Rhythm and Blues

Levon Helm, “A Mood I Was In” from Levon Helm and the RCO All-Stars (1977): Across the Great Divide

Levon Helm, “A Mood I Was In” from Levon Helm and the RCO All-Stars (1977): Across the Great Divide

Levon Helm and the RCO All-Stars seemed to come together through happenstance. Unfortunately, they went their separate ways in a similarly random way.

John Belushi originally thought Steve Cropper was a roadie: ‘The guy with the long hair?’

John Belushi originally thought Steve Cropper was a roadie: ‘The guy with the long hair?’

John Belushi actually met Stax legend Steve Cropper early into putting together the Blues Brothers band. But he assumed Cropper was someone else.

Hall and Oates honored heroes on Live Aid’s worldwide stage: ‘We really did come full circle’

Hall and Oates honored heroes on Live Aid’s worldwide stage: ‘We really did come full circle’

Live Aid, held on July 13, 1985, was more than a great cause for Hall and Oates. It was, as John Oates tells us, a chance to “come full circle.”

Nick DeRiso’s Mid-Year Best of 2015 (Jazz, Blues + R&B): Gavin Harrison, Dave Douglas + others

Nick DeRiso’s Mid-Year Best of 2015 (Jazz, Blues + R&B): Gavin Harrison, Dave Douglas + others

This Mid-Year Best of 2015 list also includes Boz Scaggs, Pops Staples, Papa Mali, Wes Montgomery, Robben Ford, the Word, Steve Earle and Beth Hart.

Steve Cropper still possesses an impromptu kind of genius: ‘That’s the way we did it’

Steve Cropper still possesses an impromptu kind of genius: ‘That’s the way we did it’

“I don’t write for myself,” Steve Cropper admits, “and I don’t write for my family.” No, he’s motivated by something else.

Carl Hall – You Don’t Know Nothing About Love (2015)

Carl Hall – You Don’t Know Nothing About Love (2015)

Lost R&B legend Carl Hall gives each performance a gospel-infused, four-octave charge. And yet he somehow remains stubbornly obscure.

Paul McCartney says the Beatles used Motown as a template – for what not to do

Paul McCartney says the Beatles used Motown as a template – for what not to do

The Beatles covered a few Motown cuts, but that doesn’t mean they fashioned themselves after Detroit’s hitmaking juggernaut. In fact, quite the opposite.

Legendary blues guitarist Bo Diddley is shown in this undated publicity photograph. Diddley has died in Florida on June 2, 2008 after being ill for several months.  REUTERS/Courtesy Universal Music Group/Handout (UNITED STATES).  NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.

Bo Diddley used a canny sense of PR to open the door for modern rock and hip hop

The famous “shave-and-a-haircut, two-bits” beat didn’t start with Bo Diddley, who died on June 3, 2008. Through sheer force of will, he made it his own.

Two modern developments hurtled Hall and Oates back to prominence: ‘It resonated with them’

Two modern developments hurtled Hall and Oates back to prominence: ‘It resonated with them’

How did Hall and Oates become hip again after years as too-often-overlooked hitmakers? John Oates explains.

Steve Cropper on the Beatles’ flirtation with Stax: ‘Didn’t happen for a lot of different reasons’

Steve Cropper on the Beatles’ flirtation with Stax: ‘Didn’t happen for a lot of different reasons’

At the peak of their powers, the Beatles considered recording an album at Stax Records in Memphis. Steve Cropper sorts out why it never happened.