August 10, 1793 – First-ever electric guitar patent awarded to the Electro String Corporation

August 10, 1793 – First-ever electric guitar patent awarded to the Electro String Corporation

Versatile, inexpensive and relatively easy to play, the acoustic guitar was a staple of American rural music in the early 20th century, particularly black rural music such as the blues.

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July 17, 1967 – Jimi Hendrix drops out as opening act for The Monkees

July 17, 1967 – Jimi Hendrix drops out as opening act for The Monkees

On July 17, 1967, one of the oddest musical pairings in history comes to an end when Jimi Hendrix dropped out as the opening act for teenybopper sensations The Monkees.

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July 4, 1954 – The Clash play their first live gig

July 4, 1954 – The Clash play their first live gig

Formed as the first shots of the punk revolution were being fired, The Clash storm onto the UK scene with their debut performance on the Fourth of July, 1976, at The Black Swan in Sheffield, England, as the opening act for The Sex Pistols.

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July 3, 1969 – Brian Jones and Jim Morrison die, two years apart to the day

July 3, 1969 – Brian Jones and Jim Morrison die, two years apart to the day

Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones is found dead of an apparent accidental drowning on this day in 1969. Two years later to the day, in 1971, Jim Morrison dies of heart failure in a Paris bathtub.

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January 8, 1946 – Elvis Presley receives his first guitar

January 8, 1946 – Elvis Presley receives his first guitar

In competing versions of the story, what Elvis Presley really wanted for his birthday was a rifle or a bicycle—both fairly typical choices for a boy his age growing up on the outskirts of Tupelo, Mississippi.

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December 17, 1991 – A federal court puts its stamp on hip-hop

December 17, 1991 – A federal court puts its stamp on hip-hop

Gilbert O’Sullivan, an Irishman who favoured bowl haircuts and suspenders, argued for his right to control and profit from the use of his 1971 recording as the musical underpinning of rapper Biz Markie’s 1991 song “Alone Again.”

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