June 7, 2016

Blues and Rhythm Show 230 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, June 7th (1:00 to 2:30pm)

Product Details       Come on in and Make Yourself At Home           Product Details

Just over a year ago, we presented a 90-minute special following the death of B.B. King at the age of 89. At the time, we weren’t aware that the Japanese P-Vine label was preparing a comprehensive box set making available all of B.’s recordings for the Bihari Brothers’ Modern-RPM-Kent companies. That set has just been made available. Its full title is The Complete RPM-Kent Recording Box: The Life, Times and the Blues of B.B. King. The box contains 17 CDs, According to P-Vine the box includes all the B.B. King singles, album tracks, alternate and incomplete takes, including 100 songs premiered in the box, 10 of them completely unreleased, as well as what P-Vine calls “session scenes” with successive takes of several numbers plus the attendant studio talk.  In the box, there is also an LP with rare material from the B.B. King catalogue plus Charles Sawyer’s biography of B.B. KIng in a Japanese translation. The 56-page booklet details the tracks on every disc but there is no complete session discography. The booklet does include lyric transcriptions by Chris Smith and appreciations from various figures in the blues field. A further attraction of the booklet is the selection of photos by Ernest Withers. Much, but not all, of the booklet’s text has been translated to English from the original Japanese.

Our feature on the box will include A & B sides from the singles issued by RPM and Kent between 1951 and 1961. Some well-known titles but several that aren’t well-known.

The greater part of the 17 CDs is made up of the album tracks, alternate takes and never issued material and we’ll work that material into the show over time. Some of these tracks are organized by theme while others are organized chronologically on discs titled “B.B.’s Blues Revolution”, Phase 1 – 4.  There’s a complete disc of  “session scenes” on the disc “B.B. in the Recording Studio”. The CDs are housed in cardboard sleeves and each CD has a soft protective liner.

tt would be hard to argue that there is a greater figure than B.B. King in post-World War 2 blue and most of his great recordings were made for Modern-RPM-Kent but not many people will opt to buy a 17-CD set and the Complete RPM-Kent Recordings is a limited edition. A four-CD set on Ace (UK) called The Vintage Years remains in print and it is an excellent survey of B’s recordings for the Bihari Brothers labels.

Still, the publication of the P-Vine set is something of a momentous occasion even if the packaging is less sturdy than we might have anticipated and we thought we should devote some attention to it on the program.

Also on the program, Bluegrass Gospel, Gospel Funk and Sacred Steel.

The Complete RPM-Kent Recording Box 1950-1965

On the Show:

B.B. King – Louis Jordan – T-Bone Walker – Marshall Lawrence Band – Stewart Family – Brother John Witherspoon – 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 download until July 5th

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 (June 14th)

Juneteenth special – Texas blues, gospel & soul


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