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1941 1945 1952 1956 1957 1960 1963 1964 1965 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1980 1981 1984 1985 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1998 1999 2000 2001


1941 - (June 15) Harry Edward Nilsson III is born to Betty and Harry Nilsson in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn, New York - "a crummy place to grow up if you're blonde and white."


1945 - (circa) Harry's father "walks right out the door."


1952 - The Nilsson's (Harry, his half-sister, and his mother) move to San Bernadino, California to live with Betty Nilsson's brother and his wife - Harry's Uncle John and Aunt Anna. A month later they moved to a trailer in Colton, California.


1956 - (late) The Nilsson's move back east to Long Island and move in with Betty's sister (Harry's Aunt Cissy) and her husband Fred.


1957 - Harry stays in New York to finish the school year as his mother and sister move to Los Angeles. Harry is popular in school and shows some talent playing basketball and baseball.

1957 - (June) After the school year ends, Harry hitchhikes to Los Angeles to join his sister and mother. In LA, Harry takes a job at the Paramount Theater - "They used to have live stage shows with all the rock 'n' roll bands, and they had a piano in the basement. So these guys passing through, the Sparrows or something, would show me some chords."


1960 - (circa) Back in California Harry begins work in the computer department of a Los Angeles bank. "When we closed the Paramount, the cashiers who worked for me were all getting jobs at a bank, and I said, 'Hell, if I'm their boss, I know how to count money, I can reconcile the balance. I'll apply.' So I lied on my application and told them I graduated high school. Got a job at the bank. I took some tests, and I came out very high in the computer area. They were just starting computers. They said, 'Do you have any interest in computers?' I said, 'This is a dream come true. You bet!' So I got the job, kept the job. They found out I didn't graduate from high school and they called me in to fire me. I said, 'Look, I've done a good job. You know I have. I haven't been late,' and all that stuff. I cried tears and I said, 'Look , I had to do it, otherwise I wouldn't be able to get a job.' They really liked me, so they went out on a limb. They said, 'Okay, you're on probation for six months.' So I said, 'All right,' and I worked really hard for the six months, and they just kept me on and eventually I was in charge of the place when I left."

1960 - (fall) Harry records demos for Scott Turner. He is paid $5 for each song. Years later, Turner decides to release the songs to take advantage of Harry's success. He calls Harry to work out the royalty arrangements. "You already paid me," Harry replies, "Five dollars a song. That was our deal."


1963 - Harry is signed by Mercury Records. His contract lasts about one year.


1964 - (circa) Harry supplements his bank income (he keeps working at the bank until 1968!) and songwriting royalties by singing commercial jingles (for Ban® Deodorant, Red Roof Inns®, and others).

1964 - (fall) Tower records picks up Harry's contract.

1964 - (fall) Harry joins with Phil Spector to compose "Here I Sit" and "Paradise" which are recorded by the Ronettes, and "This Could Be The Night" which is recorded by the Modern Folk Quartet.


1966 - (circa) Harry is signed to RCA.


1967 - (February) Harry's first recording session at RCA.

1967 - (February 6) "Everybody's Talking", a TV Game Show, debuts on ABC.

1967 - (February 17) Nilsson records "Without Her."

1967 - (April) The Monkees record Harry's "Cuddly Toy."

1967 - (June 10) Nilsson records "One."

1967 - (June 12) Nilsson records "1941."

1967 - (June 14) Nilsson records "As I Wander Lonely."

1967 - (June 14) Nilsson records "Ten Little Indians."

1967 - (June 15) Nilsson records "You Can't Do That."

1967 - (September 20) Nilsson records "Miss Butter's Lament."

1967 - (October) The Monkees release "Cuddly Toy" on their Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. album..

1967 - (November) Pandemonium Shadow Show is released. The title comes from Ray Bradbury's novel, Something Wicked This Way Comes.

1967 - (November 8) Nilsson records Fred Neil's "Everybody's Talkin'."

1967 - (November 11) Nilsson records "Mr. Richland's Favorite Song."

1967 - (December 1) Harry records "Don't Leave Me".


