Various Artists - The History Of Rhythm and Blues: 1942-1952At four discs and nearly 100 tracks, this is the second installment of
Rhythm and Blues Records' ambitious history of R&B, covering the
years 1942 to 1952 (the first volume, also four discs, covered 1925 to
1942). Diverse and revelatory, it shows how R&B, like most strands
of America's music, is woven from several different sources. Each
installment is almost a history lesson in its own right, covering
country blues, spirituals, jug bands, boogie-woogie piano, ragtime,
jazz, urban blues, gospel, swing, boogie, jive, and so much more. It's
all pretty impressive and its difficult to imagine any set doing a
better job of tracing the roots of R&B. Where else could you find
Louis Jordan's "Caldonia Boogie," Sister Rosetta Tharpe's "Strange
Things Happening Every Day," Nat King Cole's "Route 66," Elmore James'
"Dust My Broom," Muddy Waters' "I Can't Be Satisfied," Sticks McGhee's
"Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee," and Ray Charles' "Misery in My Heart"
all in the same package? And those sides just barely scratch the
surface of what's collected here.