Here’s a list of iconic R&B artists that are plucked from a very, very long list of stellar musicians and performers. It is a finite list because we had to choose 10, but it is NOT intended to exclude many other great R&B artists, who will be included in many of our future releases!
1 — Michael Jackson
2 — Whitney Houston
3 — Prince
4 — Stevie Wonder
5 — Aretha Franklin
6 — Ray Charles
7 — Marvin Gaye
8 — Al Green
9 — James Brown
10 — Smokey Robinson
NOTE: The following is a low-resolution version of the infographic. CLICK HERE to access the high-resolution version.
All-Time Greatest R&B Artists by 3GreatDogs.com:
1 — Michael Jackson
2 — Whitney Houston
3 — Prince
4 — Stevie Wonder
5 — Aretha Franklin
6 — Ray Charles
7 — Marvin Gaye
8 — Al Green
9 — James Brown
10 — Smokey Robinson
NOTE: The image above is a low-resolution version of the infographic. CLICK HERE to access the high-resolution version.
Most collectors of contemporary American music probably have at least one — and most likely more than one — record with Nathan East listed in the credits. A gifted and prolific musician, East is considered by his peers to be one of the most versatile and adaptive bass players in the world. This is proven by the fact that he also happens to be one of the most recorded bass players in history.
After almost 40 years of performing as a band member in one group or another, Nathan East finally emerged in 2014 with a project to create his first solo album, appropriately entitled Nathan East, for which East served as primary artist, producer, arranger, (upright) bass player and composer. He also wrote orchestral arrangements and provided vocals for the album.
This record, which spent four weeks at #1 on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Album chart, is a must-have in the collection of any contemporary jazz lover!
To get a behind-the-scenes look at Nathan East, his background and prolific career, and the making of his Grammy-nominated record, take a look at Nathan East: For The Record, a documentary film that’s being screened at film festivals all around the country, including the Macon Film Festival this weekend. It provides wonderful insight into the mind and methods of this musical genius. Here’s the trailer:
Check out the following video of Nathan East at 2013 Bass Player LIVE, where he talks about his practice routine and technique, playing for Daft Punk, and future projects.
As the U.S. presidential election unfolds and as the Republican and Democratic parties convene national conventions this month, Politics continues to be a major spotlight issue in the news as it has been for many months. Now, two top American cities, Cleveland and Philadelphia, are front and center as party delegates converge to formally select their candidates and solidify their platforms.
But both Cleveland and Philadelphia are about more than just Politics — both are Music towns!
We all know that Cleveland is the home of the “Rock & Roll Hall of Fame” and that Philadelphia has it’s own sound (“The Sound of Philadelphia”)! It’s no suprise that as a result, both also are home to many world-acclaimed musicians of special note.
Both cities will remain central to Music on the international stage even after the conventions end and everyone goes home, so we compiled the infographic below to share a little information about Politics and Music and more in Cleveland and Philadelphia!
We’re excited that the interest in vinyl music is making increasing and a “Vinyl Revival” is underway!
Wikipedia states that “Vinyl Revival is a term being used by the media and listeners of music to describe the renewed interest and increased sales of vinyl records, or gramophone records, that has been taking place in the Western world since the year 2006.”
Here’s an infographic we created to represents the current trend in music:
Check out this YouTube video about the history of vinyl records. This is Part #1 entitled, “The 78 RPM Single — Manufacturing plant RCA.”
Also of interest to the vinly lover is the following thread about vinyl records from a newsgroup on the History of Rock website. It’s really informative — Enjoy!
Why 78, 45 and 33-1/3 Record Formats?
78s (circa 1900 to 1960):
The first disc format was the 10-inch 78 rpm record, pictured above in the center, invented around 1900. The first record player was invented around 1870 by Thomas Edison, but this used cylindrical records about the size of an empty toilet paper tube. The flat 78s were much easier to store. The grooves on these records were much larger than later LPs and 45s (about 4 times as big) and the needles were larger too. 78s were recorded and played back “acoustically,” without any electric amplifiers or microphones, until about 1925. 78s were obsolete by about 1960. Since the grooves are so spaced out and the records spin so fast, a standard 10-inch 78 can’t hold more than about 3 minutes of music per side. They are typically made of a shellac compound (as in furniture finish!), and have the consistency of a china plate, so they are very thick and heavy and break easily.
