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The Making Of Rhythm & Blues

Pete Grendysa, Collecting Magazine, 1985

IT WOULD BE HARD to imagine a stranger combination of factors than those that brought about the formation of rhythm & blues. Crucial to the development of the music was the Great Depression, the Second World War, a musician's strike, and above all, the elusive lac beetle. As a musical form, R&B (as it is frugally called by its fans) didn't even have a name for the first ten years it was around. Shuffled from category to category, no one quite knew where to pigeonhole this unexpected amalgam of country, blues, hot jazz, and gospel. That something wonderful and recognizable coalesced from such seemingly incompatible ingredients (and under such adverse conditions) is a revelation of the workings of Pop culture.

Total word count of piece: 4560


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