Cover Story: Athens music timeline (1977-2002)

February: The B-52's first show, at a Valentine's Day party in Athens; they're an instant sensation.

December: The B-52's first New York gig at Max's Kansas City; despite only 17 paid admissions, the club invites them back.

February: Danny Beard, co-owner of Atlanta's Wax 'n' Facts, releases the B-52's first single, "Rock Lobster," on his new DB Recs.

June: Sire Records offers the B-52's a contract; they decline in hopes of a better deal.

March: Pylon's first show, opening for the Tone-Tones.

June: The Tone-Tones become the first Athens new-wave group to disband; their final gig is the first live show at Tyrone's, a new club catering to the growing band scene.

April: The B-52's sign with Warner Bros. and move to New York.

July: The B-52's' self-titled debut album released.

October: The Method Actors (a duo of former Tone-Tones) plays first show, opening for Pylon.

December: Pylon's first single, "Cool" b/w "Dub," on DB Recs.

January: The B-52's perform on Saturday Night Live.

April: New local bands the Side Effects and Twisted Kites debut at a party in an old church; a week later, Twisted Kites are renamed R.E.M.

May: Pylon's Curtis Crowe and friend Paul Scales open live venue the 40 Watt Club.

September: Georgia's new 21-and-up drinking age goes into effect, sending attendance to live bands plummeting.

December: R.E.M. opens for the Police at Atlanta's Fox Theatre.

July: Hib-Tone Records releases R.E.M.'s first single, "Radio Free Europe."

January: Tyrone's burns down in a fire.

February: DB Recs releases Love Tractor's debut album.

January: People magazine runs a story on the Athens music scene.

April: I.R.S. Records releases R.E.M.'s debut album, Murmur.

June: Nebraska native Matthew Sweet arrives, briefly joins Oh-OK, then forms Buzz of Delight; he soon gets a major-label deal and skips town for solo glory.

December: Pylon disbands.

October: B-52's guitarist Ricky Wilson dies from AIDS-related causes. Drummer Keith Strickland switches to guitar (the band uses session drummers ever afterward).

January: A California film company arrives to shoot a feature documentary about the scene, Athens, Georgia — Inside/Out.

August: R.E.M. releases Document, featuring the band's first Top 10 single, "The One I Love."

February: Landslide Records releases Space Wrangler, the debut by Widespread Panic, a group whose origins go back to 1982.

December: Pylon re-unites.

June: The B-52's release Cosmic Thing, which includes the No. 1 hit "Love Shack."

March: I.R.S. releases R.E.M.'s Out of Time, featuring the hit "Losing My Religion."

June: New label Elephant Six Recording Company appears; subsequent releases include acclaimed discs by Olivia Tremor Control and Neutral Milk Hotel.

May: The B-52's appear in The Flintstones movie billed as the BC-52's.

September: Capricorn Records releases Nine High a Pallet, a collaboration between quirky singer/songwriter Vic Chesnutt and newly ascendant jam band Widespread Panic.

June: The Drive-By Truckers form.

August: Vic Chesnutt honored with an all-star tribute album, Sweet Relief II: Gravity of the Situation, featuring his songs performed by R.E.M., Madonna, Indigo Girls, Garbage, Smashing Pumpkins and others.

February: Relocating to Athens, a Florida trio forms the ensemble that becomes Macha.

April: After stints in Sugar and Mercyland, musician/producer David Barbe opens his own studio, Chase Park Transduction.

October: Drummer Bill Berry announces his retirement from R.E.M.

March: The Drive-By Truckers first perform their song cycle, Betamax Guillotine, released in September 2001 as the double CD, Southern Rock Opera.

August: Capricorn follows up its release of Jucifer's national debut in January with another Athens band, the Glands, whose self-titled album earns national acclaim.

September: Kindercore Records celebrates its 50th release.

September: I Am the World Trade Center rethinks its distinctive moniker after Sept. 11, eventually deciding to keep its name intact.

October: Redneck rapper Bubba Sparxxx reaps instant national success with his debut, Dark Days, Bright Nights.

February: The B-52's celebrate 25 years of dancing this mess around.??