How R&B Has Lost Its Soul//
Dating back to the 1960s, Blacks and Whites from the US and UK understood the depth and emotion laden in most Soul music. The biggest misconception lay in the very categorization of R&B. Many pegged R&B as “Black music,” music that’s solely for the consumption of Blacks and mostly created by Black people.
However, what most people don’t realize is that Soul, and later R&B, is not about who sings it, or what the beat sounds like. It’s about the natural ache and fire in the music, the melody, and the honesty of the voice. It makes sense that R&B was pegged as a Black artist’s home territory. Torn from the Delta Blues of the 1920s — with the likes of John and Alan Lomax, Robert Johnson , Big Momma Thornton , and Muddy Waters  — it’s a genre that expresses the pain pent up of too much repression and an overwhelming loneliness shrouding the soul.
The Blues is as big a part of R&B as the Rhythm. It was this guttural honesty that paved the way for such brilliant Soul music as Sam Cooke and Otis Redding  in the 60s. As it is, Soul music became a crossroads between the Blues and Gospel music, a means to give pure spiritual expression a means to reach the masses.
Indeed, it would be Sam Cooke, known as the Father of Soul music, who would introduce the world to his form of “belt it out and shout” music. Yet the lyrics were always about love (songs like Cupid, Nothing Could Ever Change This Love and You Send Me), always about making it through struggle (Bring it on Home and A Change is Gonna Come).
The maturity and depth of the lyrics coupled with the simplicity of the sentiments is what made the Blues, and ultimately Soul music, so widely accepted by the masses. It was neither about color nor country. It was always about pain, love, sex, and absolute emotion. Make way for the snarl and pop of the psychedelic soul lacing the vocals and music of the likes of Janis Joplin  and Jimi Hendrix .
The further evolution of the Blues would influence a generation to bring their perspective and soul to the genre and bring that soul out of everyone all over the world. It was obvious in the sound of British bands like Cream , The Rolling Stones , and The Who , while artists like Joe Cocker  were drenched in heady rock-infused blues. While it may seem to some that it’s nothing more than the Brits stealing what didn’t belong to them, for the most part it was an extension of a feeling that anyone, no matter their nationality or ethnicity, could connect to.
At that point, the US and the UK would come together as sister souls and transcend the genre and create sounds that were surprisingly deep, unfettered by the whims of a society that wanted to keep the lid on a great deal of licentious activity.