Music Makers Encyclopedia: R

Click on a letter to choose an act (“S” for Bruce Springsteen, “B” for Beatles, etc.). Shown with the act are its major awards, short bios for select acts (generally adapted from Joel Whitburn’s Pop Memories 1890-1954 and Top Pop Singles: Billboard books), and links to albums and songs reviewed by the DMDB.


You can also check the search engine for names, albums, songs, and other content on this site:

Sun Ra

Jazz bandleader, composer, and pianist born Herman Poole Blount on 5/22/1914 in Birmingham, AL. Died 5/30/1993.


      Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra, Vol. 1 (1965)

Eddie Rabbitt

Country singer born 11/27/1941 in Brooklyn, NY. Died 5/7/1998.


Lay Your Love on Me (1978)

Sergei Rachmaninoff

Classical composer, pianist, and conductor born 4/1/1873 in Novgorod Oblast, Russia. Died 3/28/1943.

Piano Concerto No. 2 (1901)
Piano Concerto No. 3 (1909)
Vespers (All-Night Vigil) (1915)
Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini (1934)

The Raconteurs

Alternative-rock group fronted by Jack White.

Broken Boy Soldiers (2006)


Experimental-rock group formed in Oxford, England.

Active: 1989- Members: Thom Yorke (v), brothers Jonny Greenwood (g) and Colin Greenwood (b), Ed O’Brien (g), and Phil Selway (d)

Creep (1992)
Fake Plastic Trees (1995)

Just (1995)

Street Spirit (Fade Out) (1996)

Paranoid Android (1997)

Karma Police (1997)

Idioteque (2000)

Pablo Honey (1993)
The Bends (1995)
OK Computer (1997)
Kid A (2000)
Amnesiac (2001)
Hail to the Thief (2003)
In Rainbows (2007)
King of Limbs (2011)

James Rado

Song(s) by Galt MacDermot, Gerome Ragni and James Rado:
Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (from Hair, 1969) – see Fifth Dimension

Hair (cast: 1967, soundtrack: 1979) – see Galt MacDermot


Only Built 4 Cuban Linx (1995)

Rae Sremmurd

Black Beatles (with Gucci Mane, 2016)

Gerry Rafferty

Baker Street (1978)

Rage Against the Machine

Killing in the Name (1993)
Bulls on Parade (1996)
Sleep Now in the Fire (1999)

Rage Against the Machine (1992)
Evil Empire (1996)
The Battle of Los Angeles (1999)

Rag ‘N’ Bone Man

Human (2016)

Gerome Ragni

Song(s) by Galt MacDermot, Gerome Ragni and James Rado:
Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (from Hair, 1969) – see Fifth Dimension

Hair (cast: 1967, soundtrack: 1979) – see Galt MacDermot

A.R. Rahman

Born Allah Rakha Rahman on 1/6/1966 in India

Film composer.


Hard rock group (1975-84, 1995). Members: Ritchie Blackmore (g: 75-84, 95) with Elf band members Ronnie James Dio (v: 75-79), Mickey Lee Soule (k: 75), and Gary Driscoll (d: 75). Other members over the years: Craig Gruber (b: 75), Jimmy Bain (b: 76-78?), Tony Carey (k: 76-78), and Cozy Powell (d: 76-80), Bob Daisley (b: 78-79), David Stone (k: 78-79), Graham Bonnet (v: 79-80), Roger Glover (b: 79-83), Don Airey (k: 79-83), Joe Lynn Turner (v: 80-84), Bobby Rondinelli (d: 80-83), David Rosenthal (k: 83-84), Chuck Burgi (d: 83-84), Doogie White (v: 95), John O’Reilly (d: 95), Greg Smith (b: 95), Paul Morris (k: 95). Blackmore, Glover, & Turner were also members of Deep Purple.

Stargazer (1976)

Rising (1976)

Chuck Rainey

Ma Rainey

Blues singer born Gertrude Pridgett on 4/26/1886 in Columbus, GA. Died 12/22/1939.

See See Rider Blues (1925)
Prove it on Me Blues (1928)

Ralph Rainger

The Rainmakers

The Rainmakers (1986)
Tornado (1987)
The Good News and the Bad News (1989)
Flirting with the Universe (1994)
Skin (1997)
25 On (2011)
Monster Movie (2014)

The DMDB Blog:
When the Rainmakers Came to Town (4/7/2011), also on Facebook.

Bonnie Raitt

Blues-rock singer and guitarist born 11/8/1949 in Burbank, CA.

Angel from Montgomery (1971)
Something to Talk About (1991)
I Can’t Make You Love Me (1991)

Nick of Time (1989)
Longing in the Their Hearts (1994)


Rap singer born William Michael Griffin on 1/28/1968 in Wyandanch, NY. See Eric B. & Rakim

Eros Ramazzotti

Singer/songwriter born Eros Walter Luciano Ramazzotti on 10/28/1963 in Rome, Italy.

Jean-Philippe Rameau

Classical composer born in 9/25/1683 in Dijon, France. Died on 9/12/1764.

Joey Ramone

Born 5/19/1951. Died 4/15/2001

American punk-rock singer and guitarist with the Ramones.

Phil Ramone

Record producer, engineer, violinist, and composer born Philip Rabinowitz on 1/5/1934 in South Africa. Died 3/30/2013. Winner of 14 Grammys. Nicknamed “The Pope of Pop.” Among the artists he worked with are Burt Bacharach, The Band, Ray Charles, Chicago, Bob Dylan, Gloria Estefan, Aretha Franklin, Billy Joel, Elton John, Quincy Jones, B.B. King, Madonna, Barry Manilow, Paul McCartney, George Michael, Olivia Newton-John, Carly Simon, Paul Simon, Frank Sinatra, Rod Stewart, Barbra Streisand, James Taylor, Dionne Warwick, and Stevie Wonder.

