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    Sam Cooke records for the first time with the Soul Stirrers gospel group. Cooke, the son of a Baptist preacher, born in the Mississippi delta and raised in Chicago, becomes the first huge star of gospel.

    Muddy Waters released the song “Rollin’ Stone” a song that especially impacts rock and roll history-an English band decide to call themselves the Rolling Stones in 1962, Bob Dylan releases his biggest hit, “Like a Rolling Stone,” in 1965 and the name Rolling Stone is chosen in 1967 for the magazine that first embraces rock and roll music as a serious cultural phenomenon. 

    Berry Gordy, a former prizefighter, autoworker and moderately successful songwriter, opens Tamala Records in a small house on Detroit’s West Grand Boulevard, prophetically designated “Hitsville, U.S.A.” Soon the main distributing arm of the Gordy-owned family of labels will be named “Motown,” proudly proclaiming its home by emblazing a map of Detroit right on the records. The new label’s first release, Marv Johnson’s “Come to Me,” hits No 30 on the pop chart, and the records’ gospel call-and-response, prominent tambourine, pumped-up bass-all are classic examples of the soon-to-be legendary “Motown Sound.”

    Two versions of “The Twist” are released within a month of each other. The first is by Hank Ballard (who composed it, and had released it as a B-side a year earlier). The second version is by Chubby Checker, who takes it to the top of the pop charts, starting a world-wide dance craze.