September 3, 2019

Blues and Rhythm Show 255 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, September 3rd (10:00 to 12:00 noon)

After four out of five weeks absence from the studio we’re back with a new show. 

image.png    image.png  image.png

We have a program devoted mostly to music from Chicago or influenced by Chicago blues. Main feature is a segment devoted to Chicago Blues from the years 1947 to 1960, with recordings made for small Chicago indie labels but also for Columbia and Chess. We can draw from recent box sets devoted to Chicago blues from Boulevard Varese and Wienerworld. 

Commentators have always wrestled with how to describe post-war blues style as distinguished from rhythm & blues since writers for Billboard and Cashbox developed their own shorthand in the 1940s for capsule reviews of new releases. Reissuers today appear to have settled upon the term “Down Home”. We don’t think it’s an exact fit but it emphasizes the continuity in style and themes between pre- and post-war blues as opposed to R&B. Blues in the large and mid-size cities of the midwest and west coast reflected an experience that was different from what performers and their migrant audience had lived in the south but singers didn’t abandon the older themes and their songs were still partly addressed to a southern audience. Singers in Chicago sang about life in Chicago but were still singing about Mississippi and Arkansas to former and present southerners.

On the show, we also have some later performances of Chicago blues standards on the bill and a few gospel sides from Chicago. Along the way, we also have a couple of sides from the country corner and a brief look at the music the Ace/Kent Record labels of England are selling as New Breed R&B and blues.

On the Show:

Hound Dog Taylor – Howell/Devine – Dirty Red – Memphis Minnie – Homesick James – Chuck Berry – Eddie Boyd  – Earl Wright – Stephen Berry Band – Harpdog Brown – Bobby Radcliff – Cool Papa Jarvis – Mary Love – Staple Singers – Norfleet Brothers – 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 October 29th. 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

Detroit Special




November 11, 2014

Blues and Rhythm Show 155 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, November 11th, (1:00-2:30 pm)

As we began working on this weeks show, it dawned on us that we were broadcasting on Remembrance Day and we decided that we should pursue a theme that links to November 11th, especially as the date is so much in the news this year after the recent murder of the soldier in Quebec and the shooting of a reserve soldier at the Cenotaph in Ottawa. What we decided to do this week is to look at some blues and gospel recordings made before, during, and immediately after World War 2 on the conflicts in Europe and Asia and the American experience. It seems incomprehensible now but it is a fact that the American Federation of Musicians were waging a strike for the better part of the war years in the U.S., a ban on recording with instruments that began August 1st, 1942 and lasted until, at various times around 1944, the different record labels settled with the A.F.M. This meant that no blues records were made in the first two years of the U.S. engagement in World War 2. It also happened that shellac was largely unavailable because of the needs of the war industries, so far fewer records would have been pressed in any case. Still, there were records made with wartime themes and we’re looking at those recordings that we do have from the era of the second world war. Not many of the available records deal with the soldier’s experience of war but they do shed light on attitudes towards the war and armed service.

Anyone who is interested in this subject should check out a book by Guido van Rijn called Roosevelt’s Blues: African-American Blues and Gospel Songs on FDR, which reminded us of some songs we might have missed from our survey. As with many topics in blues song, there are several clusters of song to do with the war in which the themes and lyrics of songs are very similar, even versions of the same song. We’ve tried to avoid a lot of repetition of ideas and lyrics, so far as we were able.

On the Show:

Nat King Cole Trio – Jessie Mae Hemphill – The Florida Kid – Doctor Clayton – Southern Sons – Golden Gate Quartet – Joe Turner – Cousin Joe – Quincette Singers – Chuck Berry

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 18th)

Yet to be determined.


Blog at WordPress.com.