Various Artists

1949: The R&B Hits

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1949 was defining year for music in general, its first year back in full force after World War II and the musician union's ban on recording in 1948. It was also the first year that African-American record charts were called "rhythm & blues" instead of "race" charts. It was the end of the big band era; Louis Jordan was at his peak, and the resurgence of old Delta-styled blues played electrically was making inroads on small labels across America. This 48-track, two-disc set gives a real feel, through its very nice cross-section, of what was actually popular with R&B listeners that important year -- and does it with nice, clean transfers on most of the material. Along the way, we're treated to the diverse sounds of John Lee Hooker "Boogie Chillen"), Paul Williams ("The Hucklebuck"), Louis Jordan ("Saturday Night Fish Fry"), Ruth Brown ("So Long"), Larry Darnell ("For You My Love"), Charles Brown ("Trouble Blues"), Amos Milburn ("Roomin' House Boogie"), Tampa Red ("When Things Go Wrong"), Lionel Hampton ("Lavender Coffin"), Big Jay McNeely ("Deacon's Hop"), Robert Night Hawk "Annie Lee Blues") and Stick McGhee ("Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee"). A diverse and quite listenable collection, this tips the scale rightly with a nice balance of hits and important music.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:10
2
2:48
3 3:04
4 3:01
5 2:17
6 2:42
7 2:39
8 3:08
9 2:58
10 2:43
11 2:58
12 2:31
13 3:15
14 2:21
15 2:31
16
2:43
17 2:49
18 2:21
19 3:01
20 2:46
21 21:45
22 22:45
23 23:45
24 24:45
blue highlight denotes track pick