1833 – Christian Friedrich Martin founds Martin guitars in NYC
1838 – C.F. Martin moves guitar building to Nazareth, PA
1873 – Epiphone begins in Smyrna, Ottoman Empire
1875 – Thomas Organ Company founded by Canadian Edward G. Thomas in Woodstock, Ontario
1883 – Gretsch founded by Friedrich Gretsch in Brooklyn, NY
1887 – Höfner is founded
1889 – Joseph Kekuku invents the steel guitar in Hawaii
1890 – Groeschel Mandolin Company (or Groeshl Instrument Company established in Chicago
1891 – V.C. Squire Company makes violins and strings
1892 – Harmony Company was founded in 1892 by Wilhelm Schultz
1894 – Orville Gibson produces the earliest documented Gibson instrument in Kalamazoo, Michigan
1902 – Gibson company releases the first L-1 guitar
1903 – Anastasios Stathopoulos moves Epiphone to US – Long Island City, Queens in New York
1906 – Stromberg Guitars founded by Charles Stromberg, a Swedish immigrant to Boston, Massachusetts
1911 – Mario Maccaferri apprenticed to luthier Luigi Mozzani at age 11 taking up classical guitar
1912 – Huddie William Ledbetter “Lead Belly” writes song “The Titanic” on the 12-string guitar
1915 – Anastasios dies and his son, Epaminondas (“Epi”), takes over at Epiphone
1915 – Silvertone brand used by Sears, Roebuck and Company from 1915 to 1972
1916 – Fred Jr. moves Gretsch into a large 10-story building in Williamsburg Brooklyn
1916 – Sears, Roebuck and Co. purchases Harmony Company
1919 – Lloyd Loar comes to Gibson to work
1920 – Giuseppe Virzi applies for patent for Tone Producer suspended soundboards in instruments
1921 – Gibson employee Ted McHugh innovates adjustable truss rod and the height-adjustable bridge
1921 – Groeschel Mandolin Company renamed Stromberg-Voisinet
1922 – Giuseppe Virzi, a Sicilian violin maker, was awarded U.S. Patent for the Tone Producer
1922 – Lloyd Loar outfits his personal Viola with a Virzi Tone Producer (spruce disc)
1923 – Henry Kay “Hank” Kuhrmeyer joins Stromberg-Voisinet
1923 – Gibson Bill Monroe’s F-5 Lloyd Loar designed Mandolin
1923 – Mario Maccaferri has an established reputation as player and maker of classical guitar
1924 – Lloyd Loar at Gibson designs crude electrostatic pickup that attaches to viola and string bass
1925 – Texas born Blind Lemon Jefferson records in Chicago
1925 – O.W. Appleton attaches a Victrola tone arm to his guitar
1925 – Shure founded in Chicago
1925 – The Grand Ole Opry starts in Nashville
1926 – Gibson makes the L-1 flattop guitar that Robert Johnson ends up playing
1927 – Texas born Blind Willie Johnson records in Dallas, TX
1927 – John Dopyera applies for patent for tricone resonator guitar
1928 – Maybelle Carter introduces playing melody on bass strings and the higher strings for rhythm on her new Gibson L-5 guitar
1928 – Henry Kay “Hank” Kuhrmeyer buys Stromberg-Voisinet
1928 – Mississippi John Hurt records for Okeh records in New York and Memphis
1928 – Georgia Born Tampa Red records “It’s Tight Like That”
1928 – Django Reinhardt severely injured is a fire
1927 – National produces the first resonator instruments
1929 – Mississippi Born Charlie Patton records 14 songs for Paramount Records in Richmond, Indiana
1929 – Stromberg-Voisinet of Chicago – first commercially advertised electric guitar
1930 – George Beauchamp files patent for single cone resonator while at National
1931 – Rickenbacker (Electro String Company) Electro A-22 “frying pan” Electric Lap Steel
1931 – Gretsch Company begins guitar production in the early 1930s
1931 – Kay Musical Instrument Company established in Chicago by Henry Kay “Hank” Kuhrmeyer
1932 – John D’Angelico opens shop in NYC
1932 – Ro-Pat-In’s AKA Rickenbacker first Spanish Electric guitars
1932 – Vega Company makes the world’s first electric banjo
1932 – Selmer partners with Mario Maccaferri to produce acoustic guitars (played by Django Reinhardt)
1932 – John Dopyera receives patent for Dobro with inverted resonator cone
1933 – First recording of electric guitar by Hawaiian music artists Andy Iona and Bob Dunn
1933 – Lloyd Loar starts his own company, Vivi-Tone, makes electric hollow-body archtop guitar
