The following is a historical timeline of events in the Tampa Bay music scene from the 1910's - present day. New entries are added on a daily basis.
June 13th, 1919
The Tampa Bay chapter of the American Federation of Musicians (American Federation of Musicians - Florida Gulf Coast) is chartered.
The Tampa Symphony Orchestra is formed.
Several community and city orchestras start forming in St. Petersburg.
Members of the Carreno Music Club in St. Petersburg form the St. Petersburg Symphony.
The Tampa Symphony Orchestra changes it's name to the Tampa Philharmonic.
Wednesday, August 16th, 1961
The first “Star Spectacular” concert was held at the Clearwater Municipal Auditorium. The headliners for the show were Dion, Bobby Vee, Jack Scott, Joan Campbell and Curtis Lee. Following the success of this show, plans were immediately made for future shows. The “Star Spectacular” became a monthly (and ocasionally weekly) concert series, showcasing both national acts and local Tampa Bay garage bands as well.
The event was originally conceived and organized by music legend Paul Cochran in conjunction with WLCY Radio and the Clearwater Recreation Department. Many local Tampa Bay bands would get their start at the “Star Spectacular” including Terry & The Pirates, The Rockers, The Impacs, The Mystics, The Impressions, Puddin Basin, Sons of Man, Those Five, The Roemans, The Tropics, Vic Waters & The Entertainers, The Tempests, The Catalinas, and several others.
Saturday, October 21st, 1961
The 2nd “Star Spectacular” concert was held at the Clearwater Municipal Auditorium once again. The concert featured performances by: Del Shannon, Johnny Tillotson, and Brian Hyland backed by Terry And The Pirates Orchestra.
Wednesday, November 22nd, 1961
The 3rd “Star Spectacular” concert was held at the Clearwater Municipal Auditorium once again. The concert featured performances by: Freddie Cannon, Ral Donner, Ray Peterson, The Impacs, The Midnighters, The Mystics, and Terry And The Pirates Orchestra.
Friday, December 1st, 1961
The 4th “Star Spectacular” concert was held at the Clearwater Municipal Auditorium once again. The concert featured performances by: Roy Orbison, Johnny Burnette, Dick & Dee Dee, Terry And The Pirates, The Rockers, and The Impacs.
Saturday, January 20th, 1962
The 5th “Star Spectacular” concert was held at the Clearwater Municipal Auditorium once again. The concert featured performances by: Curtis Lee, The Impacs, The Mystics, and The Shamrocks.
Saturday, February 24th, 1962
The 6th “Star Spectacular” concert was held at the Clearwater Municipal Auditorium once again. The concert featured performances by: Dion, The Impacs, and The Mystics.
Saturday, March 3rd, 1962
The 7th “Star Spectacular” concert was held at the Clearwater Municipal Auditorium once again. The concert featured performances by: Neil Sedaka, The Impacs, and The Mystics.
Friday, March 9th, 1962
The 8th “Star Spectacular” concert was held at the Clearwater Municipal Auditorium once again. The concert featured performances by: Bobby Lewis, and Gene Franklin and The Houserockers featuring Texas Ray.
The Tempests formed in St. Petersburg. At the time, the members were only 13 years old. The original band members included Doug Palmer (rhythm guitar), Bobby Allen (drums), Bill Hickman (bass guitar), Tommy Angarano (vocals) and the late Charlie Bailey (lead guitar). The Tempests would go on to be one of the most popular bands in the Tampa Bay area, at the time.
Buddy Pendergrass forms The Tropics in Tampa. Originally a seven piece horn
band with Wayne Guida on trumpet, Ronnie Ferer on tenor sax and
Spencer Hinkle on drums, The band would play at all the local Tampa area recreation
Talks of merging the the St. Petersburg Symphony and and the Tampa Philharmonic begin. Instrumental in these talks were the conductors of the two orchestras, Alfredo Antonini of the Tampa Philharmonic and Thomas Briccetti of the St. Petersburg Symphony.
Tampa Bay band, The Satins, form in the St. Petersburg / Largo area from the ashes of The Ramblers.
Beginning in the summer of 1965, the Tropics start touring the state of Florida and the Southeastern United States as a five piece combo, opening shows for The Who in Miami, The Young Rascals in Tampa, and Herman's Hermits in Jacksonville. The band also performs at the Diplomat Hotel in Miami, opening the show for Heinz Heinz & Dad for a Columbia Records Showcase.
