Various Artists

1950: The R&B Hits

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This is a two-CD, 48-track compilation of, as the no-frills title suggests, songs that were R&B hits in 1950. Jump blues, piano boogies, and bluesy ballads form virtually the entire program, much of which consists of contributions from well-known pioneers such as Louis Jordan, Ivory Joe Hunter, Wynonie Harris, Little Esther, Lowell Fulson, Amos Milburn, Roy Brown, Tiny Bradshaw, Ruth Brown, Johnny Otis, Floyd Dixon, Fats Domino, John Lee Hooker, and Lightnin' Hopkins. Some of these are famous classics: Hunter's "I Almost Lost My Mind," Clarence Garlow's "Bon Ton Roula" (the first zydeco-influenced song to be a big hit), Joe Liggins' "Pink Champagne," Percy Mayfield's "Please Send Me Someone to Love," and Amos Milburn's "Bad Bad Whiskey." For the most part, though, these aren't going to be overly familiar to anyone but R&B collectors, for whom the most unusual items will be the occasional selections by obscure performers, like Ray-O-Vacs' reading of "Besame Mucho" and Nellie Lutcher and Nat King Cole's duet on "For You My Love." It's a good overview of where rhythm and blues was at in 1950, though perhaps not diverse enough to compel those who aren't devotees of jump blues and boogie. It would be good to have more thorough liner notes than the perfunctory annotation given on the sleeve, as well as the actual chart positions of these songs, as they were (one assumes) selected on the basis of their popularity.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 03:11 Amazon
2 02:50 Amazon
3 02:34 Amazon
4 02:39 Amazon
5 02:47 Amazon
6 02:47 Amazon
7
02:35 Amazon
8 02:24 Amazon
9 02:57 Amazon
10 02:48 Amazon
11 02:42 Amazon
12 03:15 Amazon
13 02:59 Amazon
14 02:49 Amazon
15 02:44 Amazon
16 03:01 Amazon
17 03:00 Amazon
18 03:00 Amazon
19 03:11 Amazon
20 03:02 Amazon
21 03:00 Amazon
22 02:41 Amazon
23 02:30 Amazon
24 02:23 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 02:36 Amazon
2 03:00 Amazon
3 02:42 Amazon
4
02:52 Amazon
5 05:07 Amazon
6 02:49 Amazon
7 02:50 Amazon
8 02:43 Amazon
9 02:40 Amazon
10
03:09 Amazon
11 03:03 Amazon
12 02:44 Amazon
13 02:49 Amazon
14 02:54 Amazon
15 02:53 Amazon
16 02:56 Amazon
17
02:47 Amazon
18 02:54 Amazon
19 02:57 Amazon
20 02:54 Amazon
21 02:07 Amazon
22 02:53 Amazon
23 02:51 Amazon
24 02:28 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick