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Soul and R&B

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338 Segments




The Tradition of the Black Pop Ballad.

Rock Critic Ken Tucker reviews three albums by older black male vocalists who are trying their hand at new genres, or trying to extend the traditions they first performed in. The albums are "Forever and Ever," the second solo album by Howard Hewett, a former singer with the black rhythm and blues group Shalamar, "On the Strength," by the rap group Grandmaster Flash, and "I Need Money Bad," by John Whitehead.


The Surprising Roots of Rap.

Rock historian Ed Ward profiles Louis Jordan. Between 1930 and 1950, Jordan spearheaded the rhythm and blues sound. He was one of the very first crossover artists, appealing to both blacks and whites. Ed focuses on the Louis Jordan who pioneered rap music.


Texan Virtuoso Doug Sahm.

Rock historian Ed Ward profiles the career of versatile Texas rock n' roller Doug Sahm, including the night in 1952 when he performed while sitting on the lap of Hank Williams, and his escapades as the leader of The Sir Douglas Quintet, a group of southerners who tried to convince the public they were British.


R 'n' B Pioneer Little Willie John.

Rock historian Ed Ward profiles Little Willie John, an unrecognized rhythm and blues singer in the 50s who recorded the song "Fever" long before Peggy Lee made it a pop hit.


Modern Big Band Leader and Composer Edward Wilkerson.

Chicago-based composer, arranger and tenor saxophonist Edward Wilkerson. He leads the big band Shadow Vignettes, whose 1986 album, "Birth of a Notion," was on most jazz critic's lists as one of the top ten albums of that year. In Wilkerson's newest album, titled "Eight Bold Souls," he leads a smaller group, an octet.


New Orleans Musician Allen Toussaint.

Musician Allen Toussaint. For over twenty years he's been a force in New Orleans rhythm and blues as a singer, songwriter and piano player. He wrote hits such as "Working in a Coal Mine," written for Lee Dorsey, and "Mother in Law," written for Ernie K. Doe.


The Music of East L.A.

Rock historian Ed Ward will look at Cal-Mex music - the sound from East L.A. - and the legacy of "La Bamba."


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