R & B * Soul Music of the 1960s

Progression of Black Music in the U.S.
So Far…
• African Diaspora especially from West Africa
• 1920s early jazz
• 1930s Big Band and Swing
• 1940s Country Blues and Electric Blues
• 1950s Rock N Roll highly influenced by genres above
• Now… 1960s comes into play Rhythm & Blues and Soul Music
• This will become a groundbreaking genre of music: financially,
recording wise, culturally with pop culture status like never before
• Will forever change the landscape and influence pop music for
decades to come, even to this day…
What and who we’ll be looking at…
• How R&B and Soul music came
to be
• The major artists who highlight
this genre
• The people behind the scenes,
both the business minds as well
as the recording of soul music
• The impact on the music
industry soul music has had…
• Let’s take a look at who and
how this has influenced…
Just to throw out some names…
• Michael Jackson
• Stevie Wonder
• ALL hip hop and rap artists
• Singers like Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, influenced modern
female singers like Adele, Eryka Bahdu, Beyonce, the list goes on…
• The “Boy Bands” like N Sync, 98 Degrees, Backstreet Boys would
not have been successful had it not been for The Temptations, The
Four Tops, Smokey Robinson,
• The New Soul movement is a direct homage to the old style music
of the 1960s
• The amount of influence this genre has had is more than we have
time to discuss in this class…let’s see how!
Rhythm & Blues, Soul & Motown
• The term “Rhythm & Blues” describes the cross
influences of jazz and blues singers of the 1940s &
• The meaning of the term has evolved to include aspects
of African American pop music including: Motown, Soul,
Funk, and Hip Hop
• The meaning of R & B is given credit to Ray Charles,
who as a jazz pianist and singer in the 1950s, began to
sing gospel inspired music in blues clubs
• Since Ray Charles, R & B has been associated with
gospel’s uplifting and “Soulful” singing styles
Major Figures Early 1960s R & B
• Born into poor sharecropping
• Was educated at prestigious
school for the blind where he
practiced piano as a young
• As an adult played piano with
jazz, blues, and western swing
Ray Charles
"What I'd Say"
• Shaped his own style of mixing
jazz piano styles, back beat
rhythms, and gospel melodies
• This mix would be become to
core of “R & B” and “Soul”
music for decades to come
Major Figures Early 1960s R & B
• First woman to write her own
• Signed with Chess Records in
• Famous for magnificent jazz
vocal technique and
• Continued to tour and record
up until her death in 2012
Etta James
• "I'd Rather Go Blind"
Major Figures Early 1960s R & B
• Cooke was one of the first
successful “singer-songwriter”,
and made 29 Top 40 hits in his
seven years of stardom
• His major hits include,
“Wonderful World” and
“Twistin the Night Away”, &
“Chain Gang”
Sam Cooke
"What a Wonderful
• He was shot and killed at the
Hacienda Hotel here in LA on
Dec 11th 1964
• The circumstances of his death
are still left with mystery and
Berry Gordy and Motown USA
• Born into upper middle class
Black family- dropped out of
HS and pursued business
• Drafted into Korean War, upon
returning to start a jazz record
store but failed
Motown Records
• Co Wrote some songs for R & B
star Jackie Wilson and started
“Hitsville USA”, a jazz oriented
recording studio
Berry Gordy and Motown USA
• Black owned jazz studio
attracted great talent early on:
• Singer/Drummer Marvin Gaye
• Singers Mary Wells and
Smokey Robinson
• Gordy’s success eventually led
to “Motown Records” and
would eventually feature some
of the most renowned Black
stars of the 1960s
Berry Gordy
Hitsville USA- Motown Changes the
• 1961- “Please Mr.
Postman”- first # 1 hit
and gold record for
Motown Records
The Marvellettes
"Please Mr. Postman"
• Simple back beat
complimented by
backing vocals
influenced highly by
Ray Charles and Sam
The Sound of Motown…
• “Postman” set the tone for
groups like The Supremes and
many others
• Early Motown hits focused on
simple songs that could appeal
to broadening teen market
• Mid 1960s- sound revolved
around the “Funk Brothers”
jazz musicians who focused on
precise and skilled
• Songs designed to support
singer and work well on the
The Look of Motown…
• Gordy insisted on code of
“conduct” that ALL Motown
talent would adhere to
• All musical recordings were
recorded with live presentation
in mind
• Always well dressed as ladies
and gentlemen in public;
performing “All the time”
"My Girl"
• Motown was an elevation of
early Harlem Renaissance
Black Culture
• The body was important to sell
records  similar to Elvis
The Ladies of Soul Music
Diana Ross & The Supremes (Motown
Aretha Franklin (The Queen of Soul)-Not
a Motown artist
"Where Did Our Love Go"
Motown Competitor…
• Phil Spector, like Gordy,
emphasized high production
values, glamor, and efficiency
• Unlike Gordy, was not
concerned with long term
success of band, one hit was
enough- “1 Hit Wonder”
• Innovated a recording practice
called the “Wall of Sound”making songs sound bigger by
using recording techniquessongs sound like they are
recorded in big church
Phil Spector in the studio
Spector’s “Wall of Sound”-Examples
"Be My Baby"-The Ronnettes
The Beatles Let it Be Album
"Silence is Easy"- Starsailor
• The Beatles were breaking up
because of legal issues
"Get Back"
• When they recorded “Let it Be”
Album, they used their usual
producer George Martin
"Get Back" Naked
• They fired him, and hired Phil
Spector to re-master albumthe result  a Beatles album
with wall of sound. They hated
• In 2003, they released Let it Be
–Naked- tracks with0ut “Wall of
Spector in the news…
• Phil Spector was found
guilty of murdering Lana
Clarkson, a girlfriend of
• This was a highly watched
murder trial
• He was sentenced to 19
yrs to life in prison
Phil Spector in court
The Soul Music Influence-”Neo Soul”
Raphael Saadiq
Aloe Blacc
Jill Scott
Erykah Badu
The Roots Ft Cody Chesnutt