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A Birth of Rock & Roll 1

A YouTube History of Music

Early Development

Boogie Woogie - Rhythm & Blues - Soul - Disco

Group & Last Name Index to Full History:


Tracks are listed in chronological order by year, then alphabetically.

Listings do not reflect proper order by month or day: later oft precedes earlier.

Not on this page? See history tree below.



Johnny Ace    Faye Adams    Albert Ammons    Patti Austin

Dave Bartholomew    Fontella Bass    Brook Benton    Big Maybelle    Boswell Sisters    Tiny Bradshaw    Hadda Brooks    Maxine Brown    Ruth Brown    Solomon Burke    Billy Butler    Jerry Butler
James Carr    Ray Charles    The Chi-Lites    Ann Cole    Norman Connors    Arthur Crudup    King Curtis
Julian Dash    Bill Doggett
Tommy Edwards
The Five Stairsteps    Roberta Flack    Aretha Franklin    Ernie Freeman
Cecil Gant    Don Gardner    Marvin Gaye    Gloria Gaynor    Lloyd Glenn    Rosco Gordon    Al Green
Wynonie Harris    Donny Hathaway    Erskine Hawkins    Isaac Hayes    ZZ Hill    Loleatta Holloway    Camille Howard    Tommy Hunt    Ivory Joe Hunter
Bull Moose Jackson    Chuck Jackson    Buddy Johnson    Pete Johnson    Jimmy Jones    Louis Jordan
Ben E King    Earl King    Gladys Knight    Jean Knight    Marie Knight    Kool & the Gang
Julia Lee    Meade Lux Lewis    Jimmy Liggins    Joe Liggins    Little Eva    Little Milton    Cripple Clarence Lofton    Joe Lutcher
The Manhattans    Hank Marr    Barbara Mason    Big Maybelle    Curtis Mayfield    Percy Mayfield    Stick McGhee    Clyde McPhatter    Amos Milburn    Lucky Millinder    Little Milton    Roy Milton    Dorothy Moore    Wild Bill Moore
Aaron Neville    Charlie Norman
Johnny Otis
Billy Paul    Freda Payne   Wilson Pickett    The Pips    Billy Preston    Lloyd Price    Lula Reed
Lou Rawls    Tampa Red    Otis Redding    Jimmy Ricks
Sam & Dave    Freddie Slack    Percy Sledge    Sunnyland Slim    Clarence Pinetop Smith    Trixie Smith    The Spinners    Staple Singers    Edwin Starr    Billy Stewart    Donna Summer    Roosevelt Sykes
Tammi Terrell    Joe Tex    Sister Rosetta Tharpe    Carla Thomas    George Thomas    Hersal Thomas   Rufus Thomas    Sonny Thompson    The Three Degrees    Big Joe Turner
T-Bone Walker    Helen Ward    Baby Washington    Mary Wells    Barry White    Viola Wills    Jackie Wilson    Bobby Womack    Stevie Wonder    OV Wright    Syreeta Wright
Jimmy Yancy

Got My Mojo Working



Featured on this page loosely in order of first recording if not record release (as possible).

Names are alphabetical, not chronological, per year:



Trixie Smith

1923 George Thomas
1925 Boswell Sisters    Hersal Thomas
1927 Julia Lee
1928 Meade Lux Lewis    Clarence Pinetop Smith   Tampa Red
1929 Louis Jordan    Roosevelt Sykes    T-Bone Walker
1934 Albert Ammons    Tiny Bradshaw    Lucky Millinder    Helen Ward
1935 Cripple Clarence Lofton
1936 Erskine Hawkins    Freddie Slack
1937 Lloyd Glenn
1938 Julian Dash    Charlie Norman    Sister Rosetta Tharpe
1939 Bill Doggett    Pete Johnson    Big Joe Turner    Jimmy Yancy
1940 Buddy Johnson
1941 Arthur Crudup    Rufus Thomas
1944 Big Maybelle    Cecil Gant    Wynonie Harris    Bull Moose Jackson    Wild Bill Moore    Johnny Otis
1945 Hadda Brooks   Camille Howard    Ivory Joe Hunter     Joe Liggins    Roy Milton
1946 Marie Knight    Amos Milburn    Jimmy Ricks    Sunnyland Slim    Sonny Thompson
1947 Dave Bartholomew    Billy Butler    Jimmy Liggins    Joe Lutcher    Percy Mayfield    Stick McGhee
1948 Ray Charles
1949 Ruth Brown    Ray Charles    Tommy Edwards    Don Gardner
1951 Ernie Freeman    Rosco Gordon    Clyde McPhatter
1952 Johnny Ace    Little Milton    Billy Paul    Lloyd Price    Lula Reed    Jackie Wilson
1953 Faye Adams    Ann Cole    King Curtis    Tommy Hunt    Earl King    Staple Singers
1954  Hank Marr    Lou Rawls    Bobby Womack
1955 Brook Benton    Solomon Burke    Joe Tex
1956 Patti Austin    Aretha Franklin    Jimmy Jones    Billy Stewart    Baby Washington    Barry White
1957 Marvin Gaye    Chuck Jackson    Billy Preston
1958 Jerry Butler    Gladys Knight    Curtis Mayfield    The Pips
1959 Ben E King
1960 Maxine Brown    Aaron Neville    Otis Redding    Carla Thomas    Mary Wells
1961 Fontella Bass    Sam & Dave    The Spinners    Tammi Terrell
1962 Little Eva    Freda Payne    Wilson Pickett    Stevie Wonder
1963 ZZ Hill
1964 James Carr    Jean Knight    The Manhattans    Barbara Mason    OV Wright
1965 Gloria Gaynor   Isaac Hayes    Edwin Starr    The Three Degrees
1966 The Chi-Lites    The Five Stairsteps    Dorothy Moore    Percy Sledge   Viola Wills
1967 Norman Connors    Al Green    Loleatta Holloway
1968 Donna Summer    Syreeta Wright
1969 Roberta Flack    Donny Hathaway    Kool & the Gang

1956   Got My Mojo Working




This page is intended to cover bands and musicians releasing their first records before 1970. We here indulge in a little prehistory of rock and roll and witness its early development via such as boogie woogie, jump blues, rhythm and blues, etc.. So doing, we will see that rock music actually originates in the forties, quite before its boom in the fifties and various tunes which people are fond of naming the "first" rock and roll song ('Rocket 88', for example). Indeed, the decision as to whether R&B musicians are placed on this page, instead of the fifties rock n roll boom page, is sometimes something arbitrary. Be as may, in some instances the difference between R&B and rock and roll was, at the time, but a matter of billing and the audience that was sought. Soul music, simplified, is R&B of gospel influence. One might think of R&B as secular, soul otherwise. It had its origins in the latter fifties (Ray Charles, say, and others on this page), its importance as a genre extending into the Motown period, its decline in the early seventies something coinciding with the origins of disco, also on this page. ("Disco" arose out "discothèque," which is what nightclubs in Occupied France during World War II were called, there being restrictions against live music such that records were played instead. That type of nightclub, employing disc jockeys alike radio did, naturally shortened to "disco" and came into wide usage both in Europe and the United States as of 1960.) Other early R&B artists (Roy Brown, James Brown, etc.) are listed at Fifties Rock because the only difference between R&B and rock & roll during the latter's early period was that rock was marketed to pale people. R&B musicians are indexed there per rock n roll rather than audience. R&B by musicians who were in early doo wop groups (Supremes, etc.) are in Doo Wop, though a few on this page were no strangers to that. As well, not a few gospel singers engaged in R&B, even as gospel would become a major element in soul music. For sake of simplicity they may be found closer to the roots of gospel in Blues 5.



'Rock & Roll'

Early Use of the Term

"Rock & Roll" once referred to intimacy. It was 1954 when disc jockeys commonly began using the term to sell rhythm and blues to white audiences. Credit for naming the genre is generally given to Cleveland R&B disc jockey Allan Freed in the interest of getting chickens to listen to rhythm and blues produced by black musicians. Among its earliest uses in music are by Trixie Smith, first recording in 1922 with 'My Man Rocks Me (With One Steady Roll)'. The tracks below bear no resemblance to rock and roll music three decades later, but it's the idiom we address for who might wonder how rock and roll came to be called rock and roll. More Trixie Smith can be found at Blues 2.

Trixie Smith   1922

   My Man Rocks Me (With One Steady Roll)

Trixie Smith   1938

   My Daddy Rocks Me


Birth of the Blues: Trixie Smith

Trixie Smith

Source: Yehoodi

Birth of Swing Jazz: Boswell Sisters

Boswell Sisters

Source: Queer Music Heritage


'Rock and Roll' by the Boswell Sisters, 1934, may have more to do with bobbing over waves of water in a boat than rock and roll, though there could be wavelength similarities. More of the Boswell Sisters, first recording in 1925, will be found in Swing Jazz Song.

Boswell Sisters   1934

   Rock and Roll



Birth of Rock & Roll: Lucky Millinder

Lucky Millinder

Source: Black Kudos

Born in 1910 in Anniston, Alabama, bandleader Lucky Millinder was raised in Chicago. He played no instrument but was an important bridge from swing to rock and roll. He is first found on vinyl in 1934 from a session on December 4, 1933, with the Mills' Blue Rhythm Band: 'Drop Me Off in Harlem', 'Reaching for the Cotton Moon' and 'Love Is the Thing'. In 1941 he supported Sister Rosetta Tharpe on 'Trouble In Mind', around the time that Millinder began advancing toward rhythm and blues, taking on Wynonie Harris in 1944, then Ruth Brown. Millinder's band began waning in popularity in the fifties, he having to take a job as a dj in 1952, though he continued to tour and record until 1960. Millinder died in NYC six years later of a liver ailment. Main entry for Lucky Millinder in Swing Jazz Big Bands.

Lucky Millinder   1941

   Apollo Jump

Lucky Millinder   1950

   Oh Babe

     Vocal: Wynonie Harris

Lucky Millinder   1951

   Chew Tobacco Rag

      Vocal: John Carol


  Helen Ward proposes repentance via swinging rock and roll with Glenn Miller in 1935. She had first recorded on January 17, 1934, with the Ed Lloyd Orchestra for Melotone: 'This Little Piggy Went to Market'. Main entry for Ward in Swing Jazz Song.

Helen Ward   1935

   Get Rhythm in Your Feet

Birth of Rock & Roll: Helen Ward

Helen Ward

Source: From the Vaults


  I don't know how much rock is in the tune, but there's a lot of it in the title per Erskine Hawkins's 'Rockin' Rollers Jubilee' in 1938 below. Main entry for Hawkins in Swing Jazz Big Band.

Erskine Hawkins   1938

   Rockin' Rollers Jubilee



Birth of Rock & Roll: George Thomas

George Thomas Junior

Source: Discogs

Prehistory of Rock & Roll

Boogie Woogie

Boogie woogie was the southern equivalent of ragtime, said to have developed out of Marshall in eastern Texas. Born in 1885 in Plum Bayou, Arkansas, pianist George Washington Thomas Jr., was elder brother to Hersal Thomas by twenty-one years. He was also the brother of Sippie Wallace and father of Hociel Thomas. His composition, 'New Orleans Hop Scop Blues', published in 1916, is among the earliest markers in the development of boogie woogie. It was later recorded by such as Sara Martin, Bessie Smith and Jimmie Noone. A more bare bones rendition might be given by guitarist Dave Van Ronk (below). Likewise, Thomas composed 'The Fives' with younger brother Hersal, published in 1921, but we list a much later recording of it by pianist Stefan Ulbricht. Also known as Clay Custer, it is thought Thomas first recorded in 1923. He later issued tracks with his band, the Muscle Shoals Devils. Thomas passed away in 1936 in Chicago, laid flat by a streetcar.

George Thomas   1923

   The Rocks

   Shorty George Blues

      With Tiny Franklin

George Thomas   2012

   The Fives

      Composition published 1921

     Piano: Stefan Ulbricht

George Thomas   2013

   New Orleans Hop Scop Blues

      Composition published 1916

     Guitar: Dave Van Ronk


Birth of Rock & Roll: George Thomas

Marshall, Texas

Regional Home of Boogie Woogie

Source: City Data


Born in 1906 in Houston, pianist Hersal Thomas was instrumental in the development of boogie woogie. He is thought to have issued his first recordings in 1925 for the Okeh label: 'Suitcase Blues' and 'Hersal's Blues'. Though they were the only solo recordings Thomas made, he soon thereafter began working with King Oliver and Louis Armstrong, also backing Hociel Thomas (niece) on her first recordings. Thomas was younger brother to George Thomas by twenty-one years. He was also brother to Sippie Wallace. Thomas is thought to have died of food poisoning in 1926 in Detroit, only twenty years old.

Hersal Thomas   1925

   Devil Dance Blues

      With Sippie Wallace

   Hersal's Blues

   Every Dog Has His Day

      With Sippie Wallace

   Morning Dove Blues

      With Sippie Wallace

   Suitcase Blues

Hersal Thomas   1926

   I Feel Good

      With Sippie Wallace


Birth of Rock & Roll: Hersal Thompson

Hersal Thomas

Source: BlueBlack Jazz


Slide guitarist Tampa Red got his start with Ma Rainey. His first titles with her were circa September of 1928 with Thomas Dorsey at piano for such as 'Daddy Goodbye Blues' and 'Keep Talking Blues'. His first name titles are thought to have been with his Hokum Jug Band for Vocalion on October 31, 1928, for 'Good Gordon Gin' and 'Down the Alley'. Those were followed on November 9 by 'It's Tight Like That', How Long Blues' and 'You Can't Come In'. A highly regarded guitarist, Red was a favorite session musician. Signing on with Victor in 1934, he remained with that label until 1953, the year his wife died. Upon his wife's passing Red began drinking, too much. Such that one of the main figures in blues was destitute by the time he died in 1981 in Chicago. Though Red had no clue rock and roll was coming, there is some early boogie woogie in the track below More of Tampa Red in Blues 1.

Tampa Red   1938

   Let Me Play With Your Poodle


Birth of Rock & Roll: Tampa Red

Tampa Red

Source: B-L-U-E-S


Birth of Rock & Roll: Meade Lux Lewis

Meade Lux Lewis

Source: Deep Southern Soul
Born in 1905 in Chicago, Meade Lux Lewis learned to play piano with Albert Ammons, as they were childhood friends and Ammons's family had a piano. His debut recording was in December 1927 for the Paramount Pictures label, a cover of 'Honky Tonk Train Blues'. Lord's disco has Ammons and Lewis in an unissued session taped at the home of Frank Lyons in Chicago in December of 1938. Those would get issued on CD in 1998 as 'Boogie Woogie Stomp' with later titles, a couple by Pete Johnson included. His next session with  Ammons was a piano trio with Johnson at Carnegie Hall on December 23 of 1938 for 'From Spirituals to Swing'. That was with Walter Page on bass and Jo Jones on drums. Lewis, Ammons and Johnson played clubs and toured for about a year as a piano trio, he also recording duets with both of them. In 1939 Lewis helped launch Blue Note Records with that label's debut release: 'Melancholy Blues'/'Solitude'. Half some of Lewis' well above eighty sessions were his own projects as a leader. Among others he supported were per sessions during his period at the Hangover Club in San Francisco, including both Red Nichols and Muggsy Spanier in 1953. That year and the next he recorded unissued solos at the Hangover titled 'Coquette', 'Home, Cradle of Happiness', 'Jelly Roll' and 'Four or Five Times'. Lewis recorded his last album, 'Boogie Woogie House Party', in 1962. 1963 found him contributing to 'Honky Tonk Town', unissued, per a Henry Red Allen session for WNEW Radio in NYC. Lewis died prematurely in 1964 when he was rear-ended on the highway, pushing him off the road into a tree. The driver of the other car, traveling an estimated eighty miles per hour, survived, though his passenger died.

Meade Lux Lewis   1928

   Honky Tonk Train Blues

Meade Lux Lewis   1939

   Melancholy Blues/Solitude

Meade Lux Lewis   1940

   Bass On Top

   Six Wheel Chaser

Meade Lux Lewis   1944

   Chicago Flyer

Meade Lux Lewis   1975

   Don't Put That Thing in Me

    Album: 'Tell Your Story'    Recorded 1930



Birth of Rock & Roll: Pine Top Smith

Pinetop Smith

Source: Blues Tour Database


Among the first musicians to record boogie woogie, as well as stop recording boogie woogie, is pianist Clarence Pinetop Smith. Born in 1904 in Troy, Alabama, Smith cut his first record in 1928, died the next year in March of a gunshot wound received in a bar fight in Chicago, then found himself beneath some pine. His had been scheduled for another recording session with Vocalion the next day.

Clarence Pinetop Smith   1928

   PineTop's Boogie Woogie

Clarence Pinetop Smith   1929

   Pinetop's Blues



Birth of Rock & Roll: Cripple Clarence Lofton

Cripple Clarence Lofton

Source: Smokestack Lightnin'


Since Pinetop Smith, above, didn't hang around long, Cripple Clarence Lofton waited a respectful period of time, then started the boogie woogie recording thing all over again in 1935. He had no such ants in his pants when he was born Albert Clemens in 1887 in Kingsport, Tennessee. It isn't certain just when they invaded, but Lofton was a tap dancer before he turned to blues and boogie woogie piano. If ask me, he's got some ants in his pants in the photo to the left. Lofton finally got some relief in 1949. But that event was less amusing, he passing onward of a blood clot in his brain in December that year, only age 42.

Cripple Clarence Lofton   1935

   Strut That Thing (I Don't Know)

Cripple Clarence Lofton   1936

   The Fives

Cripple Clarence Lofton   1939

   Pine Top's Boogie Woogie



Swing and boogie woogie pianist Freddie Slack was born in 1910 in La Crosse, Wisconsin. He got relocated to Chicago upon his parents moving there in 1927. He had played xylophone since age 13 but shuffled from band to band as a pianist until his major break occurred in 1934 in New York City, hired to play in Ben Pollack's orchestra, with which he recorded the instrumental, 'Song of the Islands', with other vocal titles (not Slack) on September 15 of 1936. Slack hung with Pollack to the end of that year, yet with his orchestra on December 18 for such as 'In a Sentimental Mood' and 'Deep Elm'. During his time with Pollack they had recorded as the Rhythm Wreckers with trumpeter, Harry James, among others, on September 21 to yield such as 'Sugar Blues' and 'Wabash Blues'. The Ben Pollack Orchestra is also thought to have backed vocalist, Chick Bullock, on October 2 for such as 'Let's Call a Heart a Heart' and 'I Can't Pretend'. After his first major excursion into the jazz business with Pollack he joined Jimmy Dorsey's band in Los Angeles in time to record such as 'All God's Chillun Got Rhythm' (w vocalist, Vickie Joyce) and 'The Wren' (w vocalist, Josephine Tumminia) in February of 1937. Slack laid rail with Dorsey for a couple of years into latter 1939 before joining his next university per the Will Bradley Orchestra at its inception in 1939. His initial tracks with Bradley are  thought to have been on September 19, 1939, for a Vocalion/Columbia session bearing Slack's arrangements of 'Forever More' and 'Love Nest', et al. Slack stuck with Bradley into 1941, having the meanwhile recorded 'Down the Road a Piece' on September 7, 1940, with the Ray McKinley Trio, McKinley on drums with Doc Goldberg on bass. After Slack's period with McKinley he held his first session as a leader on June 27, 1941, with His Eight Beats, tapping out 'Strange Cargo', 'Boogie Woogie on Kitten on the Keys', etc.. His Trio consisting of Al Hendrickson (guitar) and Jud De Naut (bass) then joined vocalist, Big Joe Turner, on such as 'Rocks in My Bed' and 'Sun Risin' Blues' on September 8 of 1941. Slack's wheels were spinning nicely when blues giant, T-Bone Walker, employed him on July 2, 1942, for 'I Got a Break Baby' and 'Mean Old World'. Slack's was also the pleasure to work numerously with vocalist, Ella Mae Morse, whom he hired in 1942 for 'Old Rob Roy' and 'Get on Board, Little Chillun'. After future titles in 1942 they got back together again on February 12 of '46 for 'The House of Blue Lights' and 'Hey Mr. Postman'. Another session on April 24 brought 'Your Conscience Tells You So' and 'Pigfoot Pete'. They reunited on March 8 of 1960 with the NBC Studio Orchestra for 'Cow Cow Boogie' on the 'Ford Star Time Presents More Stars of the Swing Years' telecast from Hollywood. Slack had released the album, 'Boogie Woogie (On the 88 by the Great Freddie Slack)', in 1955. He died at only 55 years of age in August of 1965 in Los Angeles.

Freddie Slack   1940

   Beat Me Daddy Eight to the Bar

      Will Bradley Orchestra   Vocalist: Ray McKinley

   Celery Stalks at Midnight

      Will Bradley Orchestra

Freddie Slack   1945

   Kitten On the Keys

   Southpaw Serenade

   Strange Cargo


Birth of Rock and Roll: Freddie Slack

Freddie Slack

Source: Scott Gronmark

Birth of Rock and Roll: Lloyd Glenn

Lloyd Glenn

Source: Last FM


Born in 1909 in San Antonio, Texas, pianist Lloyd Glenn is thought have first recorded on November 18 of 1936 with the Don Albert Orchestra, contributing piano to such as 'The Sheik of Araby' and 'Liza'. He left Texas for Los Angeles in 1941, there hooking up with Walter Johnson's trio in '44, also becoming employed as a session musician. 1945 found with Red Mack and His All Stars for such as 'The Joint Is Jumpin' and 'T'ain't Me'. Working with T-Bone Walker would have been a major highlight in any musician's career, which happened in December of 1946 for Glenn, he backing Walker as one of the Al Killian Quintet in Hollywood for takes of 'Stormy Monday', 'She Had to Let Me Down', et al. Glenn would see Walker again in latter '47, '57 and 1967-68, their last occasion for Walker's 'Funky Town' in Los Angeles. Come December of 1947 for Brown's first name session with his Joymakers, coming up with such as 'Joymakers Boogie' and 'Advice to a Fool'. He took residence in the band of another major figure in 1949, that being trombonist, Kid Ory, joining him for dates such as an AFRS radio broadcast of 'Kid Ory' yielding the likes of 'Wang Wang Blues' and 'Tuxedo Junction'. Glenn would see numerous sessions with Ory's Creole Jazz Band to July 17 of 1953 for titles that would eventually see issue on Ory's 'The Kid's Greatest!' in 1962. [All session data: Lord's Disco.] Others with whom Glenn had occasion to work, either recording or touring, were Lowell Fulson, BB King, Clarence Gatemouth Brown and Big Joe Turner. Glenn died of heart attack on May 3, 1985, in Los Angeles. More compositions by Lloyd Glenn at Blues 4.

Lloyd Glenn   1947

   Joymaker's Boogie

     Composition: Lloyd Glenn

   Midnight Boogie



Pete Johnson, a great boogie woogie pianist, was born in 1904 in Kansas City, Missouri. He began his professional career as a drummer in 1922. He switched to piano in 1926 to play in Big Joe Turner's band. He first recorded with Turner in December of 1938 for Vocalion, that session producing: 'Roll 'Em Pete' b/w 'Goin' Away Blues' in 1939. Pete' in 1938 (under Joe Turner lower on this page). Despite Johnson's pianism he found himself in Buffalo, New York, in 1950 where he held day jobs washing vehicles for several years.  Things picked up in 1958 upon touring Europe with Jazz at the Philharmonic. But then Johnson began to fall ill of a heart condition combined with diabetes, leading to strokes and paralysis of his hands. That in combination with failing eyesight made Johnson's career too difficult to pursue. He gave his last performance in January 1967 at Carnegie Hall, dying later that year in March in Buffalo.

Pete Johnson   1939

   Barrelhouse Breakdown

   Boogie Woogie Prayer Part 1

     Trio Albert Ammons & Meade Lux Lewis

   Boogie Woogie Prayer Part 2

     Trio Albert Ammons & Meade Lux Lewis

   Goin' Away Blues

   Kansas City Farewell

   Roll 'Em Pete

Pete Johnson   1941

   Basement Boogie

   Cuttin' the Boogie

Pete Johnson   1944

   Boogie Woogie Dream

     Filmed live with Albert Ammons 

   Dive Bomber

Pete Johnson   1946

   Mr. Drum Meets Mr. Piano

     Drums: JC Heard 

Pete Johnson   C 1948

   Rocket Boogie Part 1

   Rocket Boogie Part 2

Pete Johnson   1949

   Skid Row Boogie


Birth of Rock & Roll: Pete Johnson

Pete Johnson

Photo: William P. Gottlieb

Source: Wikipedia


Born Joseph Vernon Turner Jr. in Kansa City, Missourri, in 1911, vocalist Big Joe Turner (Boss of the Blues), first recorded on December 23 of 1938 at Carnegie Hall with pianist, Pete Johnson, putting out 'It's All Right Baby' and 'Low Down Dog'. December 30 saw 'Going Away Blues' and 'Roll Em Pete' to be issued by Vocalion (4607). Turner had quit school at age fourteen to busk and sing in Kansas City nightclubs, becoming known as the Singing Barman (singing bartender). During that period he also partnered with boogie woogie pianist, Pete Johnson. Turner made his first appearances on the West Coast in 1941 in Los Angeles. His first session there is thought to have been on September 1 contributing vocals with Duke Ellington on piano to 'Rocks in My Bed' for the 'Salute to Labor' broadcast by KFI Radio. He layed his first golden egg on Billboard's Top Ten in R&B with 'SK Blues' in 1945, nesting it at #3. Since his nest was only big enough for one egg it had to hatch and fly off before the rest could follow, including two rock tunes that reached #1: 'Honey Hush' in '53 and 'Shake, Rattle and Roll' in '54. Music VF shows his last of sixteen Top Ten titles in 1956 with 'Corrina Corrina' at #2. Turner released his debut album in 1956: 'The Boss of the Blues'. Turner began performing internationally in 1965, recording in France and Yugoslavia with trumpeter, Buck Clayton, that year, Mexico City (with Bill Haley) and Berlin the next. He would also record with Count Basie in Europe, 'Flip, Flop & Fly' made in Paris and Frankfurt in April of 1972. Turner was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1983. His final albums were 'Kansas City Here I Come' recorded on February 14, 1984, and 'Patcha, Patcha, All Night Long', made on April 11 of 1985 with Jimmy Witherspoon. Turner died of heart failure in California on November 24, 1985, then was included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. Other than those listed below, Turner composed such as (alphabetically) 'Blues on Central Avenue', 'Low Down Dog', 'Nobody in Mind', 'Rebecca', 'SK Blues' and 'Well Oh Well'. Discogs has him writing every title on the Czech compilation, 'Rocks in My Bed', issued in 2000. More Big Joe Turner.

Big Joe Turner   1939

   Roll Em Pete

        Piano: Pete Johnson

      Composition: Pete Johnson/Joe Turner

Big Joe Turner   1948

   Baby Won't You Marry Me

      Composition: Pete Johnson/Joe Turner

   Old Piney Brown Is Gone

      Composition: Pete Johnson/Joe Turner

   Radar Blues

      Composition: Horace Owens


      Composition: Pete Johnson/Joe Turner

Big Joe Turner   1953

   Honey Hush

      Composition: Big Joe Turner

Big Joe Turner   1954

   Shake, Rattle and Roll

      Composition: Charles Calhoun (Jesse Stone)

Big Joe Turner   1955

   Flip Flop and Fly


      Charles Calhoun/Chuck Calhoun/Joe Turner

Big Joe Turner   1956

   Corrine Corrina


      Mitchell Parish/Jay Mayo Williams/Bo Chatman

   Morning Noon and Night

      Composition: Dave Bartholomew


Birth of Rock & Roll: Big Joe Turner

Big Joe Turner

Source: Wikimedia Commons

  Boogie woogie pianist Jimmy Yancy was born in Chicago in 1894. He began to teach himself piano at age fifteen. He played clubs for years before making his first recording in 1936, a demo of 'Yancy Special'. He was 41 years old when two of seventeen recordings were released by Solo Art in 1939. Yancy began recording with his wife, Estelle Yancy, in 1943 for Session Records. They played Carnegie Hall together in 1948 and released an album in 1951 for Atlantic: 'Jimmy and Mama Yancey: Yancy Special' (LP 130). Yancey died in September that year of diabetes upon a stroke. Beyond music Yancey was a baseball enthusiast, having played for a local Chicago team as a young man. Despite his ability at a piano Yancy kept his day job as a groundskeeper for the Chicago White Sox throughout his career. But he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

Jimmy Yancey   1939

 Rolling the Stone

  Yancey Stomp

Jimmy Yancey   1944

  Yancey Special

Jimmy Yancey   1958

  How Long Blues

      Recorded 1951 with Estelle Yancey


Birth of Rock and Roll: Freddie Slack

Jimmy Yancey

Source: Agora Sol Radio

Birth of Rock and Roll: Charlie Norman

Charlie Norman

Source: Aftonbladet

Americans weren't the only to produce boogie woogie. Born in 1920 in Ludvika, Sweden, jazz pianist Charlie Norman was among the forbears of the jazz explosion that would occur in Scandinavia in the sixties. Norman made his debut in radio the same year as he first recorded in Stockholm for Sonora on October 4, 1938, with the Hakon Von Eichwald operation, 'Nagasaki' and 'Corrine Corrina' among them. Norman's next session was with Seymour Osterwall's orchestra on March 23, 1940, yielding 'The Prisoner's Song', 'Best Thing in Life Are Free', 'I Want to Be Happy' and 'Undecided'. A couple more sessions followed with Osterwall before Alice Babs joined his orchestra to record 'Ett Glatt Humor' and 'Varat Gang'. Norman would see a lot Babs into 1945. She would later become a major collaborator in years to come. Norman's last sessions in September of 1998 were with Babs, those available on a DVD titled 'Swingtime Again'. Norman had taken his first professional job at the Societets Restaurangen in Varberg, followed by work in the orchestras of Håkan von Eichwald and Seymour Österwall, where we pick him up above. Norman made his first name recordings on June 11, 1943, with Ake Brandes at drums: 'Charles Special' and 'Dream Boogie'. He would lead generally smaller ensembles into the nineties, steadily if not prolifically. Tom Lord's discography lists him last recording as a leader at a concert with his Aces on August 31, 1995: 'There Is No Greater Love' and 'In a Mwllow Tone'. Norman made his television debut in 1947 in Paris. In 1949 he arranged Edvard Grieg's 'Anitas Boogie' into the 'Anitas Dance Boogie', concerning which The Grieg Foundation in Norway had a fit, forcing the Metronome label to pull all copies after having already sold ten thousand. Norman made his name largely via radio in the fifties, hosting three broadcast programs: 'Nattugglan', 'The Charlie Norman Show' and 'Charlie In School'. He had recorded 'Nattugglan' on November 23, 1950, with his Disc Jockey Boys. Among American musicians he hosted on their tours to Scandinavia was trumpeter/vocalist, Roy Eldridge, in 1951, they to conduct three sessions for titles like 'Saturday Nite Fish Fry', 'They Raided the Joint', Nappin' John' and 'Scotty'. In the seventies Norman began working seasonally for the next ten years at a resort on the Canary Islands in the Mediterranean. He passed away in 2005. Included below are some of his later jazz performances, featuring Alice Babs on most from year 1951 onward.

