Behind The Beat

Behind The Beat
5:00 am
Tue September 2, 2014

The Evolution Of Reggae: How It Became The Protest Music We Can Dance To

Jamaican Bob Marley, who has spearheaded the movement of Reggae, the popular music of Jamaica, is seen here in 1981.
AP Photo

For many of us, Jimmy Cliff’s 1973 song “The Harder They Come” was the first reggae piece we’d heard.

Reggae grew out of two earlier styles of Jamaican music, ska and rocksteady. And these were both preceded by the Jamaican folk/pop music of the 1950s, a style called mento. Here’s Alerth Bedasse’s “Rough Rider” from 1955.

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Behind The Beat
5:00 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Following The Funk To Its Shake-Your-Booty Maturity With Its Architect, James Brown

James Brown performs at the rock festival held at Roosevelt Raceway in New York on August 12, 1972.
Allan Green AP Photo

Take a listen to “Sex Machine” from 1970 by the architect of Funk, James Brown.

Brown is the focus of our discussion as we follow this music from its roots in R & B to full-blown, shake-your-booty Funk.

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Behind The Beat
5:00 am
Tue July 1, 2014

How Jaco Pastorius Launched A One-Man Revolution On The Bass

Jaco Pastorius strums his bass guitar at Avery Fisher Hall in New York on June 28, 1982.
Rene Perez AP Photo

You probably know “Birdland” by the group Weather Report well enough to sing along with the melody.

What you may not know is the melody is being played on an electric bass by Jaco Pastorius, the subject of today’s discussion.  

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Behind The Beat
5:00 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Rebellion Of The Sidemen, Or The Birth Of Be-Bop

FILE - Jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie is seen during the Boston Globe Jazz and Blues Festival in Boston, Jan. 15, 1966.
Bob Daugherty AP Photo

Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker’s song “Ko-Ko” is perhaps one of the most important American recordings of all time. It’s widely considered to be the first be-bop song ever to be recorded. And even though it’s a 1945 recording, this is still the template for modern jazz.

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Behind The Beat
5:00 am
Tue May 6, 2014

The Road To Fame: How Jimi Hendrix Rose From The 'Chitlin' Circuit' To Become An Icon

In this 1970 file photo, Jimi Hendrix performs on the Isle of Wight in England.
AP Photo

When Jimi Hendrix released the song “Foxy Lady” as part of the “Are You Experienced” album in 1967, it was like this whole package of psychedelia had dropped from the sky.

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Behind The Beat
5:00 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Here's The Man To Thank For The Sound Of The Harmonica As We Know It

Wikimedia Commons

The song “Juke” by Little Walter Jacobs might not sound revolutionary to modern ears, but when it first came out in 1951, nobody had ever had heard harmonica played like this — ever. It really has an aggressive, in-your-face sound.

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Behind The Beat
5:00 am
Tue March 4, 2014

This, We Agree, Was The First-Ever Recorded Rock And Roll Song

John Lee Hooker
Stevesworldofphotos Flickr

What was the first recorded rock and roll song?

Before we can answer that question, we have to go back and figure out the ingredients of rock and roll. We can identify three most important ingredients: gospel, jump and blues. 

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