Rhythm and Blues

Archie Bell, a native of Houston, Texas, grew up listening to his mother sing in the Baptist church. Out of her seven sons she singled out Archie and suggested that he should try to be a singer. After seeing Jackie Wilson and Sam Cooke in concert together, Archie decided that would be his path as...
Miriam Bienstock was one of three founders of Atlantic Records, which set the stage for over 60 years of recordings of primarily black artists. In the early years this was one of the only labels giving opportunities for the likes of Ruth Brown and Ray Charles to be heard!  Miriam ran the office and...
Misty Browning loved to watch the smile on the faces of those in her church as a child when they began to sing.  She noticed their mannerisms and expressions completely changed once the music started.  She knew then that hers would be a life in music!  She toured and recorded and taught, and all...
Jeannie Cheatham played roots music before anyone was calling it that. She grew up on church music, and progressed to the blues in a time and place where black women were encouraged to express their emotions through music.  Jeannie was there when rhythm and blues became popular and played her own...
Charles Connor was a pioneer in the early beat of rock and roll. As a drummer in New Orleans in the early 1950s, he played with Professor Longhair and became the original drummer for Little Richard. In fact, it was Little Richard who asked Connor if he could produce a rhythm that sounded like a...
Bo Diddley was the pioneering rhythm and blues performer who taught the industry one main point in the early days of the electric guitar era. With his square cigar box guitar, patented by Gretsch, Bo demonstrated that, if it’s electronic, it could be any shape and size. Soon after he played the...
Lamont Dozier is one of the most successful songwriters in popular music history.  From 1962-1967 he teamed with Brian and Eddy Holland to write a string of impressive hit records for Motown Records, 25 of which hit number one on the Billboard Record Charts!  Their list of hits includes “Baby Love...
Rick Estrin and Charles Baty started playing blues together and decided to form a group in 1976.  They brought in two other players and called themselves Little Charlie & the Nightcats.  They began touring and soon began to feature at many of the top blues festivals.  Ten years later they cut...
Kenneth Gamble was singing and playing the guitar in a band he formed in Philly when he first met his future songwriting partner, Leon Huff.  The two discovered they had the same goals of making music and that Kenneth's strength as a poet was a perfect fit for Huff's musical background.  Together...
Bill Gardner grew up in Los Angeles surrounded by music. His mother worked at a local record store where he heard the music that would forever shape his life. Years later, Bill went on the air for his first radio show to honor those early musical pioneers. Bill's most recent program, Rhapsody In...

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