This first edition of "The Billboard Book Of Top-40 R&B & Hip-Hop Hits" offers complete and authoritative chart information on the most popular rhythm and blues and hip-hop songs and artists to reach the top 40 positions on Billboard's R&B Singles chart from 1942 - the present. From the days of Louis Jordan and Bullmoose Jackson and his Buffalo Bearcats, swing, and World War II, Billboard began keeping tabs on the bestsellers in record stores in Harlem, New York. That Harlem Hit Parade chart of 1942, the starting point of this book, was Billboard's first accounting of the growing interest in a style of music that would come to be known as rhythm and blues or R&B. Throughout the '40s and early '50s, the R&B chart hosted a fair amount of pop crossover artists like The King Cole Trio and the Ink Spots and blues shouters like Wyononie Harris and Roy Brown. When rock 'n' roll revolutionized popular culture in the mid '50s, artists like Fats Domino, Little Richard, and Ray Charles were added to the charts as well.
Since the advent of hip-hop in the late '70s artists such as Kurtis Blow, Grandmaster Flash/Melle Mel and the Furious Five were incorporated into these charts as well, bringing us up to today's artists like Mary J. Blige, Jay-Z, and Usher.
Joel Whitburn began collecting records as a teenager in the 1950s. He began to sort, categorize and file each record according to the highest position it reached on Billboard's charts. He went on to publish this information - first on individual artists' cards, then in book form - and a business was born. Today, Joel leads a team of researchers who delve into all of Billboard's music and video charts to an unmatched degree of depth and detail.