Charlie Norman   1941


       Soundtrack: 'Gatans Serenad'

       Seymour Östervalls Orkester

Charlie Norman   1943

   Special Boogie

Charlie Norman   1945


Charlie Norman   1949

   Anitras Dance Boogie

Charlie Norman   1950

   Monark Bicycle Commercial

Charlie Norman   1951

   God Morgon, Mister Eko

   Mr. & Mississippi

Charlie Norman   1984

   Anitras Dance Boogie

Charlie Norman   1999

   Boogie Woogie On St Louis Blues

   Sailboat in the Moonlight

   Our Love Is Here to Stay

   Swing It Magistern


  It was as Pvt. Cecil Gant that pianist Cecil Gant first billed himself after having served in the military during World War II. Having been raised in Cleveland, Ohio, he'd begun his musical career in Nashville before the War's debut explosions in '39. Gant served his first plate in 1944 with his compositions, 'I Wonder'/'Cecil's Boogie' (Gilt Edge 501). 'I Wonder' flew to the #1 tier in Billboard's R&B that year. 'Cecil's Boogie' followed in 1945 (#5) along with 'I'm Tired' (#4) and 'The Grass Is Getting Greener' (#7). 1948 witnessed 'Another Day Another Dollar' alight at #6. 'Special Delivery' saw #11 that year, 'I'm a Good Man But a Poor Man' #12 the next. Among Gant's numerous compositions were 'I'm Tired', 'Are You Ready', 'The Grass Is Getting Greener', 'Special Delivery', 'I'm a Good Man But a Poor Man' and 'Cecil's Jam Session'. Other songwriting credits at allmusic 1, 2. Gant died of pneumonia on February 4 of 1951, age only 37, too young to witness the rise of rock n roll from out of the R&B to which he had contributed. Gant was also a great blues performer.

Cecil Gant   1944

   I Wonder

       Composition: Gant

Cecil Gant   1945

   Hit That Jive Jack

       Composition: John Alston/Campbell Tolbert

Cecil Gant   1946

   Loose As a Goose

       Composition: Gant

   Nashville Jumps

       Composition: Gant

Cecil Gant   1948

   Boogie Woogie Baby

       Composition: Gant

   Cecil's Jam Session

       Composition: Gant

Cecil Gant   1950

   Screwy Boogie

   We're Gonna Rock

       Composition: Gant

Cecil Gant   1951

   Don't You Worry

   Rock Little Baby

       Composition: Gant


Birth of Rock and Roll: Cecil Gant

Cecil Gant

Source: The Music's Over


Hadda Brooks didn't pursue rock and roll, her boogie woogie largely in the context of jazz. Born in 1916 and raised in Los Angeles, Brooks made a reputation for herself as the Queen of Boogie Woogie. Boogie woogie was the southern equivalent of ragtime, likely developing out of eastern Texas. She also came to reputation despite that she issued little vinyl during her career, attending only twenty something sessions to result in such during her career of more than fifty years. Brooks' first single, 'Swingin' the Boogie', was in 1945. She recorded piano fairly steadily into the fifties. She appeared on the 10" album, 'Modern Records Volume 7' in 1950. 1957 saw the issue of 'Femme Fatale', the same year she hosted 'The Hadda Brooks Show' on KCOP TV in Los Angeles. 'Hadda' was issued in 1971, upon which Brooks spent the seventies touring to Europe and moving to Australia. She wouldn't show up on record again until 'Queen of the Boogie' in 1984, recorded in Netherlands. In 1986 she played Perino's in Los Angeles, then other venues on the East and West Coast. 'Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere' arrived in 1994. Brooks died in Los Angeles in 2002. She is thought to have last recorded in 1996 for 'Time Was When'. More Hadda Brooks in Jazz.

Hadda Brooks   1947

  That's My Desire

 Rockin' the Boogie

  Society Boogie

  Swingin' the Boogie


Birth of Rock & Roll: Hadda Brooks

Hadda Brooks

Source: Lileks


Birth of Rock and Roll: Roosevelt Sykes

Julia Lee

Photo: Gene Lester/Dave E. Dexter Jr. Collection

Source: MEMIM

Early Development of Rock & Roll

Rhythm and Blues

The term, "rhythm and blues," is said to have been coined by record producer, Jerry Wexler, in 1947, he then working as an editor for Billboard Magazine. Billboard began using the term on its charts as of 1949. Born in 1902 in Boonville, Missouri, Julia Lee was raised in Kansas City. It was about 1920 when she began singing and playing piano in her brother's band, the George E. Lee Novelty Swing Orchestra. That was more a vaudeville operation than a jazz orchestra in its earlier years. George Lee's main rival in Kansas City during the twenties and thirties in Kansas City was Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra. Charlie Parker would briefly play in George Lee's outfit in the thirties. Count Basie would take over Moten's operation upon the latter's death in 1935. Meanwhile Julia had long since recorded 'Waco Blues' and 'Just Wait Until I'm Gone' with the George E. Lee Novelty Swing Orchestra in June of 1923 for Okeh (matrices 8408, 8409). The fate of those is unknown. Working with her brother's orchestra to 1935, Julia made her debut recording to issue in 1927 with pianist, Jesse Stone, in George Lee's band: 'Downhome Syncopated Blues' (Meritt 2206). In 1929 George backed Julia on 'He's Tall Dark and Handsome' and 'Won't You Come Over to My House' (Brunswick 4761), Stone also in the orchestra. [See Brian Rust per above.] Lee ventured upon a solo career in 1935. In 1944 she was with Jay McShann's Kansas City Stompers for Capitol Records on 'Come on Over to My House'/'Trouble in Mind' [per BlackCatRockabilly]. 1946 witnessed 'Dream Lucky Blues'/'Lotus Blossom' for Mercury, after which she recorded by contract with Capitol Records as Julia Lee and Her Boy Friends. [See 45Worlds.] Starting with 'Gotta Gimme Watcha Got' in 1946, Lee placed eight titles on Billboard's R&B Top Ten to 'I Didn't Like It the First Time' ('Spinach Song') in 1949. 'Snatch and Grab It' reached #1 in 1947, as did 'King Size Papa' in 1948. Lee issued titles into the fifties, a major figure in Kansas City until she died of heart attack on December 8 of 1958. Julia's forte was the erotically suggestive song. More Julia Lee in Blues 4.

Julia Lee   1927

   Down Home Syncopated Blues

      With George Lee

Julia Lee   1929

   He's Tall Dark & Handsome

      With George Lee

     Composition: Julia Lee

  Won't You Come Over to My House

      With George Lee

     Composition: Julia Lee

Julia Lee   1944

   Come On Over to My House

      With Jay McShann

     Composition: Julia Lee

Julia Lee   1946

   Gotta Gimme Whatcha Got

     Composition: Julia Lee

Julia Lee   1947

   Don't Come Too Soon

     Composition: Johnny Gomez/Richard Elliot

   Doubtful Blues

     Composition: Red Burns

   Snatch and Grab It

     Composition: Sharon Pease

   I Didn't Like the First Time (Spinach Song)

     Composition: Johnny Gomez/Bill Gordon

   Tonight's the Night

     Composition: Yardley Yates

   Young Girl's Blues

     Composition: Vernon White

Julia Lee   1948

   King Size Papa

     Composition: Johnny Gomez/Paul Vance

Julia Lee   1949

   You Ain't Got It No More

     Composition: Mildred Wax

Julia Lee   1950

   Dont Save It Too Long

     Composition: Richard Elliot

   I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles

     Composition: John Kellette

   My Man Stands Out

     Composition: Yardley Yates

   Pagan Love Song

     Composition: Nacio Herb Brown/Arthur Freed   1929



Birth of Rock & Roll: Louis Jordan

Louis Jordan

Source: Bio


Born in 1908 in Brinkley, Arkansas, bandleader, saxophonist and vocalist Louis Jordan is thought to have begun his recording career with the Jungle Band of Chick Webb on June 14, 1929, contributing alto sax and clarinet to 'Dog Bottom' in New York City. He would later perform with Webb's band at the Savoy Ballroom in 1936. Which was great until Jordan developed the notion that Ella Fitzgerald might leave Webb's orchestra to help him form his own band. Webb fired him for the attempt, after which Jordan put his own band together anyway, 'Honey In the Bee Ball' and 'Barnacle Bill the Sailor' his first recordings as a bandleader in December 20, 1938, with his Elks Rendez Vous Band. From thereon Jordan never missed a beat, enjoying a stellar career that rivaled the likes of Cab Calloway and Count Basie, largely with his band, the Tympany Five which debut tracks were Jordan's second session as a leader on March 29, 1939. Jordan participated in well above 100 sessions into the seventies until his death by heart attack in 1975. Visit Louis Jordan at Swing Jazz Big Bands, to hear his much earlier R&B sound, including his first recordings in 1929 with Chick Webb.

Louis Jordan   1949

   Saturday Night Fish Fry

Louis Jordan   1950

   I Know What I've Got

   Tamburitza Boogie

Louis Jordan   1954

   Whiskey Do Your Stuff

Louis Jordan   1956

   Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens

Louis Jordan   1966

   Fish Fry

    Filmed Live 



Pianist Roosevelt Sykes (aka Honeydripper) was born in 1906 in Elmar, Arkansas. He took to the road at age fifteen, playing barrelhouse blues along the Mississippi at sawmills, levee camps, wherever laborers were gathered and a piano could be found. He left St. Louis for New York City in 1929 expressly to make his first recordings. His first issue, '44 Blues', is thought have been that year. Though Sykes played some boogie woogie he was largely a blues pianist. Sykes died in New Orleans in 1983. He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1999. More Roosevelt Sykes, including his earlier recordings, in A Birth of the Blues 2.)

Roosevelt Sykes   1946

   Date Bait

   Flames of Jive

   Her Little Machine

Roosevelt Sykes   1955

   Hush On Hush

Roosevelt Sykes   1957

   Sputnik Baby

Roosevelt Sykes   1970

   Eagle Rock Me, Baby

   Rock-A-Bye Birdie


Birth of Rock and Roll: Roosevelt Sykes

Roosevelt Sykes

Photo: Doug Fulton

Source: Alchetron

Birth of Rock and Roll: T-Bone Walker

T-Bone Walker

Source: Duduki

T-Bone Walker (Aaron Thibeaux Walker) was among the first musicians to employ the electric guitar. (Others were Alvino Rey, Charlie Christian and George Barnes.) Born in Linden, Texas, in 1910, Walker began his recording career in 1929 for Columbia with 'Trinity River Blues' and 'Wichita Falls Blues' (14506-D)). Though largely a blues artist he recorded with a dose of jazz musicians as well and, like blues guitarist, Muddy Waters, would come to great prestige in the development of rock and roll via rhythm and blues. Walker was one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century in any capacity, among the most highly regarded guitarists with whom to work until his first stroke in 1974. He would suffer a second stroke in 1975, after which bronchial pneumonia would kill him. Among the numerous with whom Walker had recorded during his career were Les Hite, Freddie Slack, Marl Young, Ray Charles, Jim Wynn, Helen Humes, Walter Bishop Jr, Jack McVea, Al Killian, Dave Bartholomew, TJ Fowler, Memphis Slim, Jimmy Witherspoon, Norman Granz, Oscar Peterson, Big Joe Turner and Jay McShann. An extensive list of Walker's compositions from 1929 to 1950 at discogs. An extensive list of Walker's compositions from 1940 to 1954 at discogs. More T-Bone Walker in A Birth of the Blues 1. All titles below were written by Walker except as noted.

T-Bone Walker   1942

   I Got a Break Baby

T-Bone Walker   1945

   She's Going to Ruin Me

T-Bone Walker   1946

   Don't Leave Me Baby

      Composition: T-Bone Walker/Lou Baxter



Boogie woogie pianist Albert Ammons was father to tenor saxophonist, Gene Ammons. Ammons' first tracks to issue are thought to have been for vocalist, Sam Theard, with the Banks Chesterfield Orchestra on September 17, 1934, for Decca titles 'That Rhythm Gal' and 'Till I Die'. That same date the Banks Orchestra supported vocalist, John Oscar, on 'You Can't Last Long Like That' and 'Got to Be Worried Now'. Ammons first recorded in 1936 with his band, the Rhythm Kings, on January 13 for 'Nagasaki' and 'Boogie Woodie Stomp'. 'Early Mornin' Blues' and 'Mile-Or-Mo' Bird Rag' ensued the next day. Boogie woogie was a limb of jazz, the southern equivalent of ragtime, thought to have originated out of Marshall in eastern Texas. Ammons had been born in Chicago in 1907. He learned to play piano as a child on a pianola (player piano) his parents owned. Ammons was a percussionist in the U.S. military during World War I, then began playing clubs in Chicago while driving a cab. He formed his first band, Club DeLisa, in 1934. He played Carnegie Hall on December 23, 1938, at the 'From Spirituals to Swing' event that was a history of black music and helped launch the boogie woogie craze that saw its height in the early forties. Titles at that concert were 'Cavalcade of Boogie', 'Jumpin' Blues', 'Pinetop's Boogie Woogie' and 'Boogie Woogie Stomp'. In the latter forties Ammons played in Lionel Hampton's orchestra as well as Chicago clubs. He performed for President Truman in 1949, prior to his death in Chicago on December 3 that year.

Albert Ammons   1936 

   Boogie Woogie Stomp

   Mile-Or-Mo Bird Rag


Albert Ammons   1938 

   Shout For Joy

Albert Ammons   1939

   Chicago In Mind

Albert Ammons   1941

   Cuttin' the Boogie

Albert Ammons   1944

   Boogie Woogie Dream

      Film   Duet with Pete Johnson

Albert Ammons   1946

   Swanee River Boogie


Birth of Rock & Roll: Albert Ammons

Albert Ammons

Source: BlueBlack Jazz


Tiny Bradshaw, drummer and vocalist, was born in Youngstown, Ohio in 1907. He had a degree in psychology from Wilberforce University before beginning to play professionally with the Collegians. He traded Ohio for NYC in 1932 where he worked in a few bands until forming his own swing orchestra in 1934. The eight sides on which he recorded vocals that year for Decca began with 'Shout Sister Shout' and 'Mister, Will You Serenade?'. His next recording dates didn't follow until ten years later in 1944, though the two sessions listed in Lord's disco aren't exact. Sometime that year he performed vocals in NYC on 'After You've Gone' and 'Straight Up and Fly Right' with a couple instrumentals for Regis. Circa August found him broadcasting vocals for AFRS in Hollywood, 'Jubilee' #93: 'San Fernando Valley', 'Ready, Set, Jump', et al. Singer, June Richmond, was also featured on a couple of titles. Moving from swing toward jump blues found Bradshaw's tractor gaining traction into higher gear, he to record such as 'Butterfly' and 'School Day Blues' in '45, 'These Things Are Love' and 'If I Had a Million Dollars' in '47, and 'Gravy Train' and 'Teardrops' in '49. His first session in 1950 on February 8 in Cincinnati wrought such as 'Boodie Green Boogie' and 'After You've Gone', at which point Bradshaw's early fifties heyday commenced with such as 'Well Oh Well' reaching #2 on the R&B for 21 weeks in 1950, 'Soft' at #3 in '53. Bradshaw's last sessions were held on January 16, 1958, for release that year on the King label: 'Short Shorts' b/w 'Bushes'. He died relatively young at age 51 upon multiple strokes on November 26 of '58 in Cincinnati.

Tiny Bradshaw   1946

   Bride and Groom Boogie

Tiny Bradshaw   1950

   I'm Gonna Have Myself a Ball

   Well Oh Well

Tiny Bradshaw   1951

   Bradshaw Boogie

   The Train Kept a Rollin'

Tiny Bradshaw   1952


Tiny Bradshaw   1953

   Free For All

   Heavy Juice

Tiny Bradshaw   1954

   The Gypsy

   Spider Web


Birth of Rock and Roll: Tiny Bradshaw

Tiny Bradshaw

Source: Same Old Song

  Julian Dash began his career playing alto sax but would quickly switch to tenor. Dash is an illustration of a swing musician transitioning to R&B. Born in 1916 in Charleston, South Carolina, Dash is assumed to have been a student at Alabama State Teachers College from '34 to '36, during which period he played with the Charleston Nighthawks ('35), the Revellers and the Bama State Collegians. (It was 1936 when Erskine Hawkins replaced the Collegians' leader, Shims.) Dash apparently studied embalming in New York after that, then ran his own band until he joined the Erskine Hawkins Orchestra in 1938, replacing Paul Bascomb. (It was 1938 when Hawkins changed the Collegians' name to His Orchestra. Trumpeter, Paul Bascomb, an original member of the Collegians, made that transition.) Dash would make his name with the Hawkins Orchestra, his first session thought to have been on September 12 of '38 for such as 'Rockin' Rollers Jubilee' and 'King Porter Stomp'. Dash remained with Erskine's swing operation for years to come, Lord's disco showing a last session per February 9, 1956, for such as 'The Yurt' and 'Waltz in Blue' with Ace Harris at piano. Dash had begun releasing his own name titles as an R&B musician in 1951. On December 12 of 1950 Dash recorded Mello-Roll 5001 ('My Silent Love' and 'Creamin'') and Mello-Roll 5002 ('Going Along' and 'Long Moan'). ('My Silent Love'/'Creamin'' may have been released as early as that year by Mello-Roll.) 'Creamin''/'Going Along' was issued by Coral (65094) in 1952. On February 7 of '51 Dash recorded four tracks for the Sittin' In With label: 'Coolin' With Dash', 'Dashin' In', 'Preachin'' and 'Somebody's Gone'. He would begin recording for the Vee-Jay label in 1954. Another operation Dash joined in the fifties was Buck Clayton's in 1953-54, '56 and '67. Dash had joined Clayton for such as 'Moten Swing' and 'Sentimental Journey' in December of '53. Their last occasion in '67 was in support of Jimmy Rushing's 'Gee Baby, 'Ain't I Good To You' and 'Who Was It Sang That Song?' on October 30. In May of 1970 Dash recorded his LP, 'A Portrait of Julian'. March 6 of '72 found him backing Jay McShann on 'Going to Kansas City'. Dash died on February 15 of 1974 in New York City. He is featured on tenor sax on 'Swingin' On Lenox Avenue' below.

Erskine Hawkins Orchestra   1940

 Tuxedo Junction

    Recorded 1939

Erskine Hawkins Orchestra   1942


    Recorded 1939

  Country Boy

Erskine Hawkins Orchestra   1946

 Swingin' On Lenox Avenue

Julian Dash   1951

 Somebody's Gone

Julian Dash   1954

 Dash Is It

 The Huckle-Buck

    LP: 'Buck Clayton's Jam Session'


 Robbins' Nest

    LP: 'Buck Clayton's Jam Session'

 So Let It Be

 Zig Zag

Julian Dash   1955



Birth of Rock & Roll: Julian Dash

Julian Dash

Source: Charleston Jazz Initiative

Birth of Rock & Roll: Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Source: Roq n Rol

Gospel singer and guitarist Sister Rosetta Tharpe released her first recordings in 1938 with pianist Albert Ammons and bandleader Lucky Millender. The samples below, recorded at Carnegie Hall in 1938, are also with Lucky Millender and Albert Ammons. Born in Cotton Plant, Arkansas, in 1915, Tharpe began her guitar and singing career as a young child tagging along behind her mother who was a traveling evangelist and gospel singer. Like other musicians who had difficulty reconciling religion with secular music, Tharpe had the same trouble, but blended the twain, not without controversy, nevertheless. The same year she released her first recordings Tharpe was hired by Cab Calloway. She would next record with Lucky Millender. Albeit Tharpe was religiously sincere and would have preferred to perform strictly gospel music, success upon need of a paycheck found her in a compromised "situation" in which the performance of secular music, or gospel amidst a secular atmosphere, got her ostracized by some of the religious community. A stroke in 1970 put an end to Tharpe's performing career, after which she had to have a leg amputated due to diabetes. She died in 1973. Rosetta Tharpe will also be found in Blues and at Swing Song.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe   1938

   Rock Me

      Live at Carnegie Hall

    Piano: Albert Ammons

   That's All

      Live at Carnegie Hall

    Piano: Albert Ammons

Sister Rosetta Tharpe   1943

   God Don't Like It

Sister Rosetta Tharpe   1948

   Up Above My Head

     Duet with Marie Knight


Birth of Rock & Roll: Bill Doggett

Bill Doggett

Source: Second Hand Songs
The Born in 1916 in Philadelphia, PA, arranger, composer and pianist/organist, Bill Doggett, put together his first band, the Five Majors, at age fifteen. During high school he worked in Jimmy Gordon's pit orchestra at the Nixon Grand Theatre. Having a rough time paying the rent in his early twenties, he also had difficulty paying his band, so he sold it to Lucky Millinder, then made his first recordings with the same in NYC in late 1938 for the soundtrack to 'Readin', 'Ritin', and Rhythm' released in 1939, those titles: 'Ride, Red, Ride' and 'Jazz Martini'. December of 1939 saw such as 'Little Old Lady From Baltimore' and 'All Aboard', those for Varsity. Millinder's orchestra was Doggett's ticket to 1945. Doggett meanwhile began arranging for such as the Ink Spots in 1942. He was with the Ink Spots when he first recorded with vocal giant, Ella Fitzgerald, in NYC on November 3 of 1943 for 'Cow Cow Boogie'. Future sessions with Fitzgerald would arrive in '49, '50, '51, '53 and, finally, January of 1962 for 'Rhythm Is My Business'. Another vocalist Doggett supported in the forties was Helen Humes in June of 1945 for such as 'Unlucky Woman' and 'Be-Baba-Leba'. Ever jazz oriented, Doggett first surfaced in Illinois Jacquet's All Stars on August 2 of '45 to support Wynonie Harris on 'Wynonie's Blues' and 'Here Comes the Blues'. Those included Jacquet's brother, trumpeter, Russell Jacquet. Doggett recorded on mutiple occasions with Jacquet to January of 1947 for 'For Europeans Only', 'Big Dog', etc.. Another important figure in Doggett's career arrived in the person of Louis Jordan in 1947, Doggett joining Jordan's Tympany Five in Los Angeles on November 24 for such as 'Have You Got the Gumption?' and 'We Can't Agree'. Doggett pushed into the early fifties with Jordan's operation until latter 1951. Among those occasions was a session with trumpet giant, Louis Armstrong, on August 23, 1950: 'Life Is So Peculiar' and 'You Rascal You'. January 19 of 1952 witnessed Doggett's first session as a leader, playing organ with Jimmy Cannady on guitar and an unknown drummer for two parts of 'Big Dog Blues', 'Glo's Plug' and 'Please Don't Ever Let Me Go', the latter to which he contributed vocals. He issued several 10" LPs in '54 and '55, then 'Moon Dust' in 1956, his initial 33 rpm LP, followed by a few more recorded the same year. Doggett suddenly soared to Billboard's #1 tier in R&B in 1956, with 'Honky Tonk'. It there remained for a couple months and would sell four million copies. Doggett topped the 'Cash Box' charts in R&B from '57 to '59. Among the highlights of Doggett's latter career was the LP, 'Lionel Hampton Presents: Bill Doggett' in 1977. Doggett issued his final LP of original material in 1991: 'The Right Choice'. March of 1995 found Doggett participating with trumpeter, Lester Bowie, in guitarist/producer, Joe Ferry's, 'Hurricane' (Ferry's fourth 'Bluesiana'). He died a couple years later in New York of heart attack on November 13 of '96. Per 1939 below, excerpts are from the film, 'Paradise in Harlem'.

Bill Doggett   1939


      With Lucky Millinder

Bill Doggett   1942

   Are You Ready?

      With Lucky Millinder

   Little John Special

      With Lucky Millinder

   Someone's Rocking My Dream Boat

      With The Ink Spots

Bill Doggett   1955

   Big Boy

Bill Doggett   1956

   Honky Tonk

  Peacock Alley

Bill Doggett   1957

   Hot Doggett


Bill Doggett   1958


   Hold It

Bill Doggett   1962

   The Worm

      The Worm

Bill Doggett   1972


      Television broadcast in France

Bill Doggett   1978

   Live at Cimiez Gardens

      Filmed in Nice, France


      LP: 'Honky Tonk Popcorn King'



Birth of Rock & Roll: Buddy Johnson

Buddy Johnson

Born in Darlington, South Carolina, in 1915, pianist and bandleader Buddy Johnson studied classical music as youth. Johnson's sister was the vocalist, Ella Johnson. Among his earliest jobs upon heading for NYC in 1938 was with the Cotton Club Revue which, upon touring Europe, was expelled from Nazi Germany in 1939. His first recordings are thought to have been with his own orchestra for such as 'When You're Out with Me' and 'Jammin' in Georgia' on November 16 of '39 with the Mack Sisters. Singer, Arthur Prysock, is thought to have gotten his start in the music business with Johnson in 1944. Another singer with whom he worked was Ruth Brown, such as 'Sure Enough' and 'Here He Comes' released in 1961. Johnson is an excellent early example of jazz transitioning toward jump blues and rhythm and blues. He died of brain tumor and sickle cell anemia in 1977 in New York.

Buddy Johnson   1940

   Jammin' In Georgia

      With the Mack Sisters

   She's Got Her Jinx On Me

Buddy Johnson   1941

   Boogie Woogie's Mother in Law

Buddy Johnson   1942

   Let´s Beat Out Some Love

Buddy Johnson   1944

   One Of Them Good Ones

Buddy Johnson   1946

   Since I Fell For You

      Vocal: Ella Johnson

Buddy Johnson   1947

   Far Cry

Buddy Johnson   1949

   Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball?

Buddy Johnson   1950


      Vocal: Arthur Prysock

   No More Love

      Vocal: Ella Johnson

Buddy Johnson   1955

   Crazy 'Bout a Saxophone

Buddy Johnson   1956

   Bring It Home to Me

      Vocal: Ella Johnson

   Buddy's Boogie

   Doot Doot Dow

   I'll Dearly Love You



Birth of Rock & Roll: Arthur Crudup

Arthur Crudup

Source:  Original People


Born in 1905 in Forest, Mississippi, Arthur Crudup began his adult life as a migrant worker. He began singing gospel with a group called the Harmonizing Four, with which he made his way from Mississippi to Chicago. There opting for a solo career, he was busking on the streets, living in a packing crate, when he was introduced to Tampa Red by Lester Melrose of RCA Bluebird, who also signed him to Crudup's first recording contract in 1940. Despite Crudup's recordings he had to support his music throughout much of career as a bootlegger and laborer. He died in Virginia in 1974. Had this history a rockabilly page that's where Crudup would be as an early progenitor. More Arthur Crudup to be found in Blues 3, including a couple of his first recordings.

Arthur Crudup   1946

   That's All Right Mama

Arthur Crudup   1949

   My Baby Left Me

Arthur Crudup   1951

   I'm Gonna Dig Myself a Hole

Arthur Crudup   1954

   She's Got No Hair


  Funk vocalist Rufus Thomas was born in 1917 in Cayce, Mississippi. He was in his first year of college when he dropped out to join the Rabbit Foot Minstrels in 1936 as a comedian. Thomas is tentatively given a first release date of 1941 because that's the notion multiple sources seem to have, though minus any pertinent detail. No further record of such is found. In 1942 he fathered Carla Thomas. It's said that in 1943 Thomas released 'I'll Be a Good Boy' b/w 'I'm So Worried' on 78 for the Star Talent label in Texas. There is no documentation found for that unless the date be changed to 1950, in which case Thomas may have recorded those tracks (Star Talent 807) live at Currie's Club Tropicana in Memphis, Tennessee. Be as may, the record didn't sell well, being one reason Thomas was working at a textile plant since the early forties, which employment he kept into the sixties while pursuing a second career in music. In 1951 Thomas replaced BB King as a disc jockey at WDIA Radio in Memphis, where he continued a very popular show into the early seventies. It was 1953 when 'Bear Cat', his response to Big Mama Thornton's 'Hound Dog' (Rock 4), put Thomas in the spotlights. Thomas enjoyed a strong recording career into the seventies. He far from disappeared, however, continuing to work in radio and recording well into the new millennium. He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001 before dying in December that year of heart failure in Memphis. 'I'll Be a Good Boy', below, is an apt example of jump blues.

