Fats Domino, Little Richard, James Brown discussed on Asian American History 101
R&B was created by black Americans in the 1940s and its derived from gospel jazz folk and traditional blues music. The term was actually first used to describe quite a few different popular African American genres of music. Old R&B utilized electric guitars, double bass piano and drum sets, and the earliest stars like James Brown, Fats Domino and Little Richard were categorized as R&B and rock and roll artists. In the 1950s and 60s because of racism and segregation, white artists played blues based pop music were rock and roll artists, whereas black artists were categorized as R&B artists. Then, R&B diverged from white rock and R&B music started sound more similar to soul music. From there, R&B continued to change and in the 1970s, syncopated rhythms became more common. The 70s also brought the development of funk and disco music, which was formed from the addition of other instrumentation and rhythms to R&B. In more recent decades, R&B is now more often smooth R&B you'll hear a lot of keyboard driven songs, unlike old R&B, which was way more guitar heavy. The utilization of electronic keyboards synthesizers, software loops, and drum machines is common in R&B music today. It's also pretty common for R&B music to incorporate hip hop and rap artists into songs. Contemporary R&B is definitely different from old R&B. Now you may be wondering why we're talking about R&B on an Asian American history podcast and the reason for that is there are actually a lot of Asian American artists within the contemporary R&B genre. From keshi to ravina to Jeanne I go to her, there are a ton of up and coming Asian American R&B artists. Of course, who can say if these artists will reach the heights of other American artists, but it's cool to see so many varied Asian faces within a genre of music. Before getting into modern artists, let's talk about one band that was pretty commercially successful. Hiroshima. They were a Grammy nominated fusion band that incorporated traditional Japanese instruments with jazz, R&B, pop, and Latin music. They didn't create specifically R&B music, but they were focused on creating a band that would more proudly represent Asian Americans. They once stated they wanted to show Asian Americans were, quote, real people with really, real lives. Hiroshima formed back in 1974 and they've sold over 4 million albums around the world. The band's leader Dan kirim oto grew up in East Los Angeles and attended California state university Long Beach and led its Asian American studies department. He formed the band after meeting June kimoto, who played the koto, which is a traditional Japanese stringed instrument. They are still together and the members are currently Dan kurimoto, June current moto, Danny Yamamoto, chemo cornwell and Dan Cortez..