1933 – Mario Maccaferri injures his right hand in accident ending his concert career
1934 – Paul Tutmarc founds Audiovox Manufacturing Company for Lap Steel guitars
1934 – Gibson Super 400 introduced the inspires Stromberg and D’Angelico
1935 – Alvino Rey hired by Gibson to produce a prototype guitar pickup (used on ES-150)
1935 – T-Bone Walker starts playing electric guitar
1935 – Gibson Bar Magnet pickup
1935 – Doc Kauffman patented one of the first mechanical vibrato units – Vibrola
1936 – Robert Johnson records for the first time in San Antonio, Texas
1936 – Gibson advertises EH-150 6-string lap steel and amp for $150
1936 – Gibson releases the ES-150 its first electric Spanish styled guitar
1937 – Rickenbacker Teamed with Doc Kauffman introduces the electric Vibrola Spanish guitar
1938 – Robert Johnson dies
1938 – Leo Fender opens “Fender Radio Service”
1939 – Les Paul Trio makes first recordings
1939 – Harry DeArmond first commercially available attachable guitar pickup
1939 – Slingerland Songster – earliest commercial marketed solid-body Spanish-style electric guitar
1939 – Gibson introduces EH-185 Electric Hawaiian lap steel
1940 – Les Paul builds “log guitar”
1940 – Donald Leslie prototypes Leslie rotating speaker
1941 – Alan Lomax records Muddy Waters for the first time
1941 – Leo Fender meets and talks to Clayton Orr “Doc” Kauffman
1941 – O. W. Appleton APP solid body electric guitar is built
1941 – Les Paul shows his “log” guitar to Gibson
1941 – K & F Manufacturing Company is founded to build Lap Steel guitars and amplifiers
1941 – Mario Maccaferri patented a plastic woodwind reed
1942 – Valco by former owners of the National Dobro Company- Victor Smith, Al Frost, Louis Dopyera
1942 – David “Honeyboy” Edwards recorded by Alan Lomax
1942 – Chet Atkins lands job at WNOX-AM radio in Knoxville playing fiddle and guitar
1943 – O. W. Appleton takes APP solid body electric guitar to Gibson and it gets rejected
1943 – K & F builds prototype lap steel with round neck
1943 – Lloyd Loar dies
1944 – Paul Bigsby starts building instruments in his spare time
1944 – Leo Fender patents the Direct String Pickup design
1945 – K & F Hawaiian Lap Steel
1945 – Electro String becomes exclusive distributor for K & F Manufacturing Company
1945 – Joaquin Murphy plays Bigsby new D-8 lap steel in Three Stooges film, “In the Rockies”
1945 – Richard D. Bourgerie makes electric guitar pickup and amplifier for George Barnes
1945 – Les Paul builds first headless guitar made from aluminum
1946 – Chet Atkins makes debut on Grand Ole Opry with Red Foley’s band
1946 – L. C. Kiesel Company winding pickups for Electric Lap Steel
1946 – Gibson patents P-90 pickup
1946 – Doc Kauffman and Leo Fender part and Fender Electric Instrument Company is founded
1946 – Don Randall starts work for Francis “F.C.” Hall in Santa Ana sets up distribution with Fender
1946 – Fender “woodie” series amps, built in 1946 through 1948
1946 – Fender Tweed first used on amps up to 1960
1946 – Django Reinhardt rejoined Stéphane Grappelli and tours US
1946 – Yamaha Founded in Japan
1947 – Chet Atkins makes first RCA Victor recordings in Chicago
1947 – Paul Bigsby builds small prototype octagon shaped solid body electric
1947 – Paul Bigsby meets Merle Travis
1947 – Paul Bigsby builds experimental solid body guitar with likely collaboration with Les Paul
1947 – Muddy Waters starts recording Leonard and Phil Chess
1947 – Gibson’s GA-50T first guitar amp marketed to feature a built-in tremolo effect
1947 – Nathan Daniel creates the guitar amplifier with vibrato gets patent in 1949
1947 – Transistor is invented at Bell Labs
1948 – Gibson purchased by Chicago Musical Instruments
1948 – Ted McCarty hired at Gibson
1948 – Epiphone Emperor Electric Hollow body archtop guitar
1948 – Paul Bigsby delivers his first pedal steel guitar to Speedy West
1948 – Paul Bigsby completes Merle Travis Guitar stamped ‘52548’ first solid body electric guitar
1948 – Paul Bigsby completes second standard solid body electric for George Grohs stamped ‘81848’
1948 – Paul Bigsby completes third standard solid body electric for Tommy ” Butterball” Paige
