Rhythm & blues emerged from the African American community in the late 1940s to become the driving force in American popular music over the next half-century. Although sometimes called "doo-wop," "soul," "funk," "urban contemporary," or "hip-hop," R&B is actually an umbrella category that includes all of these styles and genres. It is in fact a modern-day incarnation of a musical tradition that stretches back to nineteenth-century America, and even further to African beginnings.
The New Blue Music: Changes in Rhythm & Blues, 1950-1999 traces the development of R&B from 1950 to 1999 by closely analyzing the top twenty-five songs of each decade. The music of artists as wide-ranging as Louis Jordan; John Lee Hooker; Ray Charles; James Brown; Earth, Wind & Fire; Michael Jackson; Public Enemy; Mariah Carey; and Usher takes center stage as the author illustrates how R&B has not only retained its traditional core style, but has also experienced a "re-Africanization" over time.
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University Press of Mississippi
April 08, 2012
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