words, and rhythm flowed together seamlessly. But African American music wasn’t kept inside church walls. It flowed out into the streets and dance halls. Eventually, talented musicians made it so famous that it started entire new forms of American music. Rhythm and Blues The blues is a form of music that came directly from the slaves’ spirituals, work songs, and chants. It was a form of music that gave voice to life’s sorrow. In the 1940s, blues music was combined with jazz, another form of African-American music that was popular in the United States. The result was rhythm and blues (R&B), an uptempo style of music that would eventually evolve into rock and roll. Drummers played an important role in jazz, R&B, and rock music. Drummer Earl Palmer grew up in New Orleans and later moved to Los Angeles, leaving his mark on the music scenes in both cities in the 1950s. He had a powerful backbeat and mastery of “shuffle” rhythms. (A “shuffle” is a pair of repeated notes, where the emphasis on the first beat is exaggerated, while the second is lessened in emphasis.) Palmer’s first love was jazz, but his fast stick work and backbeats made their way into the music of the 1960s. Clyde Stubblefield was another drummer who helped lay the foundation for a new sound in music. Born in 1943, he started his musical career as a child in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he played on tin can lids, cardboard boxes, and anything else that would make a sound. As an adult, he played all over the world—and his rhythm influenced some of the greatest performers, including James Brown. The Godfather of Hip-Hop During the 1960s, soul music became popular, a combination



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