Notable Songs Engineered and/or Produced by Ramone:
It’s My Party (1963) – see Lesley Gore
You Don’t Own Me (1963) – see Lesley Gore
The Girl from Ipanema (1964) – see Stan Getz
A Whiter Shade of Pale (1967) – see Procol Harum
Alice’s Restaurant Massacre (1967) – see Arlo Guthrie
Everybody’s Talkin’ (1968) – see Harry Nilsson
Do You Know the Way to San Jose? (1968) – see Dionne Warwick
Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head (1969) – see B.J. Thomas
Tangled Up in Blue (1975) – see Bob Dylan
50 Ways to Leave Your Lover (1975) – see Paul Simon
Afternoon Delight (1976) – see Starland Vocal Band
Evergreen (Love Theme from ‘A Star Is Born’) (1976) – see Barbra Streisand
Just the Way You Are (1977) – see Billy Joel
Ghostbusters (1984) – see Ray Parker Jr.
Crazy for You (1985) – see Madonna

Notable Albums Engineered and/or Produced by Ramone:
Stan Getz with João Gilberto - Getz/Gilberto (1963)
The Band – The Band
The Rolling Stones – Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out
Paul McCartney – Ram
The Band – Rock of Ages
Blood on the Tracks (1975) – see Bob Dylan
Still Crazy After All These Years (1975) – see Paul Simon
A Star Is Born (soundtrack, 1976) – see Barbra Streisand
The Stranger (1977) – see Billy Joel
52nd Street (1978) – see Billy Joel
Flashdance (soundtrack, 1983) – see Various Artists
Duets (1993) – see Frank Sinatra
Tony Bennett – Duets
It Had to Be You: The Great American Songbook – see Rod Stewart
Genius Loves Company (2004) – see Ray Charles


Punk rock group formed in New York City, NY.

Active: 1974-1996 Members: Joey Ramone (v; born Jeffrey Hyman on 5/19/52; died 4/15/01), Dee Dee Ramone (b – Ramones: 74-89; solo as rapper Dee Dee King; Chinese Dragons; born Douglas Colvin on 9/18/52), Johnny Ramone (g; born John Cummings on 10/8/51), Tommy Ramone (d/manager: 74-77; born Tom Erydelyi on 1/29/52), Marky Ramone (d – Voidoid; Ramones: 74-83,87-; born Marc Bee), Richie Ramone (d – Velveteens; Ramones: 83-87; born Richard Beau), C.J. Ramone (b: 88-; born Christopher John Ward).

Blitzkrieg Bop (1976)
Sheena Is a Punk Rocker (1977)
I Wanna Be Sedated (1978)

Ramones (1976)
Rocket to Russia (1977)

The DMDB Blog:
The Ramones’ first gig at CBGB: August 16, 1974 (8/16/11)


Ruby Soho (1995)

And Out Come the Wolves (1995)

Teddy Randazzo

Boots Randolph & His Combo

Yakety Sax (Benny Hill Theme) (1963)

Shabba Ranks

As Raw As Ever (1991)

The Rapture

House of Jealous Lovers (2002)

Rascal Flatts

Bless the Broken Road (2004)
Life Is a Highway (from Cars, 2006)

Me and My Gang (2006)

The Rascals

see The Young Rascals


Round and Round (1984)

Fritz Rau

Maurice Ravel

Classical composer born Joseph Maurice Ravel on 3/7/1875 in Ciboure, France. Died 12/28/1937.

String Quartet in F major (1903)
Daphnis et Chloé (classical ballet, 1912)
Boléro (classical ballet, 1928)

Lou Rawls

Blues/soul singer born 12/22/1933 in Chicago, IL. Died 1/6/2006.

Johnnie Ray

Singer/songwriter born 1/10/1927 in Dallas, OR. Died 2/24/1990.

Cry (with the Four Lads, 1951)
Just Walkin’ in the Rain (1956)

Collin Raye

Born 8/22/1959. Died

American country singer.

Don Raye

The Rays

Silhouettes (1957)

Andy Razaf

Real McCoy

Another Night (1993)

Malcolm John Rebennack, Jr.

see Dr. John

Noel Redding

Otis Redding

Soul singer/songwriter, producer, and pianist born 9/9/1941 in Dawson, GA. Died in a plane crash on 12/10/67 in Lake Monona in Madison, WI. First recorded with Johnny Jenkins & the Pinetoppers in 1960. Killed in plane crash along with four members of the Bar-Kays.

I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (1965)
Shake (1965)
Try a Little Tenderness (1966)
Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay (1968)

Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul (1965)
Otis! The Definitive Otis Redding (1993)

The DMDB Blog:
Otis Redding was killed in a plane crash: December 10, 1967 (12/10/11)

Helen Reddy

Pop singer born 10/25/1941 in Melbourne, Australia.

I Don’t Know How to Love Him (from Jesus Christ Superstar, 1971)
I Am Woman (1972)
Candle on the Water (from Pete’s Dragon, 1977)

The Red Crayola (aka “The Red Krayola”)

The Parable of Arable Land (1967)

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Rap-styled alternative funk-rock group based out of Los Angeles, CA.

Active: 1983- Members: Anthony Kiedes (v), Michael “Flea” Balzay (b: 83-), Hillel Slovak (g: 84-88; died of a heroin overdose on 6/25/88 at age 26), Jack Irons (d: 84-88), John Frusciante (g: 88-92, 99-09), Zander Schloss (b: 92), Arik Marshall (d: 92), Jesse Tobias (d: 92), Dave Navarro (g: 94-97), Chad Smith (d: 95-; Chickenfoot), Josh Klinghoffer (g: 2009-)

Give It Away (1991)
Under the Bridge (1992)
Scar Tissue (1999)
Californication (2000)
Dani California (2006)

Blood Sugar Sex Magik (produced by Rick Rubin, 1991)
Californication (produced by Rick Rubin, 1999)
By the Way (produced by Rick Rubin, 2002)
Greatest Hits (compilation: 1989-2003, released 2003)
Stadium Arcadium (produced by Rick Rubin, 2006)


Dirrty (2002) – see Christina Aguilera


Cotton Eye Joe (1994)

Blind Alfred Reed

How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live (1930)

James Reed

There’s a Long, Long Trail (1915) – see James F. Harrison

Jerry Reed

Country singer and guitarist born Jerry Reed Hubbard on 3/20/1937 in Atlanta, GA. Died 9/1/2008.

