July 29, 2014

Blues and Rhythm Show 140 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, July 29th (1:00-2:30 pm)

Considering his place in blues history, we’ve played relatively little B.B. King over 139 shows. A listener suggested we put a B.B. King feature or special on the air and we thought it was high time that we did that. Whenever we concentrate our attention on a particular artist or theme we find ourselves going back to music we’ve overlooked, forgotten or misremembered and our research turns up information we’d forgotten or never knew about in the first place. In the case of B.B. King, we read the man’s autobiography for the first time, a book co-authored with David Ritz. In the book, King recalls the criticism he and Bobby Bland encountered from new white blues fans during the so-called blues revival. His music and Bland’s was condemned as commercial and a sell-out by people whose point of entry to blues was the folk movement. In time, the folk purism dissipated and British commentators, as well as some British musicians, had a lot to do with the inevitable reassessment of B.’s music and his place in the blues tradition. Still, King recalled the period before that happened as a time when his music was being rejected by both its traditional audience, now engaged by soul music, and the new audience who saw it as a betrayal of a tradition they barely knew about. Today, B.B. King enjoys almost universal and largely uncritical celebration. His dedication to studying his craft and improving his technique appear to have been lifelong commitments, as attested to by former members of his bands. As a DJ and a student of his own tradition he has developed a broad awareness of blues before and after B.B. King and not just blues. B’s musical interest is pretty wide-ranging.

Our feature deals with the period of greatness when B.B. King and his audience were in the same place and B. was extending the horizon and taking the audience with him.

On the Show:

B.B. King – Blind Lemon Jefferson – Roy Brown – Doctor Clayton – and others

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 August 24th.

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 (August 5th)

No feature has been planned as yet but we may present some kind of mid-summer down-home blues special


April 28, 2013

Blues and Rhythm Show 77 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, April 30, 2013 (1:00-2:30 pm)

The feature will be a selection of blues artists of the 1920s. Emphasis on guitars rather than pianos. (We avoid using the misleading term “country blues”.) We’ll be playing tracks recorded between 1926 and 1931. A surprising number of the artists who recorded in this time period never recorded afterwards and the recording industry of the 1930s was much different from the industry of the previous decade.

While the record companies could create a studio sound about the classic and vaudeville singers who made records in the twenties, blues and country records by southern artists on stringed instruments in the late 1920s had less of the studio and the songwriters’s hand in them. What came out on record was more exactly what the performers brought with them. This began to change significantly in the 1930s with the shift to combo sounds and, sometimes, studio groups who backed different artists from one session to another.

On the show: 

Blind Lemon – Jaybird Coleman – Peg Leg Howell & His Gang –  Sleepy John Estes – The Two Poor Boys – Katie Webster – Spade Cooley – Original Sloth Band – Jackie Shane & Frank Motley – and others, of course.

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 27th.

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 (May 7th)

Our feature on Louis Jordan, tracking the full extent of his career as a recording artist. Louis Jordan can justly be called the father of Rhythm & Blues and the dominant figure of R&B’s classic era. He influenced many artists in the blues field not just as a musician and singer but as a performer.

Still waiting to hear about the soon to be available CFMU app, which will allow people to listen to CFMU programs on mobile devices.



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