Leo Mintz founds a record store in Cleveland, the "Record Rendezvous", specializing in black music
  • John Cage composes Imaginary Landascape N.1 for magnetic tape
  • The "Grand Ole Pry" moves to Nashville's "Ryman Auditorium" and is broadcasted by the national networks
  • The Panoram visual jukebox is invented (plays short films of records, the first music videos)

Origins 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s

Legend: Avantgarde | Music industry | Instruments | Media | Necrology | Exotic