Rhythm and Blues was not generally recognised as a distinct musical genre until the years following the end of World War II.
These 4CD sets centred on 1940-1944 attempt to pinpoint records typical of the various strands of music which coalesced into what can now be seen as a historically definable form of black popular music, commonly abbreviated to R&B. Previously, the American record industry had marketed blues, jazz, jug band, hokum, sacred and novelty music under the catch-all phrase, race music.
After the war, an increasing sensitivity to racism generated the need for a new term which emerged from a renaming of Billboard‰۪s Best Selling Retail Rhythm And Blues Records. A new audience for blues was opening up amongst white record buyers and concertgoers, due to the enormous popularity of boogie-woogie, which was first recorded in jazz band format in 1936 and was by 1940 at the height of its popularity.This period saw the end of mass recording of discs in the downhome and urban blues styles and these artists were largely absent from the studios until the late 1940s, when the electric guitar became the instrument of choice for blues singers. America‰۪s entry into the Second World War had the effect of limiting the supply of shellac, which was essential to the manufacture of records. As a result, the number of discs released was severely curtailed and many were only issued to jukebox owners. The unforeseen result of this recording hiatus was a breathing space for the development of two new forms of music that broke through after the end of the war: Rhythm and Blues and bebop.
Disc One : 1. Lionel Hampton Central Avenue Breakdown 2.Big Bill Broonzy Rockin' Chair Blues 3. Erskine Hawkins and his OrchestraåÊ After Hours 4. LeadBelly & The Golden Jubilee Quartet Rock Island Line 5. Will Bradley Down The Road A Piece 6. Bill "Jazz" Gillum Key To The Highway 7. T-Bone Walker T-Bone Blues 8. Tampa Red Don't You Lie To Me 8. The Five Breezes My Buddy Blues 9. Adolph Hofner Joe Turner Blues 10. Big Joe Turner Dogginå« The Dog 11. Champion Jack Dupree New Low Down Dog 12. The Four Clefs Dig These Blues 13. John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson Jivin' The Blues 14. Sidney Bechet Preachin' Blues 15. Peetie Wheatstraw Gangster's Blues 16. Moon Mullican & The Sunshine Boys Pipeliner's Blues 17. Hot Lips Page Harlem Rhumbain' The Blues 18. Blind Boy Fuller Step It Up and Go 19. Lewis Bronzeville Five Natchez Mississippi Blues 20. Three Sharps And A Flat That's The Rhythm 21. Earl Hines Boogie Woogie On St. Louis Blues 22. Happy Fats & Rayne-bo Ramblers Gran Prairie 23. Tampa Red It Hurts Me Too 24. Sidney Bechet Sidney's Blues 25. Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet The Valley Of Time 26. Creole George Guesnon Mississippi Town
Disc Two - 1. Louis Armstrong & Luis Russell You Run Your Mouth, I'll Run My Business 2. Louis Jordan You Got To Go When The Wagon Comes 3. Big Bill Broonzy Midnight Steppers 4. Lewis Bronzeville Five Low Down Gal Blues 5. Sam Price And His Texas Blusicians Oh Lawdy Mama 6. Delta Rhythm Boys Dry Bones 7. Erskine Hawkins Gabriel Meets The Duke 8. Champion Jack Dupree Cabbage Greens No. 1 9. John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson New Early In The Morning 10. Jelly Roll Morton Shake It 11. Duke Ellington Cotton Tail 12. The Wright Brothers Gospel Train 13. Leonard Harlan Ride My Blues Away 14. Memphis Slim Grinder Man Blues 15. Big Joe & His Washboard Band If You Take Me Back 16. Charlie Spand Rock And Rye 17. Gene Krupa Drum Boogie 18. Big Joe Turner Low Down Dirty Shame 19. Louis Jordan June Tenth Jamboree 20. The Ink Spots Stop Pretending 21. Pete Johnson's Band 627 Stomp 22. Blind Fuller & Sonny Terry Harmonica Stomp 23. Hot Lips Page Evil Man's Blues 24. Big Bill Broonzy What Is That She Got 25. Lil Green Romance In The Dark 26. Duke Ellington In A Mellotone
Disc Three - 1. The Cats And The Fiddle I'm Gonna Pull My Hair 2. Slim & Slam Slim Slam Boogie 3. The Delta Rhythm Boys Joshua Fit De Battle Of Jericho 4. Lil Green Why Don't You Do Right 5. Nora And Delle Keep A Knockin' (But You Can't Come In) 6. Robert Petway Catfish Blues 7. Jay McShann Confessin' The Blues 8. Big Bill Broonzy Key To The Highway 9. Duke Ellington Take The "A" Train 10. Champion Jack Dupree Junker Blues 11. Big Joe Turner Corrine Corrina 12. Andy Kirk Cuban Boogie Woogie 13. John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson You Got To Step Back 14. Black Cats And The Kitten I'm The Winder 15. Phil Moore And His Combo Shoo Shoo Baby 16. Buddy Johnson & His Band Boogie Woogie's Mother-In-Law 17. Selah Jubilee Singers I Feel Like My Time Ain't Long 18. Memphis Minnie Me And My Chauffeur 19. Louis Jordan Knock Me A Kiss 20. Albert Ammons & Pete Johnson Walkin' the Boogie 21. Lucky Millinder and his orchestra Rock Me 22. Big Joe Turner Rock Me, Mama 23. The Charioteers Wade In the Water 24. Lil Green Knockin' Myself Out 25. Jay McShann Hold 'Em Hootie 26. Buddy Johnson & His Band New Please Mr. Johnson 27. Una Mae Carlisle Oh I'm Evil 28. Count Basie 9:20 Special
Disc Four - 1. Big Joe Turner Wee Baby Blues 2. Lionel Hampton Bouncing at the Beacon 3. Sidney Bechet Rip Up The Joint 4. Big Maceo Worried Life Blues 5. Nat King Cole Trio Are You Fer it 6. Pete Johnson Death Ray Boogie 7. St. Louis Jimmy Oden Going Down Slow 8. Lucky Millinder w Sister Rosetta Tharpe Shout, Sister, Shout 9. Una Mae Carlisle Blitzkrieg Baby 10. Champion Jack Dupree Dupree Shake Dance 11. Boone's Jumping Jacks Please Be Careful 12. Tony Hollins Crawlin' King Snake 13. Charlie Christian Topsy 14. Skeets Tolbert The Rhumba Blues 15. Pete Johnson, Albert Ammons Sixth Avenue Express 16. Big Bill Broonzy When I Been Drinking 17. The Four Clefs I Like Pie, I Like Cake 18. Louis Jordan Saxa-Woogie 19. Jay McShann Vine Street Boogie 20. Johnny Hodges Going Out The Back Way 21. Tommy McClennan Cross Cut Saw 22. Jewel Paige Give It Up 23. Big Joe Turner & Freddie Slack Sun Risin' Blues 24. Slim & Slam Ah Now 25. Washboard Sam Come On Back 26. Andy Kirk and His Clouds of Joy 47th Jive 27. Lil Green Let's Be Friends