March 2, 2021

Blues and Rhythm Show 309 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, March 2, 2021 (10:00 to 12:00 noon) – International Women’s Day Program

On this year’s International Women’s Day program, we feature women’s Blues, Rhythm & Blues, Gospel and a bit of Soul. Our playlists week by week are dominated by recordings by men, of songs written by men, produced by men, and issued by companies run by men. The themes of the songs we play reflect men’s point of view most of the time. We try to maintain a balance but ot is difficult given the legacy of recording we work from. Blues as a genre were pretty conservative over the years and the same verses and themes keep manifesting from one generation of songs to the next. Ironically, a lot of the songs that have become associated with male singers were passed on from the classic era of the twenties, the years dominated by women’s recordings, which lasted until 1926 or 1927. Most people recognize the male versions of the songs without recognizing the verses that come from songs by Ida Cox, Alberta Hunter or other classic singers but it’s men’s voices that have been dominant in Blues, R&B and Soul. So, we do this show to in a small way redress the balance.

On the Show:

Cleo Brown – International Sweethearts of Rhythm – Gladys Bentley – Ella Johnson – Alberta Hunter – Louise Johnson – Rita Chiarelli – Mary Lou Williams – Big Mama Thornton – Arizona Dranes – Inez Andrews – Molly Johnson – Jackie Richardson – Big Maybelle – and others.

Listen to the program each week at FM 93.3 in Hamilton or on CFMU online at cfmu.ca. The program will be available to stream or download until for eight weeks until April 27h as a podcast. Just go the website, scroll through 40 shows to Tuesday 10:00 am bring up the right playlist and stream or download the show

Next Week:

Fundraising. Please support CFMU.


April 15, 2014

Blues and Rhythm Show 127 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, April 15, 2014 (1:00-2:30 pm)

This week’s program is about the years preceding the so-called “Blues Revival”. The term was based upon the idea that the blues had been lost and needed to be rediscovered or revived. The Blues Revival was about artists and styles from the past history of the blues. It was about Son House, Bessie Smith, and Bukka White, rather than contemporary stars like B.B. King, Bobby Bland and Junior Parker. Our first idea was to devote a single program to the phenomenon of the Blues Revival but we decided to expand our coverage to include the prehistory of the revival, starting in the 1930s. This week’s program tracks the changes in mainstream attention to and interest in the blues and we conclude that what the Blues Revival really describes is the new and rapidly expanding folk audience’s discovery of music most of America didn’t know anything about. The revival began with interest in the blues of the twenties and thirties and was partly inspired and given impetus by the 78 collector culture and interest in the artists who made the records twenty to forty years earlier. Interest soon extended to classic Chicago blues, music only a decade past at the time. By the end of the sixties, writers like Paul Oliver had begun the task of writing the history of blues in close detail. 

A byproduct of the Blues Revival is the huge amount of research and study that has been devoted to this corner of American musical and cultural history since the sixties. Today’s program tracks the stages in mainstream America’s interest in and exposure to blues from the late 1930s to the late fifties and early sixties.

On the Show:

Leadbelly – Joe Turner – Sonny Terry – Pink Anderson – Furry Lewis – Scrapper Blackwell – Memphis Slim – Alberta Hunter – Dave Van Ronk – Reverend Robert Wilkins

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 May 12th.

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 (April 22nd)

Don’t yet have a plan but we’ll mix things up on next week’s program. Check the blogsite closer to the date.


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