The 1951 R&B Hits Collection
Styles: America's Greatest Hits, Blues, R&B
Catalogue Number: ACQCD7110
This continues the strand of R&B and country collections associated with Acrobat’s highly popular “America’s Greatest Hits” series, this one focusing on the top R&B records in the US Billboard charts during 1951. This great value 97-track 4-CD anthology includes, with a few exceptions, every record which peaked in the Billboard R&B Best Sellers and Most Played in Juke Boxes Top 10 during that year – the R&B charts were restricted to ten places during that era. The exceptions which are not included are those hits which were on the King and Federal labels, comprising nine titles, which we are unfortunately restricted from using, as a result of which, for the sake of accuracy, this anthology is “The 1951 R&B Hits Collection” rather than the more definitive “The Greatest R&B Hits of 1951”. It naturally features a host of well-known names like Amos Milburn, Johnny Otis, Muddy Waters, Nat King Cole, John Lee Hooker, Dinah Washington, Roy Milton, Howlin’ Wolf, and Percy Mayfield, but also includes many unfamiliar names and records of which even enthusiasts of the genre may not be too aware, and which will be welcome additions to their collections. It provides a fascinating snapshot of a genre that was emerging from the R&B orchestra and jump blues era of the late ‘40s and was seeing the development of the sounds that were already laying the groundwork for the rock ‘n’ roll explosion a few years later.