This research paper aims at exposing and making awareness of the meaning of rhythm and blues as a type of music. It also aims at creating a clear and deeper understanding of this type of music, the nature, the style and the vocals involved. It may be very relevant to those who aims at soaring in this art but lacks understanding of what it entails. It will also be informative to those who like this kind of music, but lacks deeper understanding of the music. The research will be through research from books, journals and websites.
Rhythm and Blues mostly abbreviated to (R&B) and RnB refers to a popular music genre which originated in mid 1940s (Erlewine, 1997). The genre combines jazz, gospel, and blues influences. Rhythm and blues originally described recordings which were marketed to urban African Americans by record companies. Robert Palmer an American writer and producer defined rhythm and blues as music produced by the Americas and for Americans (Cahoon, 2013). According to another writer Lawrence Cohn, rhythm and blues consists of all music except the classical and religious music. Rhythm and blues can therefore be defined as a style of music which combines blues and jazz, it is characterized by a strong backbeat and repeated variations on syncopated instrumental phases. It was developed by African Americans. (Guralnick, 1999) .
Due to the World War impacts such as unemployment, there was migration of people from rural poor areas to the cities, the migration led to more people settling in urban areas especially the young people. In 1950s the long dominance of swing music was fading while people were still interested and looking for dance music. Due to the prominent of the saxophone, electric guitar, the bass and piano there was increase in volume and intensity hence making the sound ideal for both radios and jukeboxes.
In 1952 the Billboard magazine adapted the term rhythm and blues to rename its race records chart. This reflected changes in the social status, economic power and musical tastes of the African American people. R & B also captured the imagination of young white audiences and also led to the popularity of rock and roll due to the promotions by new, independent owned record labels and radio stations which were marketed to the blacks. Atlanta was the focal point for early R &B in Georgia where live acts was offered in venues like municipal auditorium, 81 theaters, and the royal peacock club. Werd one of the first radio stations owned by blacks in 1450s had a great success in its R & B format with the Atlanta listeners. Zenas Sears, a white disc jockey who had close ties to Atlanta black community started a late night R&B show in 1951 which became a prominent local talent scout and also a promoter. In 1956, he purchased the WAOK radio station and changed it to an R&B format.
Among the many popularized artists by Sears’s broadcasts was Willie Lee Perryman Piano Red who developed a barrelhouse...