September 22, 2019

Blues and Rhythm Show 257 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, September 17th (10:00 to 12:00 noon)

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The term “R&B” is still used today to describe “urban” or African-American style music that is not hiphop. Just our opinion but it seems unfortunate that no more accurate term has been applied to this current field of music.

The term “rhythm & blues” was introduced in 1949 by Billboard Magazine to categorize what previously was categorized as “race music”. Jerry Wexler has been credited with advocating the new term. “Rhythm & Blues” thus began to be used as a term for marketing and merchandising music but it would soon applied more specifically to the music that emerged around the time of the Second World War and appeared to  be a hybrid of jazz and blues.

It’s in that sense that we apply the term on The Blues & Rhythm Show and we also talk about “classic” rhythm & blues” by which we mean music that began to form at the end of the 1930s and remained broadly popular until roughly 1954 when rock and roll entered the scene in a major way while social and economic change and, importantly,  changing aspirations, began to have an impact upon blues culture.

This week a survey of what we call Classic Rhythm & Blues spanning the years 1941 to 1955. Stars of the R&B era as well as less prominent performers are included in the mix. Also, a selection of retro performances of music from the classic R&B era.

On the Show:

Earl Jackson – Buddy Johnson & His Orchestra – Bull Moose Jackson – Mabel Smith – Rubberlegs Williams – Roomful of Blues – Shakura S’Aida – Johnny Nocturne Band – Roy Milton – Percy Mayfield – Dinah Washington – Charles Brown – Johnny Ace & Big Mama Thornton – 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 November 12th. CFMU podcasts now available for 8 weeks. Just go the website, bring up the playlist and stream or download the show.

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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

Stars of classic R&B


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May 4, 2013

Blues and Rhythm Show 78 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, May 7, 2013 (1:00-2:30 pm)

The concept of our Louis Jordan feature evolved as we put together the program. This week’s show will be a bit unusual for the Blues and Rhythm Hour because we will be playing some jazz and African-American pop recordings to give context to Louis’ own career trajectory.

Louis Jordan was the most important figure in classic rhythm & blues and dominated the race or sepia charts for a significant period of time. If you read the histories of the blues, or watch documentaries, r&b is often treated like an interesting detour from the real blues. We see it differently. Rhythm & Blues looks to us like the next stage in blues’ evolution and the phase in which blues reached the largest audience and had the greatest influence within African-American society. We regard Louis Jordan as a very important figure in the history of the blues.

In preparation for this program, we’ve reread portions of John Chilton’s biography of Louis Jordan Let the Good Times Roll. It’s worth the time of anyone interested in Louis Jordan and the music of his era.

On the show: 

A lot of Louis Jordan – Henry “Red” Allen – Ebony Three – Hot Lips Page

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 June 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.

Last week (April 30th)

We hope some of you heard and enjoyed our program last week, with the feature on blues recorded between 1926 and 1931. The lives of many of the great blues figures of the era are largely undocumented, including two of the greatest figures, Blind Lemon Jefferson and Blind Blake. There’s simply an absence of detail about their lives. If the lives that made the blues are of interest to you, two of the figures we played in our feature have been the subjects of well-researched and well-written biographies. Paul and Amy Garon wrote a biography of Memphis Minnie, called Woman with a Guitar. The book is fascinating on several levels. We were quite sceptical of a book called Hand Me My Traveling Shoes: In Search of Blind Willie McTell by Michael Gray. He had written about Bob Dylan and Frank Zappa. His book on McTell turned out to be much more insightful and revelatory than we guessed and it’s a compelling read.

The  CFMU app, will be available for iTunes, Android and Blackberry, we understand. Still no date.



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