Rufus Thomas   1950

   I'll Be a Good Boy

   I'm So Worried

Rufus Thomas   1953

   Bear Cat

   Tiger Man

   Walking In the Rain

Rufus Thomas   1956

   Easy Livin' Plan

Rufus Thomas   1963

   Did You Ever Love a Woman

   The Dog

Rufus Thomas   1964

   All Night Worker

Rufus Thomas   1965

   Walking the Dog


   Willy Nilly

Rufus Thomas   1968

   The Memphis Train

Rufus Thomas   1971

   Do the Funky Penguin

   Do the Push and Pull

Rufus Thomas   1972

   Itch and Scratch

Rufus Thomas   1973

   Breakdown/Funky Chicken

      Live performance

Rufus Thomas   1975

   Jump Back


Birth of R&B: Rufus Thomas

Rufus Thomas

Source: Sixties Soul Music

Birth of Rock & Roll: Big Maybelle

Big Maybelle

Source: Rubber City Review

Born Mabel Louise Smith in 1924 in Jackson, Tennessee, rhythm and blues vocalist Big Maybelle sang gospel before picking up R&B a child. Wikipedia has her beginning her career at age twelve with Dave Clark's Memphis Band in 1936. She sang with the International Sweethearts of Rhythm from '36 to '44. In the early forties Maybelle became study to Christine Chapman at piano and vocals. She first recorded on April 6, 1944, with the Christine Chapman Orchestra for Decca Records: 'Bottin' the Boogie' and 'Hurry, Hurry'. She then hooked up with the Tiny Bradshaw Orchestra in Cincinnati in winter of '47 for such as 'Indian Giver' and 'Foolin' Blues' (King). Maybelle's first recordings with King Records didn't do well. But her first recording for Okeh Records on October 8 of 1952, 'Gabbin Blues', rose to No. 3 on the charts in January of '53, launching a highly successful career as she followed that later in the year with 'Way Back Home' at No. 10 in June and 'My Country Man' at No. 5 in November. She was given the name, Big Maybelle, by producer, Fred Mendelsohn, of Okeh Records. Sadly, Maybelle died young, not quite fifty years old, of diabetic coma, in 1972 in Cleveland. Her last recordings were released the next year on an album titled, 'Last of Big Maybelle'. See allmusic for songwriting credits to some of her titles. Earlier recordings in Blues 4.

Big Maybelle   1953

   Jinny Mule

       Composition: Leroy Kirkland/Sidney Wyche

Big Maybelle   1954

   I'm Getting 'Long Alright

       Composition: Leroy Kirkland/Robert Lee McCoy

Big Maybelle   1956



       Mack David/Joan Whitney/Alex Kramer

Big Maybelle   1958

   The Blues

Big Maybelle   1967

   96 Tears

       Composition: Rudy Martinez



Birth of Rock & Roll: Winonie Harris

Wynonie Harris

Source: Artist Direct

'Hurry Hurry' and 'Who Threw the Whiskey in the Well' were the first recordings made by R&B vocalist Wynonie Harris, put down on May 26 of 1944 with Lucky Millinder. 'Hurry, Hurry' got released in 1944 on Decca 18609 with Millinder backing Judy Carroll on 'I Can't See For Looking'. 'Who Threw the Whiskey in the Well' didn't see issue until Decca 18674 in May of 1945 with the Millinder instrumental, 'Shipyard Social Function'. Born in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1915, Harris was among that group of vocalists called blues shouters, capable of singing unamplified to a hall without the band drowning them out. (Among other shouters of the day were Jimmy Rushing, Big Joe Turner, Eddie Cleanhead Vinson and Jimmy Witherspoon.) Harris' recording career was a score of years long, his last studio session in 1964, though those tracks weren't released in his lifetime: 'The Comeback', 'Buzzard Luck' and 'Conjured'. He died of esophageal cancer in June of 1969 in Los Angeles.

Wynonie Harris   1944

   Hurry Hurry

      With Lucky Millinder

Wynonie Harris   1945

   Who Threw the Whiskey In the Well

      With Lucky Millinder

   Rebecca's Blues

      With Oscar Pettiford & His All Stars

Wynonie Harris   1948

   All She Wants To Do Is Rock

   Good Rockin' Tonight

Wynonie Harris   1950

   Good Morning Judge

   Teardrops from My Eyes

Wynonie Harris   1951

   Don't Roll Those Bloodshot Eyes At Me

   Lovin' Machine

Wynonie Harris   1953

   Quiet Whiskey

   Wasn't That Good

Wynonie Harris   1954

   Shake That Thing



Born in Cleveland in 1919, rhythm and blues musician Bull Moose Jackson taught himself to play saxophone and formed his first band, the Harlem Hotshots, in high school. He first played professionally with none less than Lucky Millinder, joining his band in 1943. He picked up the nickname "Bull Moose" from members of that band. Though neither featured nor distinguishable amidst the horns, the first track below for year 1944, is one of the first recordings on which Jackson performed. He formed his band, the Buffalo Bearcats, in 1945. The track, 'I Know Who Threw The Whiskey' (below), is Jackson's response to the song by Wynonie Harris, 'Who Threw the Whiskey In the Well'. It was also his first recording in his own name, backed with 'Bad Man Jackson, That's Me'. Jackson largely retired from music in the fifties. Lord's disco shows last recordings from his early period circa 1956 in Los Angeles for Encino Records: 'Understanding', 'Watch My Signals', et al. A compilation of recordings made for King Records would be released in 1959 by Audio Lab titled 'Bull Moose Jackson Sings His All-Time Hits'. In the meantime, weary of touring, Jackson had taken employment with a catering business in Washington D.C., though played locally. In 1961 he issued another rendition of 'I Love You, Yes I Do' per 7 Arts #705, a Warwick subsidiary. In 1983 Jackson began working with a band called the Flashcats in Pittsburgh, PA, they recording 'I Got a Gal Who Lives on a Hill' and 'Get Off the Table, Mable' on November 27 that year for issue on 45rpm. Jackson's comeback album, 'Moosemania!', followed with the Flashcats in 1985. He successfully toured the United States and internationally until dying of lung cancer in Cleveland in July of 1989. Thanks largely to JC Marion (Marion-Net E-zines) for dates below.

Bull Moose Jackson   1944

   Hurry Hurry

      With Lucky Millinder & Wynonie Harris

Bull Moose Jackson   1945

   I Know Who Threw The Whiskey

Bull Moose Jackson   1947

   I Love You, Yes I Do

   I Want a Bowlegged Woman

   Sneaky Pete

Bull Moose Jackson   1949

   I Can't Go On Without You

Bull Moose Jackson   1950

   Big Fat Mamas Are Back in Style

Bull Moose Jackson   1952

   Big Ten Inch

   Nosey Joe


Birth of Rock & Roll: Bull Moose Jackson

Bull Moose Jackson

Source: Discogs

Wild Bill Moore, tenor sax, is an excellent ride from swing jazz toward rock and back to jazz. Born in Houston in 1918, he was a Golden Gloves boxer in his latter teens, then turned professional. He meanwhile played alto saxophone, switching to tenor in 1944. Moore's recording career commenced in April 1944 in NYC, backing vocalist, Christine Chatman on 'Bootin' The Boogie'. That was followed in February by a radio broadcast with the Louis Armstrong Orchestra, future sessions that year with Armstrong in August and October. August 1945 found Moore in Los Angeles with Helen Humes: 'Unlucky Woman', 'Every Now And Then', 'He May Be Your Man', 'Blue Prelude' and 'Be-Baba-Leba'. In October that year he recorded with Slim Gaillard, then with Shift Henry in December. (Thanks to the hoyhoy website for preceding information.) Moore began releasing titles with his own band in 1947 upon leaving California for Detroit. He largely worked in clubs as he continued recording, eventually returning to Los Angeles where he died in August of 1983.

Wild Bill Moore   1944

   Bootin' The Boogie

      With Christine Chatman

Wild Bill Moore   1945


      With Helen Humes

Wild Bill Moore   1946

   My Gal's a Jockey

Wild Bill Moore   1948


   We're Gonna Rock

Wild Bill Moore   1950

   Hey Spo-Dee-O-Dee

Wild Bill Moore   1961


      Album: 'Bottom Groove'


Birth of Rock & Roll: Wild Bill Moore

Wild Bill Moore

Source: Boomer Culture


Bandleader, drummer/vibraphonist and vocalist Johnny Otis began his career in jazz, shook the rock and roll world for a couple decades, then returned to jazz. He was born Ioannis Alexandres Veliotes to Greek immigrants in 1921 in Vallejo, California. His father owned a small grocery store. The reason Otis may be the only Grecian in all these histories might be his modus operandi in times of lack, beginning his vocation with a forged credit slip to purchase a set of drums. How his father, whose money it was, reacted isn't known, but Otis quit Berkeley High School high in his junior year and joined a local band, the West Oakland Houserockers, to play engagements in Berkeley and Oakland. He first appeared on record playing drums for the Stan Kenton Orchestra per a session in Hollywood on April 20, 1944, for titles like 'Five O'Clock Drag' and 'Russian Lullaby' (Philo/Aladdin). He then formed a group called His All Stars which saw a session in summer of '45 with major rival, Wynonie Harris, resulting in 'Around the Clock Blues', 'Cock a Doodle Doo' and 'Yonder Goes My Baby'. Otis' first session work arrived in 1945 as well, that with Illinois Jacquet for such as 'Flying Home Parts 1 & 2' for Philo and Aladdin. A later session in August yielded 'Ladies Lullaby' and 'Illinois Stomp'. Otis began issuing records in his own name in 1945, those debut recordings thought to have been 'Drop Another Nickel In The Juke Box', 'Daddy-O',and 'My Baby's Business'. The success of 'Harlem Nocturne' in 1946 catapulted Otis out of the barrel, now a big shot in Los Angeles with a remarkable nonstop career in the fast lane ahead of him as one of the original rockers. It was Otis' band in which Esther Phillips got her start in 1949 (she age thirteen). They recorded 'I Gotta Gal' in October [*]. On November 10 of that year she joined Junior Ryder on 'Chilton Switch'/'Get Together Blues' (Savoy 824). That's also the first session on which Otis is thought to have performed vibes. His first vocal is thought to have been March 19, 1951, shared with George Washington on 'All Night Long' during his three-year residency at the Savoy in NYC begun in 1950. Etta James got her start in Otis' band in 1951 (she age thirteen). Otis would later co-write and produce James' 'The Wallflower' ('Dance with Me, Henry') in 1954 for issue the next year. In 1953 his band accompanied Big Mama Thornton on 'Hound Dog'. Other of Otis' discoveries were Jackie Wilson, Hank Ballard, and Little Willie John. Otis had his own radio (KFOX Long Beach, CA) and television shows in the fifties, also founding his own label, Ultra Records, in 1955. Vocalist, Tony Allen, saw issue that year on Ultra for 'Check Yourself' and 'It Hurts Me So'. Otis' first rendition of '(Willie and the) Hand Jive' saw session on April 3, 1958. During the sixties Otis found time to unsuccessfully run, by his birth name, for a seat in the California State Assembly as a Democrat, after which he became chief of staff for Congressman, Mervyn M. Dymally. In 1973 Otis released the first of his 'Great Rhythm and Blues Oldies' series in 1973 on his own label, 'Blues Spectrum'. Also in the seventies Otis founded and pastored the nondenominational New Landmark Community Gospel Church as Reverend Hand Jive (kiddingly). That church opened its doors for some twenty years, closing in 1998. Otis returned to radio in the eighties in Los Angeles, hosting for KPFK, eventually moving to KPFA. In 1987 he helped organize the first Red Beans & Rice R&B Music Festival in Los Angeles, later moved to San Dimas. 1990 saw the recording of 'Spirit of the Black Territory Bands' released in '92. In 1993 Otis put together a deli/grocery/cabaret business in Sebastopol, California, from which he began broadcasting live weekend shows in 1994, the year he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 1996 found Otis in Zurich, Switzerland, recording 'A Yo Yo' with guitarist, Tefo Hlaele. 1997 saw Barbara Morrison recording 'Mood Indigo' at Otis' cabaret in Sebastopol. Circa 1999 witnessed Heather Marie recording her album, 'Got My Mojo Working', at Sebastopol. Released in 2000 were titles he arranged for vocalist, Barbara Morrison, on 'Ooh-Shoobie-Doo!', also at Sebastopol. Otis' Sebastopol recordings got issued by J & T Records. Otis retired from his highly active career in 2004, dying in Los Angeles on January 17 of 2012.

Johnny Otis   1945

   Around the Clock

       With Wynonie Harris

      Drums: Johnny Otis


Johnny Otis   1946

   Harlem Nocturne

Johnny Otis   1947

   Courtroom Blues

   Rockin' Blues

      With Wynonie Harris

Johnny Otis   1948

   Alligator Meat

      Vocals: Charles Brown

   That's Your Last Boogie

      Vocals: Joe Swift

Johnny Otis   1949

   I Gotta Gal

      Vocal: Little Esther Phillips

Johnny Otis   1950

   Deceivin' Blues

      Vocal: Little Esther Phillips & Mel Walker

   Far Away Blues

      Vocal: Little Esther Phillips

Johnny Otis   1951

   Mambo Boogie

Johnny Otis   1957

   Bye Bye Baby

   Ma (He's Makin' Eyes At Me)

      Vocals: Marie Adams


      With the Jayos

   Stay with Me

Johnny Otis   1958

   Willie and the Hand Live

Johnny Otis   1959

   Telephone Baby

      Vocals: Marie Adams

Johnny Otis   1963

   The Hash

   Somebody Call the Station

Johnny Otis   1969

   Country Girl

Johnny Otis   1971

   Slow Goonbash Blues

      Guitar: Shuggie Otis

Johnny Otis   1973

   Barrelhouse Blues

      Guitar: Shuggie Otis

Johnny Otis   1977

   Nigger Please!

      Vocal: Barbara Morrison

Johnny Otis   1982

   Drinkin' Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee


Birth of Rock & Roll: Johnny Otis

Johnny Otis

Source: Past Blues


Pianist Joe Liggins (older brother to Jimmy Liggins) is a good example of jump blues, which was an up-tempo blues developing out of big band swing in the early forties, smaller groups soon appearing, including Liggin's sextet, the Honeydrippers (though employing several other session musicians for recordings). Liggins was born in 1915 in Guthrie, Oklahoma. Lord's disco has him in a coin toss with pianist, E. Brooks, per participation in titles by Cee Pee Johnson and His Orchestra circa December 1943 and January of '44, those AFRS 'Jubilee' broadcasts for titles such as 'Sherman Shuffle' and 'Leave Us, Linda'. Those of uncertain contribution weren't issued until years later on CD by RST. Liggin's debut issues are thought to have been recorded in Los Angeles with his band, the Honeydrippers, on March 26 of 1945: 'Blue Moods' and two parts to 'The Honeydripper'. In 1946 'I've Got a Right to Cry' began its way to a million copies. Ditto 'Pink Champagne' in 1950. The majority of Liggins' sessions were his own projects. Among others he backed were Jimmie Lunceford in 1945 for recorded radio broadcasts in California, New York and Missouri. Saxophonist, Little Willie Jackson, had been one of Liggin's Honeydrippers since their first release per above in 1945. In 1947 Liggin's Honeydrippers supported numerous Jackson titles ranging from 'I Ain't Got Nobody' on September 12 to 'Someday Somehow Somewhere' on December 20. April 11 and 18, 1950, saw a couple sessions with vocalist, Goldia Haynes for titles like 'Traveling' and 'Oh Lord, How Long?'. Liggins saw the peak of his career in the fifties, though he continued to perform until his death of stroke in July of 1987 in Lynwood, CA.

Joe Liggins   1945

   The Honeydripper

      Saxophone: Little Willie Johnson

Joe Liggins   1947

   Blow Mr. Jackson

    Tenor sax: James Jackson 


Joe Liggins   1950

   I've Got Right to Cry

Joe Liggins   1954

   They Were Doing the Mambo

   Whiskey, Women and Loaded Dice

   Yeah Yeah Yeah

Joe Liggins   1984

   Pink Champagne

Joe Liggins   1985

   The Honeydripper


Birth of Rock & Roll: Joe Liggins

Joe Liggins

Source: All Music

Birth of Rock & Roll: Roy Milton

Roy Milton

Source: maniadb

Boogie woogie, jump blues and R&B drummer Roy Milton was born in 1915 in Wynnewood, Oklahoma. He formed his own band, the Solid Senders, in 1933 to perform in clubs in the Los Angeles area. His first recording session was with his Sextet in September of 1945 for Lionel Hampton's Hamp-Tone label: 'I'll Always Be In Love With You'/'To Be Alone Blues' and 'Burma Road Blues Part 1'/'Burma Road Blues Part 2'. On December 11 he held a practice session with his Solid Senders for Art Rupe, founder of the fledgling Juke Box label (soon to become Specialty) who had discovered Milton while out scouting about for talent one evening in Los Angeles. Those titles weren't issued, but were rendered again on December 22, netting such as 'Milton's Boogie' and 'R.M. Blues'. The former was released with Camille Howard's 'Groovy Blues' on back per Jukebox 503, the latter with 'Rhythm Cocktail' per Jukebox 504, those Specialty issues as well. Those records were so successful ('R.M. Blues' reaching the No. 2 spot on the charts) that Milton was soon earning $5000 a week from touring alone, a night at the City Auditorium in Atlanta bringing in $1500. The boon rapidly brought Milton and his wife several investments: a $25,000 house, a $20,000 touring bus, a beauty salon, an apartment building worth 23 units and the founding of the Miltone record label in July of 1947. Most of Milton's recordings were his own projects, though he backed other operations on occasion. Various with whom he made records throughout the years were Pete Johnson and Camille Howard in the forties. Howard (no relation to Rosetta) had been Milton's pianist since 1943 before they began recording per his Sextet, above, in 1945, those also her debut recordings. Having begun her solo career in 1953, Howard's last tracks with Milton may have been December 31, 1955, in support of Big Joe Turner, at the Shrine Auditorium for titles like 'Flip, Flop and Fly' and 'Blues'. Jimmy Witherspoon and Helen Humes came knocking in the fifites. Milton appeared at the 1970 Monterey Jazz Festival on September 19 with Johnny Otis, contributing vocals to 'Baby You Don't Know' and 'R.M. Blues'. He contributed drums and vocals to Big Joe Turner's 'Boogie Woogie Jubilee' on May 23, 1981, recorded at Turner's home to celebrate the latter's seventieth birthday. They were joined by pianist, Axel Zwingenberger. Milton passed beyond on September 18 of 1983 in Los Angeles.

Roy Milton   1945

   Milton's Boogie

Roy Milton   1945

   Groovy Blues

      Piano & vocal: Camille Howard

Roy Milton   1947

   Camille's Boogie

      Piano: Camille Howard

   True Blues

Roy Milton   1948

   Hop, Skip and Jump

Roy Milton   1949

   Information Blues

Roy Milton   1955

   Fools Are Getting Scarcer

   I Can't Go On

   You Got Me Reelin'and Rockin'


  Born in Sanford, Florida, in 1925, vocalist Sister Marie Knight began her music career in gospel. She began touring as a singer in 1939 with evangelist Frances Robison. Knight released her first recordings in 1946 with a group called the Sunset Four. Briefly afterward Sister Rosetta Tharpe invited her to tour with her. Unlike Tharpe who would have preferred to return to gospel from secular circumstances which were something presented to her, Sister Knight would be looking for a way to break into secular music. Gospel would nevertheless continue a mainstay throughout her career. Upon ceasing to tour with Sister Tharpe in 1951 Sister Knight put together a gospel group called the Millionaires, which recorded the album, 'Sons of the Gospel' in 1956. Shortly afterward she began recording secular music for various labels. Knight and Tharpe would remain friends throughout Tharpe's life, often performing together until Tharpe's stroke in 1970. Knight herself would not die until much later in 2009.

Marie Knight   1946

   If I Could Just Make It In

      With the Sunset Four

   Where Shall I Go

      With the Sunset Four

Marie Knight   1948

   Beams of Heaven

      With Rosetta Tharpe

   My Journey to the Sky

      With Rosetta Tharpe

Marie Knight   1954


      With Rosetta Tharpe

Marie Knight   1955

   Who Rolled the Stone Away

Marie Knight   1956

   Grasshopper Baby

Marie Knight   1958

   I Thought I Told You Not To Tell Them

Marie Knight   1960

   To Be Loved By You

Marie Knight   1962

   Come On Baby

Marie Knight   1963

   I Was Born Again

Marie Knight   1964

   A Little Too Lonely

Marie Knight   1966

   That's No Way to Treat a Girl


Birth of Rock & Roll: Marie Knight

Marie Knight

Source: Phresh

Birth of Rock & Roll: Amos Milburn

Amos Milburn

Source: MP3 XL


Born in Houston in 1927, pianist Amos Milburn was playing piano by age five. Much of his work is exemplary of jump blues (up-tempo blues). He enlisted in the Navy during World War II at age fifteen and earned thirteen battle stars in the Philippines before returning to Houston to form his first band. It was 1946 when Milburn released his first recordings gone down in Los Angeles: 'After Midnight'/'Amos's Blues' (Aladdin 159), 'Darling How Long'/'My Baby's Boogie' (Aladdin 160) and 'Don't Beg Me'/'Down the Road Apiece' (Aladdin 161). From 1948 to 1954 Milburn placed no less than 19 titles on Billboard's R&B Top Ten. Four of those reached #1: 'Bewildered' ('48), 'Chicken-Shack Boogie' ('48), 'Roomin' House Boogie' ('49) and 'Bad Bad Whiskey' ('50). Compositional credits to recordings by Milburn at 45Cat, Allmusic 1, 2, 3, 4 and Discogs 1, 2. Milburn died on January 3, 1980. More Amos Milburn in Blues 4.

Amos Milburn   1946

   Amos Blues

       Composition: Lola Anne Cullum/Amos Milburn

Amos Milburn   1947

   Chicken Shack Boogie

       Composition: Amos Milburn/Lola Cullum

   Down the Road a Piece

       Composition: Don Raye

Amos Milburn   1949

   Roomin' House Boogie

       Composition: Jessie Mae Robinson




R&B bass vocalist Jimmy Ricks began his recording career with the doo wop band, the Ravens, in 1946. He fronted Benny Goodman's swing orchestra in 1950 releasing 'Oh Babe' and 'Walkin' With the Blues'. Ricks left the Ravens in 1955 for a solo career less successful than the decade he spent with that group (a very long time, considering a major portion of doo wop was by one-hit wonders). Ricks died in July of 1974.

Jimmy Ricks   1946

   Out Of A Dream

      With the Ravens

Jimmy Ricks   1951

   Oh, Babe!

      With Benny Goodman & Nancy Reed

Jimmy Ricks   1953

   She's Got to Go

Jimmy Ricks   1954


Jimmy Ricks   1956

   The Same Sweet Wonderful One

      With the Rickateers

Jimmy Ricks   1957

   Bad Man of Missouri

      With the Suburbans

Jimmy Ricks   1959

   I Needed Your Love

   If It Didn't Hurt So Much

Jimmy Ricks   1960


   You're the Boss

      With LaVern Baker

Jimmy Ricks   1961

   Daddy Rollin' Stone

      With the Raves

Jimmy Ricks   1967

   It's All In The Game


Birth of Rock & Roll: Jimmy Ricks

Jimmy Ricks

Source: Rare Soul

Birth of Rock & Roll: Sunnyland Slim

Sunnyland Slim

Source: Mapleshade Records

Pianist and vocalist, Albert Luandrew, would develop the stage name, Sunnyland Slim, from his composition, 'Sunnyland Train'. Though largely a blues musician, Sunnyland Slim was also an early contributor to rock n roll, as demonstrated on 'She Ain't Nowhere' below. He was born in 1906 near Vance, Mississippi. His father a preacher, Slim left home for Memphis at age eighteen where he worked day jobs while applying himself to boogie woogie piano. The next several years saw Slim develop into a popular musician, though yet dependent on odd jobs. It was to work in a factory that found him in Chicago by the early forties. His musical career meanwhile began gaining ground as he performed with such as Baby Face Leroy (Leroy Foster), Tampa Red, Doctor Clayton and Sonny Boy Williamson II [Marion, et al]. His debut recording session fell on September 26 of 1946, singing vocals for Jump Jackson on 'Night Life Blues' (Specialty 507 Nov '46). (Pianist, Roosevelt Sykes, sang vocals on Side A: 'Alley Cat Woman'). Most sources want Slim's first solo name session per Aristocrat (to become Chess in 1950) in late August or early September of '47, backed by Muddy Waters on 'Johnson Machine Gun'/'Fly Right Little Girl' (Aristocrat 1301). He supported Waters on 'Gypsy Woman'/'Little Anna Mae' (Aristocrat 1302). Campbell et al note that a session for Hy-Tone could possibly have preceded that, also put down in latter August or early September on an unidentified date to include: 'Jivin' Boogie'/'Brown Skin Woman' (Hy-Tone 32). Slim also recorded as "Doctor Clayton's Buddy" for RCA Victor in '47, eight sides to include 'Illinois Central' with 'Sweet Lucy Blues' B side. Slim issued his first LP in 1960: 'Chicago Blues Session', followed by 'Slim's Shout' the next year. The blues revival concurrent with the folk revival in the sixties served him well as he toured the States and Europe, such as the American Folk Blues Festival in 1964. Slim formed Airway Records about 1973, releasing four albums with it (: 'She Got That Jive' '74, 'Just You and Me' '81). Slim remained active until dying of renal failure on March 17, 1995, in Chicago. Among Slim's numerous recording partners had been Snooky Pryor, Robert Lockwood Jr, Moody Jones, Ernest Cotton, Big Crawford, Alfred Wallace, Big Walter Horton, Jimmy Rogers, Bob Woodfork, Willie Dixon, SP Leary and Canned Heat. Slim had written titles like 'Johnson Machine Gun', 'My Baby, My Baby', 'Got a Thing Going On' and 'See My Lawyer'. Other of his compositions at allmusic 1, 2, 45cat and discogs. He wrote all titles below except as indicated. More Sunnyland Slim in Blues 4.

Sunnyland Slim   1947

   She Ain't Nowhere

Sunnyland Slim   1951

   When I Was Young

Sunnyland Slim   1953


   Shake It Baby

Sunnyland Slim   1961

   Shake It

      Composition: Big Joe Turner



Birth of Rock & Roll: Sonny Thompson

Sonny Thompson

Source: Second Hand Songs

It was November of 1945 in Chicago that bandleader and pianist Sonny Thompson began recording, supporting vocalist, June Richmond, on titles like 'Hey Lawdy Mama' and 'I Haven't Changed Thing'. About summer of '46 he recorded the piano solos, 'South Side Boogie' and 'Sonny's Boogie' (Sultan 2502 and 2503). One source gives Thompson's birthdate as of August 1916, others 1923, either in Chicago or Centreville, Mississippi. Thompson first supported vocalist, Lula Reed, on December 14, 1951, per 'Let's Call It a Day' and 'I'll Drown My Tears'. Reed and Thompson would marry some time in the fifties, they meanwhile each the other's main musical asset for a decade, they recording numerously together to February of 1962 in Cincinnati, OH, with blues guitarist/vocalist, Freddie King, on 'Do the President Twist', 'You Can't Hide', et al. As for King, he was already becoming a major figure in Thompson's career, Thompson first joining King's operation in 1960 in time to record such as 'You Know That You Love Me' and 'See See Baby' on August 26. Thompson recorded with King to as late as September 26 of 1963 in Cincinnati for 'Surf Monkey', 'Zoo Surfin', et al. Among Thompson's albums were 'Sonny Thompson' ('51), 'Moody Blues Play Only After Midnight' ('58), 'Sonny Thompson Swings In Paris' ('73) and 'The Blues Again' ('84). He died in Chicago on August 11 of 1989. Per below, Thompson is at everything from swing to boogie woogie to R&B and, three decades later, disco.

Sonny Thompson   1946

   After You've Gone

      With June Richmond

   Screamin' Boogie

Sonny Thompson   1948

   Long Gone

Sonny Thompson   1951

   Blues Mambo

Sonny Thompson   1980


      With Cosmic Force



Birth of Rock & Roll: Dave Bartholomew

Dave Bartholomew

Photo: Elsa Hahne

Source: Off Beat

Born in 1918 in Edgard, Louisiana, trumpeter Dave Bartholomew served in the Army during World War II, then put together a band, the Dew Drippers, in 1945. It is thought he first recorded in 1947 for De Luxe, such as: 'She’s Got Great Big Eyes (and Great Big Thighs)'/'Bum Mae'. He began recording again in 1949, 'Country Boy' among, the same year he began arranging as a bandleader for Imperial Records, also working as a talent scout. A highlight in any musical career would have been collaborations with T-Bone Walker, with whom Bartholomew recorded in 1953-54. Among first titles for Imperial with Walker on March 20 of '53 in New Orleans were 'I'm Still in Love with You' and 'Got No Use for You'. Among last titles for Imperial with Walker on June 20 of '54 in Los Angeles were 'Hard Way' and 'Strugglin' Blues'. Bartholomew began composing with Fats Domino in the mid fifties ('Blueberry Hill' in '56 his arrangement). In 1967 Bartholomew founded Broadmoor Records New Orleans, folding the next year upon the bankruptcy of its distributor, Dover Records. Bartholomew was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, though more as a producer of R&B than performer. As of this writing Bartholomew is less than two years shy of his 100th birthday, yet playing traditional jazz in the New Orleans area, including Preservation Hall.

