Rhythm and Blues Music

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Rhythm and blues music or R&B music originated in African-American communities in the United States in the 1940s. It was then described by record labels as urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a heavy, insistent beat encapsulating the African-American experience of pain, freedom, and joy.

Early rhythm and blues artists came from jazz and blues in the 1930s such as the Harlem Hamfats, Cab Calloway, and T-Bone Walker. There was increasing use of electric guitar as a lead instrument as well as piano and saxophone. Louis Jordan dominated the R&B charts during the 1940s. Jordan’s band used saxophone, trumpet, tenor saxophone, piano, bass and drums. The late 1940s and 1950s saw many rising rhythm and blues artists like Roy Brown, Billy Wright, Wynonie Harris, and Paul Gayten. In the late 1950s, Al HibblerFrankie Lymon, and Carl Perkins became very popular with R&B music fans. From the 1950s through the 1970s, rhythm and blues music acts were usually played with piano, guitars, bass, drums, saxophones, and sometimes background vocalists.

Rhythm and blues music had developed from mainly blues records from the early 1950s through the mid-1950s into electric blues, gospel and soul. It had contributed to the development of rock and roll. In the 1960s, the Rolling Stones were referred to and promoted as R&B bands. By the late 1970s, R&B music was described as soul and funk.

In the late 1980s, contemporary R&B as a new R&B style combined rhythm and blues music with pop, soul, funk, disco, hip hop, and electronic. Contemporary R&B artists such as Usher, Toni Braxton, R. KellyJanet JacksonTLCAaliyahDestiny’s ChildTevin Campbell, and Mary J. Blige. In 2004, 80% of the top R&B charts songs also topped the Hot 100. This period saw the all-time peak for R&B and hip hop music. In the 2010s, some hip hop rappers like Drake have incorporated traditional R&B with rap. It has gained in popularity.

You can find a list of rhythm and blues artists on Wikipedia.

Source: Wikipedia

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