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BLACK MUSIC MONTH: WE'LL TAKE A DOZEN (UPDATE)

Black Music Month should be every month. In that spirit, and to celebrate our R&B-themed special issue—which will be rocketing to doorsteps in mere days—we've put together no fewer than 12 playlists delving into the multifaceted history of this most pervasive of popular-music forms. You could enjoy one per month until the next official BMM, or binge 'em. We don't care. But let's begin at the beginning. Here are the first four.

Our story takes off with the jump blues and gospel of the postwar era. As the narrative these playlists are meant to accompany will shortly attest, Louis Jordan provided much of the template for the R&B/rock 'n' roll that followed, profoundly influencing such major figures as Chuck Berry, Little Richard and James Brown. The sanctified, axe-wielding badass Sister Rosetta Tharpe, meanwhile, blazed a trail that leads all the way to H.E.R. 

Part 2 begins with some doo-wop classics and then dives deep into classic Motown. 

Part 3 is a Memphis-palooza, with Stax/Volt jams, Wilson Pickett grooves and the sweet, sweet sounds of Al Green.

Part 4 is a royal melange of James Brown, Aretha, Nina Simone, Solomon Burke and other regal heavyweights.

 

NEAR TRUTHS: THE KYNCL-LOUSADA DANCE HAS BEGUN
This oughta be interesting... (9/30a)
GRAMMY CHEW:
RAP EDITION
Michael and Kyle find a feast of hip-hop to chew on. (10/3a)
CHART FINAL: VERANO INVADES FALL
Like a broken record... which it is, figuratively speaking. (9/30a)
HITS LIST: COUNTDOWN
TO ECSTASY
We enter the month that was once known as Rocktober. (10/4a)
HIS OWN ARCHITECT:
THE STEVE LACY BUZZ
It was a surprisingly easy "Habit" to break. (10/3a)
GRAMMY SEASON
New categories! New rules! New WTF!
THE BIG DEAL
It's the one you didn't see coming.
RAID AT MAR-A-LAGO
"Who took my passports?"
HITS' 36TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL
Allow us to apologize in advance.
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