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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May 24, 2016

Blues and Rhythm Show 228 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

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

Product Details       Product Details        San Diego Blues Jam

This week on the Blues & Rhythm Show, some piano blues from the southwest, white country blues on studio recordings and one from the radio, King label R&B, another track from the new Howard Tate compilation, and something from the new compilation of gospel from the Halo label, plus Sacred Steel.

On the Show:

Howelldevine – Robert Jefferey – Cliff Carlisle – Maddox Brothers & Rose – Ginger St. James & the Grinders – Roy Brown – James Brown –  Howard Tate – Salem Travelers – Campbell Brothers – and others

Product Details                                             Product Details

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 download until June 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 (May 31st)

TBA.

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May 12, 2015

Blues and Rhythm Show 179 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, May 12th, (1:00-2:30 pm)

At the heart of today’s program. a feature on the Specialty label’s gospel catalogue. The first major gospel act to record for Specialty, in 1947, was the Pilgrim Travelers, a quartet from Texas who had recorded for the Library of Congress. The Soul Stirrers joined the label in 1950 and it was the Soul Stirrers with Sam Cooke (after he replaced the group’s original lead, R.H. Harris) who guaranteed the huge attention given to Specialty and its gospel roster, when the larger world discovered African-American gospel and its golden era.

We now know a great deal more about gospel on important labels like King, Savoy, Peacock and Nashboro, and we can appreciate how fine these other catalogues were but there’s no question that Specialty’s gospel catalogue was exceptional. Our feature will be a representation of the best-known acts on the label and a few lesser-known acts.

On the Show:

HowellDevine – Muddy Waters – Steve Strongman – Soul Stirrers – Original Gospel Harmonettes – Chosen Gospel Singers – Pilgrim Travelers – Princess Stewart – Rev. Charlie Jackson – Ruby Andrews

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 9th.

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 (May 12th)

TBA.

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July 22, 2014

Blues and Rhythm Show 139 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, July 22nd (1:00-2:30 pm)

This week’s program started as something else but we wound up with a program devoted to blues from the West Coast, including records from Oakland, Los Angeles, and one from Fresno. These recordings from the post-World War 2 era, beginning in 1945 and extending well into the album era, to 1989. The Coast, and L.A. in particular, was the source of much of the R&B that filled jukeboxes and radio airwaves in the forties and fifties but migration from all over the south produced a demand for downhome versions of blues.

On the Show:

HowellDevine – Lowell Fulson – Mercy Dee Walton – Lafayette Thomas – Don “Sugarcane” Harris – Ace Holder – Al King – Big Mama Thornton – Sonny Rhodes – Tony Mathews – King Louis Narcisse

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 August 17th.

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 (July 29th)

B.B. King special is planned.

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November 25, 2013

Blues and Rhythm Show 107 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, November 26th, 2013 (1:00-2:30 pm)

When we were considering how this week’s program might take shape, we had several albums in mind to start from. One of these was a recent Arhoolie CD called Jumps Boogies & Wobbles on Arhoolie by HowellDevine. It turns out that this is the first new “blues” CD Arhoolie has issued in twenty five years. We’d never have guessed that was the case but it appears that it’s true. Arhoolie has repackaged much of its blues catalogue on CD and added to the original LP playlists material from the sessions that didn’t make it to LP, but Chris Strachwitz’ label hasn’t been recording new blues for years. This revelation inspired us to devote most of this program to the Arhoolie label. The occasion of the HowellDevine album seemed like a good time to take a look at one of the great traditional and roots music labels.

Arhoolie Records has been active in its 50-plus years documenting blues, old time and bluegrass music, cajun and zydeco, Mexican and norteno, and, in recent years, indigenous music from various countries in the world. We can’t go too far into the Arhoolie catalogue in a single program and we’ll be looking mostly at the blues Arhoolie recorded and most of that from the label’s first decade. From the documentation of earlier blues styles, Chris Strachwitz moved to urban electric music from Chicago, Texas, and the West Coast. Arhoolie captured a good deal of essential blues music in the early years (as well as reissuing older recordings from 78s and 45s on  Blues Classics and Arhoolie compilations) but Strachwitz may have judged that it was safe to leave the blues field to others and concentrate his label’s resources on other forms of traditional music. In the mean time, Arhoolie’s blues catalogue remains essential listening, and much, if not most, of it is available on CD, while Arhoolie has also held on to and kept available diminishing stocks of many of its LPs.

On the Show:

HowellDevine – Blind James Campbell – Big Joe Williams – Sam Chatmon  – Elizabeth Cotten – Johnny Young – Bee Houston – Sonny Treadway – and others

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 December 24th.

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 3rd)

Undetermined as of today. We might devote the program to our long-threatened survey of Nashville blues, R&B and soul. We’ll update in this space.

Errors and Omissions

We mixed up a couple of CDs when we were preparing last week’s program (BRS 106). We intended to play a jubilee style piece, the Deep River Boys’ “Im Tramping”, from 1945, off disc A of one 4 CD set but the CD in the case was disc A from another 4 CD set and the track we played was the obscure Silvertone Quintet’s “Stand By Me”, from 1958. We couldn’t identify the track properly on the air.

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