1948 – Forrest White meets Leo Fender and Paul Bigsby on same day in June
1948 – Don Randall suggests to Leo Fender that he design a Fender Spanish style guitar
1948 – Teisco Japanese manufacturer of affordable musical instruments from 1948 until 1969
1949 – RCA introduced the 7-inch 45-rpm “single” record
1949 – First Fender “Snakehead” Prototype – Leo Fender and George Fullerton
1949 – Paul Bigsby finishes Tenor Guitar for Eschol Cosby serial #4
1949 – Paul Bigsby Catalog guitar #51649
1949 – Paul Bigsby finishes Grady Martin guitar stamped ‘7179’
1949 – Paul Bigsby stamped ‘8749’
1949 – Paul Bigsby Smokey Rogers/Hank Garland guitar stamped ‘92749’
1949 – Paul Bigsby Smokey Stoltenberg guitar stamped ‘10149’
1949 – Paul Bigsby first double cutaway guitar Jimmy Bryant/Billy Byrd stamped ‘10749’
1949 – Paul Bigsby Eschol Cosby ‘102649’
1949 – B.B. King begins recording with Los Angeles-based RPM Records
1949 – Mario Maccaferri plastic “Islander” ukuleles in collaboration with TV star Arthur Godfrey
1950 – V.C. Squier Company begins supplying Leo Fender with strings for his new electric guitars
1950 – Mario Maccaferri introduces plastic guitars with little commercial success
1950 – Paul Bigsby Kent Kistler ‘62950’
1950 – Chess Records founded and run by Polish immigrant brothers Leonard and Phil Chess
1950 – Sam Phillips opens the Memphis Recording Service
1950 – Fender Esquire single pickup model
1950 – Leo Fender Broadcaster “first mass produced” solid body
1951 – Fender Electric Instrument Company becomes a corporation
1951 – Fender “no-caster”
1951 – Fender Precision Bass
1951 – Les Paul & Mary Ford record “How High The Moon” with Bigsby pickup on Les’ Epiphone “clunker”
1951 – Sam Phillips recorded several songs by Howlin’ Wolf
1951 – Rocket 88 recorded in Memphis
1951 – Paul Bigsby Merle Travis/Jack Parsons hollow body electric guitar ‘102951’
1951 – Paul Bigsby helps Dale & Harry Granstrom build solid body electric guitar
1952 – Paul Bigsby Double Neck made for Grady Martin ‘10152’
1952 – Jimmy D’Aquisto starts as apprentice to John D’Angelico
1952 – Sun Records founded by Sam Phillips
1952 – First Peterson tuner, the Model 150, was released
1952 – Fender Telecaster
1952 – Gibson Les Paul Goldtop
1952 – Roger Rossmeisl master guitar maker moves to US and takes job at Gibson but leaves in 1953
1952 – Gibson sends letter to O.W. Appleton acknowledging they should have listened in 1943
1952 – Paul Bigsby files for patent for Bigsby vibrato tailpiece
1952 – Valco introduces its first solidbody Spanish guitars under the National and Supro brand
1953 – Kay subcontracts amplifier production to Chicago music industry rival Valco
1953 – Gretsch Duo Jet
1953 – Don Randall becomes president of Fender Sales
1953 – Paul Bigsby Hezzy Hall solid body ‘11553’
1953 – Paul Bigsby Keith Holter solid body ‘21553’
1953 – Freddie Tavares who played the Looney Tunes theme is hired by Fender
1953 – Freddie Tavares Hawaiian musician/guitar player helps on Fender Stratocaster design
1953 – Ted McCarty designs Tune-o-matic bridge first used on Gibson Super 400
1953 – Les Paul & Mary Ford release “Vaya Con Dios (may God Be With You)”
1953 – Django Reinhardt dies
1954 – Roger Rossmeisl comes to work at Rickenbacker
1954 – Semie Mosley apprentices for Roger Rossmeisl at Rickenbacker
1954 – Scotty Moore records “That’s All Right (Mama)” with Elvis at Sun
1954 – Fender Telecaster goes Whiteguard
1954 – Fender Stratocaster
1954 – Eldon Shamblin’s gold Stratocaster, dated 6/1954
1954 – Leo Fender files for patent for Fender synchronized tremolo
1954 – Gibson Les Paul Junior
1954 – Gibson introduces ABR-1 bridge without retainer wire: 1954-1962
1954 – Paul Bigsby Jim Webb solid body ‘8254’
1954 – Danelectro starts production of line of guitars with “lipstick” pickups
1954 – Ralph Keller Valco single coil pickups (used on Airline, Supro, National models)
1954 – Ray Butts sells Chet Atkins the Echosonic amp with built-in tape-loop technology
1954 – Ray Butts connect two single-coil pickups out of phase – first humbucker
1954 – Semie Mosley builds triple-neck guitar in his garage
1954 – Carl Perkins successfully auditions for Sam Phillips at Sun Records
