Rhythm and Blues
RHYTHM AND BLUES was said to have been a term created by Jerry Wexler of Billboard magazine in 1948 as a more digestible substitute for “Race Music”.
Like Lieber and Stoller, RUDY TOOMBS wrote a bucketfulla classic Beach Music songs. Teardrops From My Eyes– Ruth Brown, One Mint Julep– Clovers, 5-10-15 Hours– Ruth Brown, One Scotch One Bourbon One Beer– Amos Milburn, Nip Sip– Clovers. Sometimes talent alone won’t save you. He was mugged and beaten to death in his apartment hallway.
RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS got their name when black marines called them righteous at the Black Derby Club.
ROY HAMILTON from Leesburg Ga, won an amateur contest at Apollo Theater in 1947 singing You’ll Never Walk Alone. Six years later that same song became his first single and a #1 hit. One of richest voices in history, Hamilton described his style, “My style is 50% gospel, 30% popular and 20% semi-classical.”
RONALD ISLEY of the Isley Brothers won a $25 war bond in a gospel contest in a Baptist church as a 3-yr-old. Can’t start too young.
RICHARD PENNIMAN (Little Richard ) was asked by Jeff Tamarkin what radio stations he listened to. “Use to listen to a station out of Nashville called WLAC. Listened to a guy named Gene Nobles. That’s where I first heard Tutti Frutti. My mother didn’t know my name was Little Richard. It came on and I yelled, mother…
Who wrote Jackie Wilson’s first solo hit, REET PETITE, released in 1957? It was a songwriting team by the name of Tyron Carlo and Berry Gordy. The royalties from this song help Berry Gordy launch Motown. They later would write That’s Why I love You So and Lonely Teardrops.
What two groups more that any other probably captured the coming-of-age and REBELLIOUS SPIRIT of the teenagers of the 50s? Had to be the backbeats, stage antics and teen situation lyrics of the Coasters and duck-walkin Chuck Berry. Even when the songs weren’t danceable, both were wailing exactly what the kids were thinking. Like the…
THE RAVENS, maybe the first successful “bird” group, were formed by two Harlem waiters, Jimmy Ricks and Warren Suttles in 1945. One of the very first groups to use a bass vocalist as lead. And the first to turn White Christmas into a dance song.
Rags to Riches
RAGS TO RICHES was a smash hit for Tony Bennett in ’53 but if you want to hear a hauntingly romantic version, then YOUTUBE The Dominoes with Jackie Wilson in lead.