September 28, 2014

Blues and Rhythm Show 148 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)


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

Last week’s program began as what was intended to be a representative survey of rhythm & blues from the beginning to about the mid-fifties. The i.d. “rhythm & blues” has been misapplied over the decades and we’re sure there are people who aren’t sure exactly what we are referring to when we use the term. The idea was for last week’s program to let the playlist describe the scope of classic rhythm & blues. “Rhythm & Blues” is first an industry term, used for marketing purposes, but it aptly captures the phenomenon of blues music blended with elements of jazz. Of course, it was used as a blanket term to describe all the records on the African-American charts, formerly known as “race” or, later, as “sepia”. The best-seller chart was known for a while as the Harlem Hit Parade. Thus the term embraced popular jazz records, down-home blues and popular ballads sold to African Americans, as documented by the industry publication, Billboard Magazine. The term was invented by Jerry Wexler while he was a writer for Billboard and applied retroactively to records issued in the post-World war 2 era and to a few records issued in the war years.

When we assembled the program, we wound up taking a different track from the one we had started with. We wound up concentrating on the early years of R&B, starting with a few records from the war era and proceeding barely into 1947. We’ll resume this survey with next week’s program, taking us further into the R&B era.

On the Show:

Lucky Millinder & His Orchestra – Cecil Gant – Erskine Hawkins – Joe Turner – Gatemouth Moore – Helen Humes – Roy Milton – Wynonie Harris – Julia Lee – Amos Milburn

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 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 (September 30th)

We continue into the late 1940s with our R&B survey.


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