The B-52's are a rock band formed in Athens, Georgia in 1976. They are known for incorporating new wave, postpunk, surf music, bouffant hairstyles, and thrift store chic into their style and sound.The original members consisted of Fred Schneider (vocals, percussion, keyboards), Kate Pierson (organ, bass, vocals), Cindy Wilson (vocals, bongos, tambourine, guitar), Ricky Wilson (guitars), and Keith Strickland (drums, guitars, synthesizers, various instruments). After Ricky Wilson's death in 1985, Keith Strickland switched to playing guitar full-time. The band played their first concert in 1977 at a Valentine's Day party.
The band gained early success with their first single, "Rock Lobster," and their self-titled debut album was released in 1979. The band released a string of popular albums in the 1980's, culminating with their mainstream breakthrough Cosmic Thing in 1989, featuring the hits "Love Shack," "Roam," and "Dead Beat Club." The B-52's still record and tour occasionally.
Related materials in other repositories: Mats Sexton B-52's memorabilia collection, Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library.