Catch-all phrase denoting black pop of various eras; applies to anything from Louis Jordan, to Johnny Otis, to Motown, to funk, to whatever crap BET is foisting upon your telly. It bears watching/listening/studying, as black music has traditionally been the Olduvai Gorge of American pop, even as it's been the sonic ghetto of yanqui apartheid.

Recommended: Charlie Gillett's book The Sound of the City or any of Nelson George's writings on music.

Originally called race music, R&B is the more politically correct term (and the more accurate one, as well, since white people can make rhythm and blues just as black people can). Sub-genres of R&B are soul and funk, which are covered in other nodes.

"Rhythm and Blues" is a term for a musical style. It is sometimes called "R&B" for short. As mkb points out, the term arose because the music features a rhythm section supporting a blues-based melody. Nowadays, term has been debased so as to become almost useless by its application to a large number of very different genres which are only vaguely related.

There seem to be several categories of use.

Whilst looking through the Internet for the above info, I spotted the terms "Rock R&B" and "Soul R&B" in the google cache. The site that used them no longer does. I think that these terms are more descriptive and should be preferred, especially when discussing the history of popular music.

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