Orgins & Definition of R&B Music FORUM: Archive - After July 12, 2003: Orgins & Definition of R&B Music
Top of pageBottom of page   By SB ( on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 06:07 pm:

I've had this site for years - but was hesitate to post this piece. Does anyone agree with it?

Please - let's not get offensive or defensive in our opinions. Let's just try to be honest and respectful in them - if anyone has any. After all - this is just one person's take on it. Yet - some of us might find it interesting indeed.

Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo ( on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 07:12 pm:

It's interesting and the author presents it well. However, some factors that should be considered:

1) While pop labels did respond to R&B by having white artists cover R&B tunes and effectively pushing the originals off the charts, the practice lasted until DJs such as Alan Freed demanded, insisted and kept playing the originals and pushed more Black artists. He wasn't the only one - with the powerful signals emitting from AM radio stations, teenagers would sit up at night and tune into DJs at WLAC-AM (John "R" Richbourg) & Dewey Philips in Memphis (as well as WDIA-AM) and be exposed to "the real deal."

2) Artists like Sam Cooke released "You Send Me" which used white singers in the background and utilized a pop arrangement that supported Sam's soulful vocals. A larger label responded by releasing a cover by Theresa Brewer which sank like a stone while Sam's original went straight to #1 on the pop charts.

3) Billboard did phase out the R&B chart in late 1963 but they didn't reinstate it "years later" as the author writes. They brought it back in early 1965 because they lost a chunk of readers to Cashbox Magazine (who still had an R&B chart). These folks (mostly R&B stations and retail) still needed a guide to see how R&B singles were doing. I have in my file a Billboard year end chart for 1966 that had the Four Tops' "Reach Out.." at #1 and Sam & Dave's "Hold On...I'm Coming" at #2 on the R&B year-end listings. On the pop listings for that year, the Tops were in the Top Ten (#7) while Sam & Dave's hit was somewhere in the 30s! Imagine what would've happened if Billboard didn't bring back their chart until "years later"?

4) R&B had become more & more controlled by mainstream labels but not completely. Don Robey ran Duke/Peacock until the mid 1970s. The Dolphin Family of Los Angeles had the Money label that started during the birth of modern R&B and lasted through the late 1960s (they still own their masters). The Leaner Family of Chicago not only ran One-Der-Ful and Mar-V-Lus Records but had one of the largest distributorships owned by Black Americans (and these folks still own their masters and publishing). Carl Davis of Chicago still owns the Chi-Sound label and masters while Eddie Thomas had the Thomas label (home of Jamo Thomas' "I Spy (For The FBI)").

Other than what I mentioned, the article is a good read.

Kevin Goins - KevGo

Top of pageBottom of page   By Des ( on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 07:22 pm:

sb/ What's to be concerned about?
It kinda accellerates over some era's (70's to current) but in terms of making some reasonable references and logical conclusions,doesn't seem controversial or hugely inaccurate.
Does it go back far enough?Does it lay enough emphasis on the crimes of white appropriation? -- no,it doesn't,but I'm a little hesitant to comment cause no matter what's said I can hear Isaiah hotfootin' it back to the party !!!!
This article is very much music related and doesn't address broader aspects of Black culture,soooooo in my own opinion it doesn't say much more than I would have thought most if not all posters or readers of this Forum would be ,at the very least,aware of and in the main,completely alongside.

Top of pageBottom of page   By LTLFTC ( on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 07:24 pm:

Excellent corrections/additions ; that is a nice site, SB.

Steve K

Top of pageBottom of page   By Vonnie ( on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 09:07 pm:


When I was growing up in Philly, I knew R&B as Rock & Roll. Later when I heard the term R&B, I did not know what it meant. I had only known Rock & Roll that included all the singers in the late 50's and later 60's. Everyone was a Rock and Roll singer to me and my friends.


Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo ( on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 09:14 pm:

I should add to #2 that Sam Cooke's "You Send Me" along with the continued across the board successes of acts like the Platters, Little Richard, Jackie Wilson & Chuck Berry helped sound the "death knell" for cover records - at least for a few years.

Kevin Goins - KevGo

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