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Directory of Rhythm and Blues Resources

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The work of African-American artists was referred to as "race music" until Billboard magazine adopted the term "Rhythm and Blues" in the late 1940's.

Early R&B evolved from Blues (chords and riffs) and Jazz (swing rhythms and a horn-driven line-up). By the mid-1950's the subgenres Doo Wop, Electric Blues, and New Orleans R&B had emerged. Urbanized R&B became the Soul of the 1960's from which Funk emerged a decade later.

Urban is the smooth, polished R&B/Soul of the 1980's and 1990's. Contemporary R&B retains the slick production values while reclaiming the grit and spirit of classic R&B and Soul.


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