History of R&B
The term Rhythm and Blues, R&B, was first used by Billboard magazine in the late1940′s. R&B was an African-American urban sound that evolved from blues and jazz. In the late 1940′s R&B was described as rocking and jazz based with a heavy and insistent beat. R&B was becoming popular because of it dance ability. By 1949 the term had replaced Billboard’s category Harlem Hit Parade.
The lyrics of R&B were about everyday life. The songs were about work, sex, and drinking. Paul Williams and His Hucklebuckers recorded “The Huckle-Buck that became a R&B hit. The song was called dirty boogie and was considered raunchy and risque for its time. Their concerts were hot and wild, sometimes shut down.
By the 1950′s R&B was starting to define the sound of Rock n Roll. In the early fifties Little Richard started recording for RCA Records and by the mid fifties had hits with “Tutti Frutti” and “Long Tall Sally.” Fats Domino had a hit with “Ain’t That a Shame.” Bo Diddly and Chuck Berry would influence and create beats that became mainstays in Rock n Roll.
By the 1960′s rhythm and blues would include soul music. In the seventies disco was added to the R&B category as was funk. By the 1980′s R&B was defining music that included soul, funk, rock n roll and pop music.
By the 90′s artists like Levert, Keith Sweat, Jodeci, and BellBivDeVoe were taking love songs in the R&B genre to another level. Classic-Soul and vocal harmonies were being popularized by Mariah Carey, TLC, R. Kelly, and Boyz II Men. Going into the 21st century R&B would include New Jack Swing, Hip-hop, and Neo-Soul.