The Sexy Sound of R & B
Rhythm and blues or better known as R&B genre started in the 1940’s consisting of great new beats and catchy rhythms. The lyrics reflected the the struggles of African Americans, but also captured hope in the lyrical content. The lyrics spoke of the pain individuals experienced, but also the hope they had in making sure that youth did not give up or give in to the pressures society put on their community. R&B was a precursor to Rock and Roll – let me say that again – there would be no rock and roll without R&B. Gospel and soul music were imperative in helping to chisel out the sound of R&B. The music is melodic and rhythmic.
Today’s R&B is sexy and romantic. The music of R&B is distinct and listeners of this genre really love it, I include myself… I love R&B! There is an emotional undertone to the sound. The dynamics of this genre are often times dramatic and beautiful. The mellowness of the music often builds in to exciting crescendos, heavy melodies, poignant musical breaks, and excellent vocals. Some early stars of R&B are Lonnie Johnson and T-Bone Walker.
As this genre grew and matured, so did the soulful sound. R&B (in the 50’s) became a very lucrative business for RCA Records and other record companies who were doing some heavy marketing to the African American community at the time. R&B has stayed pretty consistent with its risqué and romantic lyrics from early on until today. There’s been so many great R&B artists through the 1970’s - Chubby Checker, Sam Cooke, Carla Thomas, The O’Jay’s, Al Green, and many more. More recent R&B artists are TLC, Aallyah, Mary J. Blige, Toni Braxton, and Boys II Men. There are a lot more musicians who have contributed through the course of time to this great genre.
Personally, some of my favorite music is R&B. It’s fun to play (as a musician) and everyone always seems to know the words to the songs. The songs are awesome!