1970: “American Top 40,” a syndicated radio show featuring host Casey Kasem, makes its debut.
1970: Blues-based rock band Black Sabbath, taking its name from a horror film, helps create a new genre, heavy metal.
May 1970: Neil Young writes “Ohio,” one of rock’s most riveting protest songs, after reading about the four students killed by National Guardsmen at Ohio’s Kent State University.
July 1970: Guitarist Jimi Hendrix, a Seattle native who attended Garfield High School, performs a homecoming show at Sick’s Stadium.
August 1970: English rocker Elton John makes his U.S. debut at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. John’s debut album features the songs “Take Me to the Pilot” and “The Border Song.”
September 1970: Jimi Hendrix, 27, dies in his sleep in London after a lethal combination of alcohol and sleeping pills.
January 1971: Led Zeppelin records “Stairway to Heaven,” destined to become the ultimate classic-rock song.
May 1971: Marvin Gaye records “What’s Going On,” fusing R&B with social protest.
1971: Northwest rock band Paul Revere and the Raiders records its biggest hit, “Indian Reservation.”
1971: The soundtrack to the “blaxploitation” movie “Shaft,” featuring a score by Isaac Hayes, becomes the fastest-selling album in the history of Memphis-based Stax Records.
1971: Theatrical rock singer and guitarist Alice Cooper popularizes “shock rock.”
1971: A very young Michael Jackson scores his first hit, “Got to Be There.”
July 1971: Jim Morrison, 27, is found dead of a heart attack in the bathtub of his Paris room.
1971: Bumbershoot, the Northwest’s top arts festival, makes its modest debut at Seattle Center.
1971: Songwriter Don McLean records “American Pie,” a bittersweet epic about Buddy Holly’s death and “the day the music died.”
1971: Carole King, wife and songwriting partner of Gerry Goffin, records her blockbuster album, “Tapestry.”
1971: Funkmeister George Clinton pledges to “save dance music from the blahs.”
1971: Stevie Wonder negotiates a new contract with Motown, giving him unprecedented control over his music and publishing. It changes the way recording labels do business.
February 1972: David Bowie unveils Ziggy Stardust, taking glam-rock to a new level.
1972: Twenty-two-year-old Bruce Springsteen signs a recording contract with Columbia Records and begins work on “Greetings From Asbury Park.”
1972: The New York Dolls, dressed in lipstick and combat boots, unlease their outrageous glam-punk on the world of rock.
1972: “Nights in White Satin,” originally recorded in 1967, becomes the Moody Blues’ biggest hit.
1972: Neil Young releases “Harvest,” which spawns a future classic, “Heart of Gold.”
1973: Pink Floyd releases the landmark “Dark Side of the Moon,” which took nine months to record.
1973: Aerosmith’s self-named debut album features “Dream On” and “Mama Kin.”
1973: Southern rock gains popularity, thanks to the Allman Brothers Band, ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Marshall Tucker Band.
1973: Elton John releases “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” one of his most beloved albums.
February 1973: The film “The Harder They Come” (starring Jimmy Cliff) makes its debut in the United States, giving many American rock fans their first taste of Jamaican reggae.
July 1973: Using two turntables and a microphone, an obscure New York DJ named Kool Herc lays the groundwork for a new musical style, hip-hop, at a private dance party in the Bronx.
August 1974: The Ramones begin playing at New York club CBGB, setting the stage for punk and “new wave.”
1974: Jamaican reggae singer Bob Marley grows in popularity after Eric Clapton records Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff.”
1974: The beginnings of disco can be heard in the Hues Corporation hit “Rock the Boat” and George McRae’s “Rock Your Baby.”
March 1975: German group Kraftwerk lays the groundwork for electronic pop with the release of its hit song “Autobahn.”
October 1975: Bruce Springsteen appears simultaneously on the covers of Newsweek and Time.
1975: Pere Ubu releases “30 Seconds Over Tokyo” on their own label, a milestone in the history of American “indie” rock.
1976: Paul McCartney and Wings perform the Kingdome’s first rock concert. The extravangant show would be a high point in the Dome’s spotty history as a live-music venue.
1975: Costumed heavy-metal band Kiss achieves a career breakthrough with the release of “Kiss Alive.”
1975: Tacoma-born jazz and pop singer Diane Schuur auditions for “The Tonight Show” and makes the first of nearly a dozen appearances on the late-night variety show.
1975: Punk-rock icon Patti Smith releases the album “Horses,” produced by John Cale.
1975: Northwest rock band Heart releases “Dreamboat Annie,” featuring the hit songs “Crazy On You” and “Magic Man.”
1976: Peter Frampton’s “Frampton Comes Alive!” becomes one of the biggest albums of the year.
1976: Responding to booming record sales, the Recording Industry Association of America creates a new “platinum” album award, honoring sales of 1 million or more.
1976: Saxophonist Kenny G, a student at Franklin High School, gets his first professional gig playing with Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra.
1976: Blondie and the Sex Pistols lead the new wave of punk rock bands.
1977: Punk rock explodes with the release of debut albums by the Talking Heads, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, the Clash, the Sex Pistols and other bands.
February 1977: Fat Tuesday, Seattle’s answer to Mardi Gras, makes its boisterous debut in Pioneer Square.
1977: Caribbean cowboy Jimmy Buffett enjoys a commercial breakthrough with “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes.”
1977: Fleetwood Mac releases its blockbuster album, “Rumours,” featuring “The Chain,” “Gold Dust Woman” and “Don’t Stop,” which later becomes a Bill Clinton campaign anthem.
1977: Elvis Presley dies; a bittersweet “My Way” is the first Presley single released after his death.
1977: British punk band The Clash gains a foothold in the United States.
May 1977: The Grateful Dead, the ultimate ’60s hippie band, reaches its zenith with a memorable concert at Cornell University.
1977: New York City’s Studio 54 becomes the center of the ’70s disco universe; the movie “Saturday Night Fever,” starring John Travolta, fuels a national disco craze.
1978: Blondie releases “Parallel Lines,” featuring the hit track “Heart of Glass.”
1978: The Sex Pistols launch their first tour of the United States.
1978: Billy Joel’s “52nd Street” becomes his first No. 1 album.
1978: Sid Vicious, former bass guitarist for the Sex Pistols, is arrested in New York and charged with the stabbing murder of his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen.
1979: The Sugar Hill Gang records the first rap hit, the infectious, danceable “Rapper’s Delight.” The song’s groove is lifted from Chic’s disco anthem “Good Times.”
October 1979: Influential Northwest music mag The Rocket begins publication; its first issue features a cover story on Ballard’s Triangle Studios.