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  Rhythm-and-blues was the name invented by record-industry executives in the 1940s to publicise music which had hitherto been sold under such politically incorrect names as ‘race music’ or ‘sepia music’, or even, briefly, ‘nigger music’. It was a form of jazz combining the rhythmic bounce of Dixieland with a vocal style of melodic playing (often on saxophone) derived from and influenced by Blues-style singing. In the later 1940s and 1950s, as big bands increasingly took up jazz, rhythm-and-blues became a main entertainment form for small groups, and itself evolved into pop and later rock. KMcL  



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