Jimmy Reed

Blues singer and guitarist born Mathis James Reed on 9/26/1925 in Dunleith, MI. Died 8/29/1976.

Big Boss Man (1961)
Bright Lights, Big City (1961)

I’m Jimmy Reed (1958)

Lou Reed

Experimental rock singer/songwriter born 3/2/1942 in Long Island, NY. Died 10/27/2013. Established himself as “The Godfather of Punk” with art-rock group The Velvet Underground in the late 1960s before going solo in the 1970s.

Walk on the Wild Side (1973)
Perfect Day (written by Lou Reed, recorded by various artists, 1997)

Lou Reed/Velvet Underground: Top 10 Albums
Lou Reed (1972)
Transformer (1972)
Berlin (1973)
New York (1989)
Songs for Drella (with John Cale, 1990)

The DMDB Blog:
Lou Reed, 1942-2013: He Taught Rock to Walk on the Wild Side (10/27/13)


Glow (1997)

Jim Reeves

Country singer born James Travis Reeves on 8/20/1923 in Galloway, TX. Died 7/31/1964.

He’ll Have to Go (1959)
I Love You Because (1964)
Distant Drums (1966)

Martha Reeves

– see Martha & the Vandellas


The Shape of Punk to Come: A Chimerical Bombation in 12 Bursts (1997)

Trovadores Regionales

Gregorio Cortez (1929)

Herb Rehbein

Steve Reich

New Sounds in Electronic Music (with Richard Maxfield & Pauline Oliveros, 1967)
Music for 18 Musicians (1978)

Antonio “L.A.” Reid

Record executive (LaFace, Arista, Def Jam Island, Epic). Born Antonio Marquis Reid on 6/7/1956 in Cincinnati, OH.

Carl Reiner

2000 and Thirteen (with Mel Brooks, comedy, 1973)

Django Reinhardt

Pioneering virtuoso jazz guitarist and composer born Jean Reinhardt 1/23/1910 in Liberchies, Pont-à-Celles, Belgium. Died 5/16/1953. Invented a new style of jazz guitar technique sometimes known as “hot” jazz guitar.

Djangology (Quintette of the Hot Club of France featuring Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli, 1935)
Nuages (Django Reinhardt with Stéphane Grappelli and the Quintet of the Hot Club of France) (1946)

Leo Reisman

Bandleader and violinist born 10/11/1897 in Boston, MA. Died 12/18/1961.

With a Song in My Heart (with Ran Weeks, 1929)
The Wedding of the Painted Doll (with Lew Conrad, 1929)
What Is This Thing Called Love? (1930)
Night and Day (1932) – see Fred Astaire
Paradise (with Frances Maddux, 1932)
Yesterdays (with Frank Luther, 1933)
Easter Parade (with Clifton Webb, 1933)
The Continental (You Kiss While You’re Dancing) (1934)
Cheek to Cheek (1935) – see Fred Astaire


Rock group formed in Athens, GA. Active: 1980-2011. Developed huge following with college audiences in the early 1980s as one of the first "alternative rock" groups. R.E.M. is the abbreviation for Rapid Eye Movement, sleep’s dream stage. Members: Michael Stipe (v), Peter Buck (g; also in Minus 5: 95), Mike Mills (b), and Bill Berry (d: 80-98). Buck, Mills, and Berry worked with Warren Zevon on the one-time collaboration Hindu Love Gods in 1990.

R.E.M.: Top 100 Songs
Radio Free Europe (1983)
It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) (1987)
The One I Love (1987)
Losing My Religion (1991)
Man on the Moon (1992)
Everybody Hurts (1993)

Murmur (1983)
Reckoning (1984)
Fables of the Reconstruction (1985)
Life’s Rich Pageant (1986)
Document (1987)
Green (1988)
Out of Time (1991)
Automatic for the People (1992)
Monster (1994)
New Adventures in Hi-Fi (1996)
In Time – The Best of 1988-2003 (compilation: 1988-2003, released 2003)

The Rembrandts

I’ll Be There for You (1995)

Henri René

REO Speedwagon

Ridin’ the Storm Out (live) (1977)
Keep on Loving You (1980)

Hi Infidelity (1980)

The Replacements

I Will Dare (1984)
Unsatisfied (1984)
Bastards of Young (1985)
I’ll Be You (1989)

Let It Be (1984)
Tim (1985)

Harry Revel

Paul Revere & the Raiders

Just Like Me (1965)

Eben E. Rexford

Bebe Rexha

In the Name of Love (2016) – see Martin Garrix

Alvino Rey

Deep in the Heart of Texas (1941)

Debbie Reynolds

Tammy (1957)

Randy Rhoads

Born 12/6/1956 in Santa Monica, CA. Died 3/19/1982

Rock guitarist with Quiet Riot and Ozzy Osbourne.

The Rhythm Boys

Bing Crosby and singing partner Al Rinker were hired in 1926 by Paul Whiteman and, along with Harry Barris they became the Rhythm Boys and gained an increasing following. The trio split from Whiteman in 1930 and helmed “I Surrender Dear” which earned Bing a CBS radio contract and launched an unsurpassed solo career.

Side by Side (1927) – see Paul Whiteman
Three Little Words (1930) – see Duke Ellington

Sir Tim Rice

Musical theater and moive composer born Timothy Miles Bindon Rice on 11/10/1944 in Shardeloes, Buckinghamshire, England.

