September 9, 2014

Blues and Rhythm Show 146 on 93.3, CFMU-FM (Hamilton, Ontario)

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

Amanda Petrusich recently published a book called Do Not Sell At Any Price: the Wild Obsessive Hunt For the World’s Rarest 78 RPM Records. Much of this book has to do with the search for early blues records. We have a playlist mostly based upon the particular records Petrusich selected to discuss in the book and we key on a few of the issues she raises about the role of 78 collectors in forming our understanding of the blues and making the world aware of early blues styles in the first place. We have a few points of disagreement with the author and some questions about emphasis but the book is an informative and balanced account of where blues 78 collecting began and where it led, although that part of the story in Petrusich’s account seems incomplete to us. In any case, we recommend the book to anyone interested in the story of how we came to appreciate and value a music that was a marginal part of the music industry, widely disrespected, if not ignored completely outside of a small community of followers. At the same time the book also deals with issues of the collector aesthetic that tended to set value on the rare and the obscure and disdained music that was broadly popular.

On the Show:

Clifford Hayes’ Louisville Stompers – Willie Brown – Skip James – Ma Rainey – Charley Patton – Geeshie Wiley – Rev. F. W. McGee – Long Cleve Reed & Papa Harvey Hull (The Down Home Boys) – Kelly Harrell – Amede Ardoin

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 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 (September 16th)

We have absolutely no idea at this point.


The extra track which closed the program was by Jerron Paxton, not “Jerred” as we stated on air. He sometimes calls himself “Blind Boy” Paxton. The track we played came from an album called The