Showcasing the finer articles and information on Wikipedia's R&B, soul, and funk singers, musicians, bands, songs, and record labels.
- Funk is an American musical style that originated in the mid- to late-1960s when African American musicians blended soul music, soul jazz and R&B into a rhythmic, danceable new form of music. Funk de-emphasizes melody and harmony, and brings a strong rhythmic groove of electric bass and drums to the foreground. Unlike R&B and soul songs, which had many chord changes, funk songs are often based on an extended vamp on a single chord.
Like much of African inspired music, funk typically consists of a complex groove with rhythm instruments such as electric guitar, electric bass, Hammond organ, and drums playing interlocking rhythms. Funk bands also usually have a horn section of several saxophones, trumpets, and in some cases, a trombone, which plays rhythmic "hits".
Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music is a studio album by American rhythm and blues and soul musician Ray Charles, released in April 1962 on ABC-Paramount Records, in both mono and stereo format, ABC-410 and ABCS-410. Recording sessions for the album took place in early to mid-February 1962 at Capitol Studios in New York City and at United Recording Studios in Hollywood, California. The album features country, folk and western standards covered and redone by Charles in popular song forms of the time, such as jazz and R&B, as well as production by himself and renown conductor Sid Feller.
As his fifth LP release for ABC-Paramount, Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music became a rapid critical and commercial success as it brought Ray Charles further mainstream notice, following his tenure for Atlantic Records. With the help of the album's four charting singles, Charles earned recognition in the pop market, as well as airplay on both R&B and country radio stations. Modern Sounds and its lead single, "I Can't Stop Loving You", were both certified gold in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America on July 19, 1962, as each record had sold half a million copies in the United States.
Regarded by many music writers and critics as Charles' greatest studio effort, Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music has been included on several publications' "best album" lists in disparate genres, as well as R&B and country music lists, respectively. Modern Sounds has also been considered as a landmark album in American music, as Charles' integration of soul and country bended racial barriers in music, amid the height of the civil rights struggle. In the process of recording the album, Charles became one of the first black musicians to exercise complete artistic control over his own recording career. In October 1988, Modern Sounds was reissued on compact disc by Rhino Entertainment. In 2003, the album was ranked number 104 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
The Supremes were a successful American female singing trio. Active from 1959 until 1977, the Supremes performed, at various times, doo-wop, pop, soul, Broadway show tunes, and disco.
One of Motown Records' signature acts, The Supremes were the most successful African American musical act of the 1960s, recording twelve American number-one hits between 1964 and 1969. Many of these singles were written and produced by Motown's main songwriting and production team, Holland-Dozier-Holland. The crossover success of the Supremes during the mid-1960s paved the way for future black soul and R&B acts to gain mainstream audiences both in the United States and overseas.
Founded in Detroit, Michigan in 1959, The Supremes began as a quartet called The Primettes. Founding members Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson, Diana Ross and Betty McGlown, all from the Brewster-Douglass public housing project in Detroit, were the sister act to The Primes (later known as The Temptations). In 1960, Barbara Martin replaced McGlown, and the group signed with Motown in 1961 as The Supremes. Martin left in early 1962, and Ross, Ballard and Wilson carried on as a trio. Achieving success in the mid-1960s with Ross as lead singer, Motown president Berry Gordy renamed the group Diana Ross & the Supremes in 1967 and replaced Ballard with Cindy Birdsong. Ross left the group for a successful solo career in 1970 and was replaced by Jean Terrell. After 1972, the lineup of the Supremes changed frequently, with Lynda Laurence, Scherrie Payne and Susaye Greene all becoming members before the group ended its eighteen-year existence in 1977.