Songs Written with Andrew Lloyd Webber:
I Don’t Know How to Love Him (from Jesus Christ Superstar, 1971) – see Yvonne Elliman
I Don’t Know How to Love Him (from Jesus Christ Superstar, 1971) – see Helen Reddy
Superstar (from Jesus Christ Superstar, 1971) – see Ben Vereen
Close Every Door (from Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, 1972) – see Andrew Lloyd Webber
Don’t Cry for Me Argentina (from Evita, 1976) – see Julie Covington
Don’t Cry for Me Argentina (from Evita, 1996) – see Madonna

Songs Written with Elton John:
Can You Feel the Love Tonight (from The Lion King, 1994) – see Elton John
Circle of Life (from The Lion King, 1994) – see Elton John
Written in the Stars (from Aida, 1999) – see Elton John

Jesus Christ Superstar (studio: 1970, cast: 1971, soundtrack: 1973) – see Andrew Lloyd Webber
Evita - see Andrew Lloyd Webber; 1976, stage debut: 1978, soundtrack: 1996)
The Lion King (soundtrack: 1994, cast: 1997) – see Elton John
Aida (cast: 1999) – see Elton John

Buddy Rich

Jazz drummer and orchestral leader born Bernard Rich on 9/30/1917 in Brooklyn, NY. Died 4/2/1987. Considered by some to be the greatest drummer ever.

Charlie Rich

Country singer born Charles Allan Rich on 12/14/1932 in Colt, AR. Died 7/25/1995.

Behind Closed Doors (1973)
The Most Beautiful Girl (1973)
A Very Special Love Song (1974)

Behind Closed Doors (1973)

Cliff Richard

Pop singer born Harry Rodger Webb on 10/14/1940 in Lucknow, United Provinces, British India.

Move It (with the Drifters, 1958)
Living Doll (with the Drifters, 1959)

The Young Ones (with the Shadows, 1962)

The Millennium Prayer (1999)

Summer Holiday (with the Shadows, 1963)

Keith Richards

Rock guitarist and songwriter. Born 12/18/1943 in Dartford Kent, England. With the Rolling Stones.

John Richbourg

Lionel Richie

Pop/R&B singer and songwriter (Kenny Rogers’ “Lady”) who started with the Commodores (“Three Times a Lady”, “Still”) before going solo. Born 6/20/1949 in Los Angeles, CA.

Lionel Richie: Top 30 Songs
Lady (written by Richie, performed by Kenny Rogers; 1980)
Endless Love (with Diana Ross, 1981)
Truly (1982)
All Night Long (All Night) (1983)
Hello (1984)
Say You, Say Me (1985)

Can’t Slow Down (1983)
Back to Front (compilation: 1977-92, released 1992)

Harry Richman

Puttin' on the Ritz (1930) – see Earl Burtnett

Sviatoslav Richter

Classical pianist born Sviatoslav Teofilovich Richter on 3/20/1915 in Zhytomyr, Ukraine, Russia. Died 8/1/1997.

Nelson Riddle

Jazz/big band leader born 6/1/1921. Died 10/6/1985

Joshua Rifkin

Piano Rags by Scott Joplin (1970)

Righteous Brothers

You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ (1964)
Unchained Melody (1965)

Right Said Fred

I’m Too Sexy (1991)


Links: - official site - Facebook - Wikipedia

Pop/R&B singer born 2/20/1988 in Saint Michael, Barbados. Youngest artist (age 23) in Billboard history to land 10 #1’s.

Rihanna: Top 50 Songs
S.O.S. (Rescue Me) (2006)
Umbrella (with Jay-Z, 2007)
Disturbia (2008)
Live Your Life (2008) – see T.I.
Take a Bow (2008)
Run This Town (2009) – see Jay-Z
Love the Way You Lie (2010) – see Eminem
All of the Lights (2010) – see Kanye West
Only Girl in the World (2010)
What’s My Name? (Drake, 2010)
We Found Love (with Calvin Harris, 2011)
Diamonds (2012)
Stay (with Mikky Ekko, 2012)
The Monster (2013) – see Eminem
This Is What You Came For (2016) – see Calvin Harris
Too Good (2016) – see Drake
Work (with Drake, 2016)

Good Girl Gone Bad (2007)
Loud (2010)

Billy Riley & His Little Green Men

Red Hot (1957)

Jeannie C. Riley

Harper Valley P.T.A. (1968)

LeAnn Rimes

Country singer born Margaret LeAnn Rimes on 8/28/1982 in Jackson, Mississippi.

Blue (1996)
How Do I Live (1997)

Blue (1996)

Al Rinker

One of the Rhythm Boys.

My Heart Stood Still (1928) – see Paul Whiteman

Rise Against

Paul Riser

Tex Ritter

Country singer born Woodward Maurice Ritter on 1/12/1905 in Nashville, TN. Died 1/2/1974.

High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me, Oh, My Darlin') (1952)

Johnny Rivers

Pop singer/songwriter born John Henry Ramistella on 11/7/1942 in New York City, NY.

Max Roach

Jazz drummer born 1/10/1924 in Pasquotank County, NC. Died 8/16/2007.

The Quintet (Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Charles Mingus, & Max Roach) – Jazz at Massey Hall (live, 1953)
with Clifford Brown– Clifford Brown and Max Roach (1954)

Hargus “Pig” Robbins

Country music session pianist. Blind since 4 because of a knife accident, learned to play piano at age seven when he attended the Nashville School for the Blind. In 1959, he played on his first of hundreds of professional recordings – George Jones’ “White Lightning”, his first #1 hit. Robbins went on to work with Patsy Cline, Porter Wagoner, Ray Price, Dolly Parton, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan (on the classic Blonde on Blonde album), Connie Smith, Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, and Travis Tritt. He has played on classic hits such as Charlie Rich’s “Behind Closed Doors” and Crystal Gayle’s “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue.” In 1976, Robbins won the CMA Instrumentalist of the Year award and in 2000 he received the CMA Musician of the Year Award. In 2007, he was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame. His nickname, “Pig,” came from him sneaking through a fire escape at school and playing when he wasn’t supposed to. Robbins’ supervisor said, he got as dirty as a pig.

