March 22, 2016

Blues and Rhythm Show 222 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, March 22nd (1:00 to 2:30pm)

This week, we look at Memphis Blues from the pre-World War 2 era, records made between 1927 and 1938. Most of the records featured recorded between 1927 and  1930. Memphis, drawing musicians from Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, and sometimes further away, was regarded by some as the capitol of the African-American south. Beale Street called the “main street of Negro America”.

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Memphis in this era known for the music played in the streets and, especially, for the jug bands. Some of the artists featured on this week’s program were associated with the jug bands for longer or shorter periods of time but we’re looking at the records by solo artists and duos, blues and songster performers. Missing from the picture for the most part are piano players from the era.

Memphis became a destination for record company field trips after Ralph Peer’s February, 1927 visit to the city in search of recording talent and the companies continued to visit in the 1930s but after 1930 the blues records made in Memphis were more reflective of the broader region than of Memphis’ idiosyncratic musical culture. Meanwhile Chicago became the centre of blues recording and it was only in the 1950s that Memphis offered a challenge to Chicago’s blues hegemony.

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On the Show:

Buster Brown – Albert King – Otis Rush – L.C. “Good Rockin'” Robinson – Furry Lewis – Gus Cannon – Sleepy John Estes – Hattie Hart – Allen Shaw –  The Soul Band – 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 April 18th.

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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 (March 29th)



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