During the 1940s, blues, swing, and
pop mixed it up to create the foundation for modern urban music.
Jump blues, swing blues, and other urban slants on the music coalesced
in the broader spectrum of what future soul producer Jerry Wexler
dubbed "rhythm & blues." But even before that new,
more respectable phrase was coined, seminal music from artists
like Louis Jordan, Charles Brown, and Amos Milburn was helping
define its mix of hot dance music; slow, moody ballads; and (especially
in Jordan's case) lively novelty tunes that combined shrewd social
commentary with prescient raps. Here are definitive sets from
the architects behind R&B, soul, and funk.