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Updated Aug. 22, 2021

April 1915

New music: "A Little Bit of Heaven (Shure, They Call It Ireland)" - George MacFarlane; "I Didn't Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier" - Peerless Quartet; "The Little House Upon the Hill" - James F. Harrison & James Reed; "Do You Take This Woman For Your Lawful Wife? (I Do, I Do)" - American Quartet
Herbert Entwistle
Courtesy: Chris Entwistle

On the 25th, John Entwistle's father, Herbert Entwistle, is born.

January 1916

New music releases: "M-O-T-H-E-R (A Word That Means the World To Me)" - Henry Burr; "Somewhere a Voice Is Calling" - John McCormack; "Is There Still Room For Me 'Neath the Old Apple Tree?" - Henry Burr & Albert Campbell; "Along the Rocky Road to Dublin" - American Quartet
Cliff Townshend 1954

On the 28th, Pete's father, Cliff Townshend is born.

November 1919

New music releases: "Mandy" - Van & Schenck; "Yearning" - Joseph C. Smith's Orchestra; "Slide, Kelly, Slide" - Wilber Sweatman's Original Jazz Band; "Carolina Sunshine" - Sterling Trio
Keith Moon's father

On the 30th. Keith Moon's father Alfred is born.

November 1920

New music releases: "Avalon" - Al Jolson; "Wang Wang Blues" - Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra; "Crazy Blues" - Mamie Smith & Her Jazz Hounds; "My Little Bimbo Down on Bimbo Isle" - Frank Crumit
Kit Moon
Photo: Hayley Madden

On the 4th, Kathleen Hopley, later to be known as Kit Moon and mother to Keith Moon, is born.

November 1922

New music releases: "Three O'Clock in the Morning" - Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra; "I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise" - Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra; "Georgette" - Ted Lewis & His Band; "Good Mornin' (It's Mighty Good to Be Home)" - Nora Bayes
John and Queenie Entwislte 1966

On the 22nd, Queenie Maud Lee, later Queenie Entwistle and mother to John, is born.

November 1923

New music Releases: "No, No, Nora" / "I've Got the Yes! We Have No Bananas Blues" - Eddie Cantor; "Last Night On the Back Porch" - Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra; "Just a Girl That Men Forget" - Henry Burr; "That Old Gang of Mine" - Benny Krueger & His Orchestra
Young Betty

On the 3rd, Betty Dennis, future mother of Pete, is born.

May 1935

New music releases: "In the Middle of a Kiss" - Hal Kemp & His Orchestra; "The Lady In Red" - Xavier Cugat & His Waldorf-Astoria Orchestra; "I'll Never Say Never Again Again" - Ozzie Nelson & His Orchestra; "Tell Me That You Love Me" - Freddy Martin & His Orchestra
Baby Kit

On the 11st, future Who manager Christopher "Kit" Lambert is born to British composer Constant Lambert and his wife Flo.

December 1941

New music releases: "A String of Pearls" - Glenn Miller & His Orchestra; "(There'll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover" - Kay Kyser & His Orchestra; "Rose O'Day (The Filla-Da-Gusha Song)" - Freddy Martin & His Orchestra; "The Bells of San Raquel" - Dick Jurgens & His Orchestra

John's parents, Herbert and Queenie Entwistle, begin their war-time marriage.

July 1942

New music releases: "(I've Got a Gal in) Kalamazoo" - Glenn Miller & His Orchestra; "My Devotion" - Vaughn Monroe & His Orchestra; "Jingle, Jangle, Jingle" / "He Wears a Pair of Silver Wings" - Kay Kyser & His Orchestra; "Strip Polka" - Johnny Mercer
Chris Stamp 12 Nov 1966
Photo: Chris Morphet

On the 7th, future Who manager and brother of actor Terence Stamp, Christopher Thomas Stamp is born.

March 1944

New music releases: "I'll Get By (As Long As I Have You)" - Harry James & His Orchestra; "Straighten Up and Fly Right" - The King Cole Trio; "It's Love-Love-Love" - Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians; "I Love You" / "I'll Be Seeing You" - Bing Crosby
London March 1944

On the 1st, Roger Harry Daltrey is born at Hammersmith Hospital in West London. His mother, in labor, walks to the hospital from the Shepherd's Bush underground train station during a World War II Nazi aerial bombardment.

June 1944

New music releases: "You Always Hurt the One You Love" / "Till Then" - The Mills Brothers; "I'll Walk Alone" - Dinah Shore; "I'll Walk Alone" - Martha Tilton; "Time Waits For No One" - Helen Forrest
Baby Roger Daltrey

Two-months old Roger and his mother are evacuated to a farm in Stranraer, Scotland. They remain there for the duration of the war. Roger later wonders whether his lack of height came from malnourishment during this period.

