The History Of Rhythm & Blues CD Box Sets 1925-1957
New orleans
Georgie Fame and THE BLUE FLAMES - LTD Edition R&B1 £12.00
History R&B 1925-42 RANDB001 £29.00
Highlights R&B RANDB002 £2.50
History R&B 1942-52 RANDB003 £39.00
Beatles Beginnings 1 RANDB004 £7.50
Rolling Stones 1 RANDB005 £7.50
Beatles Beginnings 2 RANDB006 £7.50
Beatles Beginnings 3 RANDB007 £7.50
History R&B 1925-42 RANDB008 £12.00
Rumba Jazz RANDB009 £7.50
Rumba Blues 1 RANDB010 £7.50
History R&B 1952-57 RANDB011 £14.00
Rumba Blues 2 RANDB012 £7.50
New Orleans 1 RANDB013 £7.50
New Orleans 2 RANDB014 £5.00
Jazz Jukebox 1961 RANDB019 £7.50
Henry Glover Story
RANDB020 £7.50

The History Of Rhythm And Blues
The History of Rhythm and Blues comes in three box sets, each comprising four CDs, with every track and artist annotated in detail in the richly informative, splendidly illustrated booklets that come with each set. This is a labour of love, and a work of genuine scholarship, but it is also hugely entertaining. I have been listening to almost nothing else for the past fortnight but still feel I am only scratching the surface of a wonderfully rich treasure trove. Throughout, famous names and familiar songs are mixed with the rare and unexpected, but what makes these sets so special is that they aren’t a dry and dusty exercise in musical archaeology.
Charles Spencer – The Spectator

The History Of Rhythm And Blues
Rhythm and Blues has become one of the most identifiable art-forms of the C20th, with an enormous influence on the development of both the sound and attitude of modern music. But it wasn't always that way. The History of Rhythm and Blues investigates the accidental synthesis of jazz, gospel, blues, ragtime, country and pop into a definable form of black music, which in turn would influence pretty well all popular music from the 1950s to the present.
The end of the 19th century was a period of major social upheaval for the black population in America. Musicians who had previously been maintained on plantations were no longer required, and took to the road begging, as the abolition of slavery led to huge numbers of itinerant workers. The hardships of segregation caused by the ensuing Jim Crow laws caused a cultural revolution within Afro-American society. New forms of music arose: spirituals, ragtime, barrelhouse, jazz, black ballad form. Over the years, these distinctive sounds would come to merge into a recognisably “new” musical style.
From its humble rural beginnings in the early 1900s as a method of self-expression in the southern states, the blues gradually became a form of public entertainment, initially for workers and drinkers, in lumber camps, barbeques and juke joints, picking up dance rhythms along the way. The blues, originally a slow dance, only evolved into the form we know today after the introduction of sound recording - the first blues record, Mamie Smith’s Crazy Blues, was released in 1921.
Between 1910 and 1970, nearly five million African Americans left the South, looking for higher wages, better homes and political rights. The route they took was determined largely by the price of the cheapest rail ticket. Chicago was the favoured destination from Mississippi, while those from the Eastern Seaboard left for New York. Attracted by the expansion of industrial production during and after World War II, they moved to California from states like Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.
It was the move to the city, which brought the increase in popularity for the blues, and it was the technology of sound recording, which helped to define its structure. Wider dissemination came with the development of radio and the jukebox, but also through touring bands playing the new network of dance halls and ballrooms that were springing up throughout the States in the 1930s. It was in these ‘territory’ bands that the first major fusion of jazz, blues and boogie-woogie is to be found.
Over the course of 4 thematically arranged CDs, The History of Rhythm and Blues illustrates how these dramatic social and economic upheavals were reflected in the congruence of different musical styles into a form that became recognisable both in terms of sound and marketing. Old songs were turned into new. Cow Cow Blues mutated into Ray Charles’ Mess Around. Little Richard appropriated Keep a Knockin’ from an old hillbilly tune via Louis Jordan. A new form of commercial dance music was born from these many disparate sources, few of which survived in its original form.
The History of Rhythm and Blues Part One takes the story up to the eve of the American entry into the Second World War. It will appeal to anyone interested in the evolution of the blues, or simply curious as to how the sounds of today continue to be shaped and forged by the aural fusions and experiments of the early decades of the C20th.

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The Rhythm and Blues Timeline

Pre 1910
1877 Invention of the Phonograph
1883 Racist coon songs introduced into vaudeville and burlesque
1896 Jim Crow Segregation laws
1897 World’s first radio station on the Isle of Wight
1890s Popularization of the cake walk dance
1908 Introduction of double-sided gramophone records


1910-1920
Black Diaspora from the south
1912 1st blues song published - W.C. Handy’s Memphis Blues
1914 The foxtrot - danced with ragtime accompaniment
1917 Closure of Storyville - musicians move from New Orleans to Chicago & New York
1919 Prohibition Act
1919 Victor & Columbia monopoly on record production broken


1920-1930
1920 1st American Radio Station
1921 Crazy Blues by Mamie Smith
1922-7 Boom in sales of radios
1923 Charleston dance premiered
1925 Introduction of the electrical recording process
1925 Standardisation of speed of disc recording to 78rpm
1925-30 Standardization of form of the Blues into 8 or 12 bar chorus
1926-32 Okeh Records Race Series
1927 Lindy-hop introduced leading to the jitterbug and jive


1930-1940
1931 Invention of the Microphone
1932-42 Bluebird Records
1933 Electrification of Tennessee Valley
1933 Repeal of Prohibition Act
1935 Rockola mass-production of Jukeboxes
1938 First recording of the electric guitar
1938 From Spirituals To Swing Concerts


1940-1950
1940-5 Decca Sepia series
1941 First Bebop Sessions
1942 AFM Musicians strike
1942 Billboard Harlem Hit Parade
1942 Savoy Records
1942 US entry into Second World War
1944 Louis Jordan G.I.Jive #1 in pop charts
1944 King Records
1945 End of Second World War
1946 First mass-produced television sets
1948 WDIA Memphis - first black radio station
1948 Columbia unveils 33rpm microgroove album
1949 Billboard Rhythm & Blues Chart
1949 RCA introduces 45rpm vinyl record


1950-1960
1950 Introduction of 45rpm Jukebox.
1950 Sun Records
1952 Whites start picking up transmissions from black radio
1954 Mambo craze in America
1954 July Chords Sh-boom #5 in pop charts
1954 August Bill Haley Shake Rattle & Roll # 7 in pop charts
1954 December Alan Freed’s Rock’n’Roll Show
1955 Rosa Parks & birth of civil rights movement
1955 1st hits for Bo Diddley & Chuck Berry
1956 1st hits for James Brown & Elvis Presley
1958 1st stereo record release


1960-1970
1963 Martin Luther King’s March on Washington
1963 Billboard suspends R&B chart
1963 1st hit for Otis Redding
1963 1st hit for Motown writers Holland/Dozier/Holland
1964 Civil Rights Act
1964 Beatles 1st hit in USA
1965 Rolling Stones force Shindig to include Howlin’ Wolf on their TV special

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