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.

TOP 20: JUST TRUST US
A second sonic Boom (4/18a)
ON THE COVER:
AARON BAY-SCHUCK
AND TOM CORSON
Bunny's hoppin' again. (4/17a)
NEAR TRUTHS:
PRIMARY NUMBERS
Hats off to Larry (4/17a)
TAY’S FORTHCOMING DEBUT: WE ARE TORTURED BY SPECULATION
So many questions (4/18a)
THE COUNT: COACHELLA, FROM THE COUCH
The coziest way to experience the fest (4/18a)
THE NEW UMG
Gosh, we hope there are more press releases.
TIKTOK BANNED!
Unless the Senate manages to make this whole thing go away, that is.
THE NEW HUGE COUNTRY ACT
No, not that one.
TRUMP'S CAMPAIGN PLAYLIST
Now 100% unlicensed!
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