Historically speaking, the last week in February has been marked by a trove of memorable rock events. The Yardbirds lost a key member, U2 kicked off their first U.S. tour, and filming began on a landmark film starring the world’s greatest pop band. A spate of classic LPs was released as well, including touchstone records by Pink Floyd, Todd Rundgren, and Metallica. Read on for a look back at other significant moments that shaped rock and roll during this historically eventful week.

Events

1941 – The world’s first commercial FM radio station begins broadcasting from Nashville.

1945 – Billboard reports that, for the first time, 45rpm records are racking up more sales than the old-style 78rpm discs.

1960 – The Miracles (featuring Smokey Robinson) make their debut TV appearance, performing “Shop Around” on “American Bandstand.”

1964 – Filming begins on The Beatles’ movie A Hard Day’s Night.

1965 – Eric Clapton performs with The Yardbirds for the last time. Jeff Beck steps into the spot vacated by Clapton.

1966 – Neil Young, Stephen Stills, and Richie Furay form Buffalo Springfield.

1967 – The Jeff Beck Group, featuring Rod Stewart as vocalist, make their performance debut in London.

1971 – Janis Joplin’s Pearl album begins a nine-week run atop the U.S. album chart.

1972 – The Joe Tex single “I Gotcha” tops the R&B chart.

1973 – Elton John’s Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player tops the album chart in America.

1975 – Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks tops the US album chart. Two weeks later it’s bumped from the top spot by Olivia Newton-John’s Have You Never Been Mellow LP.

1981 – U2 kick off their first major tour of the U.S., performing two shows in Washington, D.C.

1983 – Michael Jackson’s Thriller LP tops the US album chart.

1983 – CD players become commercially available in America for the first time.

1987 – The Beatles (aka The White Album) becomes the first LP by the Fab Four to be released on CD.

1991 – The Doors, a bio-pic directed by Oliver Stone, makes its premiere in Los Angeles.

1994 – Nirvana perform what is to be their final concert, staging a show in Munich, Germany.

1995 – Jimmy Page and Robert Plant kick off a world tour in support of their 1994 No Quarter live reunion album.

2002 – The Bee Gees stage their final concert, performing a benefit show in Miami Beach.

Releases

1968 – Laura Nyro:  Eli and the Thirteenth Confession

1968 – The Mothers of Invention:  We’re Only in it for the Money

1970 – The Beatles:  Hey Jude (compilation)

1970 – Van Morrison:  Moondance

1971 – Soft Machine:  Fourth

1972 – Stevie Wonder:  Music of My Mind

1973 – Pink Floyd:  The Dark Side of the Moon

1973 – John Cale:  Paris 1919

1973 – Todd Rundgren:  A Wizard, a True Star

1973 – The Doobie Brothers: The Captain and Me

1974 – Aerosmith:  Get Your Wings

1974 – Rush: Rush

1974 – ABBA:  Waterloo

1978 – Patti Smith:  Easter

1979 – Sex Pistols: The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle (soundtrack)

1979 – Rickie Lee Jones:  Rickie Lee Jones

1979 – Roxy Music:  Manifesto

1979 – Frank Zappa:  Sheik Yerbouti

1981 – Judas Priest:  Point of Entry

1983 – U2:  War

1983 – Thin Lizzy:  Thunder and Lightning

1983 – Spandau Ballet: True

1986 – Metallica: Master of Puppets

1988 – Robert Plant:  Now and Zen

1988 – Toto:  The Seventh One

1989 – XTC:  Orange & Lemons

1989 – Fine Young Cannibals:  The Raw and the Cooked

1990 – Cowboy Junkies:  The Caution Horses

1992 – David Byrne:  Uh-Oh

1993 – The Cranberries: Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?

1994 -- Beck: Mellow Gold

1994 – Cheap Trick:  Woke Up with a Monster

1995 – PJ Harvey:  To Bring You My Love

1995 – Steve Earle:  Train a Comin’

1997 – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds:  The Boatman’s Call

1997 – U2:  Pop

2000 – Oasis:  Standing on the Shoulder of Giants

2000 – AC/DC:  Stiff Upper Lip

2000 – Steely Dan: Two Against Nature

2002 – Teenage Fanclub:  Words of Wisdom and Hope

2007 – Arcade Fire:  Neon Bible

2008 – The Black Crowes:  Warpaint

2009 – U2:  No Line on the Horizon

 

Births

Fats Domino – Feb. 26, 1928

Johnny Cash – Feb. 26, 1932

Joe South – Feb. 28, 1940

Mike Pender (The Searchers) – March 3, 1941

Brian Jones – Feb. 28, 1942

Lou Reed – March 2, 1943

Roger Daltrey – March 1, 1944

Mike D’Abo – March 1, 1944

Bobby Womack – March 4, 1944

Mitch Ryder – Feb. 26, 1945

Rory Gallagher – March 2, 1948

Chris Squire – March 4, 1948

Eddie Money – March 2, 1949

Jonathan Cain – Feb. 26, 1950

Karen Carpenter – March 2, 1950

Robyn Hitchcock – March 3, 1953

Neal Schon (Journey) – Feb. 27, 1954

Cindy Wilson – Feb. 28, 1957

Johnny Van Zant – Feb. 27, 1959

Jon Bon Jovi – March 2, 1962

Jason Newsted – March 4, 1963

Evan Dando – March 4, 1967

Eryka Badu – Feb. 26, 1971

Chris Martin – March 2, 1977

 

Deaths

Bukka White – Feb. 26, 1977

Mike Patto (Spooky Tooth, Patto) – March 4, 1979

David Byron (Uriah Heep) – Feb. 27, 1985

Richard Manuel (The Band) – March 4, 1986

Dusty Springfield – March 2, 1999

Hank Ballard – March 2, 2003

Buddy Miles – Feb. 26, 2008

Mike Smith (Dave Clark Five) – Feb. 27, 2008

Jeff Healey – March 2, 2008

Ronnie Montrose – March 3, 2012