October 1944

New music releases: "I Wonder" - Cecil Grant; "I'm Making Believe" / "Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall" - The Ink Spots with Ella Fitzgerald; "I'm Lost" - The King Cole Trio; "Dance With a Dolly (With a Hole in Her Stocking)" - Russ Morgan & His Orchestra
Baby John Entwistle

On the 9th, John Alec Entwistle is born at Hammersmith Hospital in Acton.

May 1945

New music releases: "Bell Bottom Trousers" - Tony Pastor & His Orchestra; "You Belong To My Heart" - Bing Crosby; "I Wish" - The Mills Brothers; "Prisoner of Love" - The Ink Spots
Baby Pete

On the 19th, Pete Dennis Blanford Townshend is born ten days after V-E Day at the Central Middlesex Hospital Annexe in Chiswick, London to parents Cliff and Betty Townshend.

April 1946

New music releases: "R. M. Blues" - Roy Milton & His Solid Senders; "The Gypsy" - The Ink Spots; "The Gypsy" - Dinah Shore; "I Know" - Andy Kirk and His Clouds of Joy
Baby John Entwistle and Mom
Courtesy: Chris Entwistle

The parents of year-and-a-half old John Entwistle, Herbert and Queenie, separate, ending their four-year marriage. Queenie and John move to Chiswick, London.

August 1946

New music releases: "Choo Choo Ch'Boogie" - Louis Jordan and His Typmany Five; "To Each His Own" - The Ink Spots; "The Rickety Rickshaw Man" - Eddy Howard & His Orchestra; "South America, Take It Away" - Xavier Cugat & His Waldorf-Astoria Orchestra
Baby Keith Moon

On the 23rd, Keith John Moon is released on an unsuspecting world by Kathleen and Alfred Moon of 224 Tokyngton Avenue, Wembley.

September 1948

New music releases: "Buttons and Bows" - Dinah Shore; "It's Too Soon to Know" - The Orioles; "Sneakin' Around" - Rudy Render; "Cuanto la gusta" - The Andrews Sisters
Baby Kenney Jones

On the 16th, Kenney Jones is born in London.

November 1948

New music releases: "Chicken Shack Boogie" - Amos Milburn; "Bewildered" - The Red Miller Trio; "A Little Bird Told Me" - Evelyn Knight; "My Darling, My Darling" - Jo Stafford & Gordon MacRae
Baby Rabbit
Photo courtesy John Bundrick

On the 21st, Who keyboardist John "Rabbit" Bundrick is born in Baytown, Texas.

September 1949

New music releases: "I Can Dream, Can't I?" - The Andrews Sisters; "Saturday Night Fish Fry" - Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five; "Broken Hearted" - Eddie Williams and His Brown Buddies; "Numbers Boogie" - Sugar Chile Robinson
Child Pete Townshend

4-year old Pete attends Silverdale Nursery in Birch Grove, Acton.

September 1950

New music releases: "Thinking of You" - Don Cherry; "Harbor Lights" - Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians; "Harbor Lights" - Ken Griffin; "Nevertheless (I'm in Love With You)" - Paul Weston & His Orchestra

Betty Townshend sends 5-year old Pete to the private Beacon House School.

February 1951

New music releases: "Mockin' Bird Hill" - Patti Page; "I Apologize" - Billy Eckstine; "Would I Love You (Love You, Love You)" - Patti Page; "Beautiful Brown Eyes" - Rosemary Clooney
Eyesight To The Blind 78 label

Sonny Boy Williamson releases his first recording of his song "Eyesight To The Blind" on 78rpm. The Who will cover it eighteen years later for their album Tommy.

September 1951

New music releases: "Sin (It's No Sin)" - Eddy Howard & His Orchestra; "Fool, Fool, Fool" - The Clovers; "Undecided" - The Ames Brothers; "I'm in the Mood" - John Lee Hooker
St. Saviours exterior

Six-year old Pete, unhappy at his school in Acton, moves to St. Saviours in Westgate where his poor reading abilities put him at the bottom of the class.

It is around this time that Pete's parents go on tour and put Pete in the care of his grandmother, a woman Pete later discovered was "clinically insane". Pete believes he suffered abuse at her hands which he subsequently blacked out of his memory but which subsequently influenced his writing of Tommy and other works as well as his path in life.