1954 – Regency releases the TR-1, the world’s first consumer transistor radio
1954 – Gretsch Jimmie Webster big G brand, orange finish and other Western motifs added
1955 – Chet Atkins hired as design consultant for Gretsch
1955 – Ray Butts sells Scotty Moore Echosonic amp after he heard Chet Atkins on the radio
1955 – Chuck Berry first records at Chess Records
1955 – Johnny Cash first recordings at Sun Records
1955 – Bo Diddley appears on Ed Sullivan Show
1955 – Kay company was taken over by Sidney M. Katz after Kuhrmeyer retires
1955 – Valco introduced the National model 1104, also called the Town and Country
1955 – Fender Tremolux first Fender amp with a built in tremolo effect
1955 – Fender Musicmaster
1955 – Gibson Les Paul TV
1955 – Gibson Les Paul Special
1955 – Seth Lover designs Gibson P.A.F Humbucker pickup
1955 – Paul Bigsby hired to design guitars for Magnatone (1955 – 1957)
1955 – Carl Perkins first records at Sun Records
1955 – Bill Haley & his Comets releases “Rock Around the Clock”
1955 – Eddie Cochran’s first “solo artist” single was released
1956 – The Girl Can’t Help It movie released that original music score influences many
1956 – Paul Bigsby Jodie Pilliod solid body ‘2_3156’
1956 – Buddy Holly first recording session
1956 – Elvis Presley releases “Hound Dog” “Don’t Be Cruel” and “Heartbreak Hotel”
1956 – Everly Brothers signed by Acuff-Rose music publishers after being introduced by Chet Atkins
1956 – Freddie King cuts his first record as a leader, for El-Bee Records
1956 – Gretsch White Penguin
1956 – Fender Duo-Sonic
1956 – Danelectro introduces 6-string Baritone guitar (Tic-Tac Bass)
1956 – Rickenbacker Toaster-Top pickups
1956 – First Rickenbacker Combo 400 with Neck-Through-Body Construction
1956 – Gibson Skylark Lap Steel
1956 – Cliff Gallup records Gene Vincent with Gretsch Duo-Jet with two DeArmond single coil pickups
1956 – Gene Vincent top ten hit with his Blue Caps, “Be-Bop-A-Lula”
1956 – Paul Bigsby J.B. Thomas double neck solid body ‘11556’
1956 – Paul Bigsby Luke Charpentier solid body ‘121556’
1956 – Hartley Peavey builds his first amplifier
1956 – Jennings shown prototype guitar amplifier made by Dick Denney
1956 – Mosrite guitars founded by Semie and Andy Mosley with investment from Reverend Ray Boatright
1957 – Ray Butts received a U.S. patent for his tape echo technology
1957 – James Burton records with Ricky Nelson
1957 – Gibson acquires Epiphone
1957 – Gretsch Filter’Tron pickup mass produced
1957 – Buddy Guy meets Muddy Waters in Chicago
1957 – Ernie Ball opens arguably first music store in US selling guitars exclusively
1957 – Roy Orbison records at Sun Records
1957 – Wandre Guitars by Italian Antonio Vandrè Pioli – aluminum necks, unique switches up to 1968
1957 – Ibanez guitars founded in Japan
1958 – Fender Jazzmaster
1958 – Airline guitars made by the Valco and sold through the Montgomery Ward mail-order
1958 – Buddy Holly on Ed Sullivan Show
1958 – Gibson Les Paul Burst with Humbuckers
1958 – Gibson Flying V and Explorer
1958 – Gibson Les Paul SG Junior
1958 – Gibson ES-335 semi-hollow thin electric guitar
1958 – Danelectro Guitarlin
1958 – Hagstrom starts making electric guitars and basses
1958 – Duane Eddy “Rebel ‘Rouser”
1958 – Link Wray records the instrumental “Rumble”
1958 – The Ventures instrumental band formed
1958 – Roy Buchanan makes his recording debut with Dale Hawkins
1959 – Gibson Melody Maker
1959 – Vox AC-30 amplifier arrives
1959 – Harold Rhodes enters a joint venture with Leo Fender for Fender Rhodes Piano
1960 – Eddie Cochran tours UK
1960 – Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran and songwriter Sharon Shelley in car accident – Eddie Cochran dies
1960 – Fender Blonde amplifiers were produced between 1960 and 1964
1960 – The Beatles formed in Liverpool England
1959 – Cliff Richard imports Red Stratocaster purchased at Manny’s NYC for Hank Marvin of The Shadows
1959 – Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper killed in a plane crash
1960 – Scotty Moore records with Elvis
1959 – Fender Brownface series was introduced in 1959 and discontinued in 1963
