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Black Music Month – R&B [iTune-Ups]

Posted by ThatsMyJamRadio on June 18, 2010

June is Black Music Month and to celebrate the occasion, That’s My Jam will feature some of the best contributions by black musicians in the genres its readers love: dance, pop and R&B.

For the final edition of this iTune-Up theme, the focus is R&B, the genre that epitomizes black music and features influences such as jazz, gospel and the blues, and has influenced rock, pop, dance and hip-hop. Download these recommendations for some happy listening.

Joe Higgins & His Honeydrippers
“The Honeydripper (Parts 1 and 2)” (1945)
― Tied with Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five’s “Choo Choo Ch’Boogie” for most weeks atop what is now the R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart

Ruth Brown
“Teardrops from My Eyes” (1950)

Little Walter & His Night Cats
“Juke” (1952)

Chuck Berry & His Combo
“Maybellene” (1955)

Sam Cooke
“You Send Me” (1957)

Ray Charles
“Hit the Road Jack” (1961)

James Brown
“Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag Part 1” (1965)
― Brown is often credited with transitioning R&B into both the soul and funk realms

Aretha Franklin
“Chain of Fools” (1968)

Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
“You’re All I Need to Get By” (1968)

Isley Brothers
“It’s Your Thing” (1969)

Jean Knight
“Mr. Big Stuff” (1971)

Staple Singers
“I’ll Take You There” (1972)

Stevie Wonder
“Superstition” (1973)

Earth, Wind & Fire
“Shining Star” (1975)


“One Nation Under a Groove Part 1” (1978)

Anita Ward
“Ring My Bell” (1979)
― Originally written for a then-teenage Stacy Lattisaw

Gap Band

“Early in the Morning” (1982)

“Juicy Fruit” (1983)

Ashford & Simpson
“Solid” (1984)

“Word Up” (1986)

Anita Baker
“Sweet Love” (1986)

Keith Sweat

“I Want Her” (1987)
― One of the first new jack swing songs to reach No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart

“Everything I Miss at Home” (1989)

Luther Vandross
“Here and Now” (1989)

Ralph Tresvant
“Sensitivity” (1990)

Freddie Jackson
“Love Me Down” (1990)
― Jackson is a native of Harlem, N.Y.

Peabo Bryson

“Can You Stop the Rain” (1991)

“Stay” (1992)

Mary J. Blige
“Reminisce” (1992)

R. Kelly
“Bump N’ Grind” (1994)

“You Make Me Wanna” (1997)

Destiny’s Child
“Bills, Bills, Bills” (1999)

Erykah Badu feat. Common
“Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip-Hop)” (2002)

Alicia Keys

“If I Ain’t Got You” (2004)

“Pretty Wings” (2009)

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