33s aka “LPs” (circa 1948 – 1990):
The 33, a.k.a. the “LP” (“Long Playing” record) or “album,” pictured above at left, was invented in 1948. These LPs were popular until around 1990 when CDs were popular enough to take over. An LP could hold up to a total of 60 minutes of music, but most didn’t have more than 40 minutes. They are made of vinyl plastic rather than shellac, so they are more flexible and don’t tend to break like 78s. The grooves are 4 times smaller, so they were originally called “Microgrooves” (MG), and early LPs have this written on the label.
Interestingly enough, there are enough people still willing to buy “classic” albums, particularly jazz and blues, that some of the labels in those styles, like Blue Note records, Original Jazz Classics (a.k.a. Prestige, Riverside, Contemporary, New Jazz, etc) and Delmark Records are once again pressing and selling LPs for about $9 to $13 through mail order. LPs of some newer releases are available, in very limited quantities.
45s (circa 1949 – 1990):
The 45, pictured above at right, was the alternative to the LP when you wanted to record a single pop song rather than a full album. The 45 had the same smaller-sized groove as the LP, and the center hole was larger. 45s became popular in jukeboxes, which had previously used 78s, because 45s took up less space and you could fit more songs in the box. Suddenly jukes went from offering 24 or 40 songs on 78s to having 100 to 200 songs on 45s. 45s are also made of vinyl rather than shellac, and can hold up to about 5 minutes of music on each side. 45s are still being made in limited quantities for jukebox operators who have not upgraded to newer CD jukeboxes, so you can still get some of the latest releases on 45.
Does anyone know why 78 revolutions per minute was chosen as the standard rotation speed of old-fashioned gramophone records, rather than a round number such as 75 or 80 rpm? And are there convincing explanations for the choice of speeds for later EPs and LPs of 33-1/3 rpm and 45 rpm?
It was Emil Berliner, the inventor of the gramophone, who determined roughly how fast old disc records should spin. He avoided Edison’s need for a stylus made from precious jewels by using points which could be made from steel sewing needles and pins. The size of the stylus effectively determined the size of the grooves in a record and the recordable frequency range limited by this groove size determined a speed between 70 and 90 rpm.
Standardization did not begin until 1912, when the British Gramophone Company conducted listening tests on their back catalogue. They settled on the average (or possibly the median) of these tests, which turned out to be 78 rpm. Other companies adopted this, but the process was not complete until the early 1930s. Even after this date rogue rpm records still appeared. After standardization problems still occurred. Because of electrical mains frequencies differences on opposite sides of the Atlantic, stroboscopic speed testers and synchronous motors meant a nominal speed of 77.922 rpm in countries that used 50 hertz and 78.261 in countries that used 60 hertz. These were later fixed in national (but not international) standards.
Records of 33-1/3 rpm were developed in conjunction with films. A 12-inch 78 with Berliner-type grooves could hold between 4 and 5 minutes per side. The first practical sound films produced in the US in the late 1920s had their sound on separate disc records and it was more important for the sound to be continuous. A reel of film might run for 11 minutes, so a rotational speed of about 32 rpm was required to make the sound match the picture. History doesn’t tell us why precisely 33-1/3 was chosen, but in retrospect it was a very good choice because stroboscopic speed testers can be made for this speed which will work on both sides of the Atlantic.
It seems CBS engineers (who developed the first LPs in 1948), simply experimented with one of the old machines hanging around in their workshop. They then developed new groove dimensions which gave an acceptable signal-to-noise ratio with the new plastic material “vinyl.”