1968 - "It was the best of times! In those seemingly smogless LA crazy days of summer 1968, nothing could go wrong for yours truly. Songs I penned months or even years before were being played over the city's piped Muzak® systems; Herb Alpert and the Monkees were cutting more; and now I had an offer from RCA - home of Elvis! Friends held their 'don't forget me when you make it breath...' There were lots of friends and lots of good talk at dinner about how well my career was going, how proud my mother was and my sister, and even, in unguarded moments, myself. Things looked bright.. Bright enough, finally, for me to leave the bankly womb of my 'lucky-to-get' computer center job with Security National Bank in the valley (San Fernando, not Silicon) and prepare for the fame and fortune awaiting me just around the nearest corner. Little did I know there was even more in store for me..."

-- Harry Nilsson, 1984

1968 - (May 13) At the press conference announcing the formation of Apple, The Beatles name Harry Nilsson as both their favorite American artist and as their favorite American group. Derek Taylor, The Beatles's press officer, had introduced them to Harry's music.

(September) Aerial Ballet is released.


1969 - (January 5) The bizarre film Skidoo is released. Harry wrote the entire score, appears in a cameo, and sings the final credits.

1969 - (February 5) "Blackberry Way" by The Move hits #1 in the U.K. pop chart. The song's bridge is borrowed (as a tribute to Harry) from Harry's "Good Old Desk".

1969 - (March) Three Dog Night's cover of One (from the Aerial Ballet album) hits #5 on the charts.

(July) The Turtles' recording of Harry's "The Story Of Rock And Roll" (with Harry on piano) hits #48 in the US.

1969 - (August) "Everybody's Talkin'" is released as a single to coincide with release of the soundtrack of Midnight Cowboy. It wins Harry his first Grammy® award.

1969 - The album eponomously named Harry becomes the first of Nilsson's albums to chart. It hits #120 on the Billboard album chart.


1970 - (February) Nilsson Sings Newman is released.


1971 - (early) The Point airs on ABC. It is narrated by Dustin Hoffman. The success of the animated TV special propels the soundtrack album to #25 on the charts.

1971 - (January 17) Zak Nilsson, Harry's first son, is born to Harry and his wife, Diane.

1971 - (June) Aerial Pandemonium Ballet, a collection of remixed tracks from Pandemonium Shadow Show and Aerial Ballet, is released.

1971 - (June) Nilsson begins recording the Nilsson Schmilsson album at Trident Studios in London. He chooses Richard Perry to produce the album. Harry hears and chooses to record Badfinger's song "Without You." "Without You" ends up topping the charts in both the US and UK and earns Harry his second Grammy® award. The album spends nearly a year on the charts, reaching #3.


1972 - Nilsson releases "Per Chi" and "Si No Estas Tu" - "Without You" in Italian and Spanish.

1972 - "Coconut" becomes Harry's the first top ten single which he both wrote and sang.

1972 - (March 3) Harry receives a gold record for Nilsson Schmilsson, the best selling album of his career.

1972 - (July) Son of Schmilsson is released while Nilsson Schmilsson is still on the top 200 chart.

1972 - (August 26) "Coconut" peaks at #8 on the pop singles chart.


1973 - (February 12) Harry appears on the cover of Time Magazine.

1973 - (March) A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night - a collection of standards - is recorded.

1973 - (summer) A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night is released.


1974 - (early) Harry begins "hanging out" with John Lennon during John's "lost weekend" in LA.

1974 - (February 8) Ringo Starr releases "You're Sixteen" which features Harry's backing vocals. Harry changed the line "you stepped out of my dreams and into my arms" to "you stepped out of my dreams and into my car".

(March 12) Harry and John Lennon are thrown out of the Troubadour club after they heckle the Smothers Brothers.

1974 - (summer) Son of Dracula starring Ringo Starr and Harry is released to theaters and seldom seen afterward.

1974 - (July 29) Mama Cass (Cass Elliot) dies of a heart attack in Harry's London apartment.

1974 - (August) Pussy Cats, produced by John Lennon, is released. RCA rejected the title originally suggested by John and Harry - Strange Pussies.


1975 - Duit on Mon Dei is released. Once again RCA rejects Harry's first choice for the album title - God's Greatest Hits.

1975 - (November) Harry's father, Harry Edward Nilsson, dies.


1976 - ...That's the Way It Is is released. Finally Harry wins an argument with RCA about an album title. At first he was told that he couldn't duplicate the title of an Elvis Presley release.

1976 - Sandman is released.


1977 - Knnillssonn is released. Harry considers Knnillssonn to be his best album.

