September 23, 2013

Blues and Rhythm Show 98 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, September 24th, 2013 (1:00-2:30 pm)

Most of this program will feature music emanating from . Not that we planned a special on Chicago. It just worked out that way.

Chicago was home to a distinctive style of blues in the fifties and beyond. Mention Chicago blues and people have an idea of what you are talking about. After World War 2, independent record companies sprang up in Chicago to exploit local talent and markets. Miracle, Aristocrat-Chess, Parkway, Chance, VeeJay, United/States, USA were among the labels recording blues and gospel in the city. This evolution of local labels and studios supporting local music continued through the sixties with the rise of soul music and Chicago represented its distinctive soul styles on both locally based and on national labels. OKeh and Brunswick each operated from Chicago offices for a period of time. In the end, both blues and soul were eclipsed by disco and, later, hip-hop but not before the labels that recorded and marketed the music disappeared one by one or were the object of corporate takeovers, like GRT Corporation’s purchase of Chess and the move of Chess company headquarters to Los Angeles. 

All of the above is background to the music which was created by waves of African-American migrants to Chicago as well as and in combination with native born Chicagoans like Billy Boy Arnold. And even after the labels folded or were bought out, artists like Syl johnson and Tyrone Davis continued to perform for local audiences while new generations of performers have emerged to carry on and renew the blues and soul traditions of the city in a changing demographic. As national trends shifted away from blues and soul, Chicago still had the critical mass of support to sustain some kind of local scene.

Included on the program, once more, will be three of the headliners of the Blues Explosion show, scheduled for this coming Friday, September 27th, at Hamilton Place.

On the Show:

L.C. McKinley – Howlin’ Wolf –  Mighty Joe Young – Johnny B. Moore – Ricky Allen – Erma Franklin – Lucy Smith – Staple Singers – Norfleet Brothers – and others

Listen to the program at FM 93.3 in Hamilton or on CFMU online at cfmu.mcmaster.ca. The program will be available to stream or as a podcast until October 22nd.

Contact Us

To reach us with comments or queries, write us at sweartotellthetruth@gmail.com.

You can also follow the program at sweartotellthetruth@nosignifying on Twitter.

Next week (October 1st)

We don’t have a plan yet for next week’s show. We might include some R&B vocal groups.

Upcoming programs

It’s a new season and we’re working on some rough ideas for programming themes for The Blues & Rhythm Show in the coming months. We’ll list some of them on this blogsite soon.



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