by Scott Marlowe
These days, contemporary R&B seems to be a genre of music with specific attributes and qualities that are easily identifiable—things like slow grooves, smooth production values, and lush vocal arrangements. And, depending on the singer’s gender, the listener is treated to either a Diva or Lothario begging their beloved, earnestly trying to convince the apple of their eye that they need to consummate their love immediately.
While some of these elements can be found throughout the history of the genre, the scope of R&B used to be much larger, encompassing many different, and often disparate, musical styles.
Rhythm and Blues was initially a catchall term; coined after World War II, it was used to describe music made predominately for, and by, urban African-Americans. Under the Rhythm and Blues heading, different