The Real Instigators Behind Jazz, R&B, Reggae And More

Reggae ~ Ernest Ranglin

Born in 1932, Ernest Ranglin grew up in a rural area of Jamaica, musically inspired by his two uncles who played the guitar. To kickstart his career he toured with Eric Deans Orchestra before creating his own quintet Jazz style music. Not longer after, Chris Blackwell – Island Records producer – saw him play and offered him a chance to make a record in the style of big Jazz bands of the time but with a traditional Jamaican twist and an Urban flavour influenced by American R&B. When interviewed Ernest claimed to have not ‘invented the word’ but to have ‘invented the music’.

Hip Hop ~ DJ Kool Herc

Who invented Hip Hop is hardly a controversial topic, because everyone who actively listens to the genre agrees that it was music producer DJ Kool Herc. Like Ranglin, he was born in Jamaica, but in the capital city of Kingston. Some of his most famous songs include Technology, No Disrespect and Better Future. Herc was hugely credited for his musical work in 1994, when he received the People’s Hall Of Fame Award from Mario Cuomo for creating the roots of Hip Hop in the city of New York.

EDM ~ Delia Derbyshire

Delia Derbyshire is probably best known for her contribution to The Doctor Who theme tune alongside Ron Grainer. Even then, however, she still hasn’t been rightfully credited for her work, where she swapped traditional musical sounds for electronic musical sounds, creating a completely new sound. She later released songs constructed with ‘plucked piano strings’ and ‘electrical signal tones’ like Quest and Pot Au Feu.

R&B ~ Louis Jordan

Louis Jordan wasn’t just known as the ‘King Of R&B’ but also as the ‘Grandfather of Rock and Roll.’ He studied the saxophone and the clarinet at Arkansas Baptist College before joining a jazz swing band in 1930s. In 1938 he formed his own Jazz band entitled ‘Tympany Five’ who were early influences of the R&B-esque sound called ‘Jump Blues.’ Their song Saturday Night Fish was described by the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame as an early example of Rap.


Jazz ~ Buddy Bolden

Born in 1877 in New Orleans, Buddy Bolden was considered the first person to play Jazz music, although it didn’t have a strict name at the time. He is probably best known for playing a trumpet-like instrument called a Cornet. Unfortunately for Jazz fans Bolden was an improviser, meaning he left no written music behind after his death in 1931.

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