Tampa Bay band, The Pebbles, form in the St. Petersburg / Largo area from the ashes of The Satins.
Tampa Bay band, The Pebbles, disband.
November 30th, 1965
DSaturday, December 11th, 1965
Tampa Bay bands The Tropics, The Outsiders, and Those Five appear on the traveling music variety tv show, "Where The Action Is", hosted by Dick Clark. The show is filmed at the Bayfront Center Arena in St. Petersburg.
January 1st - 7th, 1966
July 30th, 1966
The Tropics win The Inter-national Battle of the Bands held at the famous McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois. The Band beat more then 1000 bands (including such bands as Chicago and Tommy James & The Shondells) to take first place. The Tropics win a recording contract with Columbia Records in New York. Their single, "Take the Time," (produced by Teo Macero) made it to the top of the charts and got a 92 on Dick Clark's American Bandstand!
September 17th, 1966
November 23rd, 1966
The St. Petersburg Symphony and and the Tampa Philharmonic agree to merge in order to form the Florida Gulf Coast Symphony. Representatives from both the St. Petersburg Symphony and the Tampa Philharmonic travel by boat to the center of Tampa Bay, where they married the two institutions in a symbolic union.
November 14th, 1968
The Florida Gulf Coast Symphony opens it’s first season with 43-year-old Irwin Hoffman as it’s music director. Hoffman previously guest conducted the Tampa Philharmonic.
Chris & Jon Oliva form their first band together, Avatar, from the ashes of their former bands Tower and Alien respectively.
Wednesday, December 31st, 1980
Clearwater based band, Rich Rag$, performs a show at The Den in Clearwater. The girlfriend of Rich Rag$ bassist, Billy McConnell, is also in attendance at the show. During the show, Billy’s girlfriend is abducted by a man with a warrant out for his arrest in Texas. The man drags Billy’s girlfriend down an embankment adjacent to the bar, and rapes her. While loading his gear into his car, Lee Steel (Rich Rag$ guitarist) hears McConnell’s girlfriend’s cries for help.
As Steel runs in the direction of the cries, he sees the attacker flee the scene. Steel's girlfriend, who had come out at that point, went to the McConnell’s girlfriend’s aid while Steel runs to get McConnell. In their stage clothes, Steel and McConnell track the attacker through the neighborhood, find him, and physically drag him back to the main road by his hair and coat. The entire way back to the road, McConnell repeatedly beats the attackers head with a large river rock saying "I know you're the guy". McConnell had recognized the attacker from the bar. The police are called, and the attacker is arrested.
Thursday, January 1st, 1981
Clearwater based band, Rich Rag$, perform their last show together at The Den in Clearwater, 1-day after Billy McConnell's (Rich Rag$ bass player) girlfriend is raped outside the bar. Though the band writes more material after the gig, the band never performs again and disbands shortly after.
Sunday, January 4th, 1981
Keith Collins and Steve Wacholz replace Pat Dubs and Andy Gmelin in Avatar.
Tampa Bay radio station, 95ynf, releases a compilation album featuring songs by local bands. The album contains two song from Avatar.
April 18th, 1982
Stranger releases their debut self-titled album on epic/Sony Records. Neither the band or the album receive much support, publicity or promotion from epic/Sony Records.
September 22nd, 1982
Avatar releases their debut EP, "City Beneath The Surface," on Par Records.
February 23rd, 1983
Avatar releases their demo, "Living For The Night," on Par Records.
April 11th, 1983
October 6th, 1983
November 1st, 1983
The Florida Gulf Coast Symphony changes it’s name to The Florida Orchestra.
March 22nd, 1984
May 20th, 1985
July 22nd, 1985
September 28th, 1987
Wednesday, July 24th, 1988
St. Petersburg based band, Permanent Tourist, appears on Vision Cable's "The Studio Shop" cable show, hosted by Lori Howlett. Permanent Tourist performs three of their original songs on the show.
August 20th, 1988
The Seminole Mall in Seminole hosted their "1st Annual Battle of the Bands" competition. Among the bands who competed in the competition were Arazmo, Stormseeker, Primal Scream, Salem, The Mixers, and Fast Chance.
