Erskine Hawkind
Little Esther
Guitar Slim
Lloyd Price
Marvelettes
4 Seasons
Some of the singers of
R&B Chart-Toppers

Rhythm and Blues Chart-Toppers (1942-1963) (L)

Saturdays, 12 to 2:45 p.m., Mariposa 1000

Mike Harkins

As I demonstrate in my Musical Origins seminar, most of America's best-selling music after 1955 was heavily influenced by the blues and jazz that evolved within the Black community during the previous decade. And so, as a companion to my Pop-chart-based Hit Parade seminar, this lecture seminar will present the chart-topping Black music known as Rhythm and Blues (R&B). Starting with the first Harlem sales charts of 1942, we will hear the most popular recordings up to the absorption of R&B into the mainstream Top 40 chart in 1963. Join us to hear these familiar (and obscure) influential sounds. This is a drop-in seminar, but contact Mike by email to get weekly agendas and playlists.


Sept. 8:
This week we focus on the number one R&B hits from 1942 to 1943 with special spotlight artists including the big bands of Duke Ellington, Lucky Millinder, Erskine Hawkins, Paul Whiteman and Earl Hines.
Sept. 15:
This week we focus on the number one R&B hits from 1943 to 1945 with special spotlight artists including The King Cole Trio, The Ink Spots, Lionel Hampton & His Orchestra, and the first of three weeks featuring the incomparable Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five.
Sept. 22:
This week we focus on the number one R&B hits from 1946 to 1948 with special spotlight artists including Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five, Joe Liggins & His Honeydrippers, Julia Lee & Her Boy Friends, Wynonie Harris, and Bull Moose Jackson.
Sept. 29:
This week we focus on the number one R&B hits from 1948 to 1949 with special spotlight artists including Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five, Amos Milburn, The Orioles, Dinah Washington, John Lee Hooker and 14-week hit The Huckle-Buck by Paul Williams.
Oct. 6:
This week we focus on the number one R&B hits from 1950 to 1951 with special spotlight artists including Charles Brown, The Dominoes, Little Esther, Ivory Joe Hunter, The Clovers, Nat King Cole and Roy Brown.
Oct. 13:
This week we focus on the number one R&B hits from 1952 to 1953 with special spotlight artists including Ruth Brown, Johnny Ace, B. B. King and Willie Mabon & His Combo.
Oct. 20:
This week we focus on the number one R&B hits from 1953 to 1955 with special spotlight artists including Faye Adams, The Midnighters, The Drifters, Little Walter, Roy Hamilton, Big Joe Turner, The 5 Royales, and the 14-week hit The Things That I Used To Do by Guitar Slim.
Oct. 27:
This week we focus on the number one R&B hits from 1955 to 1957 with special spotlight artists including Fats Domino, The Platters, Chuck Berry and Ray Charles.
Nov. 3:
This week we focus on the number one R&B hits from 1957 to 1958 with special spotlight artists including Elvis Presley, Little Richard and Sam Cooke.
Nov. 10:
This week we focus on the number one R&B hits from 1958 to 1959 with special spotlight artists including The Coasters, Lloyd Price, The Everly Brothers and Clyde McPhatter.
Nov. 17:
This week we focus on the number one R&B hits from 1959 to 1960 with special spotlight artists including Brook Benton, Jackie Wilson, Dinah Washington, Bobby "Blue" Bland, The Drifters and Bill Black's Combo
Nov. 24: No Class
Thanksgiving Holiday
Dec. 1:
This week we focus on the number one R&B hits from 1960 to 1962 with special spotlight artists including Ray Charles, Bobby Lewis, Jerry Butler, The Miracles and The Marvelettes.
Dec. 8:
This week we focus on the number one R&B hits from 1962 to 1963 with special spotlight artists including Mary Wells, The Four Seasons, Dee Dee Sharp, The Chiffons, Martha & The Vandellas and Booker T. & The MGs.