Rhythm and blues

Louis Jordan in New York City, c. undefined July 1946
The habanera rhythm shown as tresillo (lower notes) with the backbeat (upper note)
Fats Domino in 1956
Piano excerpt from the rumba boogie "Mardi Gras in New Orleans" (1949) by Professor Longhair. 2–3 claves are written above for rhythmic reference.
3–2 clave written in two measures in cut-time
Tresillo answered by the backbeat, the essence of clave in African American music
Bo Diddley's "Bo Diddley beat" is a clave-based motif.
Ray Charles in 1971
Ruth Brown was known as the "Queen of R&B"
Della Reese
Sam Cooke
Eric Burdon & the Animals (1964)

Genre of popular music that originated in African-American communities in the 1940s.

- Rhythm and blues
Louis Jordan in New York City, c. undefined July 1946

115 related topics

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The Beatles were a four-piece rock band from Liverpool in England. They are pictured here in 1965, celebrating their Grammy win.

Bandleader

Leader of a music group such as a rock or pop band or jazz quartet.

Leader of a music group such as a rock or pop band or jazz quartet.

The Beatles were a four-piece rock band from Liverpool in England. They are pictured here in 1965, celebrating their Grammy win.

The term is most commonly used with a group that plays popular music as a small combo or a big band, such as one which plays jazz, blues, rhythm and blues or rock and roll music.

American jazz composer, lyricist, and pianist Eubie Blake made an early contribution to the genre's etymology

Paul Williams (saxophonist)

American jazz and blues saxophonist, bandleader, and songwriter.

American jazz and blues saxophonist, bandleader, and songwriter.

American jazz composer, lyricist, and pianist Eubie Blake made an early contribution to the genre's etymology

His record "The Huckle-Buck", recorded in December 1948, was one of the most successful R&B records of the time.

Savoy disc from the 1940s

Savoy Records

American record company and label established by Herman Lubinsky in 1942 in Newark, New Jersey.

American record company and label established by Herman Lubinsky in 1942 in Newark, New Jersey.

Savoy disc from the 1940s

Savoy specialized in jazz, rhythm and blues, and gospel music.

Harlem Hamfats

Chicago jazz band formed in 1936.

Chicago jazz band formed in 1936.

However, as a small group playing entertaining music primarily for dancing, they are considered an important contributor to 1930s jazz, and their early riff-based style would help pave the way for Louis Jordan's small-group sound a few years later, rhythm and blues, and later rock and roll.

Old fish fry sign, New Orleans

Saturday Night Fish Fry

Jump blues song written by Louis Jordan and Ellis Lawrence Walsh, best known through the version recorded by Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five.

Jump blues song written by Louis Jordan and Ellis Lawrence Walsh, best known through the version recorded by Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five.

Old fish fry sign, New Orleans

The single was a big hit, topping the R&B chart for twelve non-consecutive weeks in late 1949.

Specialty Records

American record label founded in Los Angeles in 1945 by Art Rupe.

American record label founded in Los Angeles in 1945 by Art Rupe.

It was known for rhythm and blues, gospel, and early rock and roll, and recorded artists such as Little Richard, Guitar Slim, Percy Mayfield, and Lloyd Price.

Chess Records

The Chess Records logo, as featured on a Memphis Slim single
Chess Studios, 2120 South Michigan Ave., Chicago, later Willie Dixon's Blues Heaven Foundation (photo 2009)

Chess Records was an American record company established in 1950 in Chicago, specializing in blues and rhythm and blues.

Imperial Records

American record company and label started in 1947 by Lew Chudd.

American record company and label started in 1947 by Lew Chudd.

When Imperial was founded in 1947, it concentrated on rhythm and blues (R&B) and country music: Fats Domino, Frankie Ford, Ricky Nelson, and Slim Whitman.

American jazz composer, lyricist, and pianist Eubie Blake made an early contribution to the genre's etymology

Andy Gibson

American jazz trumpeter, arranger, and composer.

American jazz trumpeter, arranger, and composer.

American jazz composer, lyricist, and pianist Eubie Blake made an early contribution to the genre's etymology

After his discharge, he continued working with Barnet but focused primarily on R&B music.

Atlantic Records

American record label founded in October 1947 by Ahmet Ertegun and Herb Abramson.

American record label founded in October 1947 by Ahmet Ertegun and Herb Abramson.

Atlantic Records logo from its inception in 1947 to 1966 (it was still used on 7" single releases), used again from 1979 to 1981 and 2004 to 2015.
Atlantic logo used from 1966 to 2005. It was revived in 2015.
"Weird Al" Yankovic edits Atlantic Records' Wikipedia page to read "YOU SUCK!" in the music video for the song "White & Nerdy"

Over its first 20 years of operation, Atlantic earned a reputation as one of the most important American labels, specializing in jazz, R&B, and soul by Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave, Ruth Brown and Otis Redding.