sweartotellthetruth

June 2, 2015

Blues and Rhythm Show 182 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, June 2nd, (1:00-2:30 pm)

We follow a few different themes on this week’s program. Prompted by the first interview in Steve Cushing’s recent book, Pioneers of the Blues Revival, we decided to devote some space to interviews of bluesmen and blueswomen conducted by Paul Oliver in 1960. Oliver wrote the first real study of blues, published as Blues Fell This Morning, in 1959. The two months he spent in July and August of 1960 might be considered to be the first systematic primary research project devoted to blues, although Alan Lomax’ song hunting for the Library of Congress and his privately funded Southern Journey of 1959-60 captured many blues performances along with old time country and bluegrass.

Also on the program, Los Angeles R&B from John Dolphin’s record labels. Elmore James, acoustic blues and North Carolina fiddler Joe Thompson

On the Show:

Elmore James – Linda Hayes – Peppermint Harris – Brother John Sellers – Stump Johnson – The Vaudevillian – Precious Bryant – Ruby Andrews – Frazey Ford

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 Jun 30th.

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 (June 9th)

TBA

cmc

January 6, 2015

Blues and Rhythm Show 163 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, January 6th, (1:00-2:30 pm)

Not so long ago we read a book by Amanda Petrusich called Do Not Sell at Any Price, about the culture of 78 collecting and small and weird world of serious collectors. That book shed light on the history of 78 collectors, especially collectors of race and country 78s,  but probably didn’t go far enough back in time, since collecting appears to have begun almost with the appearance of the first commercial records.

There was another story embedded in Petrusich’s narrative and that was the story of reissues of vintage race and country music beginning with Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music (1952) and that part of the book caused us to reflect again on the nature of vintage music reissues in the 21st century, after Europe’s Document Records had pretty well completed the reissue of blues and gospel records from the pre-World War 2 era and Old Time country has been systematically reissued by different labels. Once everything has been made available compilers or producers of reissues have to find new criteria for selection and presentation.

There are still less thoroughly exposed and researched areas of vintage music to discover and repackage–78s from Africa, South East Asia and Central Europe have been the subject of recent reissue projects, as well as ethnic musics of the U.S, but we still see new compilations of blues, gospel and Old Time country, such as a recent set repackaging field recordings from Parchman Farm Penitentiary, with an accompanying hard bound book. Some collections have been organized thematically, such as People Take Warning from Tompkins Square, presenting songs of disaster or Baby, How Can it Be: Songs of Love Lust and Contempt from Dust to Digital. With everything more or less available, these collections seek to provide music with context. Sometimes they are said to be “curated” rather than simply edited, compiled or produced.

On this week’s program, we take a look at the first Dust to Digital release–the collection of old time spiritual and gospel music, called Goodbye Babylon, issued in 2003. This segment of pre- and post-war traditional music was a perfect slice of Americana for a reissue project of 6 CDs and this set is satisfactory in almost every way, with a generous booklet that contextualizes the music very well without being over-ambitious.

On the Show:

Willie Lofton – Dave Van Ronk – Midnighters – Dinwiddie Colored Quartet – A.A. Gray and Seven Foot Dilly – Elder Curry – Alfred G. Karnes – Maddox Brothers & Rose – Jimmy Hughes – Frazey Ford – 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 4th

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 13th)

We have some different material lined up for broadcast. Next week will likely be a magazine-survey kind of show. We haven’t planned in detail.

cmc

December 9, 2014

Blues and Rhythm Show 159 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, December 9th, (1:00-2:30 pm)

Part of the show will be devoted to a feature on Classic-Vaudeville Blues of the 1920s. The artists we chosen are not the performers whose names are usually cited when we talk about this music. A quick survey suggested there may have been 200 or more singers who performed this style of blues. Some were basically vaudeville performers who had little feel for the blues. Some, and they were probably a minority among those who made records, were well-experienced in singing blues. On both sides, the singers had performed on the vaudeville stage in theatres or in travelling shows, where the programs took place under a tent. By the end of the twenties, a different kind of singer was emerging, women who had sung in barrelhouses and saloons. Meanwhile, the Theatre Owners’ Booking Association (T.O.B.A.) circuit that was the livelihood of the theatre singers was a victim of the economic decline that gripped the American economy and the record companies, responding to the decline in consumer purchasing power, and to some extent to the competition from radio, wound down their activity, after reaching an early peak in 1925 and 1926. The singers in our feature were not major recording artists. Arguably, some of them should have been but recorded performance was not as important in the twenties for establishing one’s name or promoting one’s appearances as it would be later in the century. It’s possible that some artists were simply not interested enough in making records. Apart from that, bad timing, not being close to the major recording centers, life circumstance, or simply being on the wrong label meant that these performers were not recorded more than they were. Whatever the reason for their obscurity as recording artists, we think we have found some excellent blues performances.

Also on the show, the very recently deceased Curley Bridges and soul recordings from the Hi label, several featuring Mabon “Teenie” Hodges.

On the Show:

Lester Williams – Peetie Wheatstraw – Frank Motley with Curley Bridges – Frazey Ford – Dorothy Dodd – Edmonia Henderson – Hattie McDaniel – Bertha Idaho – Ora Alexander – Ann Peebles – 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 January 7th.

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 16th)

On the last show before our Christmas special we’ll mix things up, maybe focus on a few significant CD releases from the past year. We’re not certain at this point.

cmc

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