Rhythm and Blues

A popular genre of predominantly African American artists, R&B was formed in the early 40s but didn’t begin to see real commercial success until the 1950s. In the commercial rhythm and blues being performed in the 1950s-70s, the bands usually consisted of a piano, one or more guitars, bass, drums, saxophone, and possibly backing vocalists. 

At home, using the handout, you can find the inspiration for your own soulful and lively Rhythm and Blues song!

Learn new vocabularyTriumph, Inspire, Commercial Success

Tool Kit: With Rhythm Comes Blues handout and a pencil.


Step 1: Look online for different R&B artists and songs. Some popular R&B artists during the time were Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin 

Step 2: How did these artists express their emotions and struggles through their music? What are some ways that they presented their triumphs in their music? Were the happy moments low and soulful or high and energetic? Make note on how they present different parts of their life in their songs. 

Step 3: R&B is all about the highs and lows of life. On the handout, write down some situations where you accomplished something great, and other times where you failed where you wanted to succeed. How did those failings influence you to do better? 


Group Activity: Ask your friends and family about their own difficulties and accomplishments. How did their accomplishments push them to do more? How did their failings influence them to do better?  

Extend Your Journey: Look further into the history of the genre and the artists we covered today. Here is a link to a documentary on Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles 

Access our instructional video Here