sweartotellthetruth

November 12, 2019

Blues and Rhythm Show 262 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, October 22nd (10:00 to 12:00 noon)

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We took a look at the Sun Blues catalogue, records made at Sun Studios between 1951 and 1957. Recording blues for the Modern-RPM and Chess labels was how Sam Phillips started out before those two labels became embroiled in a dispute over which label  had the right to record Howlin’ Wolf and Rosco Gordon. Phillips had recorded each man for both labels. In the end, Modern-RPM got Rosco Gordon as an exclusive artist and began making records without Phillips studio. Howlin’ Wolf remained with Chess but the arrangement between Chess and Sun Studios became unsatisfactory to both sides while Phillips began to issue records on his own Sun label. With his own label, Phillips was able to record Memphis and Delta blues the way he wanted but not to issue all the records he would have liked to. He recorded much more than he could afford to press and distribute.

After 1954, most of Sun’s resources were committed to selling rockabilly and recording blues slowed dramatically. It needs to be pointed out that this was true throughout the industry. Not that blues records stopped being made altogether but if you look closely at the blues discography you can see how the recording careers of so many figures in blues and R&B ended or slowed dramatically around 1954.

Our feature mixed recordings issued by Sun with unissued songs and alternate takes of issued songs from the Sun vaults. Also on the program, a couple of older Memphis bluesmen recorded by Samuel Charters at Sun Studios, the Old South Quartette, some 1950s Memphis Gospel, Michael Pickett and and something from the latest Bobby Radcliff album.

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Othe Show:

HowellDevine –  Harrison Kennedy – Old South Quartette – Memphis Willie B. – Howlin’ Wolf – Doctor Ross – David “Honeyboy” Edwards – Big Memphis Ma Rainey – Little Junior’s Blue Flames – Mose Vinson – Earl Hooker – Songbirds of the South – Angel Voices – 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 December 17h. 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

Sun Blues

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September 15, 2014

Blues and Rhythm Show 147 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, September 16th, (1:00-2:30 pm)

This will be one of gap-filling programs, a show where we tie up some loose ends arising from some recent programs we have aired. Some gospel, some blues and some soul on the show this week.

We follow up on a thread we mentioned last week in our special on 78 collectors and the records they value most highly. Specifically, we look at the duo of Geeshie Wiley and Elvie Thomas in response to an article published earlier this year by John Jeremiah Sullivan in the New York Times Magazine, an article which sheds considerable light on a pair of artists who have been the subject of much speculation and theorizing. We also fill out the picture of pre-war blues in Alabama from a show three weeks ago with some examples of Birmingham piano.We close the program with a selection of soul recordings, most of them recorded at Fame Studio in Muscle Shoals.

On the Show:

Viola James & congregation – Cat-Iron – Jewel Gospel Trio – Earl Hooker – Elvie Thomas – Barbecue Bob – Jabo Williams – Clarence Carter – Erma Franklin – Candi Staton

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 October 14th.

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 (September 23rd)

No plan as yet, but we will likely feature some R&B.

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December 23, 2013

Blues and Rhythm Show 110 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, December 17th, 2013 (1:00-2:30 pm)

As well as this week’s program, we’ve been working on our Christmas show, which will air Christmas Eve. This week, in the feature portion of the show, we’re looking at Mississippi guitar Blues recorded between 1927 and 1930. Most of the musicians in our survey were born and lived in the Mississippi Delta region and all of the artists came to have some connection with the Delta region and delta blues. The question it occrs to us to ask is whether  “Delta blues” can be said to refer to one single thing, a single style.

On the Show:

Earl Hooker – Amos Milburn – Fathead –  Jack de Keyzer – Mr. Freddie Spruell – William Harris – Charley Patton – Son House – Willie Brown – Long John Baldry

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 January 14th

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 24th)

Our annual christmas special

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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.

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