sweartotellthetruth

October 13, 2019

Blues and Rhythm Show 260 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, October 8th (10:00 to 12:00 noon)

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Feature on this week’s program is a long one covering the Victor label’s blues and country catalogues in the early years. Victor did not enter the roots field when many other labels did but hire the leading figure in race and hillbilly music, Ralph Peer, when he left the OKeh label. Beginning in 1926, Victor quickly became one of the big three labels in the roots field. Early success included the famous Bristol Sessions of 1927 where the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers made their recording debuts on Victor. Aside from any commercial success, Peer and Victor arranged some historically famous sessions, including the Tommy Johnson-Ishman Bracey 1928 session in Memphis. As with everyone in the industry, the Depression and its effect on record sales put the program Peer ran into question but by 1934 Victor had established its budget Bluebird line and continued to record and sell blues and country records.

Our feature covers the years 1927 to 1935. To put together the feature we drew from three generations of RCA Victor reissues–the Vintage series of LPs issued between 1964 and 1972, the Bluebird CDs of the early 1990s and the excellent series of CDs When the Sun Goes Down produced by Colin Escott from the early 2000s. Obviously, what’s important is the quality of music contained by these albums and they were very good collections. It’s unlikely that we will see similar reissue programs today beyond special releases like the American Epic set but much of what we played this week is still obtainable.

Also on the program, a few recordings reflecting the growing awareness of Chicago blues from the Blues Revival era–from Storyville, Prestige and Vanguard–and a bit of Hi label Soul.

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On the Show:

Otis Spann –  Billy Boy Arnold – James Cotton – Elmore James – Big Sugar – Dinwiddie Colored Quartet – Jim & Andrew Baxter – Jim Jackson – Cannon’s Jug Stompers – Allen Brothers – Lone Star Cowboys – Daddy Stovepipe & Mississippi Sarah – Ann Peebles Johnson – Al Green – and others

Listen to the program each week at FM 93.3 in Hamilton, live on Cogeco Cable 288 or on CFMU online at the CFMU website. The program will be available to stream or download until December 2nd. CFMU podcasts now available for 8 weeks. Just go the website, bring up the playlist and stream or download the show.

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

TBA

cmc

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December 8, 2015

Blues and Rhythm Show 207 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, December 8th, (1:00-2:30 pm).

This week, we carry on with our survey of blues hits from the R&B charts of the 1950s. We left off our first installment in this series, somewhere in 1954.  In this week’s program we resume our survey of 1954 and move to the year 1955. 1955 was the year that rock and roll emerged as a full-fledged cultural phenomenon, a development that would have a large impact upon blues and R&B. 1955, however, was a year in which there were a significant number of blues hit records within the R&B charts. What we can observe is that down home blues records largely disappeared from the charts  in 1953 and ’54 and what remained, with some notable exceptions, was the electric blues of Chicago, the “urban” blues style of Memphis and Houston, and, from the Coast, the former Memphis Blues Boy,  B.B. King’s recordings. Of course, this is partly a matter of definitions. Was Johnny “Guitar” Watson a figure in blues or R&B? We place him on the R&B side, as we do Earl King, who, for a time, filled engagements for Guitar Slim, whom we have placed in the blues category. We think most people would agree that the artists we will be featuring are “blues” artists. Some may quibble with some of the exclusions.

Product Details                                                            ARTHUR GUNTER - BLUES AFTER HOURS  (BLUE HORIZON LP)                           

Whatever else it meant, rock and roll ushered in a new era of youth-oriented music for a youthful audience. Blues and R&B were adult-oriented and came to be seen as something from the past by the new youth audience. But we think there were larger cultural forces at work at the same time. 1954 was the year of the Brown versus Board of Education decision, the legal case that is said to have paved the way to integration and certainly was a catalyst and inspiration for the Civil Rights movement Blues continued to appeal to a segment of the adult population but to an ever smaller demographic.  The rise of Soul music also pushed blues further to the margin in the sixties. There’s a longer argument to be made but we won’t make it tonight.

J.B. Lenoir

Whatever the future of blues in 1955, blues continued to have a strong appeal in the cities of the Midwest, and in the South and blues records could still occasionally attain the upper reaches of the R&B charts. 

On the Show:

Guitar Slim – Howlin’ Wolf– B.B. King – Lowell Fulson – Arthur Gunter – Billy Boy Arnold – Little Junior Parker – Louis Brooks and the Hi-Toppers – J.B. Lenoir– Little George Smith – Little Walter – 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 January 4th

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 (December 15th)

TBA

cmc

 

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