Dave Bartholomew   1947

   Bum Mae

   She's Got Great Big Eyes

Dave Bartholomew   1949

   Carnival Day

   Country Boy

   Passion Blues

      Vocal: Jewel King

   That's How You Got Killed Before

Dave Bartholomew   1952

   Ain't Gonna Do It

   My Ding a Ling

   Who Drank My Beer While I Was In The Rear

Dave Bartholomew   1957

   The Monkey


  Born in 1925 in Philadelphia, PA, session guitarist, Billy Butler, wrought a blend of R&B and jazz. He began his recording career ion August 29, 1947, in Sammy Price's Trio backing vocalist, Albinia Jones, on 'Give It Up Daddy Blues', 'The Rain Is Falling' and 'Papa Tree Top Blues'. November 19 saw titles with vocalist, Cousin Joe, like 'Beggin' Woman' and 'Sadie Brown'. Come the Harlemaires, a doo wop group consisting of Percy Doll (bass), Chester Slater (guitar) and Dorothea Smith (drums) on November 21 and December 7 for tracks like 'If You Mean What You Say' and 'Rose of the Rio Grande' (Atlantic 856). Come the Doc Bagby Trio in Philadelphia in early '1953 for 'I Surrender, Dear' and 'For You', et al. Butler's next session would be a big deal in the person of organist, Bill Doggett, in Cincinnati on August 23, 1955, for 'We Found Love', 'Honey Boy' and 'Misty Moon'. Butler would play at Doggett's side for the next decade. Of their many titles together, 'Honky Tonk' was the most successful in 1956. Butler's last titles with Doggett are thought to have been in 1965 in NYC: 'Ko-Ko', 'Doctor Joy', 'Mr. Man', et al. Butler was a consummate professional whom everybody had to have a piece of. Though attending well above 200 sessions during his career, this size of this grill doesn't allow us to bake a lot fish. Of the not a few who helped him keep busy other than Doggett in the latter fifties was vocalist, Little Jimmy Scott, on October 2, 1957, for 'What Sin' and 'Somewhere Down the Line'. Butler would see Scott again in '58 and later in '69 for a couple sessions in March to bear such as 'Day by Day' and 'Our Day Will Come'. Highlighting the early sixties was tenor saxophonist, King Curtis, whom he first supported on June 11, 1961, toward 'It's Party Time'. Butler and Curtis drove those doggies hard 'til they got tired in 1962, Butler to last appear with Curtis as one of the latter's Noble Knights on titles like 'Soul Twist' and 'Twistin' Time'. Highlighting the latter sixties was organist, Jimmy Smith, on May 11, 1966, who needed both Butler and Barry Galbraith on guitar for 'Peter and the Wolf'. Butler recorded numerously with Smith and Galbraith to June of 1966 for Smith's album, 'Hoochie Coochie Man'. October 21, 1966, brought a character who would have been a major highlight in any musician's career, that in trumpeter, Dizzy Gillespie, for titles toward 'Melody Lingers On'. Butler would back Gillespie again in '66 and numerously in 1969. Their last tracks together are thought to have been in latter 1969 for Gillespie's live album, 'Soul & Salvation'. (That got reissued in 1977 as 'Sweet Soul' with altered titles in altered sequence with noise overdubbed.) Also highlighting the latter sixties was Sonny Stitts 'Soul Electricity' and 'Come Hither' recorded in latter 1968. Butler and Stitt would visit again in 1972 and '74, that latter occasion for Stitt's 'Never Can Say Goodbye'. Among the more important figures in Butler's career was tenor saxophonist, Houston Person, the latter backing Butler on his debut name album, 'This Is Billy Butler!', on December 16, 1968. Butler and Person supported each other on multiple projects to as late as 1971, Butler joining Person in April that year for the latter's 'Houston Express'. Among vocalists for whom Butler worked was Ruth Brown, she needing his services in August of 1969 for 'Black Is Brown and Brown Is Beautiful'. Butler would see Brown again in February of 1982 for 'The Soul Survives' and 1989 for 'Black and Blue'. Highlighting the seventies was Butler's seventh and last LP issued in 1976: 'Don't Be That Way'. The next year found him recording in France with vocalist, Roy Milton, and Puerto Rican pianist, Ram Ramirez. 1978 found him vocalist, Alberta Hunter for 'Amtrak Blues'. 1982 found him contributing to 'The Glory of Alberta Hunter', 1983 'Looking for the Silver Lining'. (She would die the next year in October.) Also highlighting the eighties was Jimmy McGriff in 1982 for 'The Groover'. Butler backed blues pianist, Charles Brown, on the latter's 1986 issue of 'One More for the Road' (Blue Site Records). Some of the tracks on that were substituted with new ones for the 1989 reissue by Alligator. Butler died a couple years later of cancer on March 20 of 1991 in a Chicago nursing home. His final recordings are thought to have been with Renee Manning in February the prior month for 'As Is'. Per 1947 below, Butler's presence on guitar is assumed, not confirmed.

The Harlemaires   1947

   Ghost of a Chance

      With Wynonie Harris

Billy Butler   1956

   Honky Tonk

      With Bill Doggett

The Chanters   1964

   I'm Just a Man

The Chanters   1965

   Tomorrow Is Another Day

Billy Butler   1967

   I'll Bet You

Billy Butler   1969

   Honky Tonk

      LP: 'Guitar Soul'

   The Twang Thang

      LP: 'This Is Billy Butler!'

Billy Butler   1970

   That Ain't Water


Birth of Rock & Roll: Billy Butler

Billy Butler

Source: Discogs

Guitarist Jimmy Liggins, was born in 1922 in Newby, OK. He was younger brother to Joe Liggins and a boxer before he began driving his older brother's band around on tours. It was 1947 when he formed his band, the Drops of Joy, in Los Angeles to record such as 'Troubles Goodbye' and 'I Can't Stop It' on September 9 for issue by Specialty. That session also included Liggins' first version of 'Cadillac Boogie', that unissued. It was a couple sessions later on November 26 that he recorded the version that inspired 'Rocket 88' released three years later by Jackie Brenston and Ike Turner. (Among the numerous candidates, some like to call 'Rocket 88' the first rock & Roll record. We start our history of rock & roll several years earlier with Pee Wee Crayton, Roy Brown and Smiley Lewis, choices as good as any of the many possible. Simply hearing rock & roll, we disregard that they were marketed to black audiences as R&B. By comparison we start R&B with Julia Lee in 1944.) Liggins' career was a brief one of not quite twenty years before fading into obscurity. To go by Duplex issue numbers, his last recordings would appear to have been in 1965 for #9014: 'Working Man Blues' and 'Good Loving Baby'. He died in Durham, North Carolina, on July 21 of 1983.

Jimmy Liggins   1947

   I Can't Stop It

   Send My Soul to the Devil

Jimmy Liggins   1948

   Cadillac Boogie

Jimmy Liggins   1954

   I Ain't Drunk


Birth of Rock & Roll: Jimmy Liggins

Jimmy Liggins

Source: Artist Direct

Birth of Rock & Roll: Joe Lutcher

Joe Lutcher

Source: Hallelujah Rock 'n' Roll


Alto saxophone player Joe Lutcher (brother of jazz vocalist Nellie Lutcher) was born in 1919 in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Upon discharge from the U.S. Navy in 1945 Lutcher led a band at the Look Café in Los Angeles, then the Café Society where he named his band the Society Cats. He quickly found himself a bandleader for Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis Jr. and the Mills Brothers before his initial eponymous recordings for Specialty Records in 1947. His first release was 'Boogie #1' that year. As Specialty came to want only slow blues from him he soon signed up with Capitol in August of '47 before moving to Modern Records in 1949. Lutcher's first release for Capitol was 'Strato-Cruiser' b/w 'Sunday Blues' in 1947. Lutcher became a Seventh Day Adventist in 1953. As that denomination forbade union membership Lutcher dropped out of the American Federation of Musicians and traded the music business for evangelism, notably with Little Richard, they touring the country in 1957 as the Little Richard Evangelistic Team. About that time (latter fifties) Lutcher established a record shop that specialized in gospel, as well the Jordan record label, also to produce gospel music. (Little Richard recorded numerous tracks with that label.) Lutcher is thought to have remained faithful to the Christian religion until his death in 2006 in Los Angeles.

Joe Lutcher   1947


Joe Lutcher   1948

   Rockin' Boogie

Joe Lutcher   1949

   Mardi Gras




Birth of Rock & Roll: Percy Mayfield

Percy Mayfield

Source: All Music

Percy Mayfield was another class act composer and pianist with similar rivals like Charles Brown, Nat King Cole and Ray Charles. Born in 1920 in Louisiana, Mayfield performed in Texas before going to California in 1942. His first recordings occurred circa December 1947, Parts 1 & 2 of 'Jack, You Ain't Nowhere' [spontaneouslunacy]. His composition originally intended for Jimmy Witherspoon, 'Two Years of Torture' [spontaneouslunacy], saw release in '48 as well, that backed by 'Mama, Get Way Back' with his Gang O'Swing. [See houndblog, soulfulkindamusic.] Mayfield didn't charge everybody's batteries all at once. He issued three more plates in '49 that didn't chart either. He came to national attention in a big way, though, in 1950 when 'Please Send Me Someone to Love' rose to #1 on Billboard's R&B. Mayfield placed six more titles in the Top Ten to 'The Big Question' in 1952 at #6. Unfortunately an auto accident between Las Vegas and L.A. put him off track. He continued to record, though to no success nearing that before his accident. His composing, however, was another matter. He is responsible, for example, for 'Hit the Road Jack', recorded by Ray Charles in 1961. Charles took three more of Mayfield's compositions to the Top Ten in '61 and '62: 'But On the Other Hand Baby', 'At the Club' and 'Hide Nor Hair'. As Charles' career continued volcanically onward, however, Mayfield's gradually dropped away despite several albums. His first, 'My Jug and I', issued in '66. 1969 saw 'Walking on a Tightrope', followed in 1970 by 'Sings Percy Mayfield' and 'Weakness Is a Thing Called Man'. 1971 brought 'Blues... And Then Some' and 'Bought Blues'. Mayfield then went stealth for eight years until 'Hit the Road Again' saw issue in 1983, that with the Phillip Walker Blues Band. He died of heart attack in relative obscurity on August 11, 1984. Among Mayfield's numerous compositions were 'Half Awoke', 'The Hunt Is On', 'Never Say Naw', 'This TIme You Suffer Too' and 'Yes, You'll Play'. Other songwriting credits at 45Cat and Discogs. Moreof Mayfield in Blues 4.

Percy Mayfield   1947

   Two Years of Torture

       Composition: Percy Mayfield

Percy Mayfield   1948

   Jack You Ain't Nowhere

       Composition: Percy Mayfield

Percy Mayfield   1950

   Strange Things Happening

       Composition: Percy Mayfield

Percy Mayfield   1952


       Composition: Percy Mayfield

Percy Mayfield   1963

   Cookin' In Style

       Composition: Percy Mayfield

Percy Mayfield   1970

   Painful Party

       Composition: Percy Mayfield



R&B guitarist Granville Henry Stick(s) McGhee, was born in 1917 in Knoxville, Tennessee. He picked up "Stick" as a youth due to using one to push his older polio-stricken brother around in a cart. His first record release was in 1947 with that brother, Brownie McGhee. McGhee recorded throughout the fifties, but for reasons unknown couldn't sell records. He retired from the music profession in 1960, dying in Bronx in August of 1961 of lung cancer.

Stick McGhee   1947

   Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee

Stick McGhee   1950

   Blue Barrelhouse

   Let's Do It

   One Monkey Don't Stop No Show


Birth of Rock & Roll: Stick McGhee

Stick McGhee

Source: Changing Aging



Ruth Brown, was born in 1926 in Portsmouth, Virginia. She released her first plate, 'It's Raining'/'So Long', in 1949 for Atlantic. Her first recording the month before on April 6, 'Rain Is a Bringdown', wouldn't see issue until 'Sweet Baby of Mine' in 1987. Beginning with 'So Long' at #4 on the R&B, Brown placed 20 titles in the Top Ten to 'Don't Deceive Me' in 1960 at #10. Sides reaching #1 were 'Teardrops From My Eyes' (1950), '5-10-15 Hours' (1952), 'He Treats Your Daughter Mean' (1953), 'Oh What a Dream' (1954) and 'Mambo Baby' (1954). Brown concentrated more on motherhood than music in sixties, though didn't drop away entirely. Upon revamping her career in the seventies she included acting on television, film and Broadway. Starting in 1989 she hosted NPR's 'Blues Stage' for six years. She was elected into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. In 1995 Brown published her memoir, 'Miss Rhythm'. Brown's last recording is thought to have been a duet with vocalist, Jacey Falk, in 2003 in Hilton Head, South Carolina, that on Falk's 'From a Place Within'. She continued touring until 2005, dying the next year on November 17 in Las Vegas of surgical complications upon a heart attack and stroke.

Ruth Brown   1949

   So Long

   Teardrops From My Eyes

Ruth Brown   1952

   Tears Keep Tumbling Down

Ruth Brown   1953

   Wild Wild Young Men

Ruth Brown   1954

   Oh What a Dream

   Teardrops From My Eyes

     Filmed live 

Ruth Brown   1955

   Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean

    Filmed live 

Ruth Brown   1959

   Jack O' Diamonds

   I Don't Know

Ruth Brown   1960

   Sure Nuff

Ruth Brown   1961

   Here He Comes

Ruth Brown   1989

   Am I Blue

Ruth Brown   1993

   Ain't Nobody's Business

     Filmed live with BB King

Ruth Brown   1999

   Good Day For the Blues


Birth of R&B: Ruth Brown

Ruth Brown

Source: Музыка MP3 и Ogg

Birth of Rock & Roll: Ray Charles

Ray Charles

Source: No Put Thy Footing

Ray Charles Robinson in 1930 in Albany, Georgia, it was 1949 that R&B pianist Ray Charles released his first songs, recording as a member of the Maxim Trio consisting of GD McKee (guitar) and Milton Garred (bass): 'I love You, I Love You' and 'Confession Blues' per Swingtime #171. Charles began losing his sight of glaucoma at age five and was completely blind by age seven. His father died when he was age 10, his mother when he was fifteen. He learned classical and played at school assemblies as a child. Upon his mother's death in 1946, friends of his mother took Charles with them to Jacksonville, Florida, where he began to play professionally at the Ritz Theater for four dollars a night. It was in Tampa that he made his first three unissued recordings in 1947: 'Guitar Blues', 'Walkin' and Talkin'' and 'I'm Wonderin' and Wonderin''. About that time Charles asked a friend what city was furthest away, which is why he went to Seattle the same year, there to form a friendship with boxer, Sugar Ray Robinson, who was a couple years younger. He then took the coastline south to Los Angeles where 'Confession Blues' was recorded, that to rise to the No. 3 spot on the charts. Charles was in like Flint from that point onward. By the time he switched from Atlantic Records to ABC ten years later in 1959 he was worth a $50,000 advance. From '49 to 1993 Charles placed no less than 45 titles on Billboard's Top Ten in R&B, Adult Contemporary and Dance. Fourteen alone rose to #1:

   I've Got a Woman   1955
   A Fool for You   1955
   Drown in My Tears   1956
   What'd I Say   1959
   Georgia on My Mind   1960
   One Mint Julip   1961
   Hit the Road Jack   1961
   Unchain My Heart   1961
   I Can't Stop Loving You   1962
   You Are My Sunshine   1962
   You Don't Know Me   1962
   Crying Time   1965
   Together Again   1966
   Let's Go Get Stoned   1966

Though his heydays were the fifties and sixties, Charles scored a #9 spot in AC as late as 1993 with 'A Song for You'. Of the 149 sessions which Lord's disco ascribes to Charles, the high majority of them were his own projects. Among his more important musical associates was saxophonist, Hank Crawford, who first backed Charles in July of 1958 at the Newport Jazz Festival for titles like 'Hot Rod' and 'The Blue Waltz'. Crawford would support Charles to 1964, Charles also arranging a few titles for Crawford during that time. 1965 saw them backing Percy Mayfield on such as 'Life Is Suicide'. They would reunite in Montreax, Switzerland, in 1978 for a concert with Dizzy Gillespie. Among others with whom Charles worked on projects were Billy Eckstine ('56) and trumpeter/producer, Quincy Jones ('59, '60, '65, '88, '89). Charles' use of heroin, begun as a teenager in Florida, seems to have had relatively little destructive consequence beyond his third arrest in 1965, after which he sought rehabilitation more to stay out of jail than due to need. (Heroin is a sleepy time substance which people averse to living somnolently may find a nice sleeping aid, but less than addictive as a functional mode. Unlike cocaine, a "go" drug which is often a sign of having prospered, heroin is more oft a sign of things altogether hopelessly broken down for the leaving.) In 1979 the state of Georgia made Charles' version of 'Georgia On My Mind' its state song. In 1985 he performed at Reagan's second inauguration, then at Clinton's first in 1993. (President Clinton was himself a saxophone player.) Among Charles' favorite pursuits beyond music was chess. He played Grand Master, Larry Evans, in 2002, and lost. Lord's disco has Charles' last recordings in 2003 with Poncho Sanchez for the latter's 'Out of Sight!'. His final performance was in 2004 at the dedication of his music studio in Los Angeles, built in 1964, as an historic landmark. Charles died the same year on June 10 of liver disease. His final studio release was in August, his posthumous 'Genius Loves Company', garnering the Album of the Year Grammy Award in 2005. Compositional credits to some of Charles' recordings at australiancharts. Early titles by Ray Charles in Blues 4.

Ray Charles   1954

   I Got a Woman

      Composition: Ray Charles

   Come Back Baby

      Composition: Walter Davis   1940

      Lyrics: Ray Charles

Ray Charles   1959

   What'd I Say

     Filmed live

      Composition: Ray Charles

   What'd I Say

      Composition: Ray Charles

Ray Charles   1960

   Newport Jazz Festival

      Filmed concert

Ray Charles   1961

   Hit the Road Jack

      Composition: Percy Mayfield




Born in 1922 in Richmond, Virginia, crooner Tommy Edwards began his professional career in music as a teenager, becoming the host of a radio program. He began his career as a songwriter by 1943 in NYC. His first recording experience was in 1944 with the Sam Price Orchestra, but those tracks saw no issue. It is thought that he made his next recordings circa 1948 for Top Records, perhaps as pianist in the Tommy Edwards Trio. The only tracks released from that session weren't until 1958 on the Regent album, 'Tommy Edwards Sings': 'Huckleberry Heaven' and 'Who'll Take My Place When I'm Gone'. Edwards' first session resulting in earlier vinyl is thought to have been with National Records in January of 1949, though his first issue may have been 'Up In The Alley'/'A Long Time' from a later February session as the Tommy Edwards Trio, also for National. Edwards' ballads were to the fringe of R&B to the popular side, he enjoying his greatest fanfare in the fifties. The next decade of his career was horizontal by comparison, until his death of a brain aneurism in Virginia in 1969, only 47 years old.

Tommy Edwards   1951

   All Over Again

   It's All In the Game

Tommy Edwards   1953

   A Fool Such As I

Tommy Edwards   1958

   Please Love Me Forever

Tommy Edwards   1959

   It's Only the Good Times

  I've Been There

   Love Is All We Need

   The Morning Side of the Mountain

   My Melancholy Baby

Tommy Edwards   1960


Tommy Edwards   1961

   These Are The Times


Birth of Rock & Roll: Tommy Edwards

Tommy Edwards

Source: Discogs


Birth of R&B: Don Gardner

Don Gardner   2012

Source: Wikipedia

Born in 1931 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, drummer and vocalist Don Gardner was yet in high school when he began his professional career. He is thought to have first recorded in 1949 for the Gotham label: 'Dearest Darlin'/'September Song'. in 1950 he released 'Heart Throb' and 'September Song', also for Gotham. In 1951 he joined Julian Dash to record 'Seems Like We Met Before' and 'Why Was I Born' for the Sittin' In With label. His next recordings were in 1954, the earliest found at YouTube. Gardner was best known for his collaborations with vocalist Dee Dee Ford. In 1985 Gardner took a position as a manager at the Clef Club of Jazz in Philadelphia, where he remained throughout his latter career. As of this writing (2014) Gardner is assumed to be in recent retirement from performing.

Don Gardner   1954

   How Do You Speak To An Angel

      Organ: Jimmy Smith

   Sonotone Bounce

      Organ: Jimmy Smith

Don Gardner   1962

   Don't You Worry

      With Dee Dee Ford

   I Need Your Lovin'

      With Dee Dee Ford


      With Dee Dee Ford

Don Gardner   1966

   Let's Party

   My Baby Likes To Boogaloo

Don Gardner   1968

   You Babe

Don Gardner   1969

   Cheatin' Kind

Don Gardner   1970

   Tighten Up Your Love Bone

Don Gardner   1973


   We're Gonna Make It Big


  Born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1922, organist, pianist and arranger Ernie Freeman began playing nightclubs professionally in 1935. Circa 1939 Freeman formed what would become the Evelyn Freeman Swing Band with his sister Evelyn (Evelyn Freeman Roberts). That band played largely at the Circle Ballroom, also performing radio broadcasts for WHK Radio. Most of that band joined the Navy together, even managing to stay together, getting stationed in Indiana as the Gobs of Swing. After leaving the Navy in 1945 Freeman attended Cleveland Institute of Music, eventually taking his masters in composition from the University of California to where he moved in 1946 to eventually perform in clubs in Los Angeles with such as Dinah Washington and Dorothy Dandridge. Lord's discography has an Ernie Freeman contributing piano to recordings in NYC on August 3 of 1949 and May 30 of 1950 with Jimmy Baby Face Lewis for Atlantic. He is supposed to have been in California during that period, so either he toured to the East Coast a couple times or Lord's has a different Ernie Freeman indexed. Scant biographies of Freeman don't mention him recording in NYC during that period. But since it's not impossible: Atlantic 884, 901, 913 and 927 bear Lewis titles such as 'All Right Lovers Blues', 'I'm So Good to You', 'All the Fun's On Me' and 'I've Gotta Right to Love'. Lord's next entry for Freeman is likely accurate, backing Helen Humes in Los Angeles in the Dexter Gordon Orchestra on November 20, 1950, for such as 'Ain't Gonna Quit You' and 'Airplane Blues'. It's assumed those weren't a rush job, thus released in 1951. Since we can't confirm that Lord's has the identical Freeman listed with Lewis in NYC we give his titles with Humes as his first issue date. Lord's also has him recording in Los Angeles with the Billy Hadnott Orchestra in 1952 and tenor saxophonist, Lorenzo Holden, in 1953-56. Freeman was eventually hired as an arranger at Mambo Records. His first name recordings (perhaps in '54) were released by Mambo in 1955: 'Poor Fool'/'Somehow I Know' (vocals by Lawrence Stone). Freeman also released sides with Charles Brown and Plas Johnson that year (such as 'No No Baby' with Johnson). He also worked in the Ernie Fields Orchestra about that period. Lord's has him recording for the Cash label in Los Angeles in 1955, such as 'Hey Now' and 'Two Things I Love'. Freeman recorded as a session player with a few labels before landing at Imperial in 1956 for the next seven years. During the early sixties he became musical director at Reprise Records and an arranger at Liberty. He is thought to have recorded his first album for Imperial, 'Plays Irving Berlin', on August 23, 1956. Freeman began composing for films in the sixties. He died in Los Angeles on May 16 of 1981 of heart attack. Accompanying and/or arranging for vocalists were among Freeman's pronounced talents, working with not a few to include Johnny Otis, Dinah Washington and June Christy. Per below are samples of Freeman arrangements for Julie London and Dean Martin.

Ernie Freeman   1955

 One Minute to One

      Ernie Freeman Combo with Charles Brown

  Only You

      Backing the Platters

  Please Don't Drive Me Away

      Ernie Freeman Combo with Charles Brown

Ernie Freeman   1956

 Fast Jivin'

     Ernie Freeman Combo with Charles Brown

 Jivin' Around (Part 1)

     Ernie Freeman Combo with Charles Brown

 Jivin' Around (Part 2)

     Ernie Freeman Combo with Charles Brown

Ernie Freeman   1957




Ernie Freeman   1958

 Leaps and Bounds

 Theme From Igor

 The Tuttle

Ernie Freeman   1959

 Scooby Doo

Ernie Freeman   1960

 The Dark At The Top Of The Stairs

     Film theme

Ernie Freeman   1961

 Stormy Monday

     Backing Dinah Washington

Ernie Freeman   1963

 Besame Mucho


    Ernie Freeman Orchestra with Julie London



    Ernie Freeman Orchestra with Julie London

Ernie Freeman   1965


 You'll Always Be the One I Love

     Arrangement for Dean Martin

Ernie Freeman   1965

 Gentle on My Mind

     Arrangement for Dean Martin


Birth of Rhythm and Blues: Ernie Freeman

Ernie Freeman

Source: Discogs

Birth of Rock & Roll: Tommy Edwards

Clyde McPhatter

Source: I'll Keep You Posted

Born in 1942 in Durham, North Carolina, tenor vocalist Clyde McPhatter relocated to NYC with his family while in high school, where he formed his first group, a gospel ensemble called the Mount Lebanon Singers. In 1950 he joined the doo wop group, the Dominoes, then formed the Drifters in 1953. He left the Drifters the next year to pursue a solo career, his first recording in that capacity with Ruth Brown. In 1968 he moved to England and returned in 1970. McPhatter died in 1972, only 39 years of age, of heart, kidney and liver disease.

Clyde McPhatter   1951

   Sixty Minute Man

      With the Dominoes

Clyde McPhatter   1953

   Money Honey/The Way I Feel

      With the Drifters

Clyde McPhatter   1955

   Love Has Joined Us Together

      With Ruth Brown

Clyde McPhatter   1956

   Treasure of Love

   When You're Sincere

   Without Love

Clyde McPhatter   1957

   Long Lonely Nights

   Rock and Cry

Clyde McPhatter   1958

   A Lover's Question

Clyde McPhatter   1959

   The Glory Of Love

   Since You've Been Gone

Clyde McPhatter   1960

   Have Mercy Baby

      Live with Bobby Darin

Clyde McPhatter   1961

   Take a Step

Clyde McPhatter   1962

   Lover Please

   Little Bitty Pretty One



Birth of Rock & Roll: Johnny Ace

Johnny Ace

Source: Time Goes By


Born John Marshall Alexander Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1929, crooner Johnny Ace was the son of a preacher who, after a time in Korea while in the Navy, joined the band of Adolph Duncan as a pianist. He then joined BB King's outfit with Bobby Bland as vocalist. Upon King's and Bland's exits from that ensemble he assumed Bland's spot as vocalist, forming the Beale Streeters. His initial vinyl issue was for Duke Records in 1952: 'My Song' and 'Follow The Rule'. Ace's career, however, was among the briefest in the music industry. Ace had been fond of guns, delighting in such as shooting at road signs. But in December of 1954 he pointed a pistol he didn't think was loaded at his head, goofing around, and pulled the trigger. As he was touring with Big Mama Thornton at the time, she watched. He was only 25 years of age.

Johnny Ace   1952

   Follow the Rule

   My Song

Johnny Ace   1953

   I Cross My Heart

Johnny Ace   1954

   Never Let Me Go

Johnny Ace   1955


   Pledging My Love


Birth of R&B: Little Milton

Little Milton

Source: Letras
Born James Milton Campbell in 1934 in Inverness, Mississippi, Little Milton was raised in Greenville. He was busking on guitar at age twelve. Early in the fifties he toured the Delta region with a trio called the Rhythm Aces. In December of 1951 he laid several tracks with Willie Love and His Three Aces in Jackson for Trumpet Records: 'Feed My Body to the Fishes', 'Falling Rain', 'Vanity Dresser Boogie', 'Seventy Four Blues', '21 Minutes to Nine', 'Shady Lane Blues', 'Nelson Street Blues' and 'V-8 Ford'. Ike Turner, who was a talent scout for Sun Records at the time, played piano on Milton's first name record release in December 1953: 'Beggin' My Baby'/'Somebody Told Me'. Some time after leaving Sun in 1955 Milton founded the Bobbin Records label, producing not only his own material, but that of others such as Albert King and Fontella Bass. 1958 saw the issue of 'I'm a Lonely Man'. Milton's first vinyl to chart on the R&B was 'So Mean to Me' in 1962 at #14. His Top Ten singles are as follows:

'We're Gonna Make It'
   March #1 R&B #25 US
'Who's Cheating Who?'
   June #4 R&B #43 US
'Feel So Bad'
   February #7 R&B #91 US
'If Walls Could Talk'
   January #10 R&B #71 US
'Baby I Love You'
   May #6 R&B #82 US
'That's What Love Will Make'
   February #9 R&B #59 US
Milton issued his last album in 1983: 'Age Ain't Nothin' But a Number'. He ceased releasing singles i the eighties, concentrating on albums, the last of which is thought to be 'Think of Me' as of May 2005. Having released well over thirty LPs during his career, Milton was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1988. He died in August 2005 of stroke complications. Per the 1952 release elow, see Willie Love for more recordings with him in December of 1951.

