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Rhythm and blues music

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The Story Of The Chitlin' Circuit's Great Performers.

Before the Civil Rights movement, segregated American cities helped give birth to the Chitlin' Circuit, a touring revue that provided employment for hundreds of black musicians. Rock historian Ed Ward profiles two recent books which illuminate the conditions these musicians endured.


Looking Back at 'Sister Love': Lorraine Ellison on CD

Fresh Air's resident rock historian remembers soul singer Lorraine Ellison, who recorded a handful of albums and dozens of singles in the '60s and '70s; though she charted a few R&B hits, she never quite broke through to stardom.

Ellison's biggest success was with the string-saturated ballad "Stay With Me," which topped out at No. 11 on the R&B charts and has since been covered by everyone from Bette Midler to teenybopper idol Rex Smith.


Remembering Floyd Dixon

Rock historian Ed Ward pays tribute to Floyd Dixon, a pioneering rhythm & blues singer and piano player who died this summer at age 77.


The Story of Gee Records.

Rock historian Ed Ward remembers the record label Gee which recorded of the New York vocal group sound of the 1950s.


From the Archives: 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. (Rebroadcast of 2/23/88)


50 Years of Ray Charles: After Atlantic.

Rock Historian Ed Ward has pt 2 of 2 in our look at Ray Charles career. This year marks his 50th year in the music business. Much of the music comes from "Ray Charles: Genius & Soul: The 50th Anniversary Collection" (Rhino)

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