Marty Robbins

Country singer/songwriter and guitarist born Martin David Robinson on 9/26/1925 in Glendale, AZ. Died 12/8/1982 of heart failure. Father of Ronny Robbins. Served in the U.S. Navy from 1944-47. Hosted Western Caravan TV show in Phoenix in 1951. Joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1953. Acted in the movies Road to Nashville and Guns of a Stranger. Hosted TV’s Marty Robbin’s Spotlight in 1977. Died of heart failure on 12/8/1982.

El Paso (1959)
My Woman, My Woman, My Wife (1970)

Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs (1959)

Bob Roberts

Ragtime Cowboy Joe (1912)

Eck Robertson

Arkansas Traveler (1922)
Sallie Gooden (1922)

Robbie Robertson

Paul Robeson

Singer, actor, and civil rights activist born 4/9/1898 in Princeton, NY. Died 1/23/1976.

Ol’ Man River (1932)

Ballad for Americans (1940)

Don Robey

Leo Robin

Bobby Robinson

I Hear Some Blues Downstairs (1977)

Smokey Robinson

R&B singer/songwriter born William Robinson, Jr. on 2/19/1940 in Detroit, Michigan. With The Miracles (55-72) and later a solo artist. Record executive and songwriter for Motown.

Sylvia Robinson

Singer, songwriter, producer, and record executive born Sylvia Vanterpool on 5/29/1935 in Harlem, New York. Was in the duo of Mickey & Sylvia, worked as an R&B solo singer, and founded Sugarhill Records where she was a record producer and songwriter for two of rap’s most important songs (The Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” and Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five’s “The Message”). Founded Sugar Hill Records. Nicknamed “The Mother of Hip-Hop.” Died 9/29/2011.

Love Is Strange (1956) – see Mickey & Sylvia
Rapper’s Delight (producer/songwriter, 1979) – see the Sugarhill Gang
The Message (producer/songwriter, 1982) – see Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five

Vicki Sue Robinson

Turn the Beat Around (1976)

Robson & Jerome

Unchained Melody/The White Cliffs of Dover (1995)
I Believe/Up on the Roof (1995)

Bob Rock

Producer for Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, and Metallica.

Pete Rock & CL Smooth

They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.) (1992)

Rocket from the Crypt

Scream, Dracula, Scream! (1995)

Jimmie Rodgers

Country singer/songwriter born James Charles Rodgers on 9/8/1897 in Merdian, Mississippi. Known as “The Singing Brakeman” and “The Father of Country Music.”

Blue Yodel #1 (T for Texas) (1928)
In the Jailhouse Now (1928)
Blue Yodel #9 (Standing on the Corner) (1928)

Nile Rodgers

R&B guitarist born Nile Gregory Rodgers, Jr. on 9/19/1952 in New York City, NY. Member of disco group Chic.

Song(s) co-written and/or produced by Rodgers:
Le Freak (1978) – see Chic
Good Times (1979) – see Chic
We Are Family (1979) – see Sister Sledge
Let’s Dance (1983) – see David Bowie
Like a Virgin (1984) – see Madonna
Get Lucky (2013) – see Daft Punk

Paul Rodgers

Born 12/17/49 in Middlesbrough, Cleveland, England

Rock singer with Free (68-73), Bad Company (73-82,99,02), The Firm (84-86), The Law (91), and Queen (2004-09).

Richard Rodgers

Musical theater songwriter born 6/28/1902 in New York City, NY. He composed over 900 songs and 43 Broadway musicals. He worked with lyricist Lorenz Hart in the 1920s and ‘30s and Oscar Hammerstein II in the ‘40s and ‘50s. He was the first person to win the four top American entertainment awards – an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony Award. He also won a Pulitzer Prize, making him and Marvin Hamlisch the only two people to do so. Died 12/30/1979.

Richard Rodgers: Top 50 Songs

Written with Lorenz Hart:
Blue Moon (1935) – see Glen Gray
There’s a Small Hotel (with Maxine Grey, from On Your Toes, 1936) – see Hal Kemp
The Lady Is a Tramp (from Babes in Arms, 1937) – see Tommy Dorsey
Where or When (from Babes in Arms, 1937) – see Hal Kemp
Where or When (from Babes in Arms, 1937) – see Ray Heatherton
Falling in Love with Love (from The Boys from Syracuse, 1939) – see Frances Langford
This Can’t Be Love (with Martha Tilton, from The Boys from Syracuse, 1938) – see Benny Goodman
My Funny Valentine (1945) – see Hal McIntyre
Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered (from Pal Joey, 1950) – see Bill Snyder
Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered (from Pal Joey, 1950) – see Doris Day
Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered (from Pal Joey, 1950) – see Mel Tormé
My Funny Valentine (from Babes in Arms, 1953) – see Chet Baker
Blue Moon (1961) – see The Marcels

