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History of Pop Music. Rhythm & Blues. Origins. Rhythm and Blues was the description given to music that was primarily marketed to African-Americans during the 1940s . R & B is a term that has been used to describe different types of music over the years. 1940s & 1950s: Blues

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Rhythm & Blues

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  • Rhythm and Blues was the description given to music that was primarily marketed to African-Americans during the 1940s.
  • R & B is a term that has been used to describe different types of music over the years.
    • 1940s & 1950s: Blues
    • 1960s: Motown & Soul
    • 1970s: Soul & Funk
    • 1980s-Present: Soul & hip hop
  • R & B used to be called “race” music until 1948 at which point it was deemed offensive and changed.
  • Early R & B sounded very similar to early rock n’ roll and at times was basically synonymous.
  • Early artists include: Lloyd Price, Solomon Burke, Ray Charles, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, and Nat King Cole Sam Cooke

Lloyd Price

Fats Domino

Ray Charles

Nat King Cole

doo wop
Doo Wop
  • Type of music that developed during the 1950s and 1960s in Philadelphia, New York, and Chicago.
  • Based around vocal harmonies.
  • Important Doo Wop groups included:
    • Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers, The Platters, The Penguins, The Ink Spots, The Drifters, and the Five Satins
  • Motown was founded by Berry Gordy in 1960 in Detroit, MI.
  • The first artist signed to Motown was Smokey Robinson & the Miracles.
  • Between 1961 and 1971, Motown had 110 top 10 hits.
  • Motown boasted a stable of artists greater than any other, the list includes all of the following:
    • The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Jackson 5, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, Mary Wells, The Spinners, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Jr. Walker, Lionel Ritchie, Rick James, Boys II Men, Erykah Badu.
memphis soul
Memphis Soul
  • While Berry Gordy was recording in Detroit, a number of artists were creating great music in Memphis, TN.
  • The two main record labels were Stax and Hi Records.
  • The sound was a little rougher than Motown, complete with horns and saxophones.
  • The Memphis artists include the following:
    • Otis Redding, Rufus & Carla Thomas, Sam & Dave, Isaac Hayes, Al Green, Booker T. & the MGs, The Staple Singers, Wilson Pickett
other important artists of the 60s 70s
Other Important Artists of the 60s & 70s
  • Soul music became more important than just music, it united people in a way that other music did not.
  • Artists came from all corners of the United States, including Chicago, Philadelphia, NYC, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and other major cities.
  • Some of the major artists of this era include:
    • Aretha Franklin (Queen of Soul)
    • James Brown (Godfather of Soul)
    • Curtis Mayfield
    • Sly & the Family Stone, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, Barry White, The Isley Brothers, Etta James, Archie Bell & the Drells, Ike & Tina Turner, Earth, Wind, & Fire, Parliament Funkadelic, Teddy Pendergrass, & Gil Scot-Heron.
michael jackson prince the 1980s
Michael Jackson, Prince, & the 1980s
  • R & B’s popularity hit a new high in the 1980s due to the unrivaled popularity of Michael Jackson, Prince, and Whitney Houston.
    • Prince video
  • The creation of MTV in the early 1980s turned many R & B artists into even bigger sensations.
  • Other artists who enjoyed popularity during the 1980s:
    • New Edition/Bobby Brown
    • Luther Vandross
    • Janet Jackson
    • Rick James
    • Teena Marie
    • Cameo
1990s r b
1990s R & B
  • Artists from the 1980s still continued to dominate the charts during the 90s (MJ, Prince, Janet)
  • New artists began to emerge during the 1990s that would become major forces in popular music. (Mariah Carey, Usher, TLC, R. Kelly, Aaliyah)
  • 90s R & B had many different styles and faces:
    • Neo-Doo Wop (Boys II Men, Shai)
    • Smooth (R. Kelly, Keith Sweat)
    • Hip Hop (Mary J. Blige, SWV)
    • Neo-Soul (Maxwell, D’Angelo, Erykah Badu, Angie Stone, Jill Scott)
r b today
R & B Today
  • R & B still dominates the radio stations, clubs, and youth culture.
  • Some recent artists have had crossover success with the general public. (Destiny’s Child/Beyonce, Usher, Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Ne-Yo, John Legend)
  • Other artists have pushed R & B into different more adventurous areas (Frank Ocean, The Weeknd, How to Dress Well, & Miguel)