1977 - (November 30) David Bowie appears on Bing Crosby's 42nd annual Christmas Special. He mentions Harry in the introduction of a duet with Bing on ``Little Drummer Boy.'' The show had been taped earlier prior to Crosby's death the previous month.


1978 - Nilsson feels that RCA did not do enough to promote Knnillssonn so he demands release from his contract.


1980 - Flash Harry is released by Mercury Records (but not in the US).

1980 - (December 8) John Lennon is murdered outside his home in New York City. Harry begins to devote his energy to campaigning for handgun controls. "I get nervous when they start shooting piano players."


1981 - (April 27) Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney, George Harrison and Harry were on hand for Ringo Starr's marriage to actress Barbara Bach at London's Marylebone Registry Office, the same place where the McCartneys tied the knot in 1969.


1984 - (October 9) Harry joins Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon, Walter Cronkite, Roberta Flack and others for "Every Man Has a Woman Who Loves Him: A Live Birthday Party for John and Sean Lennon" hosted by Scott Muni on radio station WNEW in New York.


1985 - (October 23) Hawkeye Entertainment is incorporated in Colorado. "Messrs. Nilsson and Southern" assign all rights to The Telephone's screenplay to Hawkeye Entertainment.


1989 - Harry writes and records the title song for Camp Candy, an animated Saturday morning TV series featuring John Candy.


1990 - (July 6) Harry is arrested for drunken driving by the California Highway Patrol in Beverly Hills. His blood-alcohol level was tested twice and registered .24 and .23, well above the .08 legal intoxication limit for motorists. He was charged with two counts of drunk driving and one count of driving without the proper insurance, all misdemeanors.


1991 - Harry's "How About You" is featured in the soundtrack of The Fisher King.

1991 - Harry contributes "Blanket For A Sail" to the album For Our Children which benefits the Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

1991 - (circa) Harry is diagnosed with diabetes.

1991 - Harry discovers that his business manager, Cindy Sims, has been embezzling Harry's money. Harry thought he was worth $5 million only to find himself almost penniless.


1992 - Cindy Sims begins serving a two-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to three counts of grand theft.

1992 - (September) Harry sells the Bel-Air home he built in 1976. The five-bedroom, seven-bath home - with canyon and ocean views - was originally listed at more than $5 million. It sold, according to public records, for about $2.5 million. Harry and his family had earlier moved to a seven-bedroom home in Hidden Hills. The Hidden Hills home was once owned by bandleader Harry James and his actress wife Betty Grable.

1992 - (October 9 - John Lennon's birthday), Harry joins Ringo Starr and his "All-Starr Band" on stage at Ceasar's Palace in Las Vegas. Harry and the band (which includes Ringo, Joe Walsh, Timothy B. Schmit, Dave Edmunds, Todd Rundgren, Nils Lofgren, Burton Cummings, Tim Capello, and Zak Starkey), perform "Without You."

"Well Harry actually got up with us in Vegas on the last tour and that was great because he was my best pal. He was just actually getting in the mood for going live. He was talking about it more and more and of course (pause) he didnít quite make it." -- Ringo Starr


1993 - (Valentine's Day - February 14) Harry suffers a massive heart attack.

1993 - After recovering from a massive heart attack, Harry records a new album.


1994 - (January 7) Harry gives his last interview.

1994 - (January 15) Harry dies at his home in Agoura Hills near Los Angeles.

1994 - (spring) The Personal Best - The Harry Nilsson Anthology collection is released.

1994 - (May) An article by Dawn Eden featuring Harry's last interview is published in Goldmine magazine. See: One Last Touch of Nilsson.

1994 - (June) Cindy Sims is paroled.


1995 - (May) The For The Love of Harry: Everybody Sings Nilsson album is released. It features many popular stars performing Harry's songs.

1995 - (May) Todd Rundgren's radio show, The Difference features an interview with Al Kooper who discusses the For The Love of Harry: Everybody Sings Nilsson album. Harry's version of "One" is played as is Randy Newman's performance of "Remember (Christmas)".


1998 - (March 10) The Point is re-issued on CD in the US by DCC.

1998 - (June 12-14) The first Harryfest is held in Glendale, California.

1998 - (June 13) A tribute concert featuring the music of Harry Nilsson is held at the Roxy in Los Angeles.


1999-(July 16) The second Harryfest is held in Cincinnati, Ohio.


2000-(July 7) Harryfest 2000 is held in Los Angeles California.


2001-(May 4) Harryfest 2001 is held in London, England.