October 17th, 1988
The Volley Club in Tampa debut their "Metal Monday Madness" nights. Their first Monday features Krunch, Pariah, and Halifax.
Tampa Smokes II is released on LP. Tampa Smokes II is a compilation album of Tampa Bay bands and artists, featuring: The Woodies, April 13th, Mad For Electra, Johnny G. Lyons Band, Walt Bucklin, Deloris Telescope, The Wankers, Barons Of Love, Psychotribe, The Fugitive Kind, The Immediates, and Thangogh.
June 19th, 1989
Tampa Bay band, Men In The Boat, parts ways with Bob White (bass) and Mark Odechuck (lead vocals) due to artistic differences.
December 1st, 1989
Tampa Bay Euro-Pop act, Parade In Paris, disbands over personal and musical differences.
September 1st, 1990
"The Pit" debuts on 98ROCK. Hosted by Brian Medlin, Keith Collins (Savatage, Krunch, Tampa Bay Metal Awards), and Jenny ("The Pit Bitch"), "The Pit" is an all heavy metal show that is dedicated to playing only local & national heavy metal bands. The show airs for 2 hours every Saturday night from Midnight - 2:00am.
"The Pit" was a concept that Brian Medlin brought with him from his days at K-Rock in Ft. Myers, where he worked for three years prior to Tampa. He did a heavy metal show there and figured it'd be a natural for 98 Rock. He was partnered up with former Savatage member, Keith Collins... and "The Pit" was born.
The 1st Annual "Tampa Bay Metal Awards" show was held at the Volley Club in Tampa. The awards show featured performances by Atheist, Fester, Mordecai, Krunch, Mortuary, Last Rite, and Bloodshed.
The "Tampa Bay Metal Awards" was created by former Savatage member, Keith Collins. The annual awards show was somewhat of a response to the annual "Tampa Bay Music Awards" lack of a heavy metal category in it's awards shows. The awards show was a success, and continued to be held annually for several years to come. As a matter of fact, the awards show became so well respected that the awards even received a mention nationally on MTV's Music News segments.
For a complete list of the award winners, click here.
September 29th - 30th, 1990
98ROCK holds it's first "Livestock" concert. Tickets were $5.98, which included parking & camping. Aproximatly 30,000 concert goers attended the 2-day, outdoor concert. The event also raises over $20,000.00 for Greenpeace as well.
The following bands performed at Livestock: (Day 1) Uncle Sally, Deloris Telescope, Bobby Friss, Stranger, Cry Wolf, Kings X, Trixter, Savatage, and Every Mothers Nightmare. (Day 2) Rocky Ruckman & the Beat Heathen's, Saber, Bleeding Hearts, Spread Eagle, and Blackfoot.
October 18th, 1990
The Monte Carlo Club opens in St. Petersburg and starts booking local hard rock and metal bands every Thursday and Friday night.
November 1st, 1990
Tampa Bay band, Earl Brown and Crosstown, begin their Eastern United States tour.
November 5th, 1990
Tampa Bay metal band, Iced Earth, holds their last Tampa Bay performance at the Volley Club before embarking on their European tour.
November 14th, 1990
Newly formed Tampa Bay band, Trasid, makes their live debut at the Volley Club.
November 22nd, 1990
Biarritz Nightclub hosts the "First Annual Feast of Music", a benefit concert for the Children's Home Benefit. The Thanksgiving concert features performances by The Belle Vue Boyz, Men From Earth, Factory Black, Cry Tough, and Cathedral Swing.
December 11th, 1990
Biarritz Nightclub hosts a band competition called "The Tampa Bay Music Explosion" with the winner receiving over $3,000.00 in studio time from Panda Studios.
June 14th, 1991
June 22nd, 1991
June 29th, 1991
98ROCK's "The Pit" celebrates their 1 year anniversary of being on the air by holding a concert at the Ritz Theatre in Ybor City. The show also begins airing for 3 hours (Midnight - 3:00am) instead of 2 hours like previously has been.
October 4th, 1991
Bleeding Hearts release their "Loaded Gun" Album. Recorded at Morrisound Recording Studios in Tampa, "Loaded Gun" arguably becomes one of the most popular albums ever released by an unsigned Tampa Bay band, eventually selling over 100,000 copies.
