Rhythm and blues
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
"The term "Rhythm and Blues" was coined in 1947 by Jerry Wexler as a replacement for the terms "race music" "sepia music" and "Harlem Hits Parade" during a reorganization of the Billboard charts. --Sholem Stein
"In the late 1960s reggae emerged as a reinterpretation of American rhythm and blues."--Sholem Stein
"Fats Domino, Amos Milburn, Louis Jordan and Roy Brown were particular favourites. The relaxed, loping style of their music seemed to cater to the West Indian taste for unhurried rhythms. [...] The southern stuff almost had a Caribbean tinge. In Professor Longhair's rumba-like concoctions, for instance, you can hear influences which never crossed the Mason-Dixon line."--Cut 'n' Mix (1987) by Dick Hebdige, p. 62
Rhythm and blues, often abbreviated to R&B or RnB, is a genre of popular African-American music that originated in the 1940s. The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban African Americans, at a time when -- in the words of Robert Palmer -- "urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a heavy, insistent beat" was becoming more popular.
The term has subsequently had a number of shifts in meaning. In the early 1950s, the term rhythm and blues was frequently applied to blues records. Starting in the mid-1950s, after this style of music contributed to the development of rock and roll, the term "R&B" became used to refer to music styles that developed from and incorporated electric blues, as well as gospel and soul music. By the 1970s, rhythm and blues was used as a blanket term for soul and funk. In the 1980s, a newer style of R&B developed, becoming known as "Contemporary R&B".
Barry Walters of Spin characterizes the unconventional style as an "exchange between EDM, rock, hip hop and R&B's commercial avant-garde", and cites Frank Ocean's Nostalgia, Ultra and Channel Orange, The Weeknd's House of Balloons, Thursday and Echoes of Silence, Drake's Take Care, Miguel's Kaleidoscope Dream, Holy Other's Held and How to Dress Well's Total Loss as works associated with alternative R&B.
- African American music
- Contemporary R&B
- Music of the United States
- Rhythm and Blues Foundation
- List of number-one rhythm and blues hits (United States)
- List of artists who reached number one on the Billboard R&B chart