History of R&B

Posted on July 31st, 2014 by admin in Genres Music History


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.

5 Comments on “History of R&B”

  1. Jacky Shreeves

    Gosh, I’ve been looking about this specific topic for about an hour, glad i found it in your website! :)

  2. Gabby Lenix

    I wanted to ask about R&B. Please message me when you get a moment. Good blog you’ve got here. Thanks.

  3. Josephine Jeanette

    You ought to express your opinions with examples to attract more readers, as just a video or plain text without having a personal approach just isn’t that valuable. But this is just from my point of view.

  4. Ashely Shoulars

    Good website, keep up the good work!

  5. Carey Hills

    R&B in the 90′s was the best. Good article!

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