1960 – Gibson Les Paul re-designed SG shape
1960 – Fender Jazz Bass
1960 – Fender Lucite Duo-Sonic
1960 – Teisco starts importing inexpensive guitars to USA under many brand names
1960 – Ernie Ball Slinky Strings offered
1961 – Columbia Records releases selections of Robert Johnson’s recordings on LP
1961 – Dick Dale is credited with the creation of the surf music phenomenon
1961 – Gibson Les Paul SG style
1961 – Gretsch Double Cutaway Jet (featured a chambered body)
1961 – Fender Bass VI 6-string bass guitar
1961 – The Beach Boys formed in Hawthorne, CA
1961 – Valco ceases production of most archtop models and revamps its amplifier line
1961 – National and Supro guitars debut with hollow fiberglass bodies (res-o-glas)
1962 – The Rolling Stones formed in London
1962 – Jim Marshall founds Marshall Amplification
1962 – Fender Jaguar
1962 – Maestro Fuzz Tone pedal
1962 – Les Paul issued US Patent for a pickup which the coil was physically attached to the strings
1962 – Gibson introduces ABR-1 bridge with retainer wire: 1962-1975
1962 – Roger Rossmeisl comes to work at Fender
1962 – Takamine Founded in Sakashita, Japan
1962 – Kay brings first solid state amp to market
1962 – The Tornados “Telstar” goes number one in U.S. – The British Invasion begins
1963 – Beatlemania begins
1963 – John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers formed
1963 – Eric Clapton and the Yardbirds record John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom”
1963 – Magic Sam releases single “Feelin’ Good (We’re Gonna Boogie)”
1963 – Fender Vibroverb 40-watt combo guitar amp – first incorporate on-board reverb
1963 – Gibson SG
1963 – Gibson Firebird designed by Ray Dietrich
1963 – Gibson Thunderbird Bass
1963 – Mosrite Ventures Model
1963 – Guild S-100 and S-200 (with built-in stand) solid body electric guitars
1963 – Eric Clapton joins the Yardbirds
1963 – Dr. Robert Moog begins to develop his synthesizer
1964 – Beatles on Ed Sullivan Show
1964 – Thomas Organ Company imports Vox combo amps to the US
1964 – Fender Blackface amplifiers were produced between 1964 and 1967
1964 – Fender Mustang
1964 – Don Randall negotiations for Fender for sale to CBS
1964 – Kay company moved to a new factory in Elk Grove Village, Illinois
1964 – Hartley Peavey founds Peavey Electronics
1964 – The Byrds formed in Los Angeles, CA
1964 – Roger “Jim” McGuinn takes up Rickenbacker 360 12-string guitar after seeing George Harrison
1964 – The Who are formed
1965 – Bob Dylan goes electric met with cheering and booing at Newport Folk Festival
1965 – Fender acquires V.C. Squire Company shortly before the CBS buyout
1965 – Fender sells to CBS
1965 – Fender Bass V
1965 – Fender Electric XII
1965 – Mosrite Ventures II
1965 – Rolling Stones hit “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” using Maestro Fuzz Tone pedal
1965 – The Paul Butterfield Blues Band first album
1965 – Jeff Beck recruited by Yardbirds to succeed Eric Clapton on recommendation of Jimmy Page
1965 – Katz sells Kay company to Seeburg Corporation
1965 – Thomas Organ makes deal with JMI to build Vox amps for the U.S. and Canada
1966 – Flagship solid-state Vox Super Beatle produced by Thomas Organ
1966 – The Monkees TV show
1966 – Fender Mustang Bass
1966 – Mosrite Ventures V
1966 – Ted McCarty retires from Gibson and becomes president of the Bigsby Company
1966 – Eric Clapton forms Cream with Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce
1966 – Hallmark Guitars founded by Joe Hall, formerly of Mosrite
1966 – Beach Boys record Pet Sounds
1966 – Peter Green fills in for Eric Clapton in John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers
1966 – Albert King signs with Stax Records
1966 – Wah pedal was created by Bradley J. Plunkett at Thomas Organ Company
1966 – Clarance White meets Gene Parsons
1966 – Carlos Santana plays Fillmore West replacing Paul Butterfield that launches his career
1966 – The Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations” features an instrument that sounds much like a theremin
1966 – Fender’s first transistor amplifiers were introduced
1967 – Seth Lover moves to Fender