Little Milton   1952

   21 Minutes to Nine

     Willie Love and His Three Aces

Little Milton   1953

   Beggin' My Baby/Somebody Told Me

Little Milton   1965

   Blind Man

     Album: 'We're Gonna Make It'

Little Milton   1969

   Grits Ain't Groceries


Little Milton   1971

   I'm Living Off the Love You Give

Little Milton   1972

   What It Is

Little Milton   1973

   That's How Strong My Love Is

Little Milton   1985

   Sacramento Blues Festival

Little Milton   1986


Little Milton   1990

  Bad Dream

     Album: 'Too Much Pain'

  The Cradle Is Robbin' Me

     Album: 'Too Much Pain'

  Your Wife is Cheating On Us

     Album: 'Too Much Pain'

Little Milton   1999

  Love Hurts

     With Lucinda Williams

Little Milton   2005

  Bellinzona Blues Festival


  Born in Philadelphia, PA, in 1934, Billy Paul began his career at age eleven singing on radio at WPEN Philadelphia. Advancing to nightclubs and college campuses, Paul released his first single in 1952: 'Why Am I' with 'That's Why I Dream' B side. That was followed the same year by 'You Didn't Know' 'with 'The Stars Are Mine'. Drafted into the Army in 1957, he served his tour in Germany at the same base as Elvis Presley (who spent his service as a jeep driver). After release from duty, Paul issued 'Ebony Woman' with 'You'll Go to Hell' in 1959, followed by 'There's a Small Hotel'/'I’m Always a Brother' in 1960. He then performed with the doo wop groups, the Blue Notes and the Flamingos for a brief period. Paul released his initial album in 1968: 'Feelin' Good at the Cadillac Club'. 1971 saw the release of the LP, 'Going East'. In 1972 Paul issued the album, '360 Degrees Of Billy Paul', featuring the song, 'Me and Mrs. Jones'. The album went gold and the song platinum, remaining No. 1 on U.S. charts for three weeks and peaking at No. 12 in the U.K. in 1973. Now an international star, Paul's release of 'Let's Make a Baby' in 1975 caused some controversy. The song was downright bad advice to most people, especially the poor, but politician, Jesse Jackson, tried to get it banned from the airwaves for  promoting promiscuity. (Albeit babies occur of promiscuity the two aren't the same. There's no lack of the chaste who shouldn't be manufacturing hell and desperation either.) Howsoever, the matter was ultimately left to the discretion of individual radio stations. Paul released of his last studio album in 1988, 'Wide Open'. Paul announced his retirement the next year, which turned out to be a kind of but not really matter as he continued touring into the new millennium. In 2000 he issued the CD, 'Live World Tour 1999-2000' on his own label, PhillySounds. It was also 2000 when Nike, the sports shoe manufacturer, used 'Me and Mrs. Jones' in a commercial without licensing, for which Paul pursued a lawsuit of a million dollars. Following that he was awarded half a million from Philadelphia International Records for poor accounting that had resulted in unpaid royalties. In 2009 Paul starred in the film, 'Am I Black Enough For You?'. Among the names with whom Paul performed over the years were Charlie Parker, Dinah Washington, Nina Simone, Miles Davis, The Impressions, Sammy Davis Jr., Roberta Flack and Chimène Badi. Paul died in April 2016.

Billy Paul   1959

   Ebony Woman

Billy Paul   1968

   Don`t Think Twice, It´s All Right

    Album: 'Feelin' Good at the Cadillac Club'

   Feelin' Good

    Album: 'Feelin' Good at the Cadillac Club'

Billy Paul   1971

   Going East


Billy Paul   1972

   Brown Baby

     Album: '360 Degrees Of Billy Paul'

   It's Too Late

     Album: '360 Degrees Of Billy Paul'

   Me and Mrs. Jones

     Album: '360 Degrees Of Billy Paul'

Billy Paul   1973

   War of the Gods

     Album: 'War of the Gods'

Billy Paul   1975

   Let's Make a Baby

     Album: 'When Love is New'

   When Love Is New

     Album: 'When Love is New'

Billy Paul   1976

   I Think I'll Stay Home Today

Billy Paul   1988

   Here to Eternity

    Album: 'Wide Open'

   Wide Open

    Album: 'Wide Open'

Billy Paul   2014

   Me and Mrs. Jones

    Television performance


Birth of R&B: Billy Paul

Billy Paul

Source: Urban Buzz
Birth of Rhythm and Blues: Lloyd Price

Lloyd Price

Source: All Music
Born in 1933 in Kenner, Louisiana,, vocalist Lloyd Price released 'Lawdy Miss Clawdy' backed with 'Mailman Blues' in April of 1952. His next 45, 'Oooh, Oooh, Oooh' bw 'Restless Heart', was issued in September that year. Price spent some time in the Army, after which he helped found KRC (Kent Record Company) in 1956 with Harold Logan and Bill Boskent (initially distributed by ABC). Price issued his first album, 'The Exciting Lloyd Price', in 1959, followed the same year by 'Mr. Personality'. Price and Logan founded Double L Records in 1962. Upon Logan's murder in 1969 Price founded the Turntable record label, opening a nightclub in NYC by the same name. He later put his profits to work building 42 townhouses in Bronx. Price currently manages Icon Food Brands which handles Lawdy Miss Clawdy food products. He released his autobiography, 'The True King of the Fifties: The Lloyd Price Story', in June 2009. Having released 27 original and compilation albums, Price presently resides in Westchester County, New York, yet performing as of this writing.

Lloyd Price   1952

   Lawdy Miss Clawdy

Lloyd Price   1956

   I'm Glad Glad

Lloyd Price   1958

   Stagger Lee

Lloyd Price   1959


   Where Were You

Lloyd Price   1960


    'Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show'

   Let's Fall In Love

Lloyd Price   1961


     Album: 'Cookin''


  Born in Detroit in 1934, vocalist Jackie Wilson became a Golden Gloves boxer a short while after dropping out of high school at age fifteen. He exchanged boxing for music at age seventeen, forming a group called the Falcons (not to be confused with Wilson Pickett's Falcons), his first professional gig at Lee's Sensation, a club in Detroit. He then joine a group called the Thrillers (which would later become the Royals, then the Midnighters). Wilson grooved his first vinyl in 1952 as Sonny Wilson: 'Rainy Day Blues' b/w 'Rockaway Rock', followed by 'Danny Boy' b/w 'Bulldozer Blues'. Both were recorded for the Dee Gee label owned by Dizzy Gillespie. In 1953, age nineteen, Wilson replaced Clyde McPhatter as lead singer with the doo wop group, the Dominoes. Quitting the Dominoes in 1956 to pursue a solo career, his first name release was 'Reet Petite' in 1957 with 'By the Light of the Silvery Moon' flip side. Wilson produced albums prodigiously until his career waned upon a heart attack during a stage performance of 'Lonely Teardrops' 1974. He died ten years later of pneumonia at the relatively young age of fifty. More of Wilson with the Dominoes in Rock 3.

Jackie Wilson   1952

   Danny Boy

      As Sonny Wilson

   The Rainy Day Blues

      As Sonny Wilson

   Rockaway Rock

      As Sonny Wilson

Jackie Wilson   1953

   Don't Thank Me Dear

   Rags to Riches

      With the Dominoes

Jackie Wilson   1956

   St. Therese of The Roses

       With the Dominoes

Jackie Wilson   1957

   By the Light of the Silvery Moon

   Reet Petite

Jackie Wilson   1958

   As Long As I Live

   Come Back to Me

   Lonely Teardrops

      Live performance

   Lonely Teardrops

      Studio version

   Singing a Song

   To Be Loved

   You'd Better Know It

     Live performance

Jackie Wilson   1959

   I'll Be Satisfied

Jackie Wilson   1960

   Am I the Man

   Doggin' Around


   A Woman, A Lover, A Friend

Jackie Wilson   1962

   That's Why (I Love You So)

      Live on the 'Ed Sullivan Show'

Jackie Wilson   1963

   (I Feel Like I'm In) Paradise

   Love Train

Jackie Wilson   1964

   Big Boss Line

Jackie Wilson   1965

   Baby Workout

Jackie Wilson   1966

   Think Twice

      Alternate version

Jackie Wilson   1967

   Higher and Higher


Jackie Wilson   1968

   For Your Precious Love

      With Count Basie

Jackie Wilson   1974

   Higher And Higher/Lonely Tear Drops

      Live performance

Jackie Wilson   1975

   That's Why/Lonely Teardrops

      Live performance


Birth of Rhythm and Blues: Jackie Wilson

Jackie Wilson

Photo: Simon/Retna UK

Source: Efemerides Musicales


Faye Adams was born Fanny Tuell in Newark, New Jersey in 1923. She began singing spirituals on radio at age five with her sisters. She worked under her married name of Faye Scruggs in NYC in the late forties/early fifties. It was when Ruth Brown caught her show in Atlanta that thrust exceeded gravity in her career. Brown got her an audition with bandleader, Joe Morris, first appearing on vinyl with the Joe Morris Blues Cavalcade in early 1953 for Atlantic: 'I'm Going To Leave You'/'That's What Makes My Baby Fat'. Morris then changed Scruggs' name to Adams and signed her to Herald Records, she releasing 'Shake A Hand'/'I've Got to Leave You' in late 1953. Adams pursued her musical career only a decade, making her last release in 1962 with 'Goodnight, My Love', and retiring into obscurity in 1963 in New Jersey.

Faye Adams   1953

   I'm Going To Leave You

     With Joe Morris

   I'll Be True

   I've Got to Leave You

   Shake A Hand

   That's What Makes My Baby Fat

     With Joe Morris 

Faye Adams   1954

   Somebody Somewhere

Faye Adams   1955


    'Rhythm and Blues Revue' television show 

Faye Adams   1956

   Teen-Age Heart

Faye Adams   1957

   Johnny Lee

Faye Adams   1960

   Johnny Don't Believe Her

Faye Adams   1961

   Obey My Rules


Birth of Rock & Roll: Faye Adams

Faye Adams

Source: Weird Wild Dream

Birth of Rhythm and Blues: Ann Cole

Ann Cole

Source: Dreamy Pops

Pianist Cynthia Coleman, born in 1934 in New Jersey, began singing in a gospel group called the Coleman Brothers with her father and uncles. In 1949 she formed the Colemanaires, another gospel group, with Joe Walker, Sam Walker and Wesley Johnson, which ensemble made its first recordings in 1953. Coleman changed her name to Ann Cole in 1954 upon beginning to play in piano bars and shifting toward R&B. It was also 1954 when she made her first recordings with Timely records: 'Danny Boy'/'Smilin' Through', 'I'll Find A Way'/'Oh Love Of Mine' and 'So Proud Of You'/'Down In The Valley'. In 1955 she released 'Please Forgive Me' b/w 'I Want To Be A Big Girl'. Cole was the first to record Preston Foster's famous 'I've Got My Mojo Working', issuing that in 1956. The earliest recordings found for Cole at YouTube aren't until 1956. Sadly, her career in music came to a finish in 1962 when an auto accident consigned her to a wheelchair until her death in 1986.

Ann Cole   1953

   I Cannot Understand It

      With the Colemanaires

   This May Be the Last Time

      With the Colemanaires

Ann Cole   1955

   Are You Satisfied?

Ann Cole   1956

   Each Day

   Easy Easy Baby

   Got My Mojo Working

   I'm Waiting For You

   New Love

Ann Cole   1957

   Give Me Love or Nothing

   In the Chapel

   No Star Is Lost/You're Mine

Ann Cole   1958

   My Tearful Heart

   Summer Nights

Ann Cole   1959

   A Love Of My Own

   Nobody But Me

Ann Cole   1960

   Plain As the Nose On Your Face

Ann Cole   1962

   Don't Stop the Wedding

   Have Fun


  Born Curtis Ousley in Ft. Worth in 1934, King Curtis was an R&B and, later, soul saxophonist who swam with the blues, jazzed, and rocked as well. Curtis began playing sax at age twelve. At age eighteen Curtis seems to have known exactly what to do: head for New York City and find employment as a session musician. Which he did, also putting together a quintet and releasing his first 45 the next year in 1953 (Gem 208: 'Tenor In the Sky' b/w 'No More Crying On My Pillow'). Of the 140 sessions that Lord's disco ascribes to Curtis, the majority were R&B customers such as Big Joe Turner ('58, '59), Ruth Brown ('58, '59, '60) and LaVern Baker ('58, '59, '60, '61). He issued his first two albums in 1959: 'The Good Old Fifties' and 'Have Tenor Sax, Will Blow'. Musicvf has Curtis placing his composition, 'Soul Twist', on Billboard's R&B at #1 in February of 1962. It was a hand of years before he saw the Top Ten again, first in August of '67 at #6 for his composition, 'Memphis Soul Stew', followed the next month by Bobbie Gentry's 'Ode to Billy Joe'. Curtis was murdered twelve years later by knife in August of 1971, age only 37, during an altercation with a couple drug dealers outside his residence in New York City. He had recorded 'Live at Fillmore West' that year in San Francisco, and 'Blues at Montreux' in Switzerland on June 17, the latter with Champion Jack Dupree (piano/vocals), Cornell Dupree (guitar) and Jerry Jemmott (electric bass). Assistance with composers on some of Curtis' releases on 45 RPM. Songwriting credits to some of his later soul recordings at Discogs 1, 2, 3. See also australiancharts. More King Curtis in Blues 4 and Jazz 4.

King Curtis   1953

   Tenor In the Sky

        First issue

       Composition: King Curtis (Curtis Ousley)

King Curtis   1957

   King's Rock

       Composition: Mickey Baker/Ernest Hayes/King Curtis

King Curtis   1958

   Yakety Yak

       With the Coasters

       Composition: Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller

King Curtis   1959

  Jole Blon

       With Waylon Jennings

       Composition: Buddy Dee

   Just Smoochin'

   When Sin Stops

       With Waylon Jennings

       Composition: Bob Venable

King Curtis   1961

   The Hucklebuck (Twist)

       Composition: Roy Alfred/Andy Gibson

King Curtis   1962


       With Buddy Holly

       Composition: King Curtis

   Soul Twist

       Composition: King Curtis

King Curtis   1964

   Watermelon Man

       Composition: Herbie Hancock/Jon Hendricks

King Curtis   1966

   Pots & Pans

       Live   Composition:

       Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller

       King Curtis/Melvin Lastie

King Curtis   1967

   I Was Made to Love Her


       Henry Cosby/Lula Mae Hardaway

       Sylvia Moy/Stevie Wonder

   Memphis Soul Stew

       Composition: King Curtis

King Curtis   1968

   I Heard It Through the Grapevine

       Composition: Norman Whitfield/Barrett Strong

King Curtis   1969

   Instant Groove

       Composition: King Curtis

King Curtis   1970

   Get Ready

       Composition: William Robinsons

King Curtis   1971

   Everything's Gonna Be All Right

       Live   Piano: Champion Jack Dupree

       Composition: Champion Jack Dupree/King Curtis

   Soul Serenade

       Composition: Champion Jack Dupree/King Curtis


Birth of R&B: King Curtis

King Curtis

Source: Jigsaw

Birth of Rhythm and Blues: Tommy Hunt

Tommy Hunt

Source: Black Kudos
Born Charles James Hunt in Pittsburgh, PA, in 1933, tenor vocalist, Tommy Hunt, somehow picked up "Tommy" as a child and that his name remained. Relocated to Chicago at age ten, Hunt was later in the U.S. Air Force during which period his mother died. Returning to Chicago after his military tour was up, he formed a doo-wop group called the Five Echoes. That group issued 'Lonely Mood'/'Baby Come Back to Me' in 1953 and 'Why Oh Why'/'That's My Baby' in 1954. In October of 1956 he replaced Zeke Carey, in the Flamingos, his first recordings released with that group in 1957 beginning with 'The Ladder of Love' and 'Let's Make Up' (the Flamingos switching from the Checker label to Decca). Hunt kept with the Flamingos until 1960, his last recordings with the group being 'Mio Amore' and 'You, Me and The Sea' that year for the End label. His solo career commenced iquickly with 'Parade of Broken Hearts' and 'Human'. It was the former track intended for airplay, but a disc jockey played the B side by accident and 'Human' ended up at the #5 spot on Billboard's R&B in September of '61. Hunt enjoyed one more Top Ten position in November of 1963 with 'I Am a Witness' scaling to #3. Familiar with the Apollo Theatre since his Flamingos days, Hunt often there performed with all number of others from Ray Charles to the Supremes. In 1969 he left the United States to live in the United Kingdom. By the time he moved to Amsterdam in 1986 he was doing the oldies clubs. In 1996 he toured internationally before returning to the UK. His autobiography, 'Only Human, My Soulful Life', was written with Jan Warburton and published in December 2008. Hunt's major awards were per the Flamingos: Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2000, Doo-Wop Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001. Hunt is yet active as of this writing with his group, the New Flamingos.

Five Echoes   1953

   Lonely Mood/Baby Come Back to Me

Five Echoes   1954

   Why Oh Why

Flamingos   1957

   The Ladder of Love

      First with the Flamingos   Side A

   Let's Make Up

      First with the Flamingos   Side B

Flamingos   1959

   Mio Amore

      Last with the Flamingos   Side A

   You Me and The Sea

      Last with the Flamingos   Side B

Tommy Hunt   1961


Tommy Hunt   1962

   I Don't Know What to Do with Myself

   And I Never Knew

Tommy Hunt   1967

   The Biggest Man

Tommy Hunt   1975

   Cracking Up Over You

Tommy Hunt   1976

   One Fine Morning

      Television performance

New Flamingos   2011


      Filmed live

New Flamingos   2014

   Jump Children

      Filmed live


  Born Earl Silas Johnson IV in 1934 in New Orleans, Earl King began playing guitar at age fifteen. His first record release was in 1953: 'Have You Gone Crazy' b/w 'Begging At Your Mercy'. Earl King wasn't related to either Albert King, BB King or Freddie King. King died of diabetes on April 17, 2003. Blues by Earl King will be found at Blues 3.

Earl King   1953

   Begging At Your Mercy

   Have You Gone Crazy

Earl King   1956

   Take You Back Home

Earl King   1957

   You Can Fly High

Earl King   1959

   Darling Honey Child

   Everybody's Carried Away

Earl King   1960

   Come On

Earl King   1962

   Trick Bag


Birth of Rhythm and Blues: Earl King

Earl King

Photo: Rick Olivier

Source: Black Kudos

  Staple Singers   See Staple Singers.

  Hank Marr   See Hank Marr.

Birth of Rhythm and Blues: Lou Rawls

Lou Rawls

Source: Blue Note
Born in 1933 in Chicago, jazz, soul and disco vocalist Lou Rawls released his first recordings in 1954 with the Chosen Gospel Singers, he featured on eight of the 22 tracks that group issued that year on the album, 'The Lifeboat'. He next grooved vinyl a few years later with the Pilgrim's Travelers. He is thought to have made his first solo recordings in 1959 for release the next year by the Shar-Dee label: 'Love, Love, Love'/'My Heart Belongs To You'. Other releases in 1960 were 'Walkin' (For Miles)'/'Kiddio' for Shar-Dee and  'In My Little Black Book'/'Just Thought You'd Like To Know' for Candix. He laid tracks again for Candix in 1961 ('Ways'/'When We Get Old') before moving to Capitol to issue 'That Lucky Old Sun'/'In My Heart' and 'Nine-Pound Hammer'/'Above My Head' the same year. Rawls remained with Capitol for the next decade as his career exploded. In addition to his music career Rawls sold Spur and Budweiser beer, and Colonial Penn life insurance on radio and television. His first song to reach Billboard's Hot 100 was 'Three O'Clock in the Morning' in 1965. Rawls came around especially strong in 1966, particularly with the albums, 'Live!' and 'Soulin'. His first Grammy followed the next year for 'Dead End Street'. The latter sixties saw Rawls on 'Yesterday's Heroes' per 'The Airmen of Note & Friends' released in 1968. (The Airmen of Note were a United States Air Force swing band fashioned after Glenn Miller.) Rawls also found himself recording with a couple jazz giants in the latter sixties in the figures of Cannonball Adderley and Duke Ellington. 1968 saw 'I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water' with Adderley. 1969 witnessed 'Baby, You're Too Much' and 'The Lonely Ones' with Ellington (issues unknown). Ellington later performed 'Satin Doll' on the 'Lou Rawls Show' in 1971. In February of 1969 Rawls had appeared on the 'Dean Martin Show', later taking a guest role that year on the television series, 'The Big Valley', thereafter dipping into acting on both television and in films. His final television performance was in September 2005 (aired January 2006) for the 'Lou Rawls Parade of Stars Telethon', which production he'd begun in 1980 to benefit the UNCF (United Negro College Fund). Rawls died in January 2006 in Los Angeles.

Lou Rawls   1954

   What A Wonderful Sight

      Album: 'The Lifeboat'

      With the Chosen Gospel Singers

Lou Rawls   1957

   Come Home

      With the Pilgrim Travelers

Lou Rawls   1958

   Talk About Jesus

      With the Pilgrim Travelers

Lou Rawls   1960


   Walkin' For Miles

Lou Rawls   1962

   Stormy Monday

      Piano: Les McCann

Lou Rawls   1963

   Tobacco Road

Lou Rawls   1965

   Three O'Clock in the Morning

Lou Rawls   1966

   Carryin' On   Side 1


   Carryin' On   Side 2


   Don't Explain

      Album: 'Soulin''

   The Shadow Of Your Smile

      Album: 'Live!'

    Stormy Monday

      Album: 'Live!'

Lou Rawls   1967

   Dead End Street

Lou Rawls   1977

   Spring Again

   You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine

Lou Rawls   1979

   Let Me Be Good To You

Lou Rawls   1986

   Learn to Love Again

    Duet with Tata Vega

   Stop Me From Starting This Feeling

Lou Rawls   1989

   Stormy Monday

    Filmed live 

Lou Rawls   1991

   Newport Jazz Festival 1991

    Filmed concert



Birth of Rhythm and Blues: Bobby Womack

Bobby Womack

Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Source: Discogs

Born in 1944 in Cleveland, Bobby Womack cut his first record for the Pennant label at the age of ten in 1954 ('Buffalo Bill', unfound). His father, Friendly Womack (recording as Curtis Womack), had formed a gospel group with Bobby and his two brothers, Cecil and Harry. His mother was also a member of the group, later renamed the Valentinos in 1956 when Sam Cooke signed all five to his label, SAR Records. That group folded in 1964 upon the murder of Cooke, after which Womack worked variously with such as Joe Tex, the Box Tops and Aretha Franklin. Womack's debut album appeared in 1968: 'Fly Me to the Moon'. He published his memoir, 'Midnight Mover' in 2006, dying in 2014 at age seventy.

Bobby Womack   1961

   I Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray

      With the Womack Brothers

   Somewhere There's A God

      With the Womack Brothers

Bobby Womack   1962

   Lookin' For a Love

      With the Valentinos

Bobby Womack   1968

   California Dreamin'

Bobby Womack   1969

   I Can't Take It Like a Man

Bobby Womack   1971

   That's the Way I Fell About Cha

      Album: 'Communication'

Bobby Womack   1972

   Across the 110th Street

   Woman's Gotta Have It

Bobby Womack   1981

   If You Think You're Lonely Now

      Album: 'The Poet'

Bobby Womack   1987

   When The Weekend Comes


Born Benjamin Franklin Peay in 1931 in Lugoff, South Carolina, Brook Benton left for NYC in 1948 to join a series of gospel groups. Upon returning to North Carolina the next year he joined the vocal R&B group, the Sandmen, with which he returned to NYC to acquire his first recording contract in 1955 with Okeh. As the Sandmen weren't selling well, Okeh changed Paey's name to Brook Benton and encouraged him to pursue a solo career. Benton placed 49 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 during his profession. He died of pneumonia in Queens in 1988.

Brook Benton   1955

   Somebody to Love

      With the Sandmen

Brook Benton   1956

   Give Me a Sign

   Love Made Me Your Fool

Brook Benton   1957

   You're For Me

Brook Benton   1958

   A Million Miles From Nowhere

Brook Benton   1959


   It's Just a Matter of Time

Brook Benton   1960

   Just Tell Me When


   The Same One

   Won't You Love

Brook Benton   1961

   Think Twice

Brook Benton   1962


   Take Good Care of Her

Brook Benton   1963

   Hotel Happiness

   My True Confession

Brook Benton   1964

   All Over Again

   Another Cup of Coffee

   Do It Right

   Don't Rob Another Man's Castle

   Everytime I'm Kissing You

   Faded Love

   Going, Going, Gone

   I'd Trade All of My Tomorrows

   I'll Step Aside

   Just Call Me Lonesome

   Letters Have No Arms


   Too Late to Turn Back Now

Brook Benton   1970

   Rainy Night in Georgia

Brook Benton   1982

   The Boll Weevil Song

      Live performance

   Rainy Night in Georgia

      Live performance


Birth of Rhythm and Blues: Brook Benton

Brook Benton

Source: Jazz Wax

Birth of Rhythm and Blues: Solomon Burke

Solomon Burke

Source: Pipic

Born in 1940 in Philadelphia, PA, Solomon Burke began his life in the public eye as a preacher at age seven at Solomon's Temple. At age twelve, now a pastor, he took his sermons to radio, first WDAS, then WHAT. On Sundays he preached in a "blankie" made for him by his grandmother, worn as a cape. In high school Burke formed a grouped called the Gospel Cavaliers. Briefly after disbanding in 1955 Womack performed at a gospel talent contest which first prize was a recording contract. He did so well that several labels wished to sign him, at which point he hired a manager, Bess Berman, who directed him to Apollo. His first single, 'Christmas Presents', was released on Christmas Eve of 1955. In 1960 Burke signed up with Atlantic Records. His intention was gospel; Atlantic's was rhythm and blues. But due to Burke's position in his church he had quibbles about being associated with rhythm and blues. As the story goes, Burke consulted a dj about how he should be marketed. The dj replied, "You're singing from your soul and you don't want to be an R&B singer, so what kind of singer are you going to be?" To which Burke answered. ""I want to be a soul singer." Thus the coining of the genre, "soul music". By 1963 Burke was being called the "King of Soul", and encouraged to perform with a crown, scepter, robe, fifteen-foot cape, dancing girls, and colored lights, all of which Burke considered "a new avenue, a new dimension to spread the gospel" in its secular trappings. Among Burke's business ventures were running concession stands for crews and performers at concerts (said to be an expensive cheapskate) and a string of funeral parlors. (Burke had found time during his earlier career to acquire a doctorate in mortuary science.) Burke released his last album, 'Hold On Tight', in 2010, a collaboration with the band, De Dijk. He died in 2014, weighing more than 350 pounds.

Solomon Burke   1955

   Christmas Presents

   To Thee

Solomon Burke   1956

   A Picture of You

   No Man Walks Alone

   Walking in A Dream

   You Can Run But You Can't Hide

Solomon Burke   1957

   I Need You Tonight

   This Is It

Solomon Burke   1958

   My Heart Is a Chapel

Solomon Burke   1959

   Leave My Kitten Alone

Solomon Burke   1960

   Only a Dream

Solomon Burke   1961

   Be Bop Grandma

   Keep the Magic Working

Solomon Burke   1962

   Down In the Valley

   I Almost Lost My Mind

   I'm Hanging Up My Heart For You

Solomon Burke   1963

   Beautiful Brown Eyes

   Home In Your Heart

   If You Need Me

   You're Good For Me

Solomon Burke   1964

   Looking For My Baby

Solomon Burke   1965

   Got to Get You Off of My Mind

Solomon Burke   1969

   Proud Mary

Solomon Burke   1986

   A Change Is Gonna Come

Solomon Burke   2002

   Don't Give Up On Me

   None Of Us Are Free

Solomon Burke   2006

   Cry to Me

      Live in Montreux 2006

Solomon Burke   2007

   Live in Basel



Birth of Rhythm and Blues: Joe Tex

Joe Tex

Source: Soul Walking

Born in Rogers, Texas, in 1935, Joe Tex mixed country into his soul music. When Tex was eighteen he entered a contest which prize was $300 and a trip to New York. While there he won four more contests at the Apollo Theater, which gained him his first record proposal. He had, however, to postpone signing up with King Records for another year (1955), as his mother insisted he graduate from high school first. Tex' first several years in the music business were a spin without traction until the release of 'Hold On to What You've Got' in 1965. In 1966 Tex changed his name to Yusuf Hazziez upon becoming a Muslim. He died in 1982 of heart attack in Navasota, Texas, only 49 years old.

Joe Tex   1955

   Davy, You Upset My Home

Joe Tex   1956


   Right Back to My Arms

Joe Tex   1958

   Cut It Out

   You Little Baby Face Thing

Joe Tex   1959

   Yum, Yum, Yum

Joe Tex   1960

   Boys Will Be Boys

   Grannie Stole the Show

Joe Tex   1961

   You Keep Her

Joe Tex   1962

   Meet Me In Church

Joe Tex   1963

   Don't Play

   Someone to Take Your Place

Joe Tex   1964

   Get Closer Together

   Hold On! It's Joe Tex


   Looking For My Pig

   Sit Yourself Down

Joe Tex   1965

   Hold On to What You've Got

   I Want To (Do Everything For You)

   One Monkey Don't Stop No Show

Joe Tex   1966

   I Believe I'm Gonna Make It

   The Love You Save

      Live on Hullabaloo

   Papa Was, Too

Joe Tex   1968

   Soul Country


Joe Tex   1970

   Buying a Book

Joe Tex   1971

   I Gotcha

Joe Tex   1972

   I Gotcha

      Live on 'Soul Train'

Joe Tex   1976

   Ain't Gonna Bump No More

Joe Tex   1977

   Ain't Gonna Bump No More

      Live on 'Soul Train'


Vocalist, Patti Austin was born in 1950 in Harlem. She had no time for the nonsense of having to grow up before starting a career, she performing at the Apollo Theater at age four and releasing a record for RCA in 1956: 'Super-Cala-Faga-Listic'/'I Get a Message'. She released her next 45s at age fifteen in 1965: 'He's Good Enough for Me' b/w 'Earl' and 'I Wanna Be Loved' b/w 'A Most Unusual Boy'. She began working as a sessions singer circa 1966, backing such as James Brown. She also began singing jingles in the latter sixties. She would be advertising large companies such as Burger King as well as the US Army. Austin's first LP was 'End of a Rainbow' in 1976, followed by 'Havana Candy' the next year. Most of Austin's highest charting songs were in Billboard's Dance category. In 1981 she topped it with 'Do You Love Me'. Three years later 'It's Gonna Be Special' reached #5 in August. Austin's first music video appeared for 1984's 'Rhythm of the Street'. 'Any Other Fool' came to #6 on Billboard's AC (Adult Contemporary) in 1989, followed by 'The Test of Time' in April of 1990. Her last to chart in the Dance category was 'Reach' in 1994. Austin has also appeared in film. Having issued well above twenty LPs, most performing well as jazz albums, her latest per this writing was 'Sound Advice' in 2011. Residing in Kansas City, Austin yet tours internationally and in the States.

