The English rock band The Rolling Stones were formed in April 1962 in London by Brian Jones, harmonica player and guitarist, Ian Stewart, pianist, Mick Jagger, vocalist and Keith Richards, guitarist. The early lineup was completed by drummer Charlie Watts and bassist Bill Wyman. The early material of The Rolling Stones was dominated by R&B cover songs. The Stones are credited for increasing the international recognition for Chess Records blues artists like Muddy Waters, author of “Rolling Song,” the band’s namesake. The Rolling Stones, not concerned with becoming authentic blues musicians, are a rock and roll band and have recorded and written in many different musical genres.
The band was initially led by Jones. However the band was taken over by Richards and Jagger after the two teamed up as the songwriters for the group. Jones left The Rolling Stones and was replaced with Mick Taylor. In 1974 Taylor left and Ronnie Wood replaced him. In 1990 Wyman left the band and was replaced by Darryl Jones. In 1963 Steward was removed from the band’s official lineup but continued as the road manager of the band and occasional keyboardist through 1985 when he died. The band’s primary keyboardist is Chuck Leavell.
The Rolling Stones first became popular in Europe, then during the mid-1960s became highly successful as well in North America as part of the British Invasion. The Rolling Stones have released 24 studio albums in the US, nine concert albums and numerous compilations. The band has sold over 200 million worldwide albums. The band’s 1971 set “Sticky Fingers” started their string of eight studio albums in a row to reach No. 1 in the U.S. “A Bigger Bang,” the band’s most recent album with all new material, was released in 2005. The band became members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. In 2004 The Rolling Stones were ranked 4th “!00 Greatest Artists of All Time” by Rolling Stone magazine.