The 45 rpm speed was the only one to be decided by a precise optimization procedure (by RCA Victor in 1948). Calculus was used to show that the optimum use of a disc record of constant rotational speed occurs when the innermost recorded diameter is half the outermost recorded diameter. That’s why a 7-inch single has a label 3-1/2 inches in diameter. Given the CBS vinyl groove dimensions and certain assumptions about the bandwidth and tolerable distortion, a speed of 45 rpm comes out of the formula.
British Library National Sound Archive
From 1894 to around 1930 there were many different record speeds ranging from 65 to 90 rpm, each case being a compromise between playing time and the need for a clean cut in the original wax. The Victor company used 76 rpm for many years for its recordings, but instructed buyers to reproduce at 78 — the record’s durability was improved that way. The standard of 78 rpm arrived by default, although the actual speed depended on the electrical mains frequency. Constant linear speed, or varying the rpm, was commercialized but did not prove to be a success (until the arrival of the CD).
The speed of 33-1/3 was introduced in 1927 after theoretical analysis of the compromise between signal-to-noise ratio and playing time (3 minutes per radial inch) by J.P. Maxfield of Bell Laboratories for sound films produced on the Vitaphone system. And it was a professional de facto standard before it became commercialized by CBS in 1948. It has been suggested that 78 minus 33 equals 45 was the reason for the emergence of 45 rpm records but, in fact, Maxfield’s analysis still applies: the 45 “single” was RCA’s equivalent to a 10-inch, 78 rpm record, only smaller.
Emil Berliner’s first disc gramophones were wound by hand at somewhere between 60 and 100 rpm. The 7-inch discs lasted a minute or so and had low sound quality. Berliner and his assistant Fred Gaisberg realized that unless the speed was governed, the gramophone would never be more than a novelty. Gaisberg visited a young mechanic who was making clockwork machinery in hoping to use it for sewing machines. This machinery was never successful in sewing machines, but was ideal for gramophones, and it rotated at 78 rpm. The mechanic, Eldridge Johnson, became a millionaire. Columbia made all its discs to run at 80 and HMV had its pioneer recordings produced between 68 and 92 rpm with the key of the piece marked on the label. You then tuned it on your own piano, using the gramophone’s governor. These speeds all gradually settled into the standard of 78.
When talking pictures first arrived in the late 1920s, the sound was recorded separated on discs and had to be synchronized by the projectionist at each showing. Every cinema projection room had a pair of projectors, each taking 1000-feet reels of film, whose running time was about 10 minutes. The projectionist switched projectors after each reel. Ideally, this meant that the sound should last 10 minutes as well, as it would be impossible to synchronize a sound changeover in mid-reel. At the time, however, a 12 inch 78 rpm record lasted for only about 4 minutes, so the Vitagraph company simply slowed down the 78 until it lasted 10 minutes and recorded all their masters on that, starting each disc in the middle, as it was easier to drop a needle there than the outer edge. This new speed was 33-1/3 rpm, adopted for other records in the late 1940s when Columbia introduced its first vinyl, long-play discs with microgrooves, giving a play time of about 30 minutes on each side.
However, the long-play disc wasn’t particularly suitable to popular music, as the public wanted its records as singles with good sound quality even at high volumes. RCA Victor came up with a 7-inch vinyl disc with microgrooves, rotating at 45 rpm, a speed chosen specifically to make the most of the music, unlike 78s or 33-1/3s. And does no one remember the 16s?
Recently, Record Store Day held their press conference to celebrate record stores and the launch of the 2016 Official Release List at Electric Lady Studios. Among the panelists were Lenny Kaye of The Patti Smith Group, Brian Sella of The Front Bottoms, Record Store Day co-founder Michael Kurtz, Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head Brewery, Lee Foster of Electric Lady Studios and Wendy Schneider, producer/director of The Smart Studios Story.
