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Chapter 2 – Urban Blues and Rhythm and Blues

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1 Chapter 2 – Urban Blues and Rhythm and Blues
“Muddy Waters if the godfather of the blues” – Chuck Berry McGraw-Hill/Irwin Copyright © 2011 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

2 Blues and Rhythm and Blues
Backbeat (accent on beats 2 and 4 in a 4-beat bar) Urban Blues developed in such northern cities as Kansas City, Chicago, and New York Groups included a wind instrument or amplified solo guitar, along with a rhythm section of bass, drums, and guitar or piano T-Bone Walker ( ) among first to use electric guitar B. B. King (born in 1925) developed a solo style that influenced many rock guitarists 2-2

3 Listening Guide “Three O’Clock Blues” by B. B. King (1951)
Tempo: 76 beats per minute, 4 beats per bar Form: 4-bar introduction, then 12-bar blues Features: King sings and plays guitar solos and responses to his vocals Accompaniment by sustained saxophones and soft drums Lyrics: The singer is depressed that his lover is not with him in the early morning. Charts: R&B #1 for 5 weeks 2-3

4 Chicago Blues Chess Record Company (Phil and Leonard Chess) Some recordings in 12-bar blues form, others “blues-sounding,” but not strict form Willie Dixon ( ), song writer, producer, contractor, bass player, and singer Muddy Waters ( ), song writer under real name M. Morganfield, guitarist, singer 2-4

5 Listening Guide “(I’m Your) Hoochie Coochie Man” by M. Waters (1954) Tempo: 76 beats per minute, 4 beats per bar Form: 2-bar introduction, then 16-bar blues form (the first section is 8, instead of 4 bars, expanding the blues from 12 to 16 bars) Features: First A sections use “stop time” Uneven beat subdivisions in drums Lyrics: The singer has supernatural sexual prowess. Charts: R&B #3 2-5

6 Notable Figures Elmore James ( ), singer, songwriter, blues guitarist “modernized” group sound use of the sliding bottleneck Sonny Boy Williamson No. 2 (Rice Miller, ), singer, songwriter, blues harpist Howlin’ Wolf ( ), songwriter under real name, C. Burnett, singer, guitarist, harpist John Lee Hooker ( ), singer, songwriter, guitarist from Detroit, but toured with Chicago blues musicians 2-6

7 Chart Listings Billboard magazine (1894-present) Chart listings began in 1940 with info. gathered from record sales and radio playlists Pop charts reflect the tastes of the largest, multiracial/white population Country charts reflect the tastes of a mostly white audience in the south and west Rhythm & blues charts reflect the tastes of African Americans 2-7

8 Rhythm and Blues More stress on the backbeat (beats 2 and 4 in a 4-beat bar), and rhythmic dance music than most blues Louis Jordan ( ), singer, songwriter, band leader, who played alto saxophone and clarinet. Influenced early rock pioneers Bill Haley and Little Richard Bo Diddley ( ), songwriter under his real name McDaniel, singer, rhythm guitarist. Influenced many 60’s British rhythm & blues groups 2-8

9 Listening guide “Bo Diddley” by Bo Diddley (1955) Tempo: 104 beats per minute, 4 beats per bar Form: Phrase lengths vary without a set pattern Features: even beat subdivisions in the maracas, and the “Bo Diddley beat” stressed in the drums and guitar. Lyrics: The singer tries to seduce his “pretty baby,” but his efforts don’t work. Charts: R&B # 1 for 2 weeks 2-9

10 Discussion question Listen, again, to “Three O’Clock Blues” by B.B. King and then to “Bo Diddley” by Bo Diddley. As you listen, compare the tempos, the feel of the rhythms, and the lyrics of the two recordings. What basic differences between the blues and rhythm and blues can you name based on this comparison? Can you tell why the term rhythm is there in rhythm and blues? 2-10

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