1967 – Fender Silverface amplifiers were built between 1967 and 1981
1967 – Clyde McCoy Wah-wah pedal named after trumpeter Clyde McCoy
1967 – Brian Jones uses Theremin “Between the Buttons” and “Their Satanic Majesties Request” albums
1967 – Baldwin buys Gretsch
1967 – Fender Bronco
1967 – Danelectro Coral Electric Sitar
1967 – Fleetwood Mac is formed in London
1967 – The Moog synthesizer was demonstrated at the Monterey International Pop Festival
1967 – Jimi Hendrix at Monterey Pop Festival
1967 – The Beatles releaaes Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album
1967 – Mostrite Strawberry Alarm Clock guitar
1967 – David Gilmour asked to join Pink Floyd
1967 – Kay was resold and merged with Valco
1967 – Moog synthesizer featured on the Diana Ross & the Supremes single, “Reflections”
1968 – Univox begins marketing its Uni-Vibe pedal
1968 – Electro-Harmonix Muff Fuzz pedal
1968 – Fender Telecaster Bass
1968 – Gibson Les Paul model returns
1968 – Parsons-Whte B Bender invented by musicians Gene Parsons and Clarence White
1968 – Clarence White joins the Byrds after Gram Parsons leaves the band
1968 – Fender Telecaster Thinline (actually semi hollow)
1968 – Paul Bigsby dies
1968 – Dan Armstrong designs clear Plexiglas guitar for Ampeg
1968 – Electro-Harmonix founded by Mike Matthews
1968 – Led Zeppelin formed in London
1968 – Mosrite files bankruptcy close doors in 1969
1968 – Duane Allman gets as hired as session players by Rick Hall at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals
1969 – Gibson parent company gets taken over by ECL
1969 – Don Randall departs Fender
1969 – Assets of Kay/Valco are auctioned off
1969 – Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Fuzz pedal which Manny’s Music NYC sold to Jimi Hendrix
1969 – Fender Swinger also know as Musiclander or Arrow
1969 – ZZ Top formed in Houston, Texas
1969 – Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock
1969 – Pignose amp battery-powered, 5-watt portable guitar amplifier with one 5″ speaker
1969 – Clapton forms Blind Faith
1969 – Optical guitar pickups first shown at the NAMM in Chicago, by Ron Hoag
1969 – B.C. Rich founded
1969 – Emmett Chapman modifies homemade 9-string “Freedom Guitar” that leads to Chapman Stick
1969 – The Allman Brothers Band formed in Jacksonville, Florida
1969 – Black Sabbath formed
1969 – Fernandes Guitars started production in Osaka, Japan
1969 – Gibson produces their first Low Impedance guitars, Les Paul Personal and Professional models
1970 – The Beatles break up
1970 – George Gruhn opens Gruhn Guitars in Nashville
1970 – Schaller Wide travel Tune-o-Matic aka “Harmonica bridge”: 1970-1980
1970 – Duane Allman records Layla with Eric Clapton
1970 – Eric Clapton releases Layla with Derek and the Dominos
1970 – Eric Clapton switches from Gibson to a 1956 Sunburst Fender Stratocaster nicknamed “Brownie
1970 – Semie Mosley gets Mosrite name back and starts building guitars again
1970 – Stevie Ray Vaughan made his first studio recordings
1971 – Mandolin Brothers established in 1971 by Stan Jay and Harold “Hap” Kuffner
1971 – Seth Lover designs Fender Wide Range Humbucker while working at Fender
1971 – Randall Smith starts Mesa/Boogie
1971 – Paul McCartney forms Wings
1971 – Bonnie Raitt releases her debut album
1971 – Duane Allman dies
1971 – Les Paul’s Favorite Les Paul – The Recording Model arrives
1972 – The Roland Corporation founded in Japan
1972 – MXR founded and then releases MXR dyna comp, phase 45, phase 90, distortion +, carbon copy
1973 – Hamer Guitars founded
1973 – Kay name is used on Teisco products
1973 – CBGB New York City music club opens
1973 – Cort Guitars founded – factories in Indonesia, South Korea and China
1973 – Heil High Powered Talk Box invented
1974 – Gibson Les Paul Special Reissue
1974 – Gibson Marauder
1974 – Gibson Norlin era begins
1974 – Gibson opens Nashville plant
1974 – Music Man founded
1974 – The Ramones formed in Queens, NY
1974 – Gary Moore joins Thin Lizzy
1974 – Nancy Wilson joins older sister Ann Wilson in band Heart
1974 – Taylor Guitars founded by Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug
1974 – MXR Phase 90 was released
