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This ten part documentary series traces R&B music from its rhythmic roots in Africa to the field hymns sung by blacks as a form of communication while performing slave labor in the homes, cotton and tobacco fields of white slave owners. The story continues to unfold as we explore gospel, Doo Wop, Motown, Stax, Funk, Disco, Blues, Soul, Hip Hop and more. Names like Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, The Supremes are just a few of the obvious names that come to mind. But there were hundreds of other artists, songwriters, producers and music executives that can not be excluded from the
glory. It was 1948 when music journalist turned music producer, Jerry Wexler first coined the phrase "Rhythm & Blues". Whether by design or unintentional it brought respect and dignity to what was prior to then unceremoniously referred to as “race records... meaning any record made by blacks. It is as if out of the darkness a thing of
immense beauty took root, emerged and infected all. It was the new urban expression. Everybody wanted a piece of it because it was cool and it was hip.
At the core of this series are factual accountings that demonstrate the massive impact and influences that R&B artist, their music, activism, style and persona have had on the world. No geographical region has been spared its influence. Every segment of societal expression including, religion, love, politics, fashion, sex, and war has been transformed by the infectious melodies, hypnotic rhythms and insightful lyrics
of Rhythm & Blues music. The artists, authors, performers, and promoters have played the role of catalyst to some of society’s most significant advancements.
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