June 1952

New music releases: "High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me)" - Frankie Laine; "Wish You Were Here" - Eddie Fisher; "Indian Love Call" - Slim Whitman

Pete's father Cliff Townshend begins a ten-year summer residency playing with The Squadronaires at The Palace Ballroom in Douglas, Isle of Man. This introduces a bit of stability to the Townshend marriage allowing them more time to raise young Pete without having to rely on relatives.

1946 film. Cliff is saxophonist to far right.

July 1952

New music releases: "You Belong to Me" - Jo Stafford; "Feet Up (Pat Him on the Po-Po)" - Guy Mitchell; "Jambalaya" - Jo Stafford; "Zing a Little Zong" - Bing Crosby & Jane Wyman
Grandmother Denny

Pete escapes the clutches of his crazy, abusive grandmother Denny as his mother brings him back to live full time at their home in Acton.

September 1952

New music releases: "Takes Two to Tango" - Louis Armstrong; "Faith Can Move Mountains" - Nat 'King' Cole; "Why Don't You Believe Me?" - Joni James
Young Pete

Pete starts school at Berrymede Junior School in Osborne Road, South Acton.

June 1953

New music releases: "Let's Walk That-A-Way" - Doris Day & Johnnie Ray; "Hot Toddy" - Ted Heath & His Music; "Seven Lonely Days" - Gisele MacKenzie; "Vaya Con Dios" - Les Paul & Mary Ford
British family watches Queen Elizabeth coronation

Pete's family purchases their first TV to watch the coronation of Queen Elizabeth.

July 1953

New music releases: "Look at That Girl" - Guy Mitchell; "Hey Joe" - Frankie Laine; "Eternally" - Jimmy Young; "Dragnet" - Ray Anthony & His Orchestra
8 year-old Pete Townshend

Eight-year old Pete is photographed with his dog. The photo appears in the Acton Gazette.

May 1955

New music releases: "Cool Water" - Frankie Laine with The Mellomen; "Ain't That a Shame" - Pat Boone; "I Wonder" - Dickie Valentine; "Hard to Get" - Gisele MacKenzie
1955 Cliff Townshend Ad

On the 8th, Cliff Townshend, Pete's father, receives a telegram from Norrie Parmor of Parlaphone Records offering him a solo record deal.

February 1956

New music releases: Carousel - Original Soundtrack; Belafonte - Harry Belafonte; "The Poor People of Paris" - Winifred Atwell; "Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom)" - Perry Como
Please Please Please 45 label

James Brown releases his first single "Please Please Please." It reaches #5 on the U.S. R&B charts and is later covered by The Who on their My Generation LP.

June 1956

New music releases: The King & I - Original Soundtrack; "Born to Be With You" - The Chordettes; "The Fool" - Sanford Clark; "Walk Hand in Hand" - Ronnie Carroll
Young Pete Townshend at beach

Eleven-year old Pete spends the summer on the Isle of Man where his dad is playing with The Squadronaires at the Palace Ballroom.

July 1956

New music releases: "Don't Be Cruel"/"Hound Dog" - Elvis Presley; "My Prayer" - The Platters; "Canadian Sunset" - Eddie Haywood and Hugo Winterhalter; "Honky Tonk" - Bill Doggett
Gaiety Theatre, Douglas

On the 28th, Cliff Townshend takes his son Pete to a showing of a movie featuring the rock 'n roll music of Bill Haley and His Comets at the Gaiety Theatre, Douglas. Pete remembers the movie as being Rock Around The Clock although, given the date, it is almost certainly Blackboard Jungle. In any case, swing band member Cliff declares the music "not bad" but young Pete finds the new style "amazing."

October 1956

New music releases: Elvis - Elvis Presley; s marvelous - Ray Conniff and His Orchestra; "Singing the Blues" - Guy Mitchell; "The Green Door" - Frankie Vaughan
Acton County Grammar 1998
Photo: Brian Cady

Pete and John enter Form 1 at Acton County Grammar. Within a few months they meet, become friends and start up the first of several after-school bands.

December 1956

New music releases: Hymns - Tennessee Ernie Ford; "Young Love" - Tab Hunter; "The Garden of Eden" - Frankie Vaughan; "Day O (The Banana Boat Song)" - Harry Belafonte
Pete Townshend first guitar

On Christmas Day, Pete's Grandmother Denny gives him a guitar. Pete later describes it as the sort of cheap guitar one would see decorating the wall of an Italian restaurant. Despite calling this his first guitar early in his career, he will reveal in 2007 that his mother had earlier given him a 1936 Radiotone guitar (left) that belonged to his Uncle Jack. He will give this guitar to Rachel Fuller (later Mrs. Townshend) to auction for charity and then provide its backstory in 2007.

