The West Coast Sound

Los Angeles, with several independent record labels, was an important center in the development of rhythm and blues. 

"Now R&B started here in L.A.. Roy Milton was here, Joe Liggins was here, T-Bone Walker was here, Charles Brown was here, I was here, and others, too. By '48 or '49 it was set - we had an art form, though we didn't know it then... It was a hybrid form that began to emerge. It surely wasn't big band; it wasn't swing; it wasn't country blues. It was what was to become known as rhythm and blues, a hybrid form that became an art form in itself. It was the foundation of rock and roll... Rock and roll was a direct outgrowth of R&B. It took over all the things that made R&B different from big band swing: the afterbeat on a steady four; the influence of the boogie; the triplets on piano; eight-to-the-bar on the top hat cymbal; and the shuffle pattern of dotted eighth and sixteenth note"
Johnny Otis, bandleader and A&R man

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The Johnny Otis Show

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Charles Brown
Inducted into the Rock Hall in 1999

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Joe Liggins

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Johnny Otis 

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Percy Mayfield

This club blues was popularized by Nat "King" Cole trio in the Forties and carried on by other West Coat performers, including Charles Brown, Percy Mayfield, and a young Ray Charles.Soft club blues shared a popularity popularity with dancehall R&B bands on the West Coast, including Johnny Otis' Caravan of Stars, a touring company that was both of the last of the great big band touring groups - a single band that backed a number of singers - and the forerunner of the rock and roll packages that crisscrossed the country with a full rooster of stars.

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