7 Epic Moments of Miami Music History

June 26, 2018admin

Miami’s history might not be as long as other U.S. cities, but we guarantee you it’s just as vibrant. From prehistoric native artifacts to waves of immigrants calling the South Florida hotspot home–what else would you’d expect from such a melting pot? There are many historical moments that define Miami, whether it’s Elian Gonzalez, our first World Series Win, or the birth of Pitbull. But it’s those happenings in music that really blow us away. Here are some of the most epic moments:

The Beatles in Miami Beach

1964 marked a pivotal moment that would change the world forever: The Beatles’ first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. A few days later, they came down to Miami Beach to record a second taping of the show at the Deauville Hotel. They turned the show into a mini layover, spending a few days splashing, meeting Cassius Clay, and of course, laughing.

Photo from M Morrison Gallery

A Massive Conga Line in Honor of Gloria Estefan

Fewer artists defined Miami’s musical identity as Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine. In 1988, Miami’s daughter and her subsequent band released the hit “Conga” that would teach the world how to shake their hips in unison. As a celebration, a huge conga line formed on Calle Ocho, featuring nearly 119,000 people. Pretty Miami, if you’d as us.

Aretha Franklin at 15 Years Old

If ever a more powerful singer in gospel history, Aretha Franklin marked a conscious change in music with her presence. Amassing an epically extensive collection of soulful hits, the songstress is still kicking today. But we’re looking back at a lesser known moment of Miami music history: her first concert here at the ripe age of 15. It happened at Northwestern High School for $1.25 per ticket.

via Miami Times paper


Miami Pop Festival

American music will forever be pedastaled during the 1960s where folk, rock, and Americana ruled the land. In 1968, South Florida played host to two of the most historic moments of rock music history: Miami Pop Festival. With a lineup that would take anyone’s breathe away. The May and December shows featured names like: Frank Zappa, John Lee Hooker, Chuck Berry, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Grateful Dead, Joni Mitchell, Marvin Gaye, and a pre-Stevie Nicks Fleetwood Mac.

Nirvana in Miami

In 1993, Miami would be graced with the only Nirvana experience we would have. Their music might be overshadowed by the untimely death of frontman, Kurt Cobain, but their legend still remains. And the Bayfront Park show was nothing short of epic. There was a set-long mosh pit, plenty of herb, and an unforgettable performance of the hit “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

Marian Anderson’s Integrated Concert

The operatic contralto, Marian Anderson was once considered “America’s Greatest Singer” but it was her powerful fight in activisim that truly defined who she was. In 1939, she performed at the Washington Monument for 75,000 people and millions on the radio. Almost 15 years later, she graced Miami with a concert but refused to perform until it was desegregated. The concert went on, with every onlooker as equal as the rest.

Phoo by Miami History Archives


Jim Morrison’s Badass Indecency

Well, it might not be badass but it definitely is epic. In 1969 (of all years), The Doors made their way down to the Dinner Key Auditorium in Coconut Grove for what would be a life-changing concert for both the band and anyone in attendance. Legend has it, Jim Morrison pulled out his thing and was subsequently arrested for lascivious behavior in public, indecent behavior, open profanity, and public drunkenness.