February 1957

New music releases: "Little Darlin'" - The Diamonds; "Butterfly" - Andy Williams; "Gone" - Ferlin Husky; "Knee Deep in the Blues" - Guy Mitchell

On the 6th, Bill Haley and His Comets bring their rock 'n' roll sound to the Dominion in London for a four-night stand. Cliff Townshend accompanies his 11-year old son Pete to one of these shows.

March 1957

New music releases: "All Shook Up" - Elvis Presley; The Fabulous Fifties - Roger Williams; An Evening with Belafonte - Harry Belafonte; "Yes Tonight Josephine" - Johnnie Ray
Mose Allison Back Country Suite

On the 7th, Mose Allison records "Blues", a short number for his album Back Country Suite. Redubbed "Young Man Blues", it will become one of The Who's most powerful covers.

May 1957

New music releases: "That'll Be the Day" - The Crickets; Film Encores - Mantovani; "Gamblin' Man" - Lonnie Donegan; "Island in the Sun" - Harry Belafonte
Keith Moon mid 1950s class photo

Keith fails his 11-plus exam.

July 1957

New music releases: Loving You - Elvis Presley; "Diana" - Paul Anka; "Honeycomb" - Jimmie Rodgers; "Water Water" - Tommy Steele & The Steelmen

Around this time, Roger's mother discovers her son playing guitar to a crowd while they are on holiday.

December 1957

New music releases: "Catch a Falling Star" - Perry Como; Christmas Hymns and Carols - The Robert Shaw Chorale; "The Story of My Life" - Michael Holliday; "Stood Up" - Ricky Nelson
Paul Townshend 1970

On the 6th, Pete's first sibling Paul is born.

June 1958

New music releases: "Hard Headed Woman" - Elvis Presley; The Kingston Trio - The Kingston Trio; Sing Along with Mitch - Mitch Miller & The Gang; "Stupid Cupid" - Connie Francis
The Sulgrave Rebels

On the 27th, Roger, as "D. Altrey" appears in the Hammersmith & Shepherds Bush Gazette with his skiffle band The Sulgrave Rebels. They had just won a talent competition held at Wormholt Park School in Shepherd's Bush. It is their only performance although some members of the band will follow Roger into The Detours.

July 1958

New music releases: Tchaikovsky Concerto No. 1 - Van Cliburn; Swing Softly - Johnny Mathis; "It's All in the Game" - Tommy Edwards; "It's Only Make Believe" - Conway Twitty
Eddie Cochran Summertime Blues 45

On the 21st, Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues" is released. It will peak at #8 on the U.S. charts and #18 on the British charts and become a staple in The Who's live act from at least 1967.

December 1958

New music releases: The Star Carol - Tennessee Ernie Ford; Flower Drum Song - Original Cast; "Petite Fleur" - Chris Barber's Jazz Band; "Donna" - Ritchie Valens
The Confederates 1958
Pete with banjo, John with back to camera

On the 6th, John and Pete's trad jazz band The Confederates (so named because the official school band was called The Union) have their first paying gig at the Congo Club at the Congregational Church in Acton. The audience is about ten people.

12-year old Keith Moon

Form Master Parkinson describes the 12-year old Keith Moon on his report card: "His behavior is rather young for his age. His air of perky spriteliness, while refreshing for a time, is, I feel, largely put on for effect. It is time he adopted a different line."

March 1959

New music releases: "(Now and Then There's) A Fool Such As I" - Elvis Presley; Still More! Sing Along with Mitch - Mitch Miller & The Gang; "Quiet Village" - Martin Denny; "A Teenager in Love" - Dion and the Belmonts
Teen Roger Daltrey

Around this time, Acton County Grammar School officials write to the parents of Roger suggesting they take the fifteen year-old out of school because he refuses to wear his school uniform. Roger leaves, ultimately gets a day job as a sheet-metal worker, and spends his nights putting a band together he calls The Detours.

December 1959

New music releases: Time Out - The Dave Brubeck Quartet; Christmas with Conniff - The Ray Conniff Singers; Persuasive Percussion - Enoch Light and His Orchestra; Faithfully - Johnny Mathis
Keith Moon report card

On Keith's end-of-term report card, one teacher warns he has "great ability but must guard against tendency to show off."

June 1960

New music releases: Sentimental Sing Along with Mitch - Mitch Miller & His Gang; "Please Don't Leave" - Cliff Richard; "The Twist" - Chubby Checker; "Shakin' All Over" - Johnny Kidd & The Pirates
Shakin All Over JK

On the 16th, Johnny Kidd and The Pirates, probably the first British group to eliminate the rhythm guitarist and perform with just a guitarist, bassist, drummer and singer, hit the U.K. charts with "Shakin' All Over" which goes to #1. The Detours will later open for them, be influenced by their lineup and as The Who, record "Shakin' All Over" for Live At Leeds.