Written with Oscar Hammerstein II:
Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’ (from Oklahoma!, 1943) – see Bing Crosby
People Will Say We’re in Love (from Oklahoma!, 1943) – see Bing Crosby
Oklahoma! (from Oklahoma!, 1943) – see Alfred Drake
You’ll Never Walk Alone (from Carousel, 1945) – see Frank Sinatra
If I Loved You (from Carousel, 1945) – see Perry Como
June Is Bustin’ Out All Over (from Carousel, 1945) – see Hildegrade
Some Enchanted Evening (from South Pacific, 1949) – see Perry Como
Younger Than Springtime (from South Pacific, 1949) – see Billy Tabbert
Getting to Know You (from The King and I, 1951) – see Gertrude Lawrence
Shall We Dance? (from The King and I, 1951) – see Gertrude Lawrence
Hello Young Lovers (from The King and I, 1951) – see Perry Como
Getting to Know You (from The King and I, 1956) – see Marni Nixon
Shall We Dance? (from The King and I, 1956) – see Marni Nixon
Hello Young Lovers (from The King and I, 1956) – see Marni Nixon
I Enjoy Being a Girl (from Flower Drum Song, 1958)
The Sound of Music (from The Sound of Music, 1959) – see Mary Martin
Do-Re-Mi (from The Sound of Music, 1959) – see Mary Martin
Edelweiss (from The Sound of Music, 1959) – see Mary Martin
Climb Ev’ry Mountain (from The Sound of Music, 1959) – see Tony Bennett
My Favorite Things (from The Sound of Music, 1960) – see John Coltrane
You’ll Never Walk Alone (from Carousel, 1963) – see Gerry & the Pacemakers
The Sound of Music (from The Sound of Music, 1965) – see Julie Andrews
My Favorite Things (from The Sound of Music, 1965) – see Julie Andrews
Do-Re-Mi (from The Sound of Music, 1965) – see Julie Andrews
Edelweiss (from The Sound of Music, 1965) – see Julie Andrews

Pal Joey (with Lorenz Hart, cast: 1940, soundtrack: 1957)
Oklahoma! (with Oscar Hammerstein II, cast: 1943, soundtrack: 1955)
Carousel (Oscar Hammerstein II, cast: 1945, soundtrack: 1956)
South Pacific (with Oscar Hammerstein II, cast: 1949, soundtrack: 1958)
The King and I (composed with Oscar Hammerstein II, cast: 1951; soundtrack: 1956)
Flower Drum Song (written with Oscar Hammerstein II, cast: 1958)
The Sound of Music (with Oscar Hammerstein II, cast album: 1959; soundtrack: 1965)

Johnny Rodriguez

Country singer born Juan Raoul Davis Rodriguez on 12/10/1951 in Sabinal, TX.

Tommy Roe

Pop singer/songwriter and guitarist born 5/9/1942 in Atlanta, GA.

Clyde Rogers

Symphony (1945) – see Freddy Martin

Ginger Rogers

Jimmy Rogers

Chicago Bound (1976)

Julie Rogers

The Wedding (1964)

Kenny Rogers

Singer born Kenneth Donald Rogers on 8/21/1938 in Houston, Texas. One of the biggest country artists of all time, but also successful on the pop charts, including the #1 songs “Lady” and “Islands in the Stream.” Recorded with The Scholars (58), the Bobby Doyle Three (60-65), New Christy Minstrels (66-67), and The First Edition (67-76). Solo artist since 1976, although frequently recorded hit duos with numerous female singers including Dolly Parton, Dottie West, Kim Carnes, and Sheena Easton. In 2015, he announced his intent to retire.

Kenny Rogers: Top 75 Songs
Lucille (1977)
Coward of the County (1979)
You Decorated My Life (1979)
The Gambler (1978)
Lady (1980)
Islands in the Stream (with Dolly Parton, 1983)

The Gambler (1978)
Kenny (1979)
Greatest Hits (compilation: 1977-80, released 1980)

Roy Rogers

Country singer and guitarist born Leonard Franklin Slye on 11/5/1911 in Cincinnati, OH. Died 7/6/1998.

Happy Trails (with Dale Evans, 1948)

Gregg Rolie

Rock singer and guitarist born 6/17/1947 in Seattle, WA. With Santana (69-72, 82, 87, 2016), Journey (73-81), solo, The Storm (91-92), and Abraxas Pool (97).

The Rolling Stones

Links: DMDB page - official site - Facebook - Wikipedia

Rock band formed in London, England in 1963. Still active. Revered as the world’s all-time greatest rock and roll band. Mick Jagger (v) and Keith Richards (g) became childhood friends in 1950 and reconnected in 1961 over their shared interest in Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters. The two of them and Dick Taylor (b: 62-63), who had been in a garage band with Jagger, started playing together. They connected with Blues Incorporated members Brian Jones (g: 63-69), Ian Stewart (k: 63-85), and Charlie Watts (d: 63-). They formed a band focused on playing covers of Chicago blues, naming themselves after a Muddy Waters’ song. They were managed by Andrew Loog Oldham (63-67) who promoted as bad boys in contrast to the Beatles.

Other members: Mick Avory (d: 63), Nicky Hopkins (k: 67-82), Darryl Jones (b: 94-95), Chuck Leavell (k: 82-), Ian McLagan (k: 78-81), Jack Nitzsche (k: 65-71), Billy Preston (k: 71-81), Mick Taylor (g: 69-75), Ronnie Wood (g: 75-), and Bill Wyman (b: 62-92).

The Rolling Stones: Top 100 Songs
Time Is on My Side (1965)
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (1965)
Get Off of My Cloud (1965)
Paint It, Black (1966)
Jumpin' Jack Flash (1968)
Sympathy for the Devil (1968)
Honky Tonk Women (1969)
You Can't Always Get What You Want (1969)
Gimme Shelter (1969)
Brown Sugar (1971)

Angie (1973)

Miss You (1978)

Start Me Up (1981)

