1979 in musicSee also:
1978 in music
other events of 1979
1980 in music
, 1970s in music
and the list of 'years in music'
Disco reigned supreme in 1979, with several #1 hits from The Bee Gees and Donna Summer that year. Even the New Wave band Blondie's biggest hit was "Heart of Glass", a song which could only be categorized as disco.
When The Knack's song "My Sharona" hit Billboard's #1 for six weeks, many rock critics gushed that the band was "the next Beatles" and celebrated the beginning of the end for disco music. While it may have marked the climax of disco, it was also the beginning of the end for The Knack, who quickly faded into obscurity.
One event of 1979 which would have later significance was the success of the single "Rapper's Delight" by The Sugarhill Gang, which marked the commercial emergence of hip hop.
Chuck Brown & the Soul Searchers' Bustin' Loose was released; this is the first go go record.
- January 1 - Bill Graham closes San Francisco's Winterland Theater following a New Years Eve performance by the Blues Brothers and the Grateful Dead
- January 1 - During a New Years Eve concert in Cleveland, Ohio, Bruce Springsteen is injured when a fire-cracker is thrown onstage from the audience
- January 4 - The Star club in Hamburg, Germany, best known for its connections to the early days of the Beatles, reopens.
- February 3 - Dead Man's Curve, a made-for-TV-movie about surf-rock singers Jan & Dean, airs on US television
- January 13 - Singer Danny Hathaway dies after falling 15 stories from his hotel room in New York City. According to Hathaway's record company, Atlantic, the singer had been having some psychological problems.
- January - MCA Records purchases ABC Records for a reported $20 million.
- February 7 - The Clash kick off their first concert on their first American tour at the Berkeley Community Theatre outside San Francisco, California. Bo Diddley opens the show and the Clash open their set with the song "I'm so bored with the U.S.A.".
- February 10 - Rod Stewart's "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" hits #1 on the Billboard magazine charts, and stays there for 4 weeks.
- February 11 - 43 million viewers watch "Elvis!" on ABC, a made for TV movie starring Kurt Russell as Elvis.
- February 23 - Dire Straits begins their first U.S. tour in Boston.
- Spring - The Pretenders sign a contract with Sire Records
- March 5 - MCA Records dissolves ABC Records.
- March 10 - James Brown performs at the Grand Ole Opry
- March 27 - Eric Clapton marries Patti Boyd, ex-wife of Clapton's friend George Harrison
- April 6 - Rod Stewart marries Alana Hamilton.
- April 7 - 110,000 people attend the California Music Festival at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum. Performers include Aerosmith, The Boomtown Rats, Cheap Trick, Ted Nugent and Van Halen.
- April 12 - Mickey Thomas replaces Marty Balin as the lead singer of Jefferson Starship
- April 13 - During a concert by Van Halen in Spokane, Washington, David Lee Roth collapses from exhaustion.
- May 1 - Elton John becomes the first pop music artist to perform in Israel.
- May 2 - The Who performs their first concert following the death of drummer Keith Moon. The band performed with new drummer Kenney Jones.
- May 5 - "Reunited" by Peaches and Herb hits #1 on the Billboard charts, and stays there for 4 weeks.
- June - Alternative Tentacles record label established by Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra
- July 14 - Donna Summer's "Bad Girls" hits #1 on the Billboard charts, and stays there for 5 weeks.
- August 25 - "My Sharona" by The Knack hits #1 on the Billboard charts. This is the first time in over a year that a song hits #1 that isn't either a disco song or a ballad. It remains at #1 for 8 weeks.
- September - U2 enters the studio for the first time to record a locally released single.
- December 3 - In Cincinnati, Ohio, a stampede for seats at Riverfront Coliseum during a Who concert kills eleven fans (band members were not made aware of the deaths until after the show).
- Diamond Head's career begins
- INXS' career begins
- Michael Schenker leaves U.F.O after the Obsession tour and his solo career began
- Marianne Faithfull returns to music after a hiatus
- Solid Gold premieres on television.
- Bad Brains forms
- Bad Religion forms in Los Angeles
- Fishbone forms
- Mötley Crüe forms
- Was (Not Was) forms
- Mr & Mrs No Smoking Sign forms in Sydney (later to become Severed Heads)
Published popular music
- "Don't Cry Out Loud" w. Carole Bayer Sager m. Peter Allen
- "I'd Rather Leave While I'm In Love" w.m. Carole Bayer Sager & Peter Allen
- Sultans of Swing w.m. Mark Knopfler
- Ain't Misbehavin' London production
- Evita Broadway production
- My Old Friends Broadway production
- Oklahoma Broadway revival
- Peter Pan Broadway revival
- Sarava Broadway production
- Sugar Babies Broadway production
- Sweeney Todd Broadway production
- They're Playing Our Song Broadway production
- Whoopee Broadway revival
Country Music Association Awards
Eurovision Song Contest