March 21st, 1992
Ace's Records holds a grand opening for their new location on Fowler Avenue in Tampa. The grand opening event features a live, impromptu parking lot performance from Tampa Bay band, The Guff. 98ROCK DJ, Brian Medlin, broadcasts the event live on "The Pit" from Midnight to 3:00am. The event drew over 700 people out to Ace's, with the last of the crowd not leaving until 4:00am.
March 26th, 1992
Tampa Bay death metal band, Brutality, appears live on the WTVT (Channel 13) talk show, Eye on Tampa Bay. Two members of the band, along with their manager, sat on the show as panelists before a studio audience to debate the effects that death metal music have on children.
Paragon Music debuts their "Thursday Night Jam" inside their music store. Every Thursday night from 6:00pm - 8:00pm, local musicians jam on Paragon's concert stage, using the stores most modern equipment.
April 4th, 1992
Tampa Bay band, Wonderland, makes their live debut at the State Theater in St. Petersburg.
April 7th, 1992
April 10th, 1992
Tampa Bay band, UROK, does an in-store performance at Peaches Records in Tampa to promote their new album, Fashionably Sedate.
April 10th - 11th, 1992
The finals of the "Tampa Bay Rock Showcase" is held at the Rock-It Club in Tampa, where 8 bands perform in front of industry representatives. The 8 finalists include St. Warren, UROK, Secret Service, Silent Scream, Vandal, Soldier of Fortune, Heartless, and Mistaken.
April 16th, 1992
Tampa Bay Band, Current Waves, hold a CD Release party at the ACL Club.
April 24th, 1992
Tampa Bay Band, Webbed Feet, hold a CD Release party at Kasey's Cove in Tampa.
April 26th, 1992
Maggie Council holds a CD Release party at Skippers Smokehouse in Tampa.
Tampa Bay band, In Sheep's Clothing, holds a CD release party for their debut album at the State Theater in St. Petersburg with Webbed Feet and Hookah performing.
June 3rd, 1992
March 16th, 1993
Tampa Bay based Contract Songwriter, Keith Wilkins, starts KAM Lyric Writing. KAM Lyric Writing will eventually become KAM Music Publishing.
April 6th, 1993
May 2nd, 1993
May 18th, 1993
June 12th, 1993
Tampa Bay singer/guitarist, T-Blue, is helicoptered to Tampa General Hospital following a motorcycle accident.
July 4th, 1993
July 11th, 1993
A benefit concert is held at Schooner's for Tampa Bay singer/guitarist, T-Blue, who was involved in a motorcycle accident on June 12th which left him with partial Amnesia. The concert featured performances by The Rogues, Penny Robinson, and Tampa Tins & Jason.
August 12th, 1993
JAM Entertainment News purchases Music Players Magazine, another Tampa-area music trade publication. At the time of purchase, Music Players Magazine had a circulation of 30,000. With the acquisition of Music Players Magazine, JAM Entertainment News now publishes three editions, including a 30,000-copy North Florida edition distributed from Jacksonville to Orlando to Melbourne, and a 30,000-copy South Florida edition, distributed from Vero Beach to the Keys. The merger also boosts the number of people employed by JAM from 11 employees to 15 employees.
August 20th, 1993
Music Players Magazine publishes it's final issue/edition.
Sunday, September 5th, 1993
The 4th Annual "Tampa Bay Metal Awards" show was held at the the Ritz Theatre in Ybor City. The awards show drew approximately 1,000 people in attendance to see performances by Suffocation, Souls at Zero, Raped Ape, Eulogy, Sakajaweeda, Degradation, Astaroth, Naphobia, Pride, Krunch, Collapsing Lungs, and Psycho Tribe.
For a complete list of the award winners, click here.
Friday, September 3rd, 1993
Following the August 12th sale, Music Players Magazine officially becomes the West Florida edition of JAM Entertainment News . Bill Templeton, former owner of Music Players Magazine, would remain on as editor of the West Florida edition of JAM Entertainment News.
Sunday, September 5th, 1993
"Smoozefest '93" was held at the Ybor Pool & Pub in Ybor City. "Smoozefest '93" was a networking function to allow musicians & bands from all over Tampa Bay to network with both local & National music & recording industry representatives.