The Rolling Stones: Top 10 Albums
England’s Newest Hit Makers (aka ‘The Rolling Stones’) (1964)
12 x5 (1964)
Now!, aka 'No. 2' (1965)
Out of Our Heads (1965)
December's Children…and Everybody's (1965)
Aftermath (1966)
Big Hits – High Tides and Green Grass (compilation, 1963-66)
Between the Buttons (1967)
Their Satanic Majesties Request (1967)
Beggars Banquet (1968)
Let it Bleed (1969)
Through the Past, Darkly – Big Hits, Volume 2 (compilation: 1966-69)
Get Yer Ya Ya’s Out (live, 1970)
Sticky Fingers (1971)
Hot Rocks (compilation: 1964-71, released 1971)
More Hot Rocks – Big Hits & Fazed Cookies (compilation: 1963-69)
The Singles Collection – The London Years (box: 1963-71)
Exile on Main Street (1972)
Goats Head Soup (1973)
It's Only Rock and Roll (1974)
Made in the Shade (compilation: 1971-74)
Black and Blue (1976)
Some Girls (1978)
Emotional Rescue (1980)
Sucking in the Seventies (compilation: 1974-80)
Tattoo You (1981)
Undercover (1983)
Rewind (compilation: 1971-84)
Dirty Work (1986)
Steel Wheels (1989)
Jump Back (compilation: 1971-89)
Voodoo Lounge (1994)
Bridges to Babylon (1997)
Forty Licks (compilation: 1964-2002)
A Bigger Bang (2005)

The DMDB Blog:
The Rolling Stones played their first gig: July 12, 1962 (7/12/12)
The Rolling Stones Hit #1 for the First Time: July 18, 1964 (7/18/11)
Death at the Altamont Festival: December 6, 1969 (12/6/11)

Sonny Rollins

Jazz saxophonist born Theodore Walter Rollins on 9/7/1930 in New York City, NY.

Tenor Madness (with John Coltrane, 1956)

Saxophone Colossus (1956)
The Bridge (1962)

The Romantics

What I Like About You (1980)

Sigmund Romberg

Harold Rome

Songwriger born 5/27/1908 in Hartford, CT. Died 10/26/1993.

The Ronettes

Be My Baby (1963)

Roni Size/Reprazent

New Forms (1997)

Mark Ronson

Producer for Lily Allen, Amy Winehouse, Adele, and Bruno Mars.

Song(s) Produced by Ronson:
Rehab (2006) – see Amy Winehouse
Locked Out of Heaven (2012) – see Bruno Mars
Uptown Funk! (with Bruno Mars, 2014)

Album(s) Produced by Mark Ronson:
Back to Black (2006) – see Amy Winehouse
19 (2008) – see Adele

Mick Ronson

Linda Ronstadt

Adult contemporary singer born 7/15/1946 in Tucson, AZ.

Linda Ronstadt: Top 30 Songs
When Will I Be Loved (1975)
Somewhere Out There (with James Ingram, 1986)

Heart Like a Wheel (1975)
Trio (1987) – see Dolly Parton

George F. Root

The Roots

Shine - see John Legend

Axl Rose

Rock singer/songwriter and keyboardist born William Bruce Rose, Jr. on 2/6/1962 in Lafayette, IN. With Guns N’ Roses.

Billy Rose

David Rose

Holiday for Strings (1943)

Fred Rose

Rose Royce

Car Wash (1976)

Vincent Rose

Wesley Rose

Diana Ross

R&B singer born Diana Ernestine Earle Ross on 3/26/1944 in Detroit, Michigan. Lead singer of The Supremes, the best-charting female group in U.S. history and Motown’s most successful act. She left the group in 1970, but continued to have success as a solo artist. She also won a Golden Globe for her performance in Lady Sings the Blues (1972). In 1993, the Guinness Book of World Records declared her the most successful female music artist in history.

Diana Ross/The Supremes: Top 50 Songs
Ain't No Mountain High Enough (1970)
Love Hangover (1976)
Upside Down (1980)
I’m Coming Out (1980)
Endless Love (1981) – see Lionel Richie

Lady Sings the Blues (soundtrack, 1972)

Jerry Ross

Music executive (Heritage) and songwriter born 5/1/1933 in Philadelphia, PA. Died 10/4/2017.

Hernando’s Hideaway (from The Pajama Game, 1954) – see Archie Bleyer

The Pajama Game (cast album, 1954) – see Richard Adler
Damn Yankees (cast album, 1955) – see Richard Adler

Shirley Ross

Thanks for the Memory (with Bob Hope, 1939)

Tino Rossi

Swing musician born Constantin Rossi on 4/29/1907 in Ajaccio, Corsica, France. Died 9/26/1983

Gioacchino Rossini


Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville) (1816)
La Cenerentola (Cinderella) (opera: 1817)
Guillaume Tell (William Tell) (opera: 1829)

Mstislav Rostropovich

David Lee Roth

Born 10/10/1955

American rock singer with Van Halen (“Running with the Devil”, “Jump”). Later a solo artist (“California Girls”, “Yankee Rose”).

Just a Gigolo/I Ain’t Got Nobody (1985)

Johnny Rotten

– see John Lydon

Andy Rourke


It Must Have Been Love (1990)

Roxy Music

English art-rock band active from 1971-83. Bryan Ferry (v/k), Brian Eno (71-73), Phil Manzanera (g), and Andy MacKay (horns)

Virginia Plain (1972)
Love Is the Drug (1975)
More Than This (1982)

Roxy Music (1972)
For Your Pleasure (1973)
Stranded (1974)
Siren (1975)
Avalon (1982)

Normie Rowe

Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be) (1965)

Kelly Rowland

Dilemma (2002) – see Nelly

Royal Scots Dragoon Guards

Amazing Grace (1972)


see Boston

Lost and Found (archives, 1989)
Return to Zero (1991)
Lost (1998)

Arthur Rubenstein

Classical pianist born 1/28/1887 in %u0141ód%u017A, Congress Poland. Died 12/20/1982.

Rick Rubin

Record executive (Def Jam, American Recordings, Columbia) and producer born Frederick Jay Rubin on 3/10/1963 in Long Beach, NY. Best known for his work with heavy metal groups and rap artists. Revived the career of Johnny Cash in the 1990s.

