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Classic Soul Radio 100 Must Have R&B Recordings

Rhythm & Blues is a term used to describe the blues-influenced form of music predominantly performed by African-Americans since the late 1930s. The term “Rhythm and Blues” was first introduced into the American lexicon in the late 1940s: The name’s origin was created for use as a musical marketing term by Billboard magazine. In 1949, then-Billboard magazine reporter Jerry Wexler (who later went on to become a music producer) created the term for Billboard to designate upbeat popular music performed by African American artists that combined Blues and Jazz.

The “Rhythm & Blues” term was created to replace the designation “race music,” which until then was the standard catch-all phase used in reference to most music made by blacks at the time. After the “race music” term was deemed offensive, Billboard began using the Rhythm & Blues name that Wexler created.

The meaning behind the name is this: the “rhythm”part comes from the music’s typical dependence upon four-beat measures or bars and employs a backbeat (beats two and four accented in each measure). The “blues” portion came from the lyrics and melodies of the songs, which were often sad or “blue” during the music’s emergence in the World War II era. Over time the name was shortened to R&B as a matter of convenience.

By the 1970s, rhythm and blues was being used as a blanket term to describe soul and funk as well. Today, the term can be used to loosely define most African-American urban music, even though soul and funk can be placed in categories of their own.


100 R&B Recordings You Should Have In Your R&B Collection

  1. My Girl - Temptations
  2. Respect - Aretha Franklin
  3. You Make Me Feel Brand New - The Stylistics
  4. What's Going On - Marvin Gaye
  5. Let's Get It On - Marvin Gaye
  6. A Change Is Gonna Come - Sam Cooke
  7. Let's Stay Together - Al Green
  8. Just To Be Close To You - The Commodores
  9. Stay in My Corner - Dells
  10. Reasons - Earth Wind & Fire
  11. Love is the Message - MFSB
  12. Midnight Train to Georgia - Gladys Knight & the Pips
  13. La La Means I Love You - Delfonics
  14. Hypnotized - Linda Jones
  15. I Do Love You - Billy Stewart
  16. Always And Forever - Heatwave
  17. If You Don't Know Me By Now - Harold Melvin And The Bluenotes
  18. If You Think You're Lonely Now - Bobby Womack
  19. Forever Mine - The O'Jays
  20. House is Not a Home - Luther Vandross
  21. Say It Loud - James Brown
  22. Doin' It to Death - Fred Wesley & the JBs
  23. When a Man Loves a Woman - Percy Sledge
  24. Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now - McFadden & Whitehead
  25. Dock of the Bay - Otis Redding
  26. Ain't No Way - Aretha Franklin
  27. At Last - Etta James
  28. The Tracks Of My Tears - Miracles
  29. Stand by Me - Ben E. King
  30. Aint Too Proud To Beg - Temptations
  31. Me & Mrs. Jones - Billy Paul
  32. Love and Happiness - Al Green
  33. Please, Please, Please - James Brown & the Famous Flames
  34. Just My Imagination - Temptations
  35. For Your Precious Love - Jerry Butler & the Impressions
  36. Sitting in the Park - Billy Stewart
  37. Function at the Junction - Shorty Long
  38. Sexual Healing - Marvin Gaye
  39. For the Love of Money - O'Jays
  40. Soul Man - Sam & Dave
  41. You Send Me - Sam Cooke
  42. Girl You Need a Change of Mind - Eddie Kendricks
  43. My Guy - Mary Wells
  44. I Only Have Eyes for You - Flamingos
  45. Sex Machine - James Brown
  46. Still Water (Love) - Four Tops
  47. Sideshow - Blue Magic
  48. I Heard It Through the Grapevine - Marvin Gaye
  49. It's A Man's Man's World - James Brown
  50. As - Stevie Wonder
  51. Back Stabbers - O'Jays
  52. People Get Ready - Impressions
  53. Bring It on Home to Me - Sam Cooke
  54. Hold On I'm Coming - Sam & Dave
  55. What Becomes of the Broken Hearted - Jimmy Ruffin
  56. Always Together - Dells
  57. Do Right Woman Do Right Man - Aretha Franklin
  58. I've Been Loving You too Long - Otis Redding
  59. Distant Lover (live) - Marvin Gaye
  60. Ain't Understanding Mellow - Jerry Butler & Brenda Lee Eager
  61. The Love We Had - Dells
  62. Kiss and Say Goodbye - Manhattans
  63. Cold Sweat - James Brown
  64. Shotgun - Jr. Walker & the All Stars
  65. Up On The Roof - Drifters
  66. Inner City Blues - Marvin Gaye
  67. I'll Always Love My Mama - Intruders
  68. A Natural Woman - Aretha Franklin
  69. World of Fantasy - 5 Stairsteps
  70. Soul Finger - Barkays
  71. Mighty Love - Spinners
  72. Papa's Got a Brand New Bag - James Brown
  73. Proud Mary - Ike & Tina Turner
  74. I'm So Proud - Main Ingredient
  75. The Love I Lost - Blue Notes
  76. Tell It Like It Is - Aaron Neville
  77. Summer Madness - Kool & the Gang
  78. Neither One of Us - Gladys Knight & the Pips
  79. Walk Away from Love - David Ruffin
  80. By the Time I Get to Phoenix - Isaac Hayes
  81. Stubborn Kind of Fellow - Marvin Gaye with the Vandellas
  82. Oh What a Night (1969 version) - Dells
  83. Sad Girl - Jay Wiggins
  84. If I Were Your Woman - Gladys Knight & the Pips
  85. These Arms of Mine - Otis Redding
  86. Natural High - Bloodstone
  87. It's A New Day - James Brown
  88. I'd Rather Go Blind - Etta James
  89. Georgia On My Mind - Ray Charles
  90. Stairway to Heaven - O'Jays
  91. Rainbow '65 - Gene Chandler
  92. Cause I Love You - Lenny Williams
  93. Where Is the Party - Helena Ferguson
  94. Before I Let Go - Frankie Beverly & Maze
  95. I'm So Proud - Impressions
  96. I Heard It Through the Grapevine - Gladys Knight & the Pips
  97. I Never Loved a Man - Aretha Franklin
  98. Make Me Yours - Bettye Swann
  99. For the Love of You - Isley Brothers
  100. One Nation under a Groove - Funkadelic

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