This year’s Record Store Day, the global celebration of the culture of the record store, takes place annually (this year on April 16, 2016), offers a fantastic array of exclusive titles, plus the launching of the Record Store Day Disney Cruiser turntable, The Smart Studios Story as the official Record Store Day 2016 film, our first ever Record Store Day inspired beer with RSD poster, the first in a series of re-recordings of iconic albums at Electric Lady Studios, and a series of releases in response to last year’s tragedy in Paris, will all help to make for a memorable April 16.
Just as Record Store Day celebrates independent record stores of all sizes and specialties, the list is varied and covers nearly every genre of music. Once again this year, nearly 60% of the titles are from independent artists or released through independent labels and distributors.
Several artists, including Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Shawn Colvin & Steve Earle, Jason Molina, Brandi Carlile, Florence + The Machine, Regina Spektor, John Grant, New Barbarians, and over a hundred more will release exclusive tracks for Record Store Day.
Madisen Ward & The Mama Bear, The Sonics (with special guests), Stephan Jenkins of Third Eye Blind and Langhorne Slim & The Law all release live recordings made in record stores. The Reverend Horton Heat releases a 7” with new music and artwork taken from the video made especially for it.
Metallica is the official Ambassador of Record Store Day 2016 and is helping RSD support and honor the victims of last year’s tragedy in Paris with the release of Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité, Metallica! – Live at Le Bataclan. Paris, France – June 11th, 2003, a CD featuring a live recording from the club, with the band, distributor Think Indie, Record Store Day and independent record stores donating proceeds to Fondation de France’s Give For France charity. In addition, Twenty One Pilots, Anthrax, and The Doors will be releasing Disquaire Day 7” singles in a show of solidarity and to celebrate the relationship between Record Store Day and Disquaire Day, between French record stores and US record stores, and between American and French lovers of music, art and culture. In addition, Record Store Day will see special releases from French artists Air, Erik Satie and Metal Urbain, as well as a recording of Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers’ 1977 final gig, also at Le Bataclan in Paris.
A Record Store Day collectors’ heads up: Concord (UMG) will release the Creedence Clearwater Revival 1969 Box Set– 3 vinyl and ephemera from the time period celebrating the historic year. The box will also come complete with 3 CDs and 3 international EPs on 7” vinyl. Albums include Green River, Bayou Country and Willy And The Poor Boys. A sneak peak at this amazing piece can be seen here: https://youtu.be/Gvxo2enB300
Record Store Day 2016’s Official Film couldn’t be more appropriate: The Smart Studios Story, Wendy Schneider’s brilliant and acclaimed feature-length documentary about the trailblazing Madison, WI outpost, co-founded by producer Butch Vig, that finally shuttered in 2010 due to financial difficulties after producing an enviable stream of recordings by such rock icons as Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Tad, L7, Killdozer and of course, Garbage, among others. The film features Vig himself along with a number of other well known faces who have worked at the studio, including Dave Grohl, Billy Corgan and Shirley Manson.
And, in anticipation of the younger and younger attendees who have embraced the vinyl counter-revolution to digital, Record Store Day is excited to announce special releases from The Weekend, Justin Bieber and the aforementioned Twenty One Pilots, as well as a Disney compilation and Hello Kitty Picture Disc for fans of all ages.
Record Store Co-founder Carrie Colliton said, “Record Store Day is not about a single genre of music or a single format, but Record Store Day has drawn a whole new audience of music fans into the world of independent record stores. This year’s line-up should continue to do that and we’ll hopefully continue to introduce the next generation of record buyers to both vinyl and the unique world of the record store.”
For a complete and accurate list of Record Store Day 2016 titles, please go to the website
About Record Store Day:
Record Store Day, the organization, is managed by the Department of Record Stores and is organized in partnership with the Alliance of Independent Media Stores (AIMS), the Coalition of Independent Music Stores (CIMS) and promotes independent record stores year-round with events, special releases and other fun things.
Record Store Day 2016 Sponsors: ADA, Border City Media, Caroline, Crosley Turntables, Disk Union, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, InGrooves, Music Business Association, RED, Red Bull Sound Select, Redeye Distribution, Sony Music, Universal Music Distribution, Warner Bros. Records, WEA