Wikipedia's Rhythm and Blues Portal
Rhythm and blues, commonly abbreviated as R&B, is a genre of popular music that originated in African American communities in the 1940s. The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban African Americans, at a time when "urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a heavy, insistent beat" was becoming more popular.
In the commercial rhythm and blues music typical of the 1950s through the 1970s, the bands usually consisted of piano, one or two guitars, bass, drums, one or more saxophones, and sometimes background vocalists. R&B lyrical themes often encapsulate the African-American experience of pain and the quest for freedom and joy, as well as triumphs and failures in terms of relationships, economics, and aspirations.
The term "rhythm and blues" has undergone a number of shifts in meaning. In the early 1950s, it 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. In the 1960s, several British rock bands such as the Rolling Stones, the Who and the Animals were referred to and promoted as being R&B bands; posters for the Who's residency at the Marquee Club in 1964 contained the slogan, "Maximum R&B". Their mix of rock and roll and R&B is now known as "British rhythm and blues". By the 1970s, the term "rhythm and blues" changed again and 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". It combines rhythm and blues with elements of pop, soul, funk, hip hop, and electronic music. Popular R&B vocalists at the end of the 20th century included Prince, R. Kelly, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, and Mariah Carey. In the 21st century, R&B has remained a popular genre becoming more pop-oriented and alternatively influenced with successful artists including Bruno Mars, Chris Brown, SZA, Robin Thicke, The Weeknd.
Sons of Soul is the third album by American R&B band Tony! Toni! Toné! It was released on June 22, 1993, by Wing Records and Mercury Records.
The band originally recorded for the album at several studios in California, including Westlake Recording Studios and Paradise Recording Studio. When they became jaded with the various people frequenting those studios, Tony! Toni! Toné! moved their sessions to Caribbean Sound Basin in Trinidad, where they ultimately wrote and recorded most of the album. It was produced entirely by the group, who worked with various session musicians and utilized both vintage and contemporary recording equipment.
Sons of Soul was recorded as an homage to the band's musical influences—classic soul artists of the 1960s and 1970. Its music incorporated live instrumentation, funk, and hip hop elements such as samples and scratches. Lead singer and bassist Raphael Wiggins handled most of the songwriting, which was characterized by quirky, flirtatious lyrics and reverent ballads. Read more...
Eunice Kathleen Waymon, better known by her stage name Nina Simone (IPA: ninɐ sʌmɞnɑ) (February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003), was a Grammy Award-nominated American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger and civil rights activist.
Although she disliked being categorized, Simone is generally classified as a jazz musician. She preferred the term "Black Classical Music" herself. Simone originally aspired to become a classical pianist, but her work covers an eclectic variety of musical styles besides her classical basis, such as jazz, soul, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop music. Her vocal style (with a rich alto vocal range) is characterized by intense passion, breathiness, and tremolo. Sometimes known as the High Priestess of Soul, she paid great attention to the musical expression of emotions. Within one album or concert she could fluctuate between exuberant happiness or tragic melancholy. These fluctuations also characterized her own personality and personal life, worsened by a bipolar disorder with which she was diagnosed in the mid-sixties, but was kept secret until 2004.
Simone recorded over 40 live and studio albums, the biggest body of her work being released between 1958 (when she made her debut with Little Girl Blue) and 1974. Songs she is best known for include "My Baby Just Cares for Me", "I Put a Spell on You", "I Loves You Porgy", "Feeling Good", "Sinner Man", "To Be Young, Gifted and Black", "Strange Fruit", "Ain't Got No-I Got Life" and "I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl". Her music and message made a strong and lasting impact on African-American culture, illustrated by the numerous contemporary artists who cite her as an important influence (among them Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys, Jeff Buckley, and Lauryn Hill), as well as the extensive use of her music on soundtracks and in remixes.
Simone was born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in Tryon, North Carolina, one of eight children. She began playing piano at her local church and showed prodigious talent on this instrument. Her concert debut, a classical piano recital, was made at the age of ten. During her performance, her parents, who had taken seats in the front row, were forced to move to the back of the hall to make way for white people. Simone refused to play until her parents were moved back. This incident contributed to her later involvement in the civil rights movement.
Things to do