Rhythm & Blues / Sound Of The City 1945 – 1957


1945 - 1952


1 JOE LIGGINS & HIS HONEYDRIPPERS / Honeydripper Pt 1 / Single A Side May 1945

2 ARTHUR ‘BIG BOY’ CRUDUP / That’s All Right Mama / Single A Side September 1946

3 T BONE WALKER / Stormy Monday / Single A Side October 1947

4 WYNONIE HARRIS / Good Rockin’ Tonight / Single A Side March 1948

5 MUDDY WATERS / I Can’t Be Satisfied / Single A Side May 1948

6 AMOS MILBURN / Chicken Shack Boogie / Single A Side November 1948

7 JOHN LEE HOOKER / Boogie Chillun / Single A Side January 1949

8 STICK MCGHEE & HIS BUDDIES / Drinkin Wine Spo Dee O Dee / Single A Side April 1949

9 WILD BILL MOORE I Want To Rock And Roll / Single A Side May 1949

10 JIMMY PRESTON & HIS PRESTONIANS / Rock The Joint / Single A Side July 1949

11 LOUIS JORDAN & HIS TYMPANY FIVE / Saturday Night Fish Fry / Single A Side October 1949

12 MUDDY WATERS / Rollin’ Stone / Single A Side March 1950

13 FATS DOMINO / The Fat Man / Single A Side April 1950

14 ROY BROWN / Hard Luck Blues / Single A Side July 1950

15 PERCY MAYFIELD / Please Send Me Someone To Love / Single A Side September 1950

16 TINY BRADSHAW / Train Kept A Rollin’ / Single A Side March 1951

17 THE DOMINOES / Sixty Minute Man / Single A Side May 1951

18 JACKIE BRENSTON & HIS DELTA CATS / Rocket 88 / Single A Side June 1951

19 ELMORE JAMES & HIS BROOMDUSTERS / Dust My Broom / Single A Side August 1951

20 JAMES WAYNE / Junco Partner / Single A Side October 1951

21 HOWLIN’ WOLF / Moanin’ At Midnight / Single A Side October 1951

22 B.B. KING / Three O’Clock Blues / Single A Side December 1951

23 WYNONIE HARRIS / Lovin’ Machine / Single A Side February 1952

24 RUTH BROWN / 5-10-15 Hours / Single A Side April 1952

25 THE CLOVERS / One Mint Julep / Single A Side April 1952

26 LITTLE RICHARD / Ain’t Nothin’ Happenin’ / Single B Side May 1952

27 LITTLE WALTER & HIS JUKES / Juke / Single A Side June 1952

28 ROSCO GORDON / No More Doggin’ / Single A Side September 1952


1953 - 1957


1 LITTLE JUNIORS BLUE FLAMES / Feelin’ Good / Single A Side February 1953

2 THE FLAMINGOES / Hurry Home Baby / Single A Side April 1953

3 RAY CHARLES / Mess Around / Single A Side May 1953

4 LITTLE JUNIORS BLUE FLAMES / Mystery Train / Single A Side June 1953

5 FATS DOMINO / Please Don’t Leave Me / Single A Side July 1953

6 LOWELL FULSOM / Reconsider Baby / Single A Side September 1953

7 RUTH BROWN / Wild Wild Young Men / Single A Side December 1953

8 GUITAR SLIM / The Things That I Used To Do / Single A Side January 1954

9 ROY HAMILTON / I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Cry / Single B Side January 1954

10 CHUCK WILLIS / I Feel So Bad / Single A Side February 1954

11 THE SPANIELS / Goodnight Sweetheart Goodnight / Single A Side March 1954

12 THE MIDNIGHTERS / Work With Me Annie / Single A Side April 1954

13 CLYDE MCPHATTER & THE DRIFTERS / Honey Love / Single A Side May 54

14 ARTHUR GUNTER / Baby Lets Play House / Single A Side December 1954

15 THE MOONGLOWS / Sincerely / Single A Side January 1955

16 JOHNNY ACE / Pledging My Love / Single A Side February 1955

17 BIG MAYBELLE / Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On / Single A Side July 1955

18 SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON / Don’t Start Me Talkin’ / Single A Side September 1955

19 THE PLATTERS / Only You / Single A Side October 1955

20 THE SPIDERS / Witchcraft / Single A Side November 1955

21 HOWLIN’ WOLF / Smokestack Lightnin’ / Single A Side January 1956

22 JAMES BROWN & THE FAMOUS FLAMES / Please Please Please / Single A Side February 1956

23 SMILEY LEWIS / One Night / Single A Side March 1956

24 THE FIVE SATINS / In The Still Of The Night / Single A Side September 1956

25 JIMMY REED / Honest I Do / Single A Side February 1957

26 SLIM HARPO / I’m A King Bee / Single A Side March 1957

27 THE FIVE ROYALES / Think / Single A Side May 1957

28 JOHNNY ‘GUITAR’ WATSON / Gangster Of Love / Single A Side October 1957


  The Second World War changed everything. For the first time, American society had been shuffled as people of different origins; backgrounds and colour were thrown together in the armed forces and cities, where the factories were in full production.

  When it was all over, black music, as always, was still bossed by the blues. But, the old, ragged, country blues of Leadbelly and Robert Johnson was being increasingly replaced by rowdy big city blues, by new electric guitars and, right through the remainder of the forties, the move was towards more noise, more excitement. A primal beat soon emerged; raw emotions took a back seat and, in June 1949, chart compilers Billboard christened the new style rhythm and blues, R&B.

  What this actually involved was a small, five or six piece band, belting out a succession of fast twelve bars. Styles varied, of course, but four stood out: jump blues played by Louis Jordan, Amos Milburn, Joe Liggins and others; blues shouters like Wynonie Harris, Ruth Brown and Big Maybelle; Chicago or bar blues played by transplanted Mississippi delta boys, Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, John Lee Hooker and finally, a brand new style of gospel influenced harmony groups led by The Dominoes, The Clovers and The Drifters.

  It was all good time music, danceable and unpretentious, particularly when compared to the mushiness of white music from the same period. In particular, it was straight about sex, using none of the usual crass sentiments about moonlight and roses. A lot of the time infact, it was downright filthy. ‘Sixty Minute Man’, ‘Lovin’ Machine’, ‘5-10-15 Hours’ were typical. All were big R&B hits, and predictably, all got banned by the prissy white radio stations.

  Even so, R&B began filtering through to white kids and they liked it. They liked its danceability and, in the first spark of teen rebellion, found it shocked their parents, which they liked even more. DJ Alan Freed was the first to latch onto this phenomenon, and to avoid what he called ’the racial stigma of rhythm and blues’ began calling his Cleveland radio show, Moondog’s Rock’n’Roll Party. And yet, despite his efforts, right through the early fifties, white stations continued to block R&B from the airwaves. Even worse, black songs began to be covered, and castrated, for the white market while the originals were ignored. Only Fats Domino, whose happy tones didn’t sound alien or threatening to a white audience, went on to be widely known without any radical change.

  From the start, R&B gave the best rock’n’roll a sense of style and integrity. But as the harsh boogie rhythms became a simple backbeat, and the lyrical references narrowed to teen dream adolescence and little else, R&B artists were forced to adapt or fall into obscurity. Infact, as rock’n’roll rapidly took over, they even faced a losing battle with whites on their own R&B charts, until, by 1957, both genres had become indistinguishable from each other. It would only be with the emergence of soul in the early sixties, that black music would rise again.


June 2008.