Thursday, 10 March 2011

The history of Soul Music and R&B

Soul Music has its beginnings in Gospel and R&B of the 1940s and 1950s. They both had major influences on key soul singers including Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin, just to name a couple.

The birthplace of Soul Music, to be quite honest is unknown. What is known? The United States inner cities, including Chicago, Detroit, Florence, Memphis, and New York, all created and produced their own soul music styles based on their demographics at the same time, thus making a “beautiful mixture“ of sound variety across the states for us all to enjoy.

In the 1970s, Hip Hop was born, which had a huge influence on the Soul Music that followed. New Jack Swing (aka Swing Beat), which combined Soul, Hip Hop, Gospel and Jazz, was absolutely rocking.

Disco and Funk Music also came to fruition in the 1970s, and started to decline in the early 1980s. Undoubtedly, Soul Music was now being influenced by Electro Music and Funk - it became known as Contemporary R&B which was, and still is, great!.

House and Techno rose to mainstream popularity in the late 1980s and remained popular in the 1990s and 2000s. Also starting in the 1980s, Soul Music from the United Kingdom became very popular - cheers mate!.

The development of Neo-Soul started around 1994. This was due to mainstream record label marketing support for soul genres diminishing in the 2000s, as the industry re-focused on Hip Hop - somewhat of a master stroke by the powers that be.

The many genres of Soul Music and R&B have reached a point, well before now of course, where they are now sub-divided into subgenres. To be side tracked, even though I have not mentioned it above, true Soul Music connoisseurs know that Rock and Roll was, literally, born from Soul Music and Rhythm and Blues….another day, another article.

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