The Rolling Stones

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The Rolling Stones have endured for more than fifty years on the rock and roll scene are ore often considered the greatest rock and roll band of all time. The Rolling Stones, despite any artistic differences and sometimes-lengthy layoffs, are the only rock and roll band to last half of a century, paralleling the iconic and anthemic music they have been producing since 1962. Who knew that in 1962, 19-year-olds Mick Jagger and Keith Richards would team up, along with 20-year-old Brian Jones, to create the "World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band" in history.

The trio enlisted a few local musicians to fill out the lineup for their first gig, as the replacement band for British blues great Alexis Korner, at the Marquee Club, performing Chicago and southern blues along with Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley-esque rock and roll under the name The Rollin' Stones. Founding member Keith Richards stated later "The Rolling Stones was Brian's baby", assuming that the collaboration was the brainchild of guitarist Brian Jones. Over the next few months, The Rolling Stones' lineup evolved with new member joining until the band consisted of Mick Jagger on vocals, Keith Richards and Brian Jones on guitars, Ian Stewart on piano and organ, Bill Wyman in bass and Charlie Watts on drums. The Stones produced two Number 1 hits in the United Kingdom, including their first "I Wanna Be Your Man" penned by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, but struggled in both England and the United States to build a following until 1965. Their first international Number 1 hits came in 1965 with "I Can't Get No Satisfaction" from their fifth album "Out of Our Heads" written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, in stark contrast to their previous hits that were primarily covers. From 1965 to 1969, The Stones released four more albums with Brian Jones on guitar until musical differences caused him to leave the band that he had created. Jones was found dead in a swimming pool (July 3, 1969) less than a month later after leaving the band.

The Rolling Stones continued touring, with Mick Taylor as Jones' replacement, and recording for years to come. Jagger and Richards grew as a creative songwriting duo, and fans took notice of their collaborations such as "Get Off My Cloud", "Paint It, Black", "Ruby Tuesday", "Honky Tonk Woman", "Brown Sugar", "Angie" and "Miss You", all Number 1 hits on the Billboard charts, and many other chartbusting hits. In 1971, The Stones released the critically acclaimed "Sticky Fingers" beginning a string of eight consecutive albums to reach Number 1 in the United States. The last from this stretch, "Tattoo You" contained the iconic "Start Me Up" hits that reached number two. Throughout their fifty-year history, band member have come and gone, but Jagger and Richards, and Charlie Watts have remained constant. In 1975, as Mick Taylor departed, Ronnie Wood, former guitarist for the Birds, the Small Faces and the Faces, joined the band permanently and is still considered "the new guy" by many fans who feel allegiance to the original lineups. In 1993, Bill Wyman retired from the band to which they have used replacement bassists since without permanently filling his slot. But, as the members approach 70 years old, a permanent replacement is not likely.

The Rolling Stones have produced 22 studio albums in the United Kingdom - 24 in the United States – eleven live albums as wells many compilations and solo projects individually. They lineup today consists of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood. These Bad Boys of Rock and Roll, though not recording nearly as they had previously, remain one of the hottest tickets in town. Rumors of a possible Rolling Stones tour seem to emerge each year. In 2008, Billboard ranked the Stones at #10 of the "Top Artists of All Time" and second behind only The Beatles as the most successful group on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The Rolling Stones were also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. With so many variations in lineups of The Rolling Stones, signed memorabilia is in high demand, especially items signed with the original lineup of Jones, Jagger, Richards, Watts and Wyman. Relics from the band's illustrious career have demanded tens of thousands of dollars and are true artifacts of rock and roll history.