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Race Music


September 9, 2022

I have had fun over the past couple of weeks listening to 1950s R&B. I have a whole new appreciation for how "beach music" came to be. A reasonable portion of the songs are "scandalous" -- singing about alcohol and sex (but never explicitly!). I understand how this music would not have been played on radio stations in the South. But it was popular enough elsewhere that Billboard had its Top 100 R&B lists -- one for retail sales and one for jukebox plays!

The above link takes you to a YouTube playlist of nearly 800 R&B tunes that were played at the beaches in the Carolinas in the 1950s. Nothing fancy about the music -- mostly blues with a danceable beat. You can appreciate how rock & roll grew out of this music.

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Sep 11, 2022

I had the pleasure of spending three days with Jerry Wexler in the mid-1980s. In the late 1940s, Downbeat magazine had only two list of Top 40 music -- The List, then one entitled "Race Music". In 1951, Wexler was a writer for Downbeat and he convinced them to change "Race Music" to "Rhythm & Blues".....

Sep 11, 2022
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Very cool

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