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presented by: ITVS

rockabilly timeline Page: 1 | 2

1932 Advertisers, including quack medicine men and shady evangelists, start mega-watt radio stations in Mexico to circumvent U.S. controls. Country singers such as Rose Maddox and Patsy Montana bring their music to the masses via border radio.

The Maddox Brothers and Rose win first prize in talent contest broadcast in CA, AZ, OR and WA; their popularity soars.

Rose Maddox and brothers
Rose with 2 of 4 brothers

The Collins Kids
The Collins Kids

Wanda Jackson
Wanda Jackson

Brenda Lee with Elvis
Brenda Lee with Elvis

Janis Martin - The Female Elvis
Janis Martin album cover

1950 Charline Arthur works as DJ and singer at KERB radio in Kermit, Texas.

1953 After being discovered by Colonel Tom Parker, Charline Arthur signs her first recording contract with RCA Records.

The Collins Kids first appear on the TV series Town Hall Party.

Brenda Mae Tarpley's father is killed in a construction site accident. To bring in money, she becomes professional singer Brenda Lee. She is eight years old.

1954 Wanda Jackson records with Decca Records.

The Collins Kids are signed to Columbia Records; they record songs like "Mercy," "Whistle Bait," "Hot Rod" and "Hoy Hoy."

Wanda Jackson stars on the TV show Ozark Jubilee

Elvis signs his first contract with RCA Records.

1956 Janis Martin signs with RCA Records and is voted "Most Promising Female Artist" by Billboard magazine. She records "Will You Willyum," "Drugstore Rock 'n Roll," and "Let's Elope Baby" with RCA.

Brenda Lee signs her first recording contract with Decca Records at age 11.

RCA releases "Heartbreak Hotel," Elvis Presley's first single to sell over a million copies.

The Collins Kids appear at the Grand Ole Opry.

Capitol Records signs Wanda Jackson.

Wanda Jackson records rockabilly songs "Honey Bop," "Cool Love," "I Gotta Know," "Let's Have a Party" and "Fujiyama Mama."

Janis Martin appears on American Bandstand, The Tonight Show, The Today Show, The Grand Ole Opry and Ozark Jubilee.

Brenda Lee appears on Ozark Jubilee and releases singles including "Jambalaya," "Bigelow6-200" and "Dynamite."

1957 Brenda Lee first performs at the Grand Old Opry.

Wanda Jackson first performs at the Grand Ole Opry.

Janis Martin has a baby boy at the age of 18, shattering her teen image; RCA cools down promoting "Rockin' Country Gal."

Brenda Lee records the rockabilly hit "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree."

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