1975 – Norman’s Rare Guitars opened by Norm Harris
1975 – Harmony Guitar Company ceases operations
1975 – Gibson introduces the Modern TOM aka “Nashville” bridge
1975 – ESP guitars founded
1975 – Roland Jazz Chorus solid-state amp with built-in analog Chorus effect
1975 – Squier name was retired as the strings had taken the Fender name
1976 – Chester & Lester collaborative album by guitarists Chet Atkins and Les Paul released
1976 – Seymour Duncan builds Tele-Gib for Jeff Beck
1976 – Music Man StingRay Bass
1976 – Yamaha SG2000 designed with Carlos Santana
1976 – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers formed
1976 – U2 Irish rock band from Dublin formed
1976 – Heet Sound introduced the first EBow at the NAMM Show
1977 – Jimmy Page uses a Theremin during performances of “Whole Lotta Love” and “No Quarter”
1977 – Floyd Rose locking vibrato
1977 – Mark and David Knopfler form Dire Straits
1977 – Sex Pistols release “Never Mind the Bollocks”
1978 – Guitar Monsters album by Chet Atkins and Les Paul, released
1978 – Washburn Falcon Wing Series
1978 – First Ibanez Tube Screamer TS-808 overdrive pro introduced
1978 – EMG Active Pickups designed
1978 – Eddie Van Halen – Van Halen first album released
1978 – Prince records first album and plays all the instruments himself
1978 – Roland Cube
1979 – Stray Cats American rockabilly band formed
1979 – Ozzy Osbourne forms new band with Randy Rhoads on guitar
1979 – G&L Musical Instruments founded
1979 – Ned Steinberger builds first Basses
1979 – Steinberger “Headless” Guitar
1979 – Eddie Van Halen “frankenstrat”
1979 – Kahler Tremolo System invented by Gary Kahler and Dave Storey
1979 – Roger Rossmeisl dies in Germany at 52
1980 – John Lennon dies
1980 – Jackson Guitars founded by Grover Jackson
1980 – A.R. Enterprises (Tony Blair) purchases the Kay trademark
1980 – AC/DC’s singer Bon Scott dies
1981 – MTV launches
1981 – EMG Active Pickups standard on Steinberger Bass
1981 – Baldwin shuts down Gretsch production
1981 – CBS makes William Schultz President of Fender
1982 – Fender Bullet Bass
1982 – Squier brand reactivated by Fender for its lower priced versions of Fender guitars
1982 – Fender Rivera era amplifiers produced until 1986
1982 – Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival
1982 – Randy Rhoads dies
1983 – Norlin bought by Rooney Pace and Piezo Electric Products, Gibson is put up for sale
1983 – Eddie Van Halen Kramer 5150 guitar
1983 – Muddy Waters dies
1983 – MIDI technology gets standardized
1984 – This Is Spinal Tap movie opens
1984 – Ernie Ball buys Music Man
1984 – Roland G707 Synth Guitar
1985 – Fender CBS era ends
1985 – Fender flagship U.S. factory in Corona, CA opens
1985 – Ernie Ball opens facility in San Luis Obispo, CA
1985 – Don Lace brings Lace Sensor pickup (used exclusively by Fender from 1987 to 1996)
1985 – PRS Guitars founded
1985 – PRS Custom 24 first model brought to the public at the company’s first NAMM
1985 – Fred W. Gretsch regains control of Gretsch
1986 – Gibson purchased and saved by guitar enthusiasts Henry Juszkiewicz and David Berryman
1986 – Joe Maphis dies
1986 – Fender Eric Clapton Signature Stratocaster using used Gold Lace Sensors
1987 – Fender opens factory in Ensenada, Mexico
1987 – Fender Custom Shop founded with John Page and Michael Stevens
1987 – Ibanez JEM
1987 – G&L Comanche with Magnetic Field Design Z-Coil pickups
1987 – Gibson Chet Atkins SST (steel string) and CE (nylon string) solid body models
1988 – 40th Anniversary Fender Custom Shop Telecaster first limited production run of 300 guitars
1988 – The Traveling Wilbury’s record first album
1988 – Roy Buchanan dies
1988 – Epiphone Les Paul Standard affordable LP
1988 – Boss ME-5 arrives
1989 – Fender Stratocaster Ultra and Plus series
1989 – Joe Bonamassa opens for B.B. King when he was only 12
1989 – National Reso-Phonic was founded to build National-brand resonator guitars
1989 – B. Andrew Barta invents the original Tech 21 SansAmp
1990 – Freddie Tavares passes away
1990 – Eddie Van Halen Music Man EVH guitar
1990 – The Danny Gatton Signature Telecaster released
1990 – Stevie Ray Vaughan dies
