RnB Soul

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RnB Soul

JOURNEY THROUGH 400 RnB SOUL SONGS

RnB SOUL  ∙  50s  ∙  60s  ∙  70s  ∙  80s-90s  ∙  Neo Soul 2000s-2010s  ∙

Courtesy of Gus

RnB 50s

RnB 50s

The advent of rock in 1947 revolutionized not only American folk and country music but also boogie-woogie, blues, jazz, swing-jazz, gospel and vocals. In the following years, each of these musical genres integrated in its own ways the moods, rhythms and instruments of rock 'n' roll. Beginning in 1950, Rythm'n' Blues (RnB USA) was the music scene where the most popular and high-profile musical genres developed as a result of the aforementioned evolution. As such, RnB defined the modern pop music of Afro-American communities. Throughout the 50s, its most successful subgenres were gospel pop, vocals, rock and blues.

RnB gospel built on the popular gospel forms developed in 1941-46 by the spirituals vocal ensemble The Jubalaires; it spanned in 1952-55 with The Soul Stirrers, The 5 Royales, singer Faye Adams and even more significantly in 1957-1964 with Sam Cooke's stellar streak of 30 hits. RnB vocals followed the musical style launched in the 30s by The Mills Brothers and the headways made in the 40s on the crooner scene by jazz vocalist Nat King Cole ; it gave birth to the Doo-wop frenzy in the mid-50s  with serial hits by new vocals bands like the Platters, Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers, the Moonglows, the Five Satins, the Coasters or the Drifters with Ben. E. King. RnB rock had its roots in the late 1940s as derived from boogie, blues and swing-jazz (see Rock USA 40s). RnB blues modernized and expanded with Screaming Jay Hawkins delivering spectacular acts, B. B. King turning blues into elaborate jazzy blues-rock and with a number of individual songs that began to foster the genre's mass popularity and have since become classics, e.g. 'Crawling king snake' (1949), 'Rollin' stone' (1950), 'Hound dog' (1953), 'On the road again' (1953), 'Dimples' (1956), 'I pity the fools' (1961).

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RnB Soul 60s

RnB Soul 60s James Brown Aretha Franklin Diana Ross

In 1960, due to the distinctve trendsetting impact of its vocal stars who put their soul into their voice, RnB's high-profile scene began to be called 'RnB Soul'. RnB rock saw the arrival of Ben E. King, The Valentinos with Bobby Womack, Wilson Picket and Ike & Tina Turner. Psychedelic soul rock rose to fame with Jimi Hendrix, Sly & the Family Stone  and Funkadelic in 1968-70. RnB blues-jazz was marked by the beginnings of Aretha Franklin (1942-2018), a singer and musician from gospel who shone as much in soul vocals pop as in rock and blues-jazz registers. Nina Simone was the other great lady of the 60s’ RnB blues-jazz, where veteran Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong (1901-1971) released 'What a wonderful world' (1967), his biggest commercial success. Meanwhile, "Little" Stevie Wonder was blind and 13 when his single "Fingertips part II" (1963) topped the Billboard and 17 when his psychedelic soul track "I was made to love her" (1967) topped the RnB charts. Girl groups had enjoyed popular success earlier - such as with the songs 'Lollipop' (1958, The Chordettes) and  'I met him on a Sunday' (1958, The Shirelles) - and also flourished in the RnB Soul scene in the 60s. The Supremes with Diana Ross became the most famous of them with their planetary hit 'Baby love' (1964). On the RnB Soul vocals scene, the king of soul Sam Cooke (1931-1964) suffered a violent death at the age of 33. The new king of soul was Otis Redding (1941-1967) but he too died prematurely at the height of his fame, and it was posthumously that his signature song '(Sitting on) The dock of the Bay' was published in January 1968. Soul singers Marvin Gaye, Aaron Neville, Roberta Flack and Dionne Warwick also appeared during the decade, as did vocals groups The Temptations, The Four Tops and The Jackson Five. Progressive RnB Soul took hold in 1967 - the same year as psychedelic rock, cf. Rock USA 60s - and blew a new wind. Incumbent vocals groups such as The Temptations and Diana Ross & the Supremes successfully joined the genre, where the band Fifth Dimension also took center stage. Also worth mentionning: Marlena Shaw's 'California soul', Donny Hathaway's 'The Ghetto pt. 2' and 'Cissy strut' by funk pioneers The Meters.

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RnB Soul 70s

RnB Soul 70s

Stevie Wonder  Roberta Flack  Michael Jackson

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JOURNEY THROUGH 400 RnB SOUL SONGS

RnB SOUL  ∙  50s  ∙  60s  ∙  70s  ∙  80s-90s  ∙  Neo Soul 2000s-2010s  ∙