Significant Albums Produced by Rubin:
LL Cool J Radio (1985)
Raising Hell (1986) – see Run-D.M.C.
Reign in Blood (1986) – see Slayer
Licensed to Ill (1986) – see Beastie Boys
It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988) – see Public Enemy
Shake Your Money Maker (1990) – see the Black Crowes
Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991) – see Red Hot Chili Peppers
American Recordings (1994) – see Johnny Cash
The Globe Sessions (1998) – see Sheryl Crow
Californication (1999) – see Red Hot Chili Peppers
By the Way (2002) – see Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Black Album (2003) – see Jay-Z
American IV: The Man Comes Around (2002) – see Johnny Cash
Stadium Arcadium (2006) – see Red Hot Chili Peppers
Taking the Long Way (2006) – see Dixie Chicks
FutureSex/LoveSounds (2006) – see Justin Timberlake
Death Magnetic (2008) – see Metallica
21 (2011) – see Adele

The DMDB Blog:
Rick Rubin was born: March 10, 1963 (3/10/12)

Harry Ruby

Ruby & The Romantics

Phil Rudd

Jordan Rudess

Rock keyboardist with Dream Theater and the Dregs.


Feel the Love (with John Newman, 2012)
Waiting All Night (with Ella Eyre, 2013)

Nate Ruess

Just Give Me a Reason (2012) – see Pink

Jimmy Ruffin

What Becomes of the Broken Hearted (1966)


– see Chaka Khan


It’s Like That (1983)
Sucker MC’s (1983)
Rock Box (1984)
Walk This Way (with Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler & Joe Perry, 1986)
It’s Like That (Run-D.M.C. vs. Jason Nevins, 1998)

Run-D.M.C. (1984)
Raising Hell (produced by Rick Rubin, 1986)

Todd Rundgren

Rock singer/songwriter, keyboardist, and producer born 6/22/1948 in Philadelphia, PA.

Something/Anything? (1972)
New York Dolls (producer, 1973) – see New York Dolls
Bat Out of Hell (producer, 1977) – see Meat Loaf

Art Rupe

Record executive (Specialty Records) born Arthur Goldberg on 9/5/1917 in Greensburg, PA.


Canadian power-rock trio formed in Toronto. Active: 1969-2015 Members: Geddy Lee (v/b: 1969-2015), Alex Lifeson (g: 1969-2015), John Rutsey (d: 69-74; left after first album), Neil Peart (d: 1974-2015, born 9/12/52; died 1/7/2020). Lee and Lifeson met in 8th grade. They started out playing English blues like the Yardbirds, John Mayall, and Cream and heavy metal from the Who to Led Zeppelin. Rush was built around Lee’s unique vocal style and Lifeson’s rhythm-lead techniques. When Peart joined, he brought a touch of art-rock a la Pink Floyd and King Crimson. His science fiction-inspired imagination fueled concept albums 2112, A Farewell to Kings, and Hemispheres. In the early 80’s, Rush became a premiere FM radio-oriented group with Permanent Waves, Moving Pictures, and Signals. Since then, Rush has become an album rock staple and consistent gold album seller. Only Kiss and Rush have had entire careers of 20 albums that all have gone gold. According to their website, Rush have sold 40 million albums.

Rush: Top 100 Songs
The Spirit of Radio (1980)
Tom Sawyer (1981)

Rush: Albums Ranked
Rush (1974)
Fly by Night (1975)
Caress of Steel (1975)
2112 (1976)
All the World’s a Stage (live, 1976)
A Farewell to Kings (1977) v
Hemispheres (1978)
Permanent Waves (1980)
Retrospective I (compilation: 1974-1980, released 1997)
Moving Pictures (1981)
Exit…Stage Left (live, 1981)
Signals (1982)
Grace Under Pressure (1984)
Power Windows (1985)
Hold Your Fire (1987)
Retrospective II (compilation: 1981-1987, released 1997)
The Spirit of Radio: Greatest Hits (compilation: 1974-1987, released 2003)
A Show of Hands (live, 1989)
Presto (1989)
Chronicles (compilation: 1974-1989, released 1990)
Roll the Bones (1991)
Counterparts (1993)
Test for Echo (1996)
Vapor Trails (2002)
Feedback (covers EP, 2004)
Snakes & Arrows (2007)
Retrospective III (compilation: 1989-2007, released 2009)
Clockwork Angels (2012)

Bobby Rush

Jennifer Rush

The Power of Love (1985)

Otis Rush

Blus guitarist and singer born 4/29/1935 in Philadelphia, Mississippi.

I Can’t Quit You Baby (1956)

Right Place, Wrong Time (1976)

Jimmy Rushing

Jazz/bues singer born James Andrew Rushing on 8/26/1901 in Oklahoma City, OK. Died 6/8/1972.

Bob Russell

Lillian Russell

Come Down Ma Evening Star (1912)

Leon Russell

Singer/songwriter (“Tight Rope”) and prominent session musician born Charles Russell Bridges on 4/2/1942 in Lawton, OK. Died 11/13/2016.

A Song for You (1970)

Mike Rutherford

Rock guitarist/bassist born 10/2/50 in Guildford, England. With The Anon (65-66), which evolved into Genesis (66-97). Rutherford also helmed the group Mike the Mechanics (85-) and has recorded a couple solo albums.

The Ruts

The Crack (1979)

Tommy Ryan

Love Walked In (1938) – see Sammy Kaye

Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels

Devil with a Blue Dress On/Good Golly Miss Molly (1966)

Shaun Ryder

Britpop singer/songwriter born 8/23/1962 in Little Hulton, England. With Happy Mondays and Black Grape.

Click on a letter to choose a recording act (“S” for Bruce Springsteen, “B” for Beatles, etc.). Shown with the act are its major awards, short bios for select acts (generally adapted from Joel Whitburn’s Pop Memories 1890-1954 and Top Pop Singles: Billboard books), and links to albums and songs reviewed by the DMDB.


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Last updated February 9, 2020.