Among those who were in attendance for the event included the Promoters of the 4th Annual Tampa Bay Metal Awards, along with representatives from Concrete Marketing, BMG Distribution, Relativity Records, Roadrunner Records, Performance Magazine, and Uni Distribution.
Locally, Brian Medlin (98ROCK), Frank Dancsecs (Ace's Records), and Keith Collins (Tampa Bay Spike / Live! In Tampa Bay) also attended.
October 17th, 1993
Savatage guitarist and founding member, Criss Oliva, and his wife Dawn were driving north on Highway 301 on his way to the 4th Annual Livestock Festival in Zephyrhills, just north of Tampa around 3:30am. An oncoming car operated by a drunk driver crossed the median and struck Criss' 1982 Mazda RX-7 head-on, killing him instantly. The drunk driver, who had seven prior DUI convictions, survived with minor injuries and was later found guilty of DUI manslaughter, DUI serious injury, and vehicular homicide, serving 18 months in prison of a five year sentence.
October 22nd, 1993
November 23rd, 1993
A memorial concert for Criss Oliva takes place with the surviving members of Savatage, including older brother Jon, who returned for one night only, performing a special set. No guitarist played with the band that night, instead opting to leave a white Stratocaster with roses going up the neck which resembled the back cover of the "Streets" album in the spot where Criss used to stand.
December 3rd, 1993
Tampa band, the Invertebrates, make their debut at the Brass Mug in Tampa.
December 19th, 1993
Veteran Tampa Bay musician, Michael Clarke (The Byrds, Firefall, The Flying Burrito Brothers), passes away at the age of 46.
March 28th, 1994
Tampa Bay Contract Songwriter, Keith Wilkins, signs contract with Donn Hecht to work on 2 songs together in Miami Beach.
July 23rd, 1994
Local promoter and former Noiz & Messiaxx bassist, Brad Davis, postpones the opening of his new Clearwater music venue, "The Underground" due to resistance from the city of Clearwater via city ordinances.
Mike Campbell leaves Tampa Bay band, 13th Floor.
August 12th, 1994
Tampa Bay band, Halcyon, wins the Florida regionals of the "Ticketmaster Music Showcase" held at Killian's, beating out other bands such as the YZ Band, Antler, Hourglass Garden, and Tyger Tyger.
August 16th, 1994
Tampa Bay alternative rock band, Monkey Fist, begins recording their 4-song E.P. at Audio Lab.
September 4th, 1994
Tampa band, The Hazies, enter the recording studio to begin recording of "Vinnie Smokin' in the Big Room," their debut album on EMI/Chrysalis Records.
December 21st, 1994
Amerecord Records offers Tampa Bay Contract Songwriter Keith Wilkins a contract to purchase his song "Magic Moment" for one of their artists to record. Keith turns down contract.
February 7th, 1995
February 26th, 1995
April 1st, 1995
The Hazies wrap up recording of their EMI/Chrysalis Records debut album, Vinnie Smokin' in the Big Room,"
June 15th, 1995
Tampa Bay Contract Songwriter, Keith Wilkins, becomes a charter member of the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame and museum in Cleavland Ohio. A plaque with his name (and the names of the other charter members) becomes a permanent display in the museum, following it's opening.
Tampa Bay metal band, Blak, parts ways with lead singer, Dan Izzo.
Sonic Erotica completes their 2-song demo for "Cold" & "Love Her" at Panda Studios.
August 5th, 1995
Tampa Bay musician, Johnny G. Lyon, does his first stadium gig, singing the national anthem at Tampa Stadium for the Buccaneers vs NY Jets football game.
August 14th, 1995
Keith Wilkins & Donn Hecht finish master demo recordings for "Always" & "Good Lovin' Gone Bad" in Miami Beach.
Sunday, August 27th, 1995
Tampa Bay musician, Johnny G. Lyon, holds a CD release party at Skippers Smokehouse in Tampa for his new album, "Give The Kid A Chance."
Tampa Bay Contract Songwriter, Keith Wilkins, signs contract with Andrei Cheine to work on 11 songs together.