Patti Austin   1956


Patti Austin   1965


   He's Good Enough for Me

   A Most Unusual Boy

   I Wanna Be Loved

Patti Austin   1966

   Leave a Little Love

   Take Your Time

Patti Austin   1968

   All My Love

Patti Austin   1971

   Can't Forget the One I Love

Patti Austin   1976

   End of a Rainbow


Patti Austin   1984

   It's Gonna Be Special

Patti Austin   1990

   In My Life

Patti Austin   1992

   It Might Be You

Patti Austin   2012

   Internationale Jazzwoche Burghausen

      Filmed concert


Birth of R&B Music: Patti Austin

Patti Austin

Source: All Music

Among the major huge-name musicians contributing to the development of soul music emerging from R&B was singer Aretha Franklin who began her recording career in 1956. Born in 1942 in Memphis, Tennessee, Franklin's mother died when she was nine. She began singing the next year for her father who was a successful itinerant preacher. At age fourteen Franklin's father began managing her career, obtaining her first recording contract in 1956 with JVB Records and releasing the album, 'Songs of Faith', that year. Franklin's first song to reach Billboard's Top Ten in R&B was 'Today I Sing the Blues' at #10 in 1960. That was followed by 'Operation Heartbreak at #6 in 1961. Franklin's first to reach the Hot 100 was 'Won't Be Long' in 1961 at #76 (#7 in R&B). Her first to reach the Top 40 was later that year with 'Rock-a-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody' at #37. She maintained a notable presence for several years until she went supernova in 1967 with four #1 songs: 'I Never Loved a Man', 'Respect', 'Baby I Love You' and 'Chain of Fools'. From that point onward Franklin's nonstop career became among the most illustrious in the music industry. Between R&B and Dance, Franklin placed 21 more titles at Billboard's #1 spot alone, her most recent in 2014 with 'Rolling in the Deep'. Her first platinum album, 'Who's Zoomin' Who?', was released in 1985. She was the first female elected into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. She was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005 and the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2012. In 2013 'Rolling Stone' magazine named her the No. 1 Greatest Singer of All Time and 9th Greatest Artist of All Time. She accepted an honorary doctorate from Harvard University in 2014. As of this writing Franklin continues to tour for an audience that yet knows not diminishment. Assistance with composers of her recordings. See also stargayzing. More Aretha Franklin in Blues 4.

Aretha Franklin   1956

   Yield Not To Temptation

Aretha Franklin   1961

   Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody

      Music: Jean Schwartz

      Lyrics: Sam Lewis/Joe Young

   Who Needs You

      Composition: Jean Burns

   Won't Be Long/Love Is The Only Thing

      Compositions: John Leslie McFarland

Aretha Franklin   1964

   Cry Like a Baby


      Joshie Armstead/Nickolas Ashford/Valerie Simpson

Aretha Franklin   1967

   Chain of Fools

      Composition: Don Covay


      Composition: Otis Redding

Aretha Franklin   1968


      Composition: Aretha Franklin/Ted White

Aretha Franklin   1971



      Composition: Otis Redding

Aretha Franklin   1995


      Composition: Leonard Bernstein

Aretha Franklin   1997

   A Rose Is Still a Rose

      Composition: Lauryn Hill


Birth of Soul Music: Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin

Source: Altin Madalyon

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1937, falsetto singer Jimmy Jones was at first a tap dancer. In 1954 he joined a doo wop group called the Berliners, later changing its name to the Sparks of Rhythm. His first recordings were in 1956, those with the Pretenders and the Savoys, below, among them. Jones died in 2012 in Aberdeen, North Carolina.

Jimmy Jones   1956

   Possessive Love

      With the Pretenders


      With the Savoys

Jimmy Jones   1957

   Tonight/I Love You So

      With the Pretenders

Jimmy Jones   1959

   The Search Is Over

Jimmy Jones   1960

   Good Timin'


Jimmy Jones   1962

   The Nights of Mexico

Jimmy Jones   1965


Jimmy Jones   1976

   Ain't Nothin Wrong with Making Love


Birth of Rhythm and Blues: Jimmy Jones

Jimmy Jones

Photo: Popperfoto/Getty Images

Source: The Telegraph


Birth of Rhythm and Blues: Billy Stewart

Billy Stewart

Source: Soul Walking

Born in North Carolina in 1937, soul pianist Billy Stewart recorded his first record, 'Billy's Blues', in 1956 (with Bo Diddley on guitar). His first album was 'I Do Love You' released in 1965. Stewart died, age only 32, when the Ford Thunderbird he was driving left the highway and plunged into a river, killing three passengers as well.

Billy Stewart   1956

   Billy's Blues

Billy Stewart   1957

   Billy's Heartache

Billy Stewart   1962

   Reap What You Sow

Billy Stewart   1965

   I Do Love You

   Sitting In the Park

   Over the Rainbow

Billy Stewart   1966

   My Funny Valentine


Billy Stewart   1967


Billy Stewart   1969

   Crazy 'Bout You Baby


  Born Justine Washington in 1940 in Bamberg, South Carolina, Baby Washington (also Jeanette Washington, not to be confused with the member of the group, Parliament) got an early start in her music career upon joining the Hearts, with which group she made her debut recordings: 'Going Home To Stay' and 'Disappointed Bride', Baton label. In 1956 Washington recorded 'I Wonted To Be Free' and 'Where Are You Tonight' with the Jay Netts for the J&S label. She made her first name recording in 1957, 'Everyday' (unfound), which 45 disc she shared with the Shytone Five ('Smitty's Rock') flip side. Washington recorded with the Hearts again later that year: 'You Say You Love Me'/'So Long Baby' and 'Dancing In A Dream World'/'You Needn't Tell Me, I Know'. Washington rounded out the year ('57) with her second and third name recordings: 'There Must Be A Reason' b/w 'Congratulations Honey'. As of this writing (2014) Washington yet performs on cruise ships and the eastern coast.

Baby Washington   1956

   Going Home To Stay/Disappointed Bride

      With the Hearts

   I Wonted To Be Free

      With the Jay Netts

   Where Are You Tonight

      With the Jay Netts

Baby Washington   1957

   There Must Be A Reason/Congratulations Honey

   You Needn't Tell Me, I Know

      With the Hearts

Baby Washington   1958

   Been A Long Time Baby

   The Time

Baby Washington   1961

   Nobody Cares (About Me)/Money's Funny

Baby Washington   1962

   Hush Heart

   I've Got a Feeling

Baby Washington   1963

   I Can't Wait Until I See My Baby

Baby Washington   1964

   That's How Heartaches Are Made/It'll Never Be Over

Baby Washington   1965

   Only Those In Love

Baby Washington   1969

   The Soulful Baby


Birth of Rhythm and Blues: Baby Washington

Baby Washington

Source: Soul Walking

  Born Barry Eugene Carter in 1944 in Galveston, Texas, Barry White early recorded with Jesse Belvin, playing piano on, 'Goodnight My Love' released in 1956, he not yet an adolescent. He then began to explore the gang life, his brother killed in a clash with rivals. His brain naturally informed him that stealing $30,000 worth of Cadillac tires at age seventeen could never occur again when he was jailed. Upon release from incarceration he struck independent, leaving gang life behind him. From 1960 to 1962 he released recordings with the Upfronts. In 1963 he released titles with the Atlantics and the Majestics. 1965 saw the issue of 'Feel Alright Part 1 & 2' with the Bel Cantos. White began having some success as a songwriter in the latter sixties, also beginning to work in A&R for Del-Fi Records. In 1966 he released 'Man Ain't Nothin''/'I Don't Need It' as Lee Barry. His initial solo efforts as Barry White were 'All In The Run Of A Day'/'Don't Take Your Love From Me'. He then issued 'In The Ghetto'/'Little Girl' as Gene West in 1970. White made a name for himself as a producer in 1972 when he took on the group, Love Unlimited. He began issuing records en force as Barry White in 1973, including the album 'I've Got So Much to Give'. Since that time he hadn't stopped to take a breath, scoring high on the charts for the next couple decades and maintaining his draw until his death in 2003 in Los Angeles after a stroke. He was waiting for a kidney transplant necessitated by diabetes.

Barry White   1956

   Goodnight My Love

    Piano with Jessie Belvin

Barry White   1960

   It Took Time

     Bass vocalist with the Upfronts

   Too Far to Turn Around/Married Jive

     Bass vocalist with the Upfronts

Barry White   1963

   Home on the Range

     With the Atlantics

   Tracy (All I Have Is You)

     With the Atlantics

Barry White   1965

   Feel Aw Right Part 1

     With the Bel Cantos

Lee Barry   1966

   I Don't Need It

   Man Ain't Nothin'

Barry White   1973

   I've Got So Much To Give

   Stone Gon'


Barry White   1975

   Let Me Live My Life Lovin' You

   Live at Royal Albert Hall

    Filmed live

Barry White   1977

   It's Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next to Me

Barry White   1994

   Come On

     Music video


Birth of Rhythm and Blues: Barry White

Barry White

Source: Caobo Internacional
  Marvin Gaye was a major figure in the development of rock's sibling, soul music. Gaye had joined the Air Force at age 17 with the notion of becoming a pilot. But he was disappointed with aspects of the military (one source citing menial labor which, having been in the Navy, is believable, as such was sometimes to no purpose other than to fill time, that is, verily mindless), pretended mental disability and was discharged. After which which Gaye and friend, Reese Palmer, formed a doo wop quartet, the Marquees. Performing in the Washington D.C. area, the Marquees released 'Hey Little School Girl' with 'Wyatt Earp' in 1957, after which it was hired by Harvey Fugua, its name changed to the New Moonglows, and taken to Chicago. (See Harvey Fuqua and the Moonglows in Rock 3.) Both Fuqua and Gaye left the New Moonglows in 1960 to pursue solo careers, Gaye releasing his first solo recordings, 'Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide' b/w 'Never Let You Go' in 1961. Gaye died at the relatively young age of 44 in April 1984, having been shot by his father upon a violent beating by Gaye in a household unhappy altogether. The .38 by which Gaye had been killed had been Gaye's Christmas present to his father (who died four years later of pneumonia, yet on five years probation to a six-year suspended sentence.)

Marvin Gaye   1957

   Hey Little School Girl

      With the Marquees

   Wyatt Earp

      With the Marquees

Marvin Gaye   1959

   Almost Grown

      With Harvey & the New Moonglows

      Backing Chick Berry

   Back in the U.S.A.

      With Harvey & the New Moonglows

      Backing Chick Berry

   Unemployment/Mama Loocie

      With Harvey & the New Moonglows

Marvin Gaye   1961

   Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide

   Never Let You Go

Marvin Gaye   1962

   Hitch Hike

      Television performance


   Soldier's Plea

   Stubborn Kind of Fellow

Marvin Gaye   1965

   Ain't That Peculiar

Marvin Gaye   1971

   What's Going On


Marvin Gaye   1976

   I Want You

Marvin Gaye   1977

   What's Going On

      Live on 'Midnight Special'

Marvin Gaye   1980

   Let's Get It On

      Live in Montreux    First release: 1973

Marvin Gaye   1983

   Star-Spangled Banner

      Lyrics: Francis Scott Key   1814

      Poem: 'Defense of Fort McHenry'


Birth of Soul Music: Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye

Source: Cancion Musica

  Born in 1937 in Latta, South Carolina, Chuck Jackson first emerged on vinyl in 1957 with the Del Vikings. He sang lead on 'Willette' that year on a 45 issued for Dot with Kripp Johnson (also with the Del Vikings) with 'Woke Up This Morning' A side. Leaving the Vikings in '59, Jackson's first singles that year were 'Willette' bw 'A Little Man Cried' and 'Come On and Love Me' bw 'Ooh Baby'. He breached Billboard's R&B Top Ten in 1961 with 'I Don't Want to Cry' placing at #5. The album, 'I Don't Want to Cry', followed the next year. 1962 saw 'Any Day Now' rise to the #2 tier, the LP of the same title issued that year as well. 'Beg Me' in '64 saw #5 again, 'Something You Got' #10 the next year. Jackson issued around 24 albums during his career. His latest original issue was 'I'll Never Get Over You' in 1998.

Chuck Jackson   1957

   Willette/Woke Up This Morning

     With Kipp Johnson

Chuck Jackson   1959

   Come On and Love Me

Chuck Jackson   1961

   I Don't Want to Cry

   (It Never Happens) In Real Life

   I Wake Up Crying

Chuck Jackson   1962

   I Keep Forgettin'

     LP: 'Any Day Now'

   The Prophet

     LP: 'Any Day Now'

   Tell Him I'm Not Home

Chuck Jackson   1964

   Hand It Over

   Look Over Your Shoulder

Chuck Jackson   1965

   Any Day Now


   I Don't Want to Cry


Chuck Jackson   1973

   I Only Get This Feeling

Chuck Jackson   1985

   Any Day Now

     Filmed at Apollo Theatre NYC

Chuck Jackson   1993

   Any Day Now


Chuck Jackson   1998

   Live with Dionne Warwick



Birth of R&B: Chuck Jackson

Chuck Jackson

Source: N&R Greensboro
Birth of R&B: Billy Preston

Billy Preston

Source: Sopitas
Born in 1946 in Houston, organ player Billy Preston was first recorded on the 'Nat King Cole Show' in 1957, rendering a duet of 'Blueberry Hill' with Cole. His first record releases are thought to have been in 1961 with Contract Records: 'My Kind Of Music' b/w 'There's A Brand New Picture' and 'Volcano' b/w 'Young Heartaches'. In 1962 he played organ on 'This Sunday In Person!', an album released by gospel singer, James Cleveland. Preston also toured Europe with Little Richard in 1962, meeting the Beatles for the first time in Hamburg. 1963 saw his release of 'Greazee' with Derby Records and the issue of his debut album, '16 Yr. Old Soul'. In 1964 Preston participated in the issue of 'It's A Blessing' b/w 'Since I Found Him' by the Cogic (Church of God In Christ) Singers. He released three 45s in 1965 on Vee-Jay, as well as six singles on Oldies 45, flip sides shared by other artists. Preston also released his second album, 'The Most Exciting Organ Ever', in 1965 for the Spanish label, Vampisoul. It was 1966 when Capital Records saw in Preston a serious musician with ROI potential. He moved to Apple in 1969, having performed with the Beatles on their 'White Album' ('68) and at their last public performance on January 30 atop the roof of Apple headquarters in London. He also participated in the Beatles' albums, 'Abbey Road' ('69) and 'Let It Be' ('70). ('Let It Be' was recorded before 'Abbey Road' though its release came afterward.) His relationship with the Rolling Stones began briefly afterward, contributing to 'Can't You Hear Me Knocking' and 'I Got the Blues' on the 'Sticky Fingers' album ('71), and 'Shine a Light' on 'Exile On Main Street' ('72). Preston was the Stones' principal keyboardist until 1977 while he pursued his own career with A&M Records (as of '72), and would record on various later Stones issues (such as 'Tattoo You' in '81 and 'Bridges to Babylon' in '97). Preston moved to Motown Records in 1979, releasing his first duet with Syreeta Wright that year: 'Go For It' b/w 'With You I'm Born Again'. Last issuing with Motown in 1986, Preston spent the rest of the eighties doing session work. In 1990 he toured with both Eric Clapton and Ringo Starr before joining The Band, which relationship ended with double whammy trouble in 1991, first for insurance fraud, setting fire to his home in Los Angeles, then for sexual assault with a 16-year old male Mexican day laborer. He was sentenced to nine months drug rehabilitation (cocaine) and three months of house arrest. Preston released the albums 'Billy's Back' in 1995 and 'You and I' in 1997 (with the Italian band, Novecento). Preston's last years into the new millennium were as active as possible while afflicted with kidney disease. He is thought to have last recorded with Eric Clapton and JJ Cale for the 2006 release of the album, 'Escondido'. His last live performance arrived the same year at a Los Angeles concert with Dhani Harrison (son of George) and Ringo Starr. Preston died of kidney failure in June that year in Scottsdale, Arizona, not yet sixty years of age. Listing examples of only Preston's early career as a gospel and soul musician below, his career after 1968 is resumed at Sixties Rock. All tracks for 1965 below are from Preston's album 'The Most Exciting Organ Ever'.

Billy Preston   1957

   Blueberry Hill

     'Nat King Cole Show' with Nat King Cole

Billy Preston   1961


Billy Preston   1962

   He's So Good

     With James Cleveland

  Only Believe

     With James Cleveland

Billy Preston   1963

   Greazee   Parts 1 & 2

     Album: '16 Yr. Old Soul'

   Pretty Little Girl

     Album: '16 Yr. Old Soul'

Billy Preston   1964

   Since I Found Him

     With the Cogic Singers

Billy Preston   1965

   Billy's Bag

   Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying

   Drown In My Tears

   If I Had a Hammer

   I'm Coming Through

   Let Me Know

   Low Down

   The Masquerade Is Over

   The Octopus

   Slippin' and Slidin'

   Soul Meeting

   Steady Gettin' It

Billy Preston   1968

   Goin Down Slow

     Filmed live with Ray Charles


  Born in 1939 in Sunflower, Mississippi, Jerry Butler formed The Impressions with composer and guitarist, Curtis Mayfield, out of a doo wop group called the Roosters. The Impressions' first vinyl releases were in 1958: 'For Your Precious Love" b/w 'Sweet Was The Wine', 'Come Back My Love' b/w 'Love Me' and 'The Gift Of Love' b/w 'At The County Fair'. Butler's first solo release was 'Lost' in 1959. He left the Impressions in '60-'61 to pursue a solo career, leaving Mayfield as the Impressions' lead singer. Butler enjoyed a stellar career through the sixties, largely culminating with the releases of the albums, 'The Ice Man Cometh' in 1968 and 'Ice on Ice' in 1969, the successes of which largely bore him through the seventies. Butler's career began to wane in the early eighties, after which he  was voted Commissioner for Cook County, Illinois, in 1985. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991 for his work with the Impressions. As of this writing Butler yet retains his position as Commissioner, performing on occasion. Per below, all 1958 titles are Butler as lead with the Impressions.

Jerry Butler   1958

   Come Back My Love

   For Your Precious Love

   Gift of Love

   Sweet Was the Wine

Jerry Butler   1959


Jerry Butler   1960

   He Will Break Your Heart

Jerry Butler   1961

   Where Do I Turn

Jerry Butler   1964

   I Stand Accused

Jerry Butler   1968

   The Iceman Cometh


Jerry Butler   1970

   No Money Down

Jerry Butler   1971

   Ain't Understanding Mellow

Jerry Butler   1982

   No Fair (Falling in Love)


Birth of Soul Music: Jerry Butler

Jerry Butler

Source: Time Goes By

Birth of Soul Music: Gladys Knight

Gladys Knight

Source: Milwaukee Quando Donde

Born in 1944 in Atlanta, Gladys Knight managed to win Ted Mack's 'Original Amateur Hour' television competition at the age of 7 in 1952. The next year she formed a group with her brother, sister and a couple cousins called the Pips, named after another cousin. It would be five years and a little personnel change, however, before they released their first recordings in 1958 for Brunswick: 'Whistle My Love' b/w 'Ching Ching'. The Pips didn't release another recording until 1961, the year the group began releasing records steadily. The most familiar configuration of the Pips consisted of Merald Knight, William Guest and Edward Patten. Also an actress, Knight debuted in her first film, 'Pipe Dreams', in 1976. Among her more significant collaborators in the eighties was Johnny Mathis, with whom she recorded a couple albums of duets. Knight was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. She became a Mormon in 1997. The 100 Greatest Women of Rock listed by 'VH1' places her at No. 18. Also very popular in the United Kingdom, Knight yet records and tours as of this writing.

Gladys Knight & the Pips   1958

   Whistle My Love/Ching Ching

Gladys Knight & the Pips   1961

   Every Beat of My Heart

   Guess Who

   Letter Full Of Tears

   Room In Your Heart

   Stop Running Around

Gladys Knight & the Pips   1962

   I'll Trust In You/Operator

Gladys Knight & the Pips   1970

   Every Beat Of My Heart

Gladys Knight & the Pips   1972

   Daddy Could Swear I Declare

Gladys Knight & the Pips   1973

   It's Gotta Be That Way

      Live performance

   Midnight Train to Georgia

   Neither One Of Us

      Filmed live

Gladys Knight & the Pips   1974

   Try To Remember/The Way We Were

   You Are The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me

      Live performance

Gladys Knight & the Pips   1980

   Taste of Bitter Love

Gladys Knight   1989

   Licence To Kill

Gladys Knight   2011

   That's What Friends Are For

      Daytime Emmy Awards

Gladys Knight   2012

   I Hope You Dance

      Live performance

Gladys Knight   2013


      NAACP Awards


Birth of Soul Music: Gladys Knight & the Pips

Gladys Knight & the Pips

Source: Tim's Cover Story

Birth of Soul Music: Curtis Mayfield

Curtis Mayfield

Source: Soul Walking
Born in 1942 in Chicago, guitarist and falsetto vocalist Curtis Mayfield formed the Alphatones at age fourteen. in 1957 he joined the Roosters which became The Impressions the next year, fronted by Jerry Butler. Mayfield's first vinyl releases were with the Impressions in 1958: 'For Your Precious Love" b/w 'Sweet Was The Wine', 'Come Back My Love' b/w 'Love Me' and 'The Gift Of Love' b/w 'At The County Fair'. Accounts vary as to exactly when Butler left the Impressions but Mayfield had assumed lead by the time of 'Gypsy Woman' released in 1961. Mayfield founded Curtom Records to issue titles by the Impressions in 1968. It was 1970 when he went solo to pursue funk soul, releasing the album, 'Curtis', on his own label. His 1972 soundtrack, 'Superfly' is generally regarded to be his most important work. He would ever since be identified as a voice of black civil rights which his glowing career for nigh the next score of years would well serve. Unfortunately Mayfield was paralyzed from neck down in 1990 when lighting equipment fell on him at an outdoor concert in Brooklyn. He couldn't use a guitar anymore, but he continued to compose and sing, albeit recording was a painstaking process. He released his last album, 'New World Order', in 1997. Mayfield died of diabetes in December of 1999 in Roswell, Georgia. Per below, tracks with The Impressions begin only upon Mayfield's assumption of lead in '60-'61. His first recordings with The Impressions may be found under Jerry Butler.

Curtis Mayfield   1961

   Gypsy Woman

     With the Impressions

Curtis Mayfield   1965

   It's All Right

     With the Impressions

   People Get Ready

     With the Impressions

Curtis Mayfield   1970



Curtis Mayfield   1972



Curtis Mayfield   1973

   Back to the World


Curtis Mayfield   1974

   Love Me (Right in the Pocket)

     Album: 'Got To Find A Way'

   Mother's Son

     Album: 'Got To Find A Way'

Curtis Mayfield   1976

   Give, Get, Take And Have


Curtis Mayfield   1982

   Hey Baby , Give It All To Me

     Album: 'Honesty'

Curtis Mayfield   1987

   Live At Montreux 1987

     Filmed concert 

Curtis Mayfield   1997

   New World Order

     Music video 


  Born in Henderson, North Carolina, in 1938, soul vocalist Ben E King joined the doo wop group, the Five Crowns, in 1958. Drifters manager, George Treadwell, replaced the original Drifters with the members of the Five Crowns later that year, with King singing lead. King left the Drifters in 1960 to pursue a solo profession. He managed to place five songs at the No. 1 spot on the charts during his career: 'There Goes My Baby', 'Save The Last Dance For Me', 'Stand By Me', 'Supernatural Thing', and 'Stand By Me' (1986 reissue). As of this writing King is president and CEO of the Stand By Me Foundation.

Ben E King   1959

   Dance with Me

     With the Drifters

Ben E King   1960

   There Goes My Baby

      With the Drifters

   This Magic Moment

      With the Drifters

   Spanish Harlem

Ben E King   1962

   Don't Play That Song!


Ben E King   1963

   I Who Have Nothing

Ben E King   1964

   It's All Over

Ben E King   1965

   Down Home

   Seven Letters

Ben E King   1969

   Save the Last Dance For Me

Ben E King   1972

   Into the Mystic

Ben E King   1975

   Supernatural Thing

      Album: 'Supernatural'

Ben E King   1987

   Stand By Me

      Live performance

Ben E King   1988

   Save the Last Dance For Me

   Whatever This Is It Ain't True Love


Birth of Soul Music: Ben E. King

Ben E. King

Source: Cult 22

Birth of Soul Music: Maxine Brown

Maxine Brown

Source: Canal B
Soul singer, Maxine Brown, was born in 1939 in Kingstree, South Carolina. She released her first record at the age of 21 in 1960: 'All in My Mind/Harry Let's Marry'. 'All in My Mind' climbed to Billboard's R&B at #2 in December that year. She followed that four months later at #3 with 'Funny'. She placed one more in the Top Ten in October of '64 with 'Oh No, Not My Baby' at #2. She issued a number of albums and singles up to 1973 but their overall performance wasn't tempting enough to continue recording, though in the early eighties she appeared on records by Tommy Hunt, Dionne Warwick and Gladys Knight. She's dropped away from public life since then.

Maxine Brown   1960

   All in My Mind

Maxine Brown   1961


Maxine Brown   1962

   My Time for Cryin

Maxine Brown   1964

   Oh No, Not My Baby

Maxine Brown   1965

   You Do Something To Me


Maxine Brown   1966

   You’re In Love


Maxine Brown   1969

   Didn't You Know

      Album: 'We'll Cry Together'


  R&B singer Aaron Neville was born in 1941 in New Orleans. His first discs were issued in 1960 for the Mint label in New Orleans: 'Over You' bw 'Every Day' and 'Show Me the Way' bw 'Get Out of My Life'. 'Over You reached the R&B Top Forty at #21. Neville would record Top Forty material into the new millennium. His highly popular 'Tell It like It Is' arrived at Billboard's #1 slot in R&B in December of 1966. That was repeated as late as 1991 with the issue of 'Everybody Plays the Fool' at #1 on Billboard's AC. Neville released a number of popular songs in the nineties, especially 'Somewhere, Somebody' in '92 and 'Don't Take Away My Heaven' in '93. With around twenty original albums to his name, among his latest in the 21st century were 'I Know I've Been Changed' ('10) and 'My True Story' ('13). Said to be Catholic, two of Neville's sons, Ivan and Jason, are also musicians. Ivan issued 'Not Just Another Girl' in 1988.

Aaron Neville   1960

   Every Day

   Over You

   Show Me the Way/Get Out of My Life

Aaron Neville   1966

   Tell It Like It Is

Aaron Neville   1973


Aaron Neville   1987



Aaron Neville   1988

   Tell It Like It Is

      Filmed live

Aaron Neville   1990

   Everybody Plays the Fool

      Music video

      LP: 'Warm Your Heart'

   Don't Know Much

      Filmed with Linda Ronstadt

Aaron Neville   1991

   Angola Bound

      Filmed live

   House On a Hill

      Filmed live


      Filmed live

Aaron Neville   1993


      Music video

      LP: 'The Grand Tour'

  House On a Hill

      Music video

      LP: 'The Grand Tour'

Aaron Neville   1995

   For the Good Times

      Music video

      LP: 'The Tattooed Heart'

Aaron Neville   2007

   The Grand Tour

      Filmed live


Birth of Soul Music: Aaron Neville

Aaron Neville

Source: Famous People

Soul singer Otis Redding was born in 1941 in Dawson, Georgia. He is thought to have first recorded in 1960 for the Trans World label with a group called the Shooters: 'She's Alright'/'Tuff Enuff'. That release was followed the same year by 'She's Alright'/'Tough Enough' for the Finer Arts label, it not known if those were other versions. His last recordings in 1960 were   'Gettin' Hip'/'Gamma Lama'. 1961 saw his release of 'Shout Bamalama'/'Fat Girl', but things didn't start to swing for Redding until his 1962 issue of 'These Arm's Of Mine'/'Hey Hey Baby' for the Volt label. His debut album, 'Pain In My Heart', was issued in 1964 by Stax. Redding largely contributed to putting Stax and Volt Records on the map in the sixties, in addition to tours of Europe and a 1967 appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival. But like not a few rock musicians, his career was cut short by a plane crash in December of 1967, three days after a second recording of 'Dock of the Bay', quickly released posthumously the next year in January. Redding was also well-liked for his duets with Carla Thomas, their first release together in 1961 for Stax.

Otis Redding   1960

   Gamma Lamma

   Gettin' Hip

   She's All Right

   Tuff Enuff

Otis Redding   1961

   Fat Gal

   Shout Bamalama

Otis Redding   1962

   Hey Hey Baby

   These Arms Of Mine

Otis Redding   1964

   Pain In My Heart

Otis Redding   1966

   Cigarettes and Coffee

   Try a Little Tenderness

Otis Redding   1968

   The Dock of the Bay


Birth of Soul Music: Otis Redding

Otis Redding

Source: Multimedia English

Birth of Soul Music: Carla Thomas

Carla Thomas

Source: PTS Roadhouse

Born in 1942 in Memphis, Tennessee, soul vocalist Carla Thomas was the daughter of Rufus Thomas. She began singing at age ten with a Memphis high school group called the Teen Town Singers. Thomas was yet in high school when she cut her first record for Satellite (founded 1957), 'Cause I Love You' b/w 'Deep Down Inside', in 1960, duets with her father, and brother, Marvell, on keyboards. That plate broke no records, but her next recording, her first solo venture, did. The October 1960 release of 'Gee Whiz (Look At His Eyes)' b/w 'For You' for Stax Records (once Satellite) could go nowhere for inability to distribute. But Stax quickly called upon Atlantic Records and Thomas was made a star. She appeared on 'American Bandstand' in 1961, in preparation for the release of her first album, 'Gee Whiz', the same year. She also recorded with Otis Redding for the first time in 1961. Thomas came to huge success in the sixties. But her career fell into demise upon Stax' bankruptcy in 1975. During the eighties Thomas exchanged her performing and recording career for work with the Artists in the Schools program in Memphis, where she presently resides as of this writing.

