sweartotellthetruth

July 15, 2020

Blues and Rhythm Show 284 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, July 14, 2020 (10:00 to 12:00 noon)

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On our fifth show from exile in North Hamilton, a varied program, including classic R&B from Nashville (1946-1952) following up on a brief feature we did three weeks ago featuring later Nashville R&B and Soul.  Then, a couple of Hawiian steel guitar recordings from the late twenties, leading into a few recordings from Bob Wills’ great 1936  band.

Western Swing came from the rural southwest. It was based upon local  blues and string-band music but also upon the African-American jazz and blues of New Orleans, Chicago and Kansas City.  Wills’ Texas Playboys employed a horn section as well as the fiddles, steel guitar and piano that characterized most Western Swing bands. The band was never closer to the blues and jazz originals it was founded upon than in 1936. Beside the obvious debt to recent and contemporary African-American music, Western Swing was also heir, like most country music, to the complicated and conflicting tradition of minstrel song, “coon-shouting” and blackface performances. Bob Wills’ singing was influenced most by Emmett Miller the last of the minstrel men.

We also take a look at Leroy Carr, with his partner Scrapper Blackwell, probably the most influential figure in the blues of the 1930s and we play some examples of his followers in the blues. Near the end of the program, some 1960s and 1970s gospel, including tracks from a record man and producer in Savannah, Georgia.

“Gonna turn off this gas stove. I’m bound for a brand new range”–Leroy Carr

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On the Show:

Helen Humes – Rudy Greene Trio – Christine Kittrell – Sam Ku West – Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys – Emmett Miller & His Georgia Crackers – Harrison Kennedy – Johnny Jones – Argo Singers – Golden Stars of Greenwood SC – Jubilee Nightingales – Otis Spann – and others.

Listen to the program each week at FM 93.3 in Hamilton, live on Cogeco Cable 288 or on CFMU online at cfmu.ca. The program will be available to stream or download until for eight weeks until September 24th as a podcast. Just go the website, bring up the right 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.

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November 4, 2014

Blues and Rhythm Show 154 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, November 4th, (1:00-2:30 pm)

Last December we presented a special on Nashville Rhythm & Blues, Gospel and Soul recordings. This week we take a close look at Nashville R&B between 1946 and 1955. Nashville was like a lot of U.S. cities in that it produced and supported a local rhythm & blues scene. It was different because it also developed a local independent  record industry and this several years before the city became Music City, U.S.A. and the establishment of recording studios by major labels. The local blues and R&B scene drew from the surrounding region, both from Tennessee and Kentucky, especially, but also, like Memphis, it attracted some musicians who came from Mississippi, and some came from other southern states. Although there was little documentation, Nashville was supposed to be a strong city for African-American jazz in the thirties and forties, so it’s not difficult to imagine the development of an an indigenous  R&B musical community. What we know suggests that the live R&B in the city was richer and more diverse than what we are able to hear on record because so many recordings were made using the same session musicians over and over.  This would tend to be true even in a major recording center like New York but more pronounced in a smaller place like Nashville where the same small group  of musicians could appear on most sessions. The local labels, especially the Bullet label, did not restrict their recording to the local scene. Bullet recorded such acts as Wynonie Harris and the Big Three Trio and it bought masters from places like Detroit or Dallas. Our feature special will stick mostly to artists who were based in Nashville, whether they were natives of the city or resident there for a year or two.

Few of the artists in our special are well-known names but you wonder if some of them might have been had they been recording somewhere other than Nashville. The fact that gifted performers made only one, two or three singles may have something to do with the size and distribution reach of the labels that recorded them. All things considered, Nashville produced some great rhythm & blues. As with any edition of this program, this one involved research and it was a learning experience for us. Much, if not most, of the information we gleaned came from Martin Hawkins whose research into Nashville R&B was supposed to be published in a book. It was but the book is not available without the Bear Family set Nashville Jumps: A Shot In the Dark. It’s a hard-bound book that serves as the liner notes to accompany the multi-CD set.

On the Show:

Cecil Gant – Sherman Williams – Tom “Shy Guy” Douglas – Don Q. Pullen – Tucker Coles – Billie McAllister – Christine Kittrell – Gay Crosse – Kid King – Louis Brooks – Good Rockin’ Sam

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 December 3rd.

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 (November 11th)

No special theme next week but a lot of good blues, R&B, gospel and soul.

cmc

December 3, 2013

Blues and Rhythm Show 108 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013 (1:00-2:30 pm)

We’re very late posting this. This week’s program is a 90 minute feature on R&B and Soul music in Nashville. Nashville had a thriving R&B scene and developed its own local record industry. That Nashville became Music City, not just the historic home of the Opry but the center of the multi-miliion dollar country music industry, doesn’t seem to have meant a lot to the independent labels producing R&B and soul. They lasted as long as did independent labels in other places in the U.S. Meanwhile Nashville maintained its own distinct African American music scene and the record companies had a well of local talent from which to draw. Other components of the local music scene in Nashville were the record mail-order businesses operated by Randy Wood and Ernie Young, powerful radio stations, especially WLAC, and the “sound alike” recording companies who provided work for performers who could closely approximate the sound of hit recordings.

The local record companies recording R&B didn’t produce a lot of national R&B hits and even fewer crossover hits, but there appears to have been sales enough to sustain a number of labels, though many were short-lived. By the sixties, the local labels were attracting talent from around the South but our feature will mostly concentrate on Nashville performers on Nashville labels. We’ll play recordings from 1946 to, at least, 1969. Our intention was to carry our survey as far as the R&B revival in Nashville that took place in 1990s, but we decided that was a bridge too far.

On the Show:

Johnny Jones – Nashville Washboard Band – Radio Four – Sherman Williams  – Christine Kittrell – Rudy Greene – Larry Birdsong – Roscoe Shelton – Lucille Mathis – 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 December 31st.

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 10th)

We don’t have a plan. No special feature next week. It will be a mixed bag.

cmc

 

November 11, 2013

Blues and Rhythm Show 105 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 (1:00-2:30 pm)

No special focus this week. Bit of string band music, piano blues, soul and R&B. LIve Etta James and O.V.Wright. Music from a couple of recent CDs from Southern Ontario. 

Downchild – Wynonie Harris – Christine Kittrell – Arthur McClain & Joe Evans  – Big Maceo – Willie Williams with the Howlin’ Wolf Band – O.V. Wright – Harrison Kennedy – and many 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 December 10th.

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 (November 19th)

Not sure what we’re doing but possibly some gospel quartet.

cmc

 

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