January 12, 2016

Blues and Rhythm Show 212 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, January 12th (1:00 to 2:30pm)

We were putting together our playlist for this week when we checked Facebook and found a post from Harrison Kennedy concerning Otis Clay. He died on Friday at the age of 73. Otis Clay was a great if largely unrecognized figure in Soul music. He was also one of those people who created and maintained his own place in the music industry after some initial success as a recording artist who reached the national R&B charts several times over 12 years.  Otis Clay was an excellent live performer and he was a professional in the way he conducted himself. We know these things because we witnessed his live show at different times, and with different bands accompanying him, and because we once had the opportunity to interview him for radio.  We’ve put together a show that includes a feature tribute to Otis Clay. We couldn’t locate one track we’d have liked to play and we’re leaving out his most recent recordings which we’ve drawn from on some recent shows. Overall, we think it’s a fair representation of his career. 

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In later years, it was material produced by Willie Mitchell from Hi Records where Otis Clay recorded between 1972 and 1974 and again in 1977, that stood out in his set lists. He didn’t feature his earlier recordings, except 1968’s “Hard-Working Woman” which became a kind of signature song. He’d perform “A Nickel and a Nail”, which O.V. Wright recorded with Willie Mitchell for Back Beat but not so much  his own records on One-derful, unless memory deceives us.  We’re going to skip the Hi material this week (including his best-known single) for the most part but we’ll work some into future shows. Otis told people he preferred to sing gospel more than anything else and we’re including a bit of his gospel side.

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Other things on the program include a couple of Memphis barrelhouse piano players,  a bit of Chicago blues from the Wolf label and a couple of Canadian prairie blues figures.

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On the Show:

Otis Clay – Booker T. Laury – Hubert Sumlin – Little Miss Higgins – Colin Linden – Gospel Songbirds – and others

Listen to the program at FM 93.3 in Hamilton or on CFMU online at cfmu.msumcmaster.ca. The program will be available to stream or as a podcast until February 8th.

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 (January 19th)





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