Carla Thomas   1960

   'Cause I Love You

      With Rufus Thomas

   Gee Whiz

Carla Thomas   1961

   A Man of My Own

   I Kinda Think He Does


   Wish Me Good Luck

Carla Thomas   1962

   I'll Bring It Home To You

Carla Thomas   1964

   I've Got No Time to Lose

   Night Time Is the Right Time

      With Rufus Thomas

   A Woman's Love

Carla Thomas   1967

   Got My Mojo Working

   I Take It to My Baby


      With Otis Redding

Carla Thomas   1971

   Love Means You Never Have to Say You're Sorry



Birth of Soul Music: Mary Wells

Mary Wells

Source: Retro Kimmer's Blog

Born in Detroit in 1943, Mary Wells was performing in nightclubs in Motown (Detroit) at age ten. She was seventeen when she took a song she'd written for Jackie Wilson to Tamla Records founder, Barry Gordy. Gordy was founder of Tamla, then Motown Records, in 1959 and the singular force behind the "Motown sound" to come. Gordy had Wells record it herself. Thus 'Bye Bye Baby' became Well's first record release in 1960. Wells is likely best known for her collaborations with Smokey Robinson, beginning in 1962. Wells died of laryngeal cancer in 1992, only 49 years of age.

Mary Wells   1960

   Bye Bye Baby/Please Forgive Me

Mary Wells   1962


   You Beat Me to the Punch

   The One Who Really Loves You

Mary Wells   1963

   Two Lovers

   What's Easy For Two Is So Hard For One

   Your Old Standby

Mary Wells   1964

   My Guy

   Oh Little Boy (What Did You Do to Me)

   Use Your Head


Birth of Soul Music: Mary Wells

Detroit - Motor City - Motown

Source: IDcide
  Fontella Bass was born in 1940 in St. Louis, Missouri, daughter of gospel singer, Martha Bass, elder sister to soul singer, David Preston. She began singing at contests and fairs as a teenager, graduating from high school in 1958. She started singing professionally at the Showboat Club near Chain of Rocks, Missouri. Her first recordings per Lord's disco were circa early 1960 in St. Louis with trumpeter, Lester Bowie, in a band unspecified for Bobbin Records (#134): 'It Don't Hurt Anymore' and 'Brand New Love'. Those weren't issued until April of 1962. During the same period she sang 'Honey Bee' and 'Bad Boy' with the Oliver Sain Orchestra, including Bowie, for Bobbin (#140). Those weren't issued until September of 1962. In 1960 Bass had been about to stray off as a pianist with a carnival show until her mother physically drug her off the train. (Howsoever, it would seem Bass had been paid extremely well for the two weeks that show was in town, some $350.) Bass was then hired per above by bandleader, Oliver Sain (piano), as a pianist. Sain already had a vocalist, Little Milton, with whom he had founded the Bobbin label. Bass had begun singing with Sain's orchestra when Milton was late to a gig one evening. In 1961 she backed Milton on such as 'So Mean to Me' issued in October (Checker 994, a Chess imprint). In 1963 Ike Turner produced 'My Good Loving/I Love the Man' on his Prann label founded in Los Angeles, before Tina Turner appeared with Bass on 'Poor Little Fool/This Would Make Me Happy'. She also performed as "Sabrina" about that period. 1964, yet with Sain, found her in Chicago singing duets with Bobby McLure: 'Don't Mess Up a Good Thing' and 'Baby, What Do You What Me to Do?'. More would follow in 1965 before her release the same year of 'Rescue Me'/'Soul of the Man'. 'Rescue Me' basked at #1 on the R&B (#4 US) in September that year, to go gold with over a million copies sold. Bass recorded only one more single that would chart to speak of, 'Recovery' resting at #13 on the R&B in latter '65. In 1969 she and Bowie married and traded America for Paris. She there recorded a couple LPs with the Art Ensemble of Chicago in 1970, but was back in the States to record 'Free' for its release in 1972. That album went silent so Bass turned to family (four children with Bowie), largely retiring from the music business. Music remained, however, her environment. She would turn up on a couple significant albums by Bowie in the early eighties. New Year's Day of 1990 brought a pleasant surprise upon hearing 'Rescue Me' used without permission on an American Express television commercial, her lawsuit in 1993 reaping $50,000 plus punitive. That charged her battery toward the issue of 'No Ways Tired' and 'Now That I Found a Good Thing'. Bass received a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame the year before issuing 'Travelin' in 2001. She later performed on releases by the Cinematic Orchestra. Bass toured Europe with her younger brother, David Preston, until poor health put her career to an end. Lord's disco has her recording as late as September 2005 with drummer, Chico Hamilton, on 'Love Me Long', 'Baby Won't You Please Come Home' and 'Believe in Him'. Having suffered breast cancer, strokes since 2005 and an amputated leg, she died in St. Louis on December 26 of 2012 of heart attack.

Fontella Bass   1962

  So Mean To Me

     With Little Milton

   Brand New Love/I Don't Hurt Anymore

   Honey Bee/Bad Boy

Fontella Bass   1963

  My Good Loving/I Love the Man

   Poor Little Fool/This Would Make Me Happy

     With Tina Turner

Fontella Bass   1965

  Don't Mess Up a Good Thing

     With Bobby McLure

  Rescue Me/Soul of the Man

  You'll Miss Me (When I'm Gone)

     With Bobby McLure

Fontella Bass   1966

  Since I Fell For You

     Album: 'The New Look'

Fontella Bass   1972

  To Be Free

     Album: 'Free'

Fontella Bass   2007

  Familiar Ground

     Cinematic Orchestra album: 'Ma Fleur'


Birth of Rock & Roll: Fontella Bass

Fontella Bass

Source: Discogs
  Sam & Dave was a highly successful team consisting of Samuel David Moore and Dave Prater. Sam had been with the Majestics in 1954 when that group recorded 'Nitey Nite'/'Cave Man Rock'. He'd also sang with the Gales and the Melionaires. Dave had been with the Sensational Hummingbirds. Their first issue as Sam & Dave is thought to have been for Alston Records in 1961: 'Never Never'/'Lotta Lovin''. It was 1966 when Sam & Dave began delivering a stream of Billboard Top Ten singles:

'You Don't Know Like I Know'
   January #7 R&B #90 US
'Hold On! I'm Comin'
   April #1 R&B #21 US
'Said I Wasn't Gonna Tell Nobody'
   September #8 R&B #64 US
'You Got Me Hummin'
   June #7 R&B #77 US
'When Something Is Wrong'
   February #2 R&B #42 US
'Soul Man'
   September #1 R&B #2 US
'I Thank You'
   January #4 R&B #9 US

Sam & Dave released 'The Best of Sam & Dave' in January of '69, after which the duo's popularity waned, they then beginning to tour internationally. In 1979 the Blues Brothers (Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi) did a highly successful cover of 'Soul Man', a couple Sam & Dave tunes used in the film 'The Blues Brothers' as well. By that time Sam & Dave had long since come to Sam vs Dave, their relationship disagreeable. What attention was acquired via the Blues Brothers lacked conditions for the pair to continue, they last performing "together" on New Year's Eve of 1981 at the Old Waldorf in San Francisco. Sam and Dave had often used intermediaries to communicate to each other, their association less than conversant. They are said to have never spoken to each other after their Waldorf engagement. Sam pursued a solo career and Dave continued onward as Sam & Dave or The New Sam & Dave Revue minus Sam Moore, replaced by Sam Daniels. Dave died in 1988, his last performance in April that year at the Atlanta Civic Center in Georgia. 1992 witnessed Sam & Dave elected into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. Sam didn't release a solo album until 2006, 'Overnight Sensational', the same year he requested Presidential candidate, Barack Obama, cease using the Sam & Dave song, 'Hold On! I'm Comin'', in his campaign for the Oval Office. Sam is yet active as of this writing.

The Majestics   1954

   Nitey Nite/Cave Man Rock

      Lead vocal: Sam Moore

Sam & Dave   1961

   Lotta Lovin'

Sam & Dave   1965

   Hold On, I'm Comin'

Sam & Dave   1966

   Live in London

      Filmed live

Sam & Dave   1967

   Soul Man

      Filmed live

   Soul Man

      Studio version

Sam & Dave   1968

   I Thank You

      LP: 'I Thank You'

   Wrap It Up

      LP: 'I Thank You'

Sam & Dave   1969

   I Thank You

      Television performance

Sam & Dave   1972

   When Something Is Wrong

      Television performance

Sam & Dave   1974

   Soul Man

      Filmed live


Birth of Soul Music: Sam & Dave

Sam & Dave

Source: DJ Honkytron

Birth of Rock & Roll: The Spinners

The Spinners

Source: VVN Music

The Spinners were another major soul group developed out of R&B. Though they've experienced numerous personnel changes, the group is, as of this writing, yet going strong with Henry Fambrough its only original member yet performing with them. Several recordings below are live on stage.

The Spinners   1961

   That's What Girls Are Made For/Heebie Jeebies

The Spinners   1965

   I'll Always Love You

   For All We Know

The Spinners   1972

   I'll Be Around

The Spinners   1973

   Could It Be I'm Falling In Love

   I'll Be Around

The Spinners   1975

   Mighty Love

The Spinners   1976

   How Could I Let You Get Away

   One Kind Of Love

   Rubberband Man

   Then Came You


  Soul singer Tammi Terrell was born Thomasina Montgomery in Philadelphia in 1945. Terrell signed her first recording contract at age fifteen, resulting in the release of  'If You See Bill' b/w 'It's Mine' as Tammy Montgomery in 1961 for the Wand label. She made several more releases as Tammy Montgomery, 'Voice of Experience' b/w 'I Wantcha To Be Sure' in 1962 for Wand, 'I Cried' b/w 'If You Don't Think' in 1964 for the Try Me label (owned by James Brown), and 'If I Would Marry You' b/w 'This Time Tomorrow' in 1964 for Checker. Here release for Try Me reached Billboard's Hot 100. In 1965 the name "Montgomery" was deemed too long for record labels, and she was christened "Terrell" by Motown Records CEO, Berry Gordy, it said he thought the name sexually appealing. Tammy Terrell then came out of the gate with 'I Can't Believe You Love Me', reaching the Top 40. In 1967 she scored big with a number of duets with Marvin Gaye for Motown, also releasing the album, 'United', with Gaye. She was on tour with Gaye in Virginia in October that year when she buckled on stage at a performance in Virginia due a brain tumor, Gaye having to assist her off stage. Terrell endured a series of operations as she continued recording into 1969, though could no longer perform live. Her death in March of 1970 had been less than kind as brain cancer and the fight against it wasted her away. 'The Onion Song' b/w 'California Soul', duets with Marvin Gaye, was issued posthumously in 1970.

Tammi Terrell   1961

   If You See Bill

      As Tammy Montgomery

Tammi Terrell   1962

   Voice of Experience

Tammi Terrell   1963

   I Cried

Tammi Terrell   1964

   If I Would Marry You

Tammi Terrell   1965

   I Can't Believe You Love Me

Tammi Terrell   1966

   All I Do

   Come On and See Me

Tammi Terrell   1967

   Ain't No Mountain High Enough

      Music video with Marvin Gaye

Tammi Terrell   1969

   I'm Your Puppet

      Duet with Marvin Gaye


Birth of Rock & Roll: Tammi Terrell

Tammi Terrell

Source: Getty Images

  Born Eva Narcissus Boyd in 1943 in Bethaven, North Carolina, Little Eva was a maid and babysitter for Carol King and lyricist Gerry Goffin when they encouraged her to record 'Loco-motion', released in 1962. Little Eva's tragedy was not owning the rights to her recordings. When she withdrew from her career in 1971 to return to North Carolina she did so with next to nothing in her purse. She later performed and recorded occasionally but her younger steam never returned. Little Eva died of cervical cancer in 2003 in North Carolina.

Little Eva   1962

   He Is the Boy

   Keep Your Hands Off My Baby


      Composition: Gerry Goffin/Carole King

Little Eva   1963

   Let's Start The Party Again

   Old Smokey Loco-Motion

Little Eva   1965

   Lets Turkey Trot

   Stand By Me


Birth of Rock & Roll: Little Eva

Little Eva

Photo: Nevins-Kirshner Assoc.

Source: Torben Bille

  Born in 1942 in Detroit, Michigan, Freda Payne Began her career in NYC. She released her initial recordings in 1962: '(Desafinado) Slightly Out Of Tune' b/w 'He Who Laughs Last'. 1963 saw the issue of 'Pretty Boy' b/w 'Grin And Bear It' in addition to her debut album, 'After The Lights Go Down And Much More'. She toured Europe for the first time in 1965, recording an album in Sweden. Payne's first gold record arrived in 1970 with 'Band of Gold'. That title has been estimated to have sold a couple million copies internationally. Consequentially, her album 'Band of Gold', sold well also. Payne romped through the seventies, among the royalty of disco. She had worked in theatre in the latter sixties, then returned to acting in the early eighties both on Broadway and in films, acting becoming a second career to her. Payne yet performs as of this writing, her last studio album released in 2014: 'Come Back To Me Love'.

Freda Payne   1962

   (Desafinado) Slightly Out Of Tune

Freda Payne   1963

   After The Lights Go Down Low

Freda Payne   1970

   Band of Gold

     Filmed live

   Band of Gold

     Filmed live

   Band of Gold

   Deeper and Deeper

Freda Payne   1971

   Bring The Boys Home

Freda Payne   1974


     Filmed live on 'Soul Train'

Freda Payne   2010

   Honeysuckle Rose

     Filmed live at the Montreux Jazz Festival

Freda Payne   2011

   Saving a Life

     Duet with Cliff Richard

        Filmed live on 'Loose Women'


Birth of Rock & Roll: Freda Payne

Freda Payne   2008

Source: Zimbio
  Born in 1941 in Prattville, Alabama, Wilson Pickett began his career in 1955 with a gospel group called the Violinaires, with which he toured churches for the next four years. He first recorded in 1959 with the Primettes (to become the Supremes in 1967). But that tune, 'Let Me Be Your Boy', wouldn't be released until 1963 as the B side to 'My Heart Belongs To You'. In 1960 Pickett joined the doo wop group, the Falcons (not to be confused with Jackie Wilson's Falcons). Soon after recording 'I Found Love' with the Falcons Pickett began doing solo work, among his first issues in 1962: 'I'm Gonna Cry' and 'If You Need Me' b/w 'Baby, Call on Me'. Pickett's career was stellar, but he had trouble behaving. Together with several drug offenses, he was fined $1000 for carrying a loaded shotgun in his vehicle, arrested for driving his car over Mayor Donald Aronson's front lawn (Englewood, New Jersey), assaulting a girlfriend, and drunk driving, resulting in the death of an elderly woman for which he was incarcerated for a year. Pickett died of heart attack in 2006 in Reston, Virginia. Tracks below are alphabetical by year.

Wilson Pickett   1962

   Baby Call On Me

   I Found Love

      With the Falcons

   If You Need Me

   Let Me Be Your Boy

       Recorded 1959    With the Primettes

   My Heart Belongs to You

   My Heart Belongs to You

   I'm Not Tired

Wilson Pickett   1963

   I'm Sorry About That

   It's Too Late

Wilson Pickett   1964

   I'm Down To My Last Heartbreak

Wilson Pickett   1965

   In the Midnight Hour

Wilson Pickett   1966

   It's All Over

   Land of 1000 Dances

      Album: 'The Exciting Wilson Pickett'

   Ninety Nine And A Half Won't Do

Wilson Pickett   1967

   Billy the Kid

      With the Falcons

   The Wicked Pickett


Wilson Pickett   1968

   Hey Jude

Wilson Pickett   1970

   Don't Let The Green Grass Fool You

   Get Me Back On Time (Engine Number 9)

Wilson Pickett   1973

   Mr Magic Man


Birth of Rock & Roll: Wilson Pickett

Wilson Pickett

Source: MTV

Birth of Rock & Roll: Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder

Source: Stevie Wonder

Born in 1950 in Saginaw, Michigan, Stevie Wonder, blind since birth, made his first recordings as Little Stevie Wonder at age eleven. He issued two albums in 1962 before releasing his first single, 'I Call It Pretty Music'. Which had occurred of singing one of his own compositions for Ronnie White of the the Miracles, who took him to audition for Berry Gordy of Motown Records, who signed Wonder to Motown's Tamla label and placed him under the tutelage of producer and song writer Clarence Paul. Wonder's debut albums were 'Tribute to Uncle Ray' followed by 'The Jazz Soul of Little Stevie'. His third album, 'Recorded Live: The 12 Year Old Genius', was recorded on tour at age twelve. Wonder first appeared in film in 1964: 'Muscle Beach Party' and 'Bikini Beach'. Among his most important collaborations was with Syreeta Wright, beginning in 1970, the year of their marriage. (They divorced in 1972 but would work together again. Wonder next married one of his secretaries, Kai Millard Morris, with whom he remained.) Wonder holds the record on Grammy Awards, 22 as of this writing. 'Rolling Stone' has ranked him the ninth greatest vocalist of all time. Wonder had sold more than 100,000,000 records during his career, nearly twenty percent of which were albums. Among Wonder's business concerns was Taxi Productions, owning KJLH radio in Los Angeles. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 (same year as the Rolling Stones). Wonder yet performs, records and tours with apparently boundless energy. Cuts below are alphabetical by year.

Stevie Wonder   1962

   Contract On Love

      With the Temptations

   I Call It Pretty Music

   The Jazz Soul Of Little Stevie


   La La La La La

   Tribute to Uncle Ray


Stevie Wonder   1965

   Kiss Me Baby

Stevie Wonder   1972

   Live in NYC




Stevie Wonder   1973


Stevie Wonder   1974

   Live on Musikladen

Stevie Wonder   1976

   Key of Life


Stevie Wonder   1980

   Master Blaster

      Album: 'Hotter Than July'

Stevie Wonder   1995

   You Are the Sunshine/Superstition

Stevie Wonder   2005

   From The Bottom Of My Heart

      Live in concert

   I Just Called to Say I Love You

   So What The Fuss/Superstition

      Live in concert

Stevie Wonder   2008

   Lately/My Cherie Amour

      Live in concert


      Live in concert   Original composition: Chick Corea

Stevie Wonder   2010

   Live at Glastonbury

      Live in concert


  ZZ Hill   See ZZ Hill.

Birth of Rock & Roll: James Carr

James Carr

Source: Music Timeline
Soul singer, James Carr, was born in 1942 in Coahoma, Mississippi, to a Baptist preacher. He had sang with local gospel groups and was working at a table factory when he recorded his first promos in October of 1964 with the Goldwax label, those songs released that year as: 'Only Fools Run Away' b/w 'You Don't Want Me'. Also released that year was 'Lover's Competition'/'I Can't Make It'. In April of 1966 Carr placed 'You've Got My Mind Messed UP' at the No. 7 tier on Billboard's R&B. 'The Dark End of the Street' rose to No. 10 in February of the next year. Carr's only other releases to place in the top 30 were 'Love Attack' and 'Pouring Water On A Drowning Man' in 1966, and 'Let It Happen' in 1967. Carr's debut album, 'You Got My Mind Messed Up', was released in 1966. His second, 'A Man Needs a Woman', saw issue in 1968. Afflicted with manic depression, Carr was in and out of psychiatric care during much of his career. With an adversity that made recording and touring difficult, Carr was known to wander, forget lyrics while recording and freeze on stage. He recorded only twice in the seventies: 'Hold On'/'I'll Put It To You' released in 1971 for Atlantic, and 'Bring Her Back'/'Let Me Be Right' in 1977 for the River City label. During the eighties Carr was dependent on his sister's (Rose) care, though managed to record a couple albums in the nineties: 'Take Me to the Limit' in 1991 and 'Soul Survivor' in 1994. Carr was also able to tour Europe and the States in the nineties, but died of lung cancer in a Memphis nursing home in 2001.

James Carr   1964

   I Can't Make It

   Lover's Competition

   Only Fools Run Away

   You Don't Want Me

James Carr   1965

   Pouring Water On a Drowning Man

   She's Better Than You

   Talk Talk

James Carr   1966

   Love Attack

   You Got My Mind Messed Up

James Carr   1967

   The Dark End of the Street

James Carr   1968

   A Man Needs a Woman


Birth of Rock & Roll: Jean Knight

Jean Knight

Source: Time Goes By
Jean Knight was born in 1943 in New Orleans. Her first sides were released in 1964 for the Tribe label: 'Lonesome Tonight'/'Love'. '(T'ain't It) The Truth'/'I'm So Glad For Your Sake' were issued in 1965. 1966 heard 'Anyone Can Love Him'/'A Tear'. Knight also issued eight singles on four discs for the Jetstream label during that early period. She was still working her dayjob as a baker when she signed up with Stax Records and measured some yeast into 'Mr. Big Stuff'/'Why I Keep Living These Memories' in 1971. 'Mr. Big Stuff' rose not only platinum plump but doubly so, selling more than two million copies. Knight wasn't able, however, to duplicate that success in years to come. Her career was in trouble until 'You Got the Papers But I Got the Man' put her back on track in 1981. Knight then continued touring but recorded as sparingly as ever. Her career produced only five albums: 'Mr. Big Stuff' (1971), 'Keep It Comin'' (1981), 'My Toot Toot' (1985), 'Shaki de Boo-Tee' (1997) and 'Queen' (1999). Knight yet performs as of this writing.

Jean Knight   1964


Jean Knight   1965

   Doggin' Around

Jean Knight   1966

   Anyone Can Love Him

Jean Knight   1971

   Mr. Big Stuff

Jean Knight   1972

   Do Me

Jean Knight   1977

   Humpin To Please Him

Jean Knight   1981

   You Got the Papers But I Got the Man

Jean Knight   1984

   My Toot Toot

     Filmed live

Jean Knight   2013

   Mr. Big Stuff

     Filmed live


Birth of Rock & Roll: The Manhattans

The Manhattans   1964

Source: Soul Years
The Manhattans were formed in 1962 with a strong doo wop bent, releasing their first single, 'For the Very First Time', in 1964. Its original members were George Smith, Edward Bivins, Winfred Lovett, Kenny Kelley and Richard Taylor. All five had served in the armed forces. (They were no longer teenagers at the time of their initial recordings.) In 1970 George Smith, the group's lead, fell down a fight of stairs, necessitating replacement with Gerald Alston. (Smith died of a brain tumor in December that year.) The Manhattans came about strong in the seventies, notably with 'There's No Me Without You' in 1973, and continued that trend into the eighties until Alston left the group in 1988 to pursue a solo career. He was briefly replaced by Roger Harris, after which there has been a scrambling of personnel over the years. The Manhattans continue to perform as of this writing, though none of its original members survive. (Gerald Alston is yet active, though no longer associated with the group.)

The Manhattans   1964

   Call Somebody Please

The Manhattans   1969

   Follow Your Heart

The Manhattans   1973

   There's No Me Without You

The Manhattans   1976

   Kiss and Say Goodbye

The Manhattans   1977

   I Kinda Miss You

    Music video

The Manhattans   1978

   Am I Losing You

The Manhattans   1981

   Honey Honey


Birth of Rock & Roll: The Manhattans

The Manhattans with Gerald Alston

Source: Soul Walking
Birth of Rock & Roll: Barbara Mason

Barbara Mason

Source: Black Kudos
Barbara Mason was born in Philadelphia, PA, in 1947. She was seventeen when she issued her first recording in 1964: 'Trouble Child'. Response to that was negligible, but in 1965 she issued 'Yes, I'm Ready' to much ado, her album with the same title released the same year. Though not a major star in comparison to a few others on this page, Mason's career was one of steady progression. Her last songs to reach the Top 40 were titled 'Give Me Your Love' in 1973 and 'From His Woman To You' 1974. In the early eighties Mason founded the music publishing company, Marc James Music. She has also founded the recording label, Lioness Recordings, and the music production company, Mason Media Productions. Mason returned to performing in the early nineties, but didn't release an album until 2007, 'Feeling Blue', her first in 23 years and her last, of twelve, as of this writing. Mason yet performs on the West coast.

Barbara Mason   1964

   Trouble Child

Barbara Mason   1965

   Trouble Child

Barbara Mason   1972

   Bed & Board

Barbara Mason   1973

   Give Me Your Love

Barbara Mason   1974

   World In a Crisis

Barbara Mason   1975

   Shackin' Up

     'Soul Train' performance


  Soul vocalist, OV Wright, was born Overton Vertis Wright in Lenow, Tennessee, in 1939. Wright was yet in high school when he joined the gospel group, the Sunset Travelers. He later became lead singer with the gospel group, the Harmony Echoes, James Carr also a member of that ensemble. It was 1964 when Wright released his first recordings for the Goldwax label: 'There Goes My Used To Be' b/w 'That's How Strong My Love Is' (both composed by Roosevelt Jamison). His initial album, 'If It's Only For Tonight', appeared in 1965. Wright managed to place two songs in the Top Ten of Billboard's R&B during his career: 'You're Gonna Make Me Cry' in August 1965 and 'Eight Men Four Women' in May of 1967. Wright was incarcerated in Texas during the seventies on drug charges, after which he enjoyed little time, dying of heart attack in 1980 during a performance at the Lakeside Lounge in Grand Bay, Alabama.

OV Wright   1964

   That's How Strong My Love Is

   There Goes My Used to Be

OV Wright   1967

   Eight Men Four Women

OV Wright   1968

   Motherless Child

OV Wright   1970


OV Wright   1973

   Memphis Unlimited


   Without You

OV Wright   1977

   Into Something

   Precious Precious

OV Wright   1978

   I Don't Do Windows

OV Wright   1979

   God Blessed Our Love/Into Something


Birth of Rock & Roll: OV Wright

Overton Vertis Wright

Source: Soul Walking
Birth of Rock & Roll: Gloria Gaynor

Gloria Gaynor

Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Source: K-Earth 101
Gloria Gaynor was born Gloria Fowles in Newark, NJ, in 1949. She released her first tracks in 1965 as Gloria Fowler: 'Will You Be My Guy'/'Train Of Love'. Her first release as Gloria Gaynor was the same year: 'She'll Be Sorry'/'Let Me Go Baby'. Soon afterward she joined the Soul Satisfiers, next the Un-Silent Minority, then worked at the Wagon Wheel in Manhattan. She next toured the East Coast with a group called City Life. (Thanks to for clarity with some of that.) 'Honeybee' was first released for Columbia with 'All It Took Boy Was Losing You' in 1973. In 1974 both Polydor and MGM (a sublabel of Polydor) released 'Honeybee'/'Never Can Say Goodbye'. 'Reach Out, I'll Be There'/'Searchin'' was released in 1975, as well as Gaynor's first album, 'Never Can Say Goodbye'. Gaynor was a disco locomotive into the eighties, when her career met stalemate. She revived it in the nineties, though to no proportions as before. As of this writing Gaynor yet tours internationally. Per below, all edits from 1975 onward were filmed live with the exception of 'Anybody Wanna Party?'.

Gloria Gaynor   1965

   Let Me Go Baby

   She'll Be Sorry

   Train of Love

     As Gloria Fowler

   Will You Be My Guy

     As Gloria Fowler

Gloria Gaynor   1973


Gloria Gaynor   1974

   Never Can Say Goodbye

Gloria Gaynor   1975

   Never Can Say Goodbye

   Reach Out I'll Be There

Gloria Gaynor   1978

   Anybody Wanna Party?

   I Will Survive

Gloria Gaynor   1979

   I Will Survive

   I Will Survive

Gloria Gaynor   2009

   I Will Survive


  Isaac Hayes Jr. was born in Covington, Tennessee, in 1942. It's said that it was needful for him to turn down college scholarships in order to work in a meat packing plant in Memphis to support family. He played nightclubs by night. A multi-instrumentalist, playing keyboards, flute and saxophone, Hayes auditioned as a session player at Stax records in 1962, but wasn't hired until 1964. His first released tracks as a studio musician were in 1965 on 'The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads' for Volt Records (a subsidiary of Stax). (Thank you Hayes also worked at Stax as a songwriter and producer, not releasing his first album, 'Presenting Isaac Hayes', until 1967. That wasn't quite splash-wet, but in 1969 he issued 'Hot Buttered Soul' and his career took gear. Hayes also composed film scores, such as 'Shaft' in 1971. He appeared in numerous roles as a film and television actor, such as 'Escape From New York' in 1981. His career as an actor increased as his popularity as a vocalist began to flatten horizontal.  Hayes became a Scientologist in 1993. He is most recently notable as the voice for Chef on the animated television series, 'South Park', during the period of 1999 to March 2006. In August 2008 Hayes died at his home in Memphis while using a treadmill, likely of a second stroke.

