sweartotellthetruth

January 20, 2015

Blues and Rhythm Show 165 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, January 20th, (1:00-2:30 pm)

A few weeks ago we undertook to present a feature on field recordings collected by George Mitchell. Mitchell was 17 when he began to seek out bluesmen in Memphis on Christmas break 1961. The following year he began making recordings. The figures he pursued at first were artists who had made recordings in the twenties and thirties. At some point in the sixties Mitchell formed the idea of pursuing performers who hadn’t made records before. There were precedents but not many people were doing it and Mitchell seems to have approached the task with an open mind. No one else recorded female blues guitar players in the sixties.  Much of his search for music was done on his own and apart from his paid employment but in later years he held positions with folklore institutions that tied in well with the work of finding traditional singers and players. As well as recording local performers he arranged appearances for those who were interested in playing for audiences. Most of his activity was in Mississippi and Georgia.

It seems as though George Mitchell was not engaged in debate about the significance of the music he found. He found living music but music that was living in small communities. It was traditional music, distant from the popular music of the day. Some of the practitioners had given it up but they consented to play for him. Some practiced to be ready to record. A few performers he found became known to national and international blues audiences. R.L. Burnside was one. Precious Bryant was another.

We’re playing a small selection of the recordings Mitchell made. The recordings show the creativity of local blues players but also the backward gaze of most of these traditional performers.

On the Show:

Professor Longhair – Corey Lueck & the Smiokewagon Blues Band – Downchild Blues Band – Carolina Chocolate Drops & Joe Thompson – Teddy Williams – Precious Bryant – Cecil Barfield – Robert “Nighthawk” Johnson – Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings – Big Jay McNeely –  and others

Listen to the program at FM 93.3 in Hamilton or on CFMU online at cfmu.msu.mcmaster.ca. The program will be available to stream or as a podcast until February 18th

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 (January 27h)

Not yet determined.

cmc

October 14, 2013

Blues and Rhythm Show 101 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, October 15th, 2013 (1:00-2:30 pm)

This week’s program begins with some blues, including several instrumentals. The second part of the show is devoted to gospel soloists, mostly between 1937 and around 1959.

The 1950s saw the proliferation of outstanding solo gospel singers on recordings and in live performances, singers like Mahalia Jackson, Brother Joe May, Bessie Griffin, Robert Anderson and others. Some of these performers usually recorded without vocal accompaniment; some often recorded with backing singers or choirs; and still others were members of vocal groups like the Caravans or the Roberta Martin Singers that featured the different members of the group as soloists. In fact, we are using the term simply for its convenience to identify gospel figures who have been recognized as solo performers rather more than they have as members of a particular group.

It’s probably because so many gospel acts have been quartets, groups or choirs that the distinction has been made but singers in all styles of gospel have begun their public careers singing solo in church or fronting a choir.

Records by solo gospel singers began not long after the first African-American quartets and groups were recorded, to the mid-1920s, but the emergence of Rosetta Tharpe and Mahalia Jackson in the years after World War II has the appearance of something new.

On the Show:

Downchild Blues Band – Earl Hooker –  Steve Strongman – Jimmy McCracklin – Gospel Soloists – Mahalia jackson – Georgia Peach – Brother joe May – Edna Gallmon Cooke – Alex Bradford

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 November 12th.

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 (October 22nd)

Undetermined as of today. We’ll update.

Errors and Omissions

On last week’s program (BRS 100) we played “New Orleans Hop” by Monte Easter and His Orchestra. We failed to make mention of the fantastic tenor solos by Maxwell Davis, who may appear on more records played on Swear to Tell the Truth than any other artist and was the producer on as many records as he played on.

cmc

August 12, 2013

Blues and Rhythm Show 92 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, August 13th, 2013 (1:00-2:30 pm)

No feature this week, but we do have a couple of rare boogie tracks and a brief set of blues from the thirties. Later in the program, soul from Quinn Ivy’s Broadway Sound Studios of Sheffield, Alabama and a couple of tacks from Memphis. There’ll be some golden era gospel along the way , as well

On the show: 

Joe Turner –  Robert Johnson  –  Big Bill – Rosetta Howard – Downchild Blues Band – Tony Borders –  Bill Brandon – Timmy Thomas – Dixie Hummingbirds – Montreal Jubilation Choir – Booker T. Jones – 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 September 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 (August 20th)

Another general program next week. No feature. We have more loose ends to tie. We have decided to postpone our repeat of the John Lomax Southern Journey feature and reschedule for August 27th, last Tuesday of the summer.

Zydeco

For anyone interested in Zydeco music after our special on Cajun and Zydeco, two weeks ago, there is a pretty comprehensive full-length study of the music by Michael Tisserand–The Kingdom of Zydeco (Avon, 1998).

cmc

 

Blog at WordPress.com.