Atlantic Records is founded by Ahmet Ertegun and Herb Abramson. The label's initial releases feature such jazz and blues artists as Joe Morris, Tiny Grimes and Eddie Safranski.
Granville "Stick" McGhee's "Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee" hits the Juke Box chart, becoming the first Atlantic record to have national impact.
Ruth Brown records "Teardrops from My Eyes," the first major hit of her career.
Ray Charles does his first session for Atlantic, cutting four songs. Over the next seven years, he will record such classics as "Mess Around," "I Got a Woman," "Hallelujah, I Love Her So" and "What'd I Say."
Jerry Wexler, a former Billboard magazine writer, joins Atlantic. He soon begins producing records with Ertegun.
The Drifters, featuring Clyde McPhatter on lead vocals, record "Money Honey."
Big Joe Turner records "Shake, Rattle and Roll." Written by Atlantic arranger Jesse Stone, the song stays on the charts for 27 weeks.
LaVern Baker records "Tweedlee Dee." the first of a string of hits for Atlantic.
esuhi Ertegun, Ahmet's brother, joins Atlantic and proceeds to develop a legendary jazz roster that includes John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus and the Modern Jazz Quartet.
Atlantic releases "Youngblood"/"Searchin" by the Coasters. Written and produced by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, the song stays on the charts for most of the year. Leiber and Stoller will go on to produce and record numerous hits by the Coasters and other Atlantic artists such as the Drifters, Ben E. King and LaVern Baker.
Wexler strikes a handshake deal giving Atlantic distribution rights to Memphis-based Stax Records. The labels' eight-year association will yield scores of hits by such artists as Otis Redding, Sam and Dave and Booker T. and the MGs, literally shaping the sound of Sixties soul music.
Ertegun signs the English group Cream. Atlantic will become a major force in British rock, releasing albums by such artists as the Bee Gees, Mott the Hoople, Yes, Genesis, Derek and the Dominos, Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Led Zeppelin.
Buffalo Springfield, signed to Atlantic by Ertegun, scores a hit with "For What It's Worth." Two of the band's members will go on to form Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, one of Atlantic's premier acts of the Seventies.
After signing Aretha Franklin, Wexler records "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)" at Rick Hall's Fame Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The song hits Number Nine on the pop charts.
Warner-Seven Arts buys Atlantic for $17.5 million. In 1970, Warner will buy Elektra Records, creating what will become one of the most powerful music corporations in the world.
Atlantic announces the signing of the Rolling Stones. The group's recordings will appear on their own label, Rolling Stones Records.
Atlantic continues to be a major force in the record industry, with an artist roster that includes Stone Temple Pilots, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, Phil Collins, Liz Phair and Collective Soul.