sweartotellthetruth

February 23, 2016

Blues and Rhythm Show 218 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, February 23rd (1:00 to 2:30pm)

Moving about between themes this week. We have some Soul, some Gospel, R&B from Maxwell Davis as performer, producer and band-leader, Delta blues, 1930s jug band music, and a couple of items from the Blues Revival.

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Next week, our one and only annual fundraising program. We hope that you’ll tune in and help CFMU and The Blues & Rhythm Show the one time in the year that we appeal to our listeners for support. If you’re not in the Hamilton area and you stream the program from the CFMU website, it’s very easy to make a contribution. Just go to Promotions and follow the simple instructions.

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On the Show

Chris Kenner – Maxwell Davis Swingtet – Patti Anne – Roosevelt Sykes live – Son House & friends – Jack Kelly’s South Memphis Jug Band – Walter “Wolfman” Washington – Willie Walker – Radio Four – Edna Gallmon Cooke – and others

Listen to the program at FM 93.3 in Hamilton or on CFMU online at cfmu.msumcmaster.ca. The program will be available to stream or as a podcast until March 21st.

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 (March 1st)

CFMU’s Fundraising Week is coming up! Our fundraising program will be nest Tuesday–March 1st.

cmc

 

December 1, 2015

Blues and Rhythm Show 206 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, December 1st, (1:00-2:30 pm).

We began our research for the next program in our blues hits of the fifties series of features but we think we’re going to carry on with that series next week. In the mean time, we came up short last week and didn’t get through our playlist, so this week we’re going to carry on with our informal survey of recent reissues in R&B and blues, beginning with the tracks we had to drop last week, and we’ll bring to air a track or two from what we have decided is our reissue album of the year, the Madame Edna Gallmon Cooke Collection 1949-1962 on the Acrobat label.

Edna Gallmon Cooke was one of the leading gospel soloists  of the fifties and sixties but most of her music has not been available on CD. Ace (UK) has had available an excellent 24 track CD of Madame Cooke’s Nashboro recordings and a few from Republic but this set makes available some of her earlier sides for Deluxe, Regal and Gospel as well as digging deeper into the Nashboro catalogue. You might not want 49 single tracks by any artist but this set could be an exception. Acrobat have a record of issuing great gospel from the “classic” era, including the Texas Gospel series, so-named because it made available recordings from the Peacock label of Houston over nine CDs. (The Acrobat label has also been a source of excellent reissues documenting various classic R&B labels, especially labels from the West Coast.) Acrobat appeared to go out of business a while back but seems to have cheated fate and resumed its activity. 

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We’ve avoided making lists of recommended albums but in each of the last three years we’ve found one outstanding reissue compilation album that fills a particular void. Apart from this years selection, Edna Gallmon Cooke collection, we’ll be featuring tracks from a number of reissue compilations on this week’s show, some of them documenting the output of particular R&B labels from the classic era, others drawing from the host of small indie labels of the fifties and sixties. In this era of digital downloading and streaming, we assume most listeners are not customers for many of the albums we use on the show while other albums are easily researched on the web.  At the same time, we aren’t always up-to-date with new releases. If any of these albums we draw upon this week is intriguing to you, let us know and we’ll provide whatever additional information you may need to find them. 

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Also on this weeks program, some acoustic blues of Mississippi and some more gospel. A lot of little known names on the show this week, once again,  but that doesn’t mean it’s not good music. 

On the Show:

Harold Conner – Annie Williams– Doc Sausage – Sonny Morgan – Ironing Board Sam – Cedell Davis – Edna Gallmon Cooke – Sister Shirley Sydnor – Bobby Long – Clarence Samuels – King Curtis  – a.o.

Listen to the program at FM 93.3 in Hamilton or on CFMU online at cfmu.msumcmaster.ca. The program will be available to stream or as a podcast until December 28th.

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 8th)

We may resume our blues hits of the 1950s feature next week. We’ve done some of the work already..

cmc

November 24, 2015

Blues and Rhythm Show 205 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, November 24th, (1:00-2:30 pm).

We talk a lot –probably too often–on the show about the availability of the music we play on their air. Like most listeners we depend upon what record companies have made available and not on original 78s and 45s. The big companies, the companies that first made recordings or the companies that absorbed the companies who made the original recordings, have at times put out marvelous reissues. Columbia’s Roots ‘n’ Blues Series and RCA’s When the Sun Goes Down series are recent examples. Specialty began issuing a comprehensive series from its catalogue of R&B and gospel and when the label was purchased by Fantasy the series was actually expanded. Similarly, MCA made available a great deal of material when they acquired the Chess catalogue. Not to say that there was not some fair measure idealism in the activity of the researchers and compilers of these series but the big corporations have been motivated by profit and loss. We can recall when a work colleague showed us some correspondence he’sd had with RCA. He complained that he had purchased RCA Bluebird series albums of Benny Goodman and other swing artists on the understanding that these series would be taken to completion and the news that later volumes in the series had been postponed and possibly cancelled he considered to be a betrayal of the implied contract between the customers and the company. As we recall, RCA made a commitment to carry on with the series but we aren’t sure how well they lived up to the commitment. 

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Although the big companies rely more today upon their back catalogues they are not devoting much of their resources to reissues of roots recordings. Companies like Ace/Kent in Britain and Bear Family in Germany have filled part of that void with licensed reissues and they have obtained extraordinary access to some company vaults rescuing unissued originals and alternate takes, orphaned in long unexamined tape and acetate vaults. Ace’s Modern/Kent/RPM series is perhaps the foremost example and Kent has worked with Rick Hall of Fame Studios.  In the U.S., Rhino and Shout have done similar work on a less impressive scale.

Since Folkways issued Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music there have always been unofficial, unlicensed reissues. The early ones relied upon the collections of a tight circle of record collectors. Document’s project to reissue all of pre-war blues and gospel relied upon a pre-digital form of file-sharing and was largely completed, e believe, through the loan of 78s or taped copies. Respected and now revered labels like Yazoo, Blues Classics, Origin and the R&B and gospel labels of Jonas Bernholm were derived from privately owned copies of the old records, 78s and, later, 45s. And new companies deducated to making available later blues, R&B, soul and gospel have steadily pushed back the boundary of unrediscovered music.

With so much material unearthed and repackaged, reissue compilations today are more and more specialized and produced in small batches–as few as a 100 at a time we’ve been told. Whereas the reissues of early blues and gospel came from the catalogues of the few pre-war major labels which had taken over most of their competitors by the end of the thirties, the forties saw the rise of the indie labels, large, small and even smaller.  Reissues we’ve seen in the past year have filled gaps in the larger indie catalogues or taken from an array of small and medium sized label catalogues. 

We don’t have a feature this week but we are drawing from some of the grey-market reissues as well as fr4om a few compilations from larger and well-distributed reissue companies like JSP and Acrobat, both from Britain. We recently got hold of some of the many reissue collections of the past year or so and we’ll be featuring them on the show, starting this week.

Also on the program, a brief mmselection of Allen Toussaint recordings as performer and producer in tribute to the artist who died just two weeks ago.

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On the Show:

Quintet of the Hot Club of France – James P. Johnson – Madonna Martin – Ollie Shepard – Allen Toussaint – The Rubaiyats – Buddy Guy – Byther Smith – Edna Gallmon Cooke – Johnny Adams – Bobby Long – a.o.

Listen to the program at FM 93.3 in Hamilton or on CFMU online at cfmu.msumcmaster.ca. The program will be available to stream or as a podcast until December 21st.

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 1st)

We may resume our blues hits of the 1950s feature next week. We’ll try to pull that together for the nest show.

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

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