October 1960

New music releases: G.I. Blues - Elvis Presley; The Ray Conniff Hi-Fi Companion - Ray Conniff and His Orchestra and Chorus; Joan Baez - Joan Baez; Memories Sing Along with Mitch - Mitch Miller & The Gang
Simon Townshend in 1970

On the 10th, 15-year old Pete gets another baby brother. Simon Townshend will go on to be a recording artist in his own right and will join The Who as additional guitarist and vocalist from 1996 to the present day.

March 1961

New music releases: My Favorite Things - John Coltrane; "Running Scared" - Roy Orbison; "You're Driving Me Crazy" - The Temperance Seven; "Daddy's Home" - Shep and the Limelites

Fourteen-year old Keith Moon decides he has had enough of school before school decides it has had enough of Keith Moon.

April 1961

New music releases: "Stand By Me" - Ben E. King; "Travelin' Man" - Ricky Nelson; "Tossin' and Turnin'" - Bobby Lewis; "Raindrops" - Dee Clark
Kit Lambert in Brazil 1961

Future Who manager Kit Lambert joins his friend Richard Mason to film Mason's expedition searching for the source of the Iriri River in Brazil. Mason will be killed by members of the Pánara tribe and Kit will barely escape with his life.

May 1961

New music releases: "I Feel So Bad" - Elvis Presley; "Well I Ask You" - Eden Kane; "Wooden Heart" - Joe Dowell; "Temptation" - The Everly Brothers

On the 4th, John receives his first musical review in the Acton Post and Gazette for his performance at the annual music festival for Acton Secondary Schools' choirs and musical ensembles. "John Entwistle was the only soloist of the evening. He played the finale from the Horn Concerto No. 4, by Mozart. It's a popular horn solo which calls for nimble fingering. John could have given it a little more volume without any injustice to Mozart."

James Brown I Don't Mind single

On the 15th, James Brown and The Famous Flames release the original version of "I Don't Mind." The Who later record it for the My Generation LP.

The Regents Barbara Ann picture sleeve

On the same date The Regents' "Barbara Ann," originally recorded in 1958, hits the U.S. charts where it peaks at #13. The Who will record it for the Ready Steady Who EP and The Kids Are Alright movie.

Acton County Grammar in 1961

Around this month, Pete and John finish their time at Acton County Grammar School. Pete heads on to art school while John's mom gets him a job working for Inland Revenue. He will keep this day job for more than three years.

August 1961

New music releases: "(Marie's the Name) His Latest Flame" - Elvis Presley; "Please Mr. Postman" - The Marvelettes; Jump Up Calypso - Harry Belafonte; Halfway to Paradise - Billy Fury

On the 23rd, the avant-garde artist Gustav Metzger releases his third Auto-Destructive Art manifesto "Auto-Destructive Art Machine Art Auto Creative Art": "The immediate objective is the creation, with the aid of computers, of works of art whose movements are programmed and include 'self-regulation'. The spectator, by means of electronic devices can have a direct bearing on the action of these works." Metzger will soon lecture at Pete's art college and his ideas will become a major influence on Pete's, and by extension The Who's, future artistic path.

September 1961

New music releases: The Highwaymen - The Highwaymen; "Big Bad John" - Jimmy Dean; Breakfast at Tiffany's - Henry Mancini; Joan Baez, Vol. 2 - Joan Baez
Ealing Art College 1954

Pete starts a 2-year introductory course at Ealing Technical College and School of Art. Around this time, John runs into Roger who recruits him as bass player in his group The Detours. Meanwhile, Keith takes night classes in electronics at Harrow Technical College. Their future manager Kit Lambert returns to England after the disastrous Brazilian expedition that led to his friend's death.

James Brown Just You and Me Darling

On the 16th, James Brown's single "Just You and Me Darling," later covered by The Who, hits the Billboard charts.

November 1961

New music releases: "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" - The Tokens; "Let Me In" - The Sensations; "The Wanderer" - Dion; "Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen" - Neil Sedaka
Teen Keith Moon

On the 5th, Guy Fawkes Night, Keith and Gerry Evens of The Escorts go to a bonfire party on an old dump behind Evans' house in Queensbury. "Of course, he was the guy who ran through the bonfire," recalled Gerry, "and he was the guy who let off all the bangers behind the girls. And the next week, all my neighbours said, 'Who's that little bloke? He's a complete nutcase, did you see what he did?'"

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