We celebrate the 25th Anniversary of The R&B Jukebox! Rolando has been a host on The R&B Jukebox on KUVO since 1998. 

Rolando’s Top 5 R&B Artists
  1. Ray Charles
  2. Ruth Brown
  3. Little Richard
  4. James Brown
  5. Big Joe Turner
  6. Louis Jordan
  7. Etta James
  8. Hank Ballard and the Midnighters
  9. T-Bone Walker
  10. The Spiders

…”Did you ask for only 5?  There are so many!”

Rolando’s Personal Story:
I’m often asked how/why I got into R&B.  The answer is that as a 6-year-old in the early ’60s, I was listening to R&B, but didn’t know it. My then-14-year-old sister was playing early Beatles albums over and over.  To me, the sound was infectious. I was listening to R&B through the Beatles! They covered quite a bit of R&B: Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Arthur Alexander, and several Motown groups like the Shirelles, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Isley Brothers, and Barrett Strong among others. That was my initial entry into the “sound” of R&B.  No wonder I was hooked!

Story of the Music:
I do a lot of research on every show and artist. There is so much rich information that brings the music to life. The music itself is a reflection of black culture/society in the late ’40s, through the ’50s, and into the ’60s and its influence on white American culture and music genres. It’s safe to say that R&B is the foundation for Rock and Roll, pop music, and other musical expressions.  The evolution of R&B, in a nutshell, can be described as Post-war swing bands (orchestras) becoming smaller, tighter sextets that evolved into “jump” R&B styles featuring the saxophone as the “lead” instrument. In the mid-50s, the electric guitar started taking the stage alongside, but many times instead of, the saxophone. This led to the birth of Rock and Roll as we know it. The late Denver blues trombonist, JD Kelly, would say, “R&B is Rock and Roll, and Rock and Roll is R&B.” Indeed, popular Rock and Roll is the direct product of ’50s R&B. There are several sub-genres to R&B that contributed to this: Doo Wop vocals, New Orleans-based R&B, Latin-infused R&B for example.

While the Jukebox is dedicated to the Golden Age of R&B, the date range of the music has expanded over the years to include mid and late-60s R&B to bridge the early R&B influence to popular, recognizable R&B artists such as Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, and Wilson Pickett to name a few.

What’s the most unique thing about your show/genre?
I believe the most unique thing about the Jukebox is that it transcends several generations of listeners. It is accessible music presented in a way that informs about the artist, the timeframe, as well as connections to culture/society in that time period. Personally, the unique thing about the show is how the music sets are designed (programmed) to have a theme, a sound, or some significant connection between the artists. I go through about 12 sets of music in two hours. The two-and-a-half-minute success formula in that time period allows for a lot of music. Typically about 36 songs in 2 hours! That requires quite a bit of planning, foresight, and design time.

Join us for two hours of R&B music and stories on the 25th Anniversary Show of The R&B Jukebox on Saturday, January 21, from 6 to 8 pm on KUVO JAZZ, the Oasis in the City.

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