Life is too short for boring music

Posts Tagged ‘R&B’

DON COVAY

Don Covay wrote dozens of R&B hits from the 50s to the 70s, with a range that incorporated Blues, Soul and Gospel roots. From the early days on the road with Little Richard to a long career as an executive, Don kept performing his own songs, with his fine voice taking many solo singles into…

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ROY MILTON

Sometimes known as ‘The Godfather of R&B’, Roy Milton’s big 1946 crossover hit ‘RM Blues’ was the first post-WWII success for the fledgeling Specialty label. It set the tone of good-time party music that was to dominate radio, juke-boxes and the charts for the next decade, and was the first of a long string of…

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ARCHIBALD

Archibald is not a well known figure outside New Orleans, but his style was a strong influence on younger players in the city like Fats Domino and Huey ‘Piano’ Smith. The old Blues classic ‘Stack-a-Lee’ first came to national attention on Archibald’s only hit record, but despite his lack of recording success, he had a…

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HANK BALLARD

Hank Ballard caused a storm of controversy in the 50s, when established society was getting worked into a froth about ‘juvenile delinquents’ and ‘jungle music’, with his mildly suggestive songs about a girl called Annie, which were all banned from the radio but went high in the charts. When that controversy died down, Hank wrote…

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LITTLE WILLIE JOHN

The story of Little Willie John is one of hope dashed by tragedy. His muscular, agile vocal style set the stage for a generation of Soul singers, but all his biggest records were covered with greater success by other artists. His undoubted talent led to a string of R&B and Hot100 hits, but he died…

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TOMMY TATE

Tommy Tate has been called ‘The Best Singer You’ve Never Heard’. Talent is no guarantee of recognition, and Tommy’s soulful voice never gained him much commercial success, but as a cult figure he is remembered with affection and appreciation. Tommy’s genre would be called ‘Southern Soul’ in The States, but in Britain his records were…

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RAY CHARLES

Ray Charles was an important figure in 50s R&B as he fused Blues and Gospel into an early version of Soul Music. His piano style owed a lot to Jazz forms, and his Blues playing was full of emotion, but Ray’s wide-ranging taste included Country music. His skill as a composer and arranger, as well…

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NAPPY BROWN

Nappy Brown was a Gospel singer with a distinctive vocal delivery, stretching and rolling his lines and wailing “li-li-li-li” like a man possessed, but when he crossed over into R&B he had some big hit records, and his live performances were sensational. Nappy’s style influenced a lot of early Soul singers, and Elvis made sure…

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EARL PALMER

The bedrock of New Orleans R&B in the late 40s and early 50s was that funky second-line backbeat that powered the records of Fats, Fess, Little Richard and the like, which got the whole world dancing. More often than not, the man behind the drumkit on those sessions was Earl Palmer. Like Fred Below‘s Blues…

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EARL GAINES

Earl Gaines was a fine Soul-Blues singer who enjoyed early success with an R&B Chart-topping single. His solo career with Excello produced a string of high-quality tracks and, after a long lay-off from the music industry, Earl came out of retirement to lay down more of his emotive vocals for the Black Top label. Earl…

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