sweartotellthetruth

September 28, 2019

Blues and Rhythm Show 258 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, September 24th (10:00 to 12:00 noon)

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We wanted to do a show on pre-war blues from Columbia Records’s extensive catalogue. In our preparation we did some research on the evolution of the Columbia label and its various subsidiary labels and how Columbia represented blues in its catalogue. What we discovered is that we had not appreciated at all how complicated that history was.

To make things easier, we decided to rely upon Columbia Legacy reissues in putting this feature together but we were distracted throughout our preparation by the recognition that many of the records we chose to play were bot recorded by Columbia but by companies Columbia acquired.

Columbia recorded some of the early stars of blues, including Bessie Smith and Clara Smith. It then ran into financial difficulty in the middle of the twenties, difficulties that could have prevented the label from purchasing the new electrical recording system developed by Bell Laboratories. It’s been argued suggested that it was Bessie Smith’s recordings that kept the company going.  Columbia’s English branch came to the rescue by taking over the American company in order to obtain the new system which it could not purchase on its own as a foreign-based company. An immediate benefit for Columbia was that the owners of Okeh Records, the pioneering race and hillbilly label, determined that theycould not afford to buy Bell’s technology and the label and its catalogue were sold to Columbia.

We won’t detail all the transactions that took place as Columbia established itself as an industry leader. Suffice it to say that Columbia took a serious hit in the early Depression years and was acquired by the Brunswick Record Company in 1934. That company thereby strengthened its own position having already been merged with the American Record Company but in 1938 Columbia Broadcasting took a major position in the industry buying out the Brunswick-ARC conglomerate from Consolidated Film Industries.

Columbia has done a great job representing the catalogue it assumed after 1938 and added to since but it remains the case that much of what the label has represented as Columbia product, including Leroy Carr, Peetie Wheatstraw, Robert Johnson and much more was recorded by companies Columbia bought out rather than by Columbia itself.

Our feature includes recordings made between 1927 and 1941. Also on the program, a couple of samples from newly resissued compilations from the Swingtime label, newly released Bobby Radcliff and a new album from Third Man documenting the 1969 Ann Arbor Blues Festival.

On the Show:

Earl Brown & His Band – J.B. Hutto & the Hawks – Helen Humes – Buddy Moss – Lucille Bogan – Peetie Wheatstraw – Buddy Woods & His Wampus Cats – Big Bill – Champion Jack Dupree – Carolina Buddies – Jack de Keyzer – Bobby Radcliff – Lavelle White – and others

Listen to the program each week at FM 93.3 in Hamilton, live on Cogeco Cable 288 or on CFMU online at the CFMU website. The program will be available to stream or download until November 19th. CFMU podcasts now available for 8 weeks. Just go the website, bring up the playlist and stream or download the show.

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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

Stars of classic R&B

cmc

October 28, 2014

Blues and Rhythm Show 153 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, October 28th, (1:00-2:30 pm)

Mostly blues and a couple of gospel sides on today’s show. We have a brief set of early 1950s Chicago blues, including a number of recordings involving Sunnyland Slim.  Also, we take short look at the “44 Blues” theme and its popularizer, if not its originator, Little Brother Montgomery. We take a last brief look at the first Hammer Bluesfest, scheduled for November 1st and we take a slight bow towards Halloween.

On the Show:

Little Junior Parker – Bill Westcott – Butch Cage & Willie Thomas – Five Jones Boys – Jack de Keyzer – Robert “Junior” Lockwood – J.B. Lenoir – Sunnyland Slim – Katie Bell Nubin – 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 November 26th.

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 (November 4th)

Just tentative but we are thinking about presenting a second feature about Nashville R&B.

cmc

December 23, 2013

Blues and Rhythm Show 110 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, December 17th, 2013 (1:00-2:30 pm)

As well as this week’s program, we’ve been working on our Christmas show, which will air Christmas Eve. This week, in the feature portion of the show, we’re looking at Mississippi guitar Blues recorded between 1927 and 1930. Most of the musicians in our survey were born and lived in the Mississippi Delta region and all of the artists came to have some connection with the Delta region and delta blues. The question it occrs to us to ask is whether  “Delta blues” can be said to refer to one single thing, a single style.

On the Show:

Earl Hooker – Amos Milburn – Fathead –  Jack de Keyzer – Mr. Freddie Spruell – William Harris – Charley Patton – Son House – Willie Brown – Long John Baldry

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 January 14th

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 24th)

Our annual christmas special

cmc

 

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