October 9th, 1995
October 23rd, 1995
October 24th, 1995
December 2nd, 1995
December 4th, 1995
Contract Songwriter, Keith Wilkins, and Singer/Songwriter, Cathy Clark, finish recording and mixing their 4-song project at HouseQuake Recording Studios in Tampa.
December 15th, 1995
Tampa recording/production duo, Holly Rob & Dr. Ray (aka Rob & Ray Jones), sign a seven album deal with Island/Polygram Records.
Tampa Bay bands Men From Earth, Joe Popp, and Barely Pink are nominated for the "Entertainer of the Year" award at the upcoming "7th Annual Florida Jammy Awards," to be held at the Hard Rock Cafe in Orlando in March.
February 1st, 1996
Tampa punk band, Slap of Reality, signs with Skene! Records.
Tampa's influential solo popster, Robert Wegman of Two Worlds Colide, is arrested while vacationing in Russia. The Russian Government holds Wegman's passport & visa.
Tampa bassist, Dave Lowery, wins a national competition held by Jazziz Magazine called "Guitarists on Fire." Among Lowery's prizes include his inclusion on a national compilation album entitled Jazziz on Disc.
Tampa power pop group Barely Pink gets invited to appear on the Pop Matters - volume 2 compilation CD on the Wagon Wheel Records label. The disc will have world-wide distribution through Caroline Records.
Jesus Funk is formed in Tampa. The band consists of Anthony borcello (The Cry) on bass & vocals, Russ Funk on guitars, and Ed McGinty on drums & lead vocals.
Tampa alternative pop group Panacea announce that they will be disbanding due to the upcoming departure of their lead singer Cameron McCaskill.
Friday, March 1st, 1996
Thursday, March 7th, 1996
March 23rd, 1996
Eric Miller (guitarist for Tampa Bay band Naked Schoolgirls and brother of 98ROCK's Ronny Miller) dies in a motorcycle accident when he rams his Harley Davidson into the back end of a truck. Miller was 26 years old.
March 30th, 1996
The Florida Music Association hosts a mass CD release party and showcase at Skipper's Smokehouse in Tampa with performances by Barely Pink, Hourglass Garden, Diane Ward, Ann O., Bob Thompson, and Jolynn Daniel.
Tampa Bay band, Dog Downstairs, signs record deal with Deep Cut Records.
"Dot-to-Dot Elvis," a song by Tampa power pop group Barely Pink, is featured on a Deep South Records compilation album.
Burdine's department stores hold a photo shoot & modeling session on Miami Beach that involved an array of Florida bands. Tampa band, Hourglass Garden, is one of the bands that were shot modeling different designers fall fashion collections to promote Burdine's "Back To School" seasonal promotion. The photos & video footage taken at the shoot would later appear in both print & TV ads. Radio ads for the promotion also included music from Hourglass Garden as well as all the other bands who participated.
April 2nd, 1996
Tampa band, The Hazies, release their major label debut, "Vinnie Smokin' in the Big Room," (EMI/Chrysalis Records).
April 26th, 1996
Tampa alternative pop group Panacea play their farewell show at Skippers Smokehouse in Tampa.
Sarasota blues musician, Chris Anderson, is released from his Relativity Records contract after Relativity Records parent company, Sony, dissolves their blues rock division.
Tampa black/death metal band, Acheron, sign a record deal with Seattle based Moribund Records.
Tampa Band, Wedgee, starts getting airplay on 98ROCK, as well as other radio stations around the nation.
The Swampwater Saloon in Tampa and the Bayou Restaurant and Bar in St. Petersburg become the two newest locations to start booking live music on a regular basis.
Refuge Records begins operations in Sarasota. The independent label was started by Denise Williams of Daddy Kool Records and Tony Rifugiato of No Clubs! Productions.
Holiday band, Touch The Sky, signs deal with national promoter Bill Jerome.
Saturday, May 11th, 1996
Speed the Minnow holds their CD Release Party for their new self-titled album (recorded at Audio Lab Studios in Tampa) at Joe Mocha's in St. Petersburg.
Sunday, May 19th, 1996
The 3rd Annual "Bay Area Music Awards" were held at Boomerz Nightclub in Seminole.
Tuesday, May 21st, 1996
Tampa Bay bands Wedgee & Sister Sara perform at the MTV sponsored "Choose or Lose" event at the Tampa Bay Center.
Saturday, May 25th, 1996