Rhythm and Blues (now called R&B) can trace its roots directly from Jazz, Ragtime, and the old black Gospel and Spiritual standards. The narrative form and rich beat of these forms also form the basis for today’s RAP and Hip-Hop. The emphasis on rhythm and storytelling has always been part of what made this music popular reflecting the sum of the Black experience in a way that is truly unique and American.

The America’s Music Legacy series was recorded 1983-85 and produced by 20TH Century Home Entertainment. It showcases the musical legends performing the songs that continue to attract and entice the whole world, because they truly are the best of all that is America. The program features performances by Sam Moore, Sheer Delight, Brook Benton, Scatman Crothers, Mary Wells, and many more.

I love Country Music and The Oldies but there are a lot of the Rhythm & Blues that I like to sit down and listen to also, although I don’t know much about it. I love the beat of the music and most of them have a story behind them if you really listen to the words. Americas Music Legacy – Rhythm & Blues is a great collection on DVD of some great artists hosted by Brock Peters and some by Billy Eckstine.

Brook Benton comes out on stage with his performances of Boll Weevil and Thank You Pretty Baby.

We now see a quick Slim Gaillard film clip and Scatman Crothers singing Ain’t She Sweet, Mean Dog Blues and End of The Road.

Mary Wells sings My Guy and Gigolo. I was hoping to hear her sing “Two Lovers” but she didn’t. That was one that broguht back certain memories from when I was about 9 or 10 years old.

O.C. Smith sings Little Green Apples, Stormy Monday and Honey.

Sam Moore is introduced and he sings Soul Man (if you remember the movie “The Blues Brothers” you will remember Sam singing this one for sure). My husband, Simon and I had the great pleasure of meeting Sam and Joyce Moore a few years ago and we attended one of his concerts and I must say that man still has his get up and go, even now!

Billy Eckstine comes on stage performing Little Mama.

Ruth Brown performs 5-10-15 More and Teardrops.

Billy Preston sings Summertime and Circles. The world lost a great performer when Billy Preston died.

Billy Eckstine introduces Gloria Lynne and she sings I Wish You Love. Then Gloria and Billy do a duet singing Call Me Irresponsible.

Sheer Delight, a newer name from Motown, sings Getting To The Good Part.

Billy Eckstine does a medley including Mr. Saturday Night, In My Solitude and Jelly Jelly Blues.

Although I must say I was disappointed when I didn’t get to hear some of the tracks that were listed on here. I had looked forward to hearing them but for some reason they were not on here. Other than that the DVD was great and I did enjoy what performances I did see.

The Americas Music Legacy – Rhythm & Blues has a running time of 120 minutes and it goes on sale on October 19, 2010 so if you would like to reserve your copy just click on the Amazon link above.

Jan Barrett

Be Sociable, Share!