Rhythm and Blues

James Alexander reformed his band, the Bar-Kays following the plane crash that took the lives of  three members, and singer Otis Redding.  The new band was created in tribute to those killed with the help of Ben Cauley, the only survivor of the crash (James was on a second plane) and singer Larry...
Billy Arnold played drums behind several Motown recordings including those with saxophonist, Junior Walker. While he often played a Gretsch kit, Billy never fussed about having to set up his kit in the recording studio and gained a reputation for using the drums that were already set-up. After...
Percy Bady grew up surrounded by gospel, thanks largely to the fact his father was a minister.  Since he was six years old, Percy expressed his feelings through music, especially in church.  Playing the piano and later organ and keyboards, Percy found another passion in writing music, which has...
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...
Ben Cauley can be heard on hundreds of Stax Record hits including those with Otis Redding.  Ben was a member of Otis's backup band called the Bar-Kays, which originated as the horn section at the Stax studio in Memphis beginning in the 1960s. Ben was the only survivor of the plane crash that took...
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...
Papa John DeFrancesco was taught music by his father, a saxophonist for several big bands during the great Swing era. Papa John first played trumpet and later began playing the organ, which became his main instrument. He turned his two sons, Johnny and Joey, onto music and recorded with both over...

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