Joyful, spiritual, soulful, funky, downright stanky - even if some of these terms didn't exist in the '50s, they all apply when it comes to the incredible sounds that emerged from New Orleans during the early R&B era. With a rich cultural heritage that blends European, African, and Carribean rhythms, it is no surprise that the Crescent City's contribution to R&B music was deep and lasting.
A great example of how second-line was used in a classic R&B setting is "I'm Walkin", a big hit for Fats Domino in the mid-'50s. The song opens with a march style two-beat intro from drummer Earl Palmer, then kicks into a double time shuffle set against a syncopated bass line. Earl used this type of snare-oriented groove to great success on many hit records, including "Slippin and Slidin" and "Lucille". This groove is a perfect example of how New Orleans R&B musicians blended European (snare drum march) and African (rhumba bassline) influences to form a brand-new style.