1990 – The birth of the Internet
1990 – The Klon Centaur guitar overdrive pedal developed by Bill Finnegan between 1990 and 1994
1990 – Steve Vai signature Ibanez first mass-produced seven-string electric guitar
1991 – Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) moves HQ from Corona,CA to Scottsdale, AZ
1991 – Leo Fender dies
1991 – PRS Dragon guitar
1991 – DigiTech Whammy WH-1 arrives
1991 – Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier arrives
1992 – Semie Mosley dies
1992 – Parker Fly
1993 – Matchless DC30 arrives boosting the boutique amplifier industry
1993 – Yamaha Pacifica 112 guitar
1994 – The Klon Centaur released with about 8,000 units built between 1994 and 2000
1994 – Gibson Nighthawk
1994 – Fender factory in Ensenada, Mexico burns down
1994 – PRS McCarty Model – Ted McCarty was a mentor to Paul Reed Smith
1994 – Fender honors Freddie Tavares with 150 limited-edition “Freddie Tavares Aloha Stratocasters
1994 – Cello-Guitar Brahms guitar invented by guitarist Paul Galbraith with the luthier David Rubio
1994 – Danny Gatton dies
1995 – Introduction of eBay
1995 – Vince Cunetto starts the Fender Relic series
1995 – The clip-on tuner invented by Mark Wilson marketed it as The Intellitouch Tuner Mode
1995 – Fender Hot Rod Deluxe introduced
1996 – Eddie Van Halen Peavey EVH Wolfgang guitar
1996 – Peavey 5150 Eddie Van Halen original signature amp
1996 – Line 6 launched with their first digital modeling guitar amplifier, the original Flextone
1996 – Smokey Amplifier created by Bruce Zinky
1997 – Seth Lover dies
1997 – Tommy Emmanuel & Chet Atkins records as a duo a The Day Finger Pickers Took Over The World
1997 – Line 6 POD arrives
1997 – RainSongs guitars world’s first all-graphite acoustic guitars
1998 – Boss TU-2 chromatic tuner released
1999 – Crossroads Guitar Festival founded by Eric Clapton
1999 – Derek Trucks becomes formal member of Allman Brothers
1999 – Gretsch Buys Bigsby
2001 – Robert Keeley starts Keeley Electronics from his home in Oklahoma City
2001 – PRS Single Cut Guitar
2001 – Ted McCarty dies
2001 – Chet Atkins dies
2001 – George Harrison dies
2001 – Apple iPod introduced
2002 – Line 6 Variax
2003 – Fender signs deal for distributing new Gretsch guitars
2003 – Ernie Ball relocates string manufacturing to Riverside County, CA
2004 – Fender Jaguar Baritone or Jaguar Bass VI Custom
2004 – Ernie Ball dies and sons take over company
2005 – Gibson sues PRS over single cut model
2005 – Guitar Hero/Rock Band Controller
2005 – Bruce Zinky purchases the Supro name
2005 – Guitar Hero franchise begins
2005 – Blackbird Guitars makes acoustic guitars & ukuleles from carbon fiber
2006 – Fender Jaguar Bass
2006 – Fractal Audio Systems Axe-Fx arrives
2007 – Fender acquired Kaman Music Corporation
2007 – Orange’s miniature 15-watt valve head starts lunchbox amp craze
2007 – Eddie Van Halen 300 replicas of Frankenstein guitar made by Fender under the EVH brand
2007 – Gibson Robot Guitar limited run
2008 – New Kay reissues 12 models of vintage Kay guitars & basses manufactured by Fritz Brothers
2008 – Bo Diddley dies
2009 – George Fullerton dies
2009 – Les Paul dies
2009 – TC Electronic PolyTune pedal
2009 – Bob Bogle (Ventures) dies
2010 – Apple iPad introduced
2010 – Jeff Beck joined by Imelda May and her band to honor Les Paul at the Iridium Jazz Club in NYC
2010 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Party (Honoring Les Paul) live album by Jeff Beck
2010 – Nashville Flood due to the Cumberland River overflowing its banks drowns many guitars
2011 – Volkswagen partners with Fender to manufacture premium sound systems for its vehicles
2011 – Kemper Profiling Amplifier
2011 – Gary Moore dies
2012 – Reverb.com is launched
2013 – Line 6 bought by Yamaha Corporation
2014 – Gibson introduces Min-ETune™ automatic tuning unit
2014 – New line of USA-made, vintage-inspired Supro tube amplifiers ship
2015 – Fender sells Kaman Music Corporation
2016 – Sir George Henry Martin dies
2016 – Prince dies
2016 – Glenn Frey dies
2016 – Scotty Moore dies
2016 – Lonnie Mack dies
2017 – Chuck Berry dies
2017 – John Warren Geils Jr (J. Geils) dies