Isaac Hayes   1965

  Otis Blue

     Album with Otis Redding   Piano: Isaac Hayes

  Your One And Only Man

     Album: 'The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads'

Isaac Hayes   1969

  By The Time I Get To Phoenix

     Album: 'Hot Buttered Soul'

   Walk On By

     'Music Scene' television program

Isaac Hayes   1971



Isaac Hayes   1973




     Filmed live with Jesse Jackson

Isaac Hayes   1974

  Hung Up On My Baby

     Soundtrack: 'Tough Guys'

Isaac Hayes   1979

  Don't Let Go

Isaac Hayes   2005

  Walk On By

     Filmed live


Birth of Rock & Roll: Isaac Hayes

Isaac Hayes

Source: Showbiz 411
  The Three Degrees were a trio, similar to the Supremes, which formed in 1963 in Philadelphia, PA, becoming a major hub for soul music in the sixties. The group issued its debut single, 'Gee Baby (I'm Sorry)' in 1965. The trio began experiencing personnel changes from the begin. Main members from 1967 to 1976, the trio's heydays, were Fayette Pinkney (only original member), Valerie Holiday and Sheila Ferguson at lead. The Three Degrees released their first album, 'Maybe', in 1970 to huge success, followed to results the same in 1973 with the LP, 'The Three Degrees', and 'International' in 1975. The latter two went gold in the UK. Lead singer, Ferguson, left the trio in 1986, a succession of leads replacing her for the next few years. The group steadily consisted of Helen Scott, Valerie Holiday and Cynthia Harrison at lead from 1989 to 2010, when Freddie Pool replaced Harrison. The last album released by the Three Degrees was in 2009: 'Undercover 2009'. 2010 saw the release of the single, 'Holding Back'.

The Three Degrees   1965

   Gee Baby (I'm Sorry)

The Three Degrees   1969

   What I See

The Three Degrees   1970


     Music video

The Three Degrees   1973

   When Will I See You Again

     Live performance

The Three Degrees   1975

   Take Good Care of Yourself

The Three Degrees   1978

   Woman In Love

     Live performance

The Three Degrees   1979


     Live performance

   Woman In Love

     Live performance


Birth of Rock & Roll: The Three Degrees

The Three Degrees   1975

Source: Jay's News Feed
Birth of Rock & Roll: The Chi-Lites

The Chi-Lites    Circa 1970

Photo: Getty Images

Source: MTV
The Chi-Lites [shy-lyts] were formed out a group called the Hi-Lites which had formed in 1959 and released its first recordings in 1964. The members of that group were Eugene Record, Robert Lester, Clarence Johnson, Marshall Thompson and Creadel Jones. Because the Hi-Lites name was already being used they changed their identity to the Chi-Lites ("Chi" short for Chicago) later in '64. When Clarence Johnson left their quintet in 1966 they continued as a quartet called the Marshall & the Chi-Lites, eventually settling on the Chi-Lites again in 1967, releasing 'Love Me'/'Love Is Gone' that year. The Chi-Lites have remained in circulation ever since in one configuration or another. As of this writing Marshall Thompson remains the only original member.

The Hi-Lites   1964

  I'm So Jealous

   You Did That To Me

The Chi-Lites   1966

   Pretty Girl

    As Marshall & The Chi-Lites

The Chi-Lites   1967

  Love Is Gone

   Price of Love

    As Marshall & The Chi-Lites

The Chi-Lites   1971

   For God Sake Give More Power to the People

     Live on 'Soul Train'

The Chi-Lites   1972

   A Lonely Man


The Chi-Lites   1974


The Chi-Lites   1975

   You Don't Have to Go

The Chi-Lites   1984

   Stop What You're Doin'


Birth of Rock & Roll: Five Stairsteps

The Five Stairsteps

Getty Images

Source: Hipster Sanctuary
Organized in 1958 in Chicago, The Five Stairsteps was a family affair run by Clarence Burke Sr., a police detective who played bass. The band was named by its mother, Betty, who thought the children looked like stair steps when lined along by age. Members of the Burke group were Alohe, James, Dennis, Kenneth and lead singer, Clarence Jr., most being high school age, though Kenneth was 13. It was as a result of winning a talent contest at the Regal Theater that the Five Stairsteps won their first recording contract in 1966, their first single that year being 'You Waited Too Long' b/w 'Don't Waste Your Time'. 'O-o-h Child' as of 1970 was a million seller. In 1975 they signed up with Dar Horse Records owned by George Harrison. The group disbanded after the release of the LP, 'Second Resurrection' in 1976. Keni Burke continued with a solo career, releasing the self-titled album, 'Keni Burke', in 1977. Something of a reformed group was wrought in 1979 in the name of The Invisible Man's Band, issuing an album by the same title in 1980. That group recorded as late as 1983, Keni Burke meanwhile continuing his solo career. Burke's last album was released in 1998: 'Nothin' But Love'.

The Five Stairsteps   1966

   Don't Waste Your Time

   You Waited Too Long

The Five Stairsteps   1967

   Danger She's a Stranger

   The Touch of You

The Five Stairsteps   1968

   Baby Make Me Feel So Good

The Five Stairsteps   1970

   Ooh Child

The Five Stairsteps   1976


Keni Burke   1977

   Keep on Singing

The Invisible Man Band   1980

   The Invisible Man Band

Keni Burke   1981

   Gotta Find My Way Back In Your Heart

   Never Stop Loving Me

Keni Burke   1982

   Hang Tight

   Risin' To The Top


  Born in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1946, Dorothy Moore's father was a member of the gospel group, the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi. She was attending Jim Hill High School when she formed the Poppies with Patsy McCune and Rosemary Taylor. Moore enrolled at Jackson State University, quitting during her freshman year to record and tour with the Poppies, that group releasing the LP, 'Lullaby of Love', in 1966. The girls traveled with the Mid-South Review, but the pay was little while their singles went nowhere. They disbanded in 1967, Moore continuing with the Review. She released singles for the Avon and GSF labels, but the tree wouldn't shake until a big plum, 'Misty Blue', fell on the #2 spot of Billboard's R&B in March of '76. It ranked at #5 in Great Britain. 'Funny How Time Slips Away' reached the #7 tier in July that year. 'I Believe You' charted at #5 in August of '77. 'With Pen In Hand' reached #12 in January of 1978, after which Moore's audience largely fell away. It far from disappeared, however, she having released some twenty albums during her career. 'Blues Heart' was her latest, issued in 2012. The recipient of multiple awards, Moore yet tours internationally as of this writing.

The Poppies   1966

   Do It With Soul

   Lullaby Of Love

      Album: 'Lullaby Of Love'   First single

   He's Got Real Love

      Album: 'Lullaby Of Love'

   He's Ready

      Album: 'Lullaby Of Love'

   I Wonder Why

      Album: 'Lullaby Of Love'

   There's a Pain In My Heart

Dorothy Moore   1976

   Funny How Time Slips Away

   I Believe You

  Misty Blue

Dorothy Moore   1978

   With Pen In Hand

Dorothy Moore   1986

   What Is This


Dorothy Moore   1986

   Misty Blue

      Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival

   Filmed live


Birth of Rock & Roll: Dorothy Moore

Dorothy Moore

Source: Thacker Mountain Radio Hour
  Born in Leighton, Alabama, in 1940, Percy Sledge was an orderly at Colbert County Hospital in Sheffield, Alabama, when in 1966 he made his first recording, 'When a Man Loves a Woman'. As of this writing, Sledge's latest album issue was in 2013: 'The Gospel Of Percy Sledge'.

Percy Sledge   1966

   It Tears Me Up


   Warm and Tender Love

   When a Man Loves a Woman

Percy Sledge   1967

   Baby Help Me

   Cover Me

   Just Out of Reach

   Love Me Tender

   What Am I Living For

Percy Sledge   1968

   Take Time to Know Her

Percy Sledge   1969

   My Special Prayer

Percy Sledge   1970

   Help Me Make It Through the Night


Birth of Rock & Roll: Percy Sledge

Percy Sledge

Source: B&S

Birth of Rock & Roll: Percy Sledge

Viola Wills

Source: Soul Walking
Born Viola Mae Wilkerson in 1939 in Los Angeles, Viola Wills was the married mother of six children by age 21. Barry White hired her as a backup vocalist, got her signed up with Bronco Records, then changed her name to Wills for her first release in 1966: ''I Got Love'/'Lost Without The Love Of My Guy''. Wills issued several recordings in the latter sixties, none charting. She didn't arrive to sufficient popularity to release an album until 1974: 'Soft Center'. But producing records that sold well wasn't nearly as easy as making babies. (There was also the split between mainstream rock and disco. Rock music had largely developed out of swing jazz into R&B, which had become rock several years before it was called such. But as soul developed, which progeny was disco, there was considerable opinion among the masses that such were no longer rock. One expression of that was Bob Seger's 'Old Time Rock and Roll' released in 1978. It would seem disco rabbits went to the bar to dance, rock rabbits to shoot pool, jazz rabbits for conversation.) Not until 1979 did Wills' career finally slip into gear, beginning with her single, 'Gonna Get Along Without You Now'. Wills never did manage to attain to the stardom of other disco queens such as Gaynor, Payne or Summer, though she found a strong audience in the UK. Her last song to chart was 'Both Sides Now' in 1985. Wills continued recording into the early nineties, then fell into obscurity with all but disco rabbits. Wills died in Phoenix in 2009 of cancer.

Viola Wills   1966

   I Got Love

   Lost Without the Love of My Guy

Viola Wills   1979

   Gonna Get Along Without You

Viola Wills   1982

   Stormy Weather

Viola Wills   1989

   Gonna Get Along Without You


  Born in 1947 in Philadelphia, PA, composer, Norman Connors began his career as a jazz drummer, thus the jazz orientation of his R&B. After attending both Temple University and Juilliard Connors made his debut vinyl per Archie Shepp's 'Magic of JuJu' in 1967. We skip ahead through such as Sam Rivers a bit to the major figure that was Pharoah Sanders during Connors' early career. From Sanders' 'Black Unity' in November of '71 to Meditation gone down at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland in 1978 Connors contributed to five of Sanders' LPs. Sanders participated in Connors' 'Romantic Journey' in '76 and 'This Is Your Life' in '77. Connors issued his first solo endeavor in 1972: 'Dance of Magic'. He then became A&R manager for Buddha Records. Connors placed two titles on the Billboard R&B Top Ten, 'Valentine Love' in '75 (#10) and 'You Are My Starship' (#4) the next year. Connors' last of 17 albums is thought to have been 'Star Power' in 2009.

Norman Connors   1967

   The Magic of Ju-Ju

      LP by Archie Shepp

Norman Connors   1972

   Dance of Magic

      LP: 'Dance of Magic'

   Morning Change

      LP: 'Dance of Magic'

Norman Connors   1973

   Butterfly Dreams

      LP: 'Dark of Light'

   Dark of Light

      LP: 'Dark of Light'

Norman Connors   1974

   Love From the Sun

      LP: 'Love From the Sun'

Norman Connors   1975

   Maiden Voyage

      Album: 'Saturday Night Special'

   Valentine Love

      Album: 'Saturday Night Special'

Norman Connors   1976

   You Are My Starship


Norman Connors   1977

   This Is Your Life

      LP: 'This Is Your Life'

      Vocal: Eleanor Mills

Norman Connors   1978

   Everything I Have Is Good

      Pharoah Sanders LP:

     'Love Will Find a Way'


     Norman Connors

     Phyllis Hyman

Norman Connors   1979


      LP: 'Invitation'

      Vocal: Miss Adaritha

Norman Connors   1980

   Take It to the Limit

      LP: 'Take It To The Limit'

Norman Connors   1981

   Casino Latino

      Pharoah Sanders LP:

    'Beyond a Dream'

Norman Connors   2009

   You Are My Starship

      Filmed with Danny Boy

Norman Connors   2014


      Filmed live in Hollywood


Birth of Rock & Roll: Norman Connors

Norman Connors

Source: All Music

Birth of Rock & Roll: Al Green

Al Green

Photo: Frank Micolatta

Source: No Estoy Desapareciendo

Born Albert Greene in 1946 in Forrest City, Arkansas, Al Green formed a group called Al Greene & The Creations in high school. Two members of that group, Curtis Rodgers and Palmer James, founded the record label, Hot Line Music Journal. In 1968 the Creations were renamed the Soul Mates and grooved their first vinyl with Hot Line Music. In 1969 Green was encouraged to go solo by Willie Mitchell of Hi Records, upon which Green dropped the 'e' from his name and produced his first album, 'Green Is Blues'. In 1974 Green's girlfriend committed suicide, prompting Green to change his lifestyle, becoming a pastor at the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Memphis in 1976. Between 1980 and 1987 Green concentrated on gospel music, returning to secular material in 1988. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. In 2000 Green published his autobiography, 'Take Me to the River'. As of this writing Green's last studio album, 'Lay It Down, was released in 2008.

Al Green   1967

   Back Up Train

      With the Soul Mates

   Don't Leave Me

      With the Soul Mates

Al Green   1969

   Green Is Blues


Al Green   1970

   I'm So Tired of Being Alone

Al Green   1971

   Let's Stay Together

      Live on 'Rollin' On the River'

   Let's Stay Together

Al Green   1972

   How Can You Mend a Broken Heart

   I'm So Tired of Being Alone

      Live performance

   Look What You Done For Me

Al Green   1974

   Al Green Live


Al Green   1977

   Loving You

      Album: 'The Belle Album'

Al Green   2005

   Simply Beautiful


Al Green   2007

   Amazing Grace



  Disco singer, Loleatta Holloway, was born in 1946 in Chicago. She began her career with the black gospel group, the Caravans in 1967, thought to appear on the Gospel label release, 'Help Is on the Way' b/w 'I'm a Pilgrim'. Nearly every vocalist with that group was featured at some time or another on lead and went onward to a solo career, Holloway likewise, with lead tracks on the 1968 Caravans' album, 'Jesus Will Fix It' and the 1969 LP, 'Where He Leads Me'. Holloway left the Caravans in 1971 and wasted no time releasing disco and soul tunes. Her first solo release was 'Rainbow '71' b/w 'For Sentimental Reasons' for Apache in '71. 'Rainbow '71' was also issued by Galaxy with 'Bring It On Up' on the tail side. Her first album, 'Loleatta', was issued in '73, followed by 'Cry to Me' in '75. Loleatta charted in the Top Ten of Billboard seven times, mostly in its Dance category. 'Cry to Me' reached the #10 spot in '75 on the R&B. Holloway topped the Dance category twice with 'Love Sensation' in 1980 and 'Dreamin'' in 2000. She died of heart failure in 2011 in Chicago. Per 1968 and 1969 below, Holloway sings lead with the Caravans.

Loleatta Holloway   1967

   I'm a Pilgrim

     With the Caravans

      Lead: Albertina Walker

Loleatta Holloway   1968

   One More River

     Caravans album: 'Jesus Will Fix It'

Loleatta Holloway   1969

   The Lord Has Been So Good to Me

     Caravans album: 'Where He Leads Me'

   Nearer To Thee

     Caravans album: 'Help is on the Way'

   Old Rugged Cross

     Caravans album: 'Where He Leads Me'

Loleatta Holloway   1969

   The Lord Has Been So Good to Me

     Caravans album: 'Where He Leads Me'

   Nearer To Thee

     Caravans album: 'Help Is on the Way'

   Old Rugged Cross

     Caravans album: 'Where He Leads Me'

Loleatta Holloway   1971

   Bring It On Up

   Rainbow '71

Loleatta Holloway   1972

   Mother of Shame

     Caravans album: 'Where He Leads Me'

Loleatta Holloway   1975


     Album: 'The Hotlanta Soul of Lolleatta Holloway'

   Cry to Me

     Album: 'Cry to Me''

Loleatta Holloway   1976


     Television broadcast

   Worn Out Broken Heart

     Album: 'Loleatta'

Loleatta Holloway   1979

   Vertigo/Relight My Fire

     With Dan Hartman

Loleatta Holloway   1980

   Love Sensation

     Album: 'Love Sensation'


Birth of Rock and Roll: Loleatta Holloway

Loleatta Holloway

Source: The Guardian
Birth of Rock & Roll: Donna Summer

Donna Summer

Source: Sound Opinions
Disco queen, Donna Summer, had been born in 1948 in Boston by the name of LaDonna Adrian Gaines or, Donna Gaines. Her father was a butcher and her mother a schoolteacher. She quit high school just shy of graduating in 1967 to go to New York and join a band called Crow. She would be working and recording as Donna Gaines early in her career. An audition for the musical, 'Hair', took Gaines to Munich to perform in the role of Sheila in the German version. Hence her first single in 1968, singing 'Wassermann' ('Aquarius') in Deutsch. That track was also released that year on the album, 'Haare', on which she was featured on several tracks.  In 1969 Gaines released 'If You Walkin' Alone'/'Can't Understand', she credited as Donna Gains by mistake. Gaines took roles in other German versions of musicals in 1971, releasing three albums that year with German casts on which she was featured: 'The Me Nobody Knows' (in English), 'Ich Bin Ich' (German version of 'The Me Nobody Knows' and 'Godspell' (in German). Gaines released 'Sally Go 'Round the Roses'/'So Said The Man' in 1971. In 1973 Gaines married Austrian actor, Helmuth Sommer, thereafter working as such. In 1974 she made a demo for Oasis Records which then found a partner in Groovy Records. Somewhere along the way another typo changed Donna's identity, her name changed from Donna Sommer to Donna Summer. The record was 'Love to Love You' as of 1975. Also released as 'Love to Love You Baby', the song went missile in the States, reaching No. 2 on Billboard. From that point onward Summer needed no further guidance from typos, pursuing a career of enormous success, one No. 1 after the next not only through the seventies but charting at the heights for the next couple of decades well into the new millennium. Her wonderful talent was lost of lung cancer in May 2012 at her home in Naples, Florida. She was posthumously elected into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame the next year. Per below, with the exception of 'MacArthur Park' all titles are filmed live from 1976 onward.

Donna Gaines   1968

   Wassermann (Aquarius)

Donna Gains   1969

   If You Walkin' Alone/Can't Understand

Donna Gaines   1971

   Sally Go Round the Roses

Donna Summer   1975

   Love To Love You Baby

Donna Summer   1976

   It Could Be Magic

   Love To Love You Baby

Donna Summer   1977

   I Feel Love

   MacArthur Park

Donna Summer   1980

   Hot Stuff

Donna Summer   2005

   Night of the Proms

Donna Summer   2009

   Last Dance

    Nobel Peace Prize Concert


Birth of Rock & Roll: Syreeta


Source: Soul Walking
Born in Pittsburgh, PA, in 1946, Syreeta Wright attended high school in Detroit, after which she became a receptionist at Motown Records in 1965. Her first record release was as Rita Wright in February of 1968: 'I Can't Give Back the Love I Feel For You' bw 'Something On My Mind'. While Syreeta served as a backup singer in the choruses of the Supremes, the the Vandellas and Stevie Wonder she worked as a songwriter, eventually marrying Wonder in 1970. That marriage was quickly annulled in '72 though Syreeta and Wonder continued to work together as friends throughout her career, Wonder overlooking the production of her first album, 'Syreeta', released in 1972. Her second album, 'Stevie Wonder Presents: Syreeta', was issued in 1974. In 1977 Syreeta released 'Rich Love, Poor Love', an album of duets with GC Cameron, formerly of the Spinners. Her album, 'One to One', followed the same year. Syreeta's first duet with Billy Preston, 'With You I'm Born Again', was issued in 1979. Her second eponymously titled album arrived the next year, followed by 'Set My Love in Motion' in 1981. Two years later she released 'The Spell'. Syreeta's last album, 'With You I'm Born Again', was released in 1990 in Japan only. In '93 she joined the cast of 'Jesus Christ Superstar' as Mary Magdalene, then retired from the music industry in 1995. Film themes to which Syreeta had contributed vocals were 'Fast Break' in '79 and 'The Last Dragon' in '85. Having previously been married a brief time to bassist, Curtis Robertson Jr., her retirement to Los Angeles brought a third marriage with conversion to Islam. Syreeta died in 2004 of congestive heart failure, wrought of treatments for breast and bone cancer.

Syreeta   1968

   I Can't Give Back the Love I Feel For You

     Issued as Rita Wright

Syreeta   1972

   Spinnin' and Spinnin'

   To Know You Is To Love You

      With Stevie Wonder

Syreeta   1974

   Heavy Duty

   Universal Sound Of the World

Syreeta   1977

   Rest Yourself

Syreeta   1979

   With You I'm Born Again

     Filmed live with Billy Preston

Syreeta   1980

   Let Me Be The One

Syreeta   1989

   Your Kiss Is Sweet

     Filmed live

Syreeta   1992


      Saxophone: Nelson Rangell


Birth of Rock & Roll: Al Green

Roberta Flack

Source: Eventfinda
Born in either 1937 or '39 in Black Mountain, NC, Roberta Flack matriculated into Howard University in Washington DC. at age fifteen on a classical piano scholarship. She'd begun playing piano at age nine. While at Howard she added voice to the keys. She was teaching school and giving piano lessons in Washington DC as she began working in nightclubs, which is how Les McCann discovered her, to arrange an audition with Atlantic Records in 1968. Her first dish was 'Compared to What'/'Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye', released the next year along with her debut album, 'First Take'. That LP went platinum in the U.S. gold in Canada. Notable in 1972 was her first album of duets with Donny Hathaway: 'Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway' (Flack's fourth LP, Hathaway's third). 'Killing Me Softly with His Song' in 1973 blew her career nuclear, she remaining a major artist to this day, yet recording and touring as of this writing. She's won one American Music Award and four Grammy Awards. (Grammy Awards are something of an involved process whereby nominations by record companies and individuals get filtered to members of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for further nomination and voting. The American Music Award was founded by Dick Clark and is based on public polls.)

Roberta Flack   1969

   Compared to What

    Album: 'First Take'

Roberta Flack   1972

   The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

    Filmed live

   Where Is the Love

    Duet with Donny Hathaway

Roberta Flack   1973

   Killing Me Softly With His Song

Roberta Flack   1975

   Live with The Edmonton Symphony

    Filmed concert

Roberta Flack   1978

   The Closer I Get To You

    Duet with Donny Hathaway

Roberta Flack   1979

   Back Together Again

    Duet with Donny Hathaway

Roberta Flack   1981

   Just When I Needed You

Roberta Flack   1983

   Tonight, I Celebrate My Love


  Donny Hathaway was born in 1945 in Chicago, but raised in St. Louis, Missouri. He met his future partner, Roberta Flack, at Howard University in Washington DC, she a classmate. He quit college upon offer of employment at Custom Records, arranging, songwriting and working sessions as a piano player. Hathaway's first name singles were released in 1959, a couple of duets with June Conquest: 'I Thank You Baby' b/w 'Just Another Reason'. His release of 'The Ghetto Part 1 & 2' in 1970 was his debut name solo issue. It appeared on his first LP, 'Everything Is Everything', the next year. His second LP was titled simply 'Donny Hathaway'. In 1971 he got together with former friend, Robert Flack, to record his third album with her: 'Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway'. That would be the beginning of one of soul music's more significant musical partnerships. During the next ten years of Hathaway's career he composed, recorded and worked on film scores. His last studio album was in 1973: 'Extension of a Man'. In 1978 he recorded a duet with Roberta Flack, 'The Closer I Get to You' and the solo single, "You Were Meant For Me". His final recordings were duets with Roberta Flack in '78 and '79, released in 1980 on Flack's LP, 'Roberta Flack Featuring Donny Hathaway'. His final recording is said to have been 'You Are My Heaven', appearing on that album. Hathaway was a paranoid schizophrenic who experienced severe depression. It seems he took medicine to combat the problem, but he had been hospitalized several times during the seventies. On January 13, 1979, Hathaway leapt from his 15th story apartment window. Earlier that day a recording session had to be cancelled due his paranoid behavior, he claiming white people were trying to kill him. They also had his brain hooked to a machine to steal his music. Imagination and reality are surely a curious complex mix. With which one and all do live. What a world.

Donny Hathaway   1969

   I Thank You

    Duet with June Conquest

   Just Another Reason

    Duet with June Conquest

Donny Hathaway   1970

   I Believe to My Soul

   To Be Young, Gifted and Black

   The Ghetto Part 1 & 2

Donny Hathaway   1972

   Little Ghetto Boy



Donny Hathaway   1979

   Back Together Again

    Duet with Roberta Flack

Donny Hathaway   1980

   You Are My Heaven

    Duet with Roberta Flack


Birth of Rock & Roll: Donny Hathaway

Donny Hathaway

Source: Kalamu ya Salaam
Birth of Rock & Roll: Kool and the Gang

Kool & the Gang   1984

Photo: Ebet Roberts/Redferns/Getty Images

Source: About Entertainment
Kool & the Gang was another defender of the homeland via the realm of R&B, particularly brass funk, against the British Invasion. The group first formed as the Jazziacs in Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1964. At its core were the Bell brothers, Robert (bass) and Ronald (sax), the former 13 years of age, Ronald 12. (They had been born Muhammad and Khalis Bayyan.) They eventually did instrumental gigs at a theatre before becoming the Kool Flames in '67, then Kool & the Gang in '69 to sign up with De-Lite Records. Issued that year were the discs: 'Kool and the Gang' bw 'Raw Hamburgers', 'Kools Back Again' bw 'The Gangs Back Again' and 'Can't Stop (Doing It to You)' bw 'Kool It (Here Comes the Fuzz)'. The Gang's debut album, 'Kool and the Gang', was released the same year. The group's fourth LP in 1973, 'Wild and Peaceful', would go gold, as did the next in '74, 'Light of Worlds'. Those yet preceded the Gang's heydays in the early eighties as a dance (disco) group. From 'Ladies Night' in 1979 to 'Emergency' in '84 the Gang issued four platinum albums. From 'Something Special' in '81 to 'Forever' in '86 they released three gold LPs before most of their audience began moving onward. With more than seventy million albums sold about the globe Kool & the Gang are yet alive and well, four of its seven original members yet driving the band: the Bell brothers, George Brown (bass) and Dennis Thomas (sax). The Christmas LP, 'Kool For the Holidays', was the Gang's latest release in 2013.

Kool & the Gang   1969

   Chocolate Buttermilk

    LP: 'Kool and the Gang'

   Kool and the Gang

    LP: 'Kool and the Gang'

Kool & the Gang   1971

   Live at P.J.'s


Kool & the Gang   1972

   Soul Vibrations

    LP: 'Music Is the Message'

Kool & the Gang   1973

   Wild and Peaceful


Kool & the Gang   1974

   Hollywood Swinging

Kool & the Gang   1975

   Summer Madness


Kool & the Gang   1980




    Filmed live

Kool & the Gang   1981

   Get Down On It

    Music video

Kool & the Gang   1984


    Music video


    'Solid Gold'

Kool & the Gang   1985



Kool & the Gang   2000

   Summer Madness

    Filmed n Pori, Finland

Kool & the Gang   2001

   Live at the House of Blues

    Filmed in Chicago

Kool & the Gang   2003


    Filmed at the Festival de Viña



57 Years of 'Got My Mojo Working'

Composition: Preston Foster

Ann Cole   1956

Louis Jordan   1956

Muddy Waters   1956

Roy Head & the Traits   1962

Manfred Mann   1964

Graham Bond Organization   1965

Paul Butterfield Blues Band   1965

Antti Einiö & The Islanders   1965

Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs   1965

Jimmy Smith   1965

The Zombies   1965

Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers   1966

The Shadows of Knight   1966

Carla Thomas   1967

Canned Heat   1969

Elvis Presley   1970

Rory Gallagher   1971

JJ Cale   1973

Melanie Safka   1975

BB King   1978

Junior Wells   1987

Jimmy Rogers & Kim Wilson   1990

Jimmy Dawkins   1991

Jimmy Smith   1993

Bad Bob & the Homewreckers   1994

Big Joe Maher & Jeff Sarli   1994

Billy Branch   1997

Peter Tork   2003

Asylum Street Spankers   2004

Etta James   2004

Joey DeFrancesco & Jimmy Smith   2005

KS Aji & Trio Labils   2011

Cas Haley   2011

Psycho Jam Band   2011

James Cotton   2012

Johnny Winter   2012

Dark Star Orchestra   2013

Slick Rhodes Band   2013




We temporarily suspend this section of the history of early R&B with the disco group, Kool & the Gang. Groups such as Earth, Wind & Fire, first issuing in 1971, would follow into the seventies.





Early Blues 1: Guitar

Early Blues 2: Vocal - Other Instruments

Modern Blues 1: Guitar

Modern Blues 2: Vocal - Other Instruments

Modern Blues 3: Black Gospel Appendix


Medieval - Renaissance


Galant - Classical

Romantic: Composers born 1770 to 1840

Romantic - Impressionist

Expressionist - Modern

Modern: Composers born 1900 to 1950




Country Western


Early Jazz 1: Ragtime - Bands - Horn

Early Jazz 2: Ragtime - Other Instrumentation

Early Jazz 3: Ragtime - Song - Hollywood

Swing Era 1: Big Bands

Swing Era 2: Song

Modern 1: Saxophone

Modern 2: Trumpet - Other Horn

Modern 3: Piano

Modern 4: Guitar - Other String

Modern 5: Percussion - Other Orchestration

Modern 6: Song

Modern 7: Latin Jazz - Latin Recording

Modern 8: United States 1960 - 1970

Modern 9: International 1960 - 1970

 Rock & Roll

Early - Boogie Woogie - R&B - Soul - Disco

Doo Wop

The Big Bang - Fifties American Rock

UK Beat

British Invasion

Total War - Sixties American Rock

Other Musical Genres - Popular Music Appendix

Musician Indexes

Classical - Medieval to Renaissance

Classical - Baroque to Classical

Classical - Romantic to Modern

The Blues

Bluegrass - Folk

Country Western

Jazz Early - Ragtime - Swing Jazz

Jazz Modern - Horn

Jazz Modern - Piano - String

Jazz Modern - Percussion - Song - Other

Jazz Modern - 1960 to 1970

Boogie Woogie - Doo Wop - R&B - Rock & Roll - Soul - Disco

UK Beat - British Invasion

Sixties American Rock - Popular

Latin Recording - Europe

Latin Recording - The Caribbean - South America


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