November 12, 2019

Blues and Rhythm Show 263 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, October 29th (10:00 to 12:00 noon

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Featured this week on the program a selection of R&B from Los Angeles recorded in the years 1944 to 1957. Blues singers sang about the lure of California from here and there in the 1930s but a wave of migration gave the coast a growing African-American population augmented by the wartime economy and the attraction of wartimes jobs fabricating armaments and wartime materials. A vibrant club scene supported local music and a host of independent labels competing to record local musical talent helped make Los Angeles and the coast a destination for musicians. Most of those labels were short-lived but a few important indies, including Modern, Aladdin and Specialty, emerged to become national players, while Exclusive and Swing Time developed impressive catalogues bvut couldn’t negotiate the transition from 78 to 45 rpm.

Our feature includes a number of talented performers important in their time but without easily recognizable names today.

Also on the program, the Staple Singers, blues from a couple of early country string groups, Leroy CarrMiss Angel and Steve Strongman.

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Othe Show:

Wid Bill Moore –  Austin McCoy – Gene Phillips – Clara Smith – Howlin’ Wolf – Leroy Carr – Duke Henderson – Helen Andrews with Johnny Creach Trio – Great Gates – Sherman Booker – Rockin’ Highliners – Hill Billies – Ken Whiteley – Staple Singers and others

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 31st. 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

Bluebird label Blues


September 30, 2014

Blues and Rhythm Show 149 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

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

This week we continue our survey of rhythm and blues, begun last week, through the years 1947 and 1948. Commercial recording was interrupted by the second American Federation of Musicians strike, the second so-called “Petrillo Ban”, which lasted most of 1948. For that reason, most of what was released by the record companies in 1948 was recorded in late 1947 and stockpiled for later release. 1947 saw the emergence of new down-home blues performers, including Muddy Waters, Smokey Hogg and Lightnin’ Hopkins on independent labels as Columbia and Victor carried on with limited blues recording based in Chicago and diminishing rosters. That’s not our focus on this week’s show. Mostly, the record companies continue to concentrate their resources upon the new urban-based music, “jump” R&B combos, with musicians versed in playing jazz and  that’s the music that we are featuring in this three-week series of programs.

On the Show:

Todd Rhodes & His Orchestra – Albert Ammons – Hadda Brooks – Gene Phillips – Nellie Lutcher – Bull Moose Jackson – Jimmy Witherspoon – Wild Bill Moore – Louis Jordan = Roy Milton – Dixieaires

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 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 (October 7th)

Our survey of R&B continues through the music’s great year, 1949.

Errors and Omissions

Two weeks ago we played a version of the song “Today I Started Loving Your Again” by Bettye Swann. We anoounced that it was a George Jones song.  Of course, it was not.It was written by Merle Haggard.



September 30, 2013

Blues and Rhythm Show 99 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

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

R&B vocal groups are mostly to be found in the Soul Discography rather than the Blues Discography (both available from Eyeball Productions of Vancouver) but they’re probably better understood in relation to the blues tradition than soul, which is really a phenomenon of the sixties. African-American vocal group music covered a wide spectrum of styles from the forties onward. There were groups who sang mostly popular songs, groups that straddled the worlds of gospel and R&B and groups rooted in the blues. In the 1940s, a number of groups brought the excitement and fervour of the church to secular material even before Roy Brown or Ray Charles. We’re not going to try to closely document the evolution of R&B vocal groups this week but we’ll present a brief survey of the blues side of vocal group sounds. The great blues writer Paul Oliver once wrote that blues were not suited to vocal group treatments. We think that he came to this conclusion because his definition of blues was too narrow.

Also on the program a very brief look at the early days of Modern Records of Los Angeles. It will be a prelude to a special feature on the Modern label we plan to bring to air some time in the next few months. From Hadda Brooks to Roy Hawkins to B.B. King to Etta James, Modern was among the handful of great and enduring labels in blues and R&B.  

On the Show:

Hadda Brooks Trio – Gene Phillips –  Amos Garrett – Mississippi John Hurt – Big Three Trio – Ravens – Midnighters – Richard Berry – John Ellison – Ike & Tina Turner

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 29th.

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 8th)

Our 100th show.

Upcoming programs

It’s a new season and we’re working on some rough ideas for programming themes for The Blues & Rhythm Show in the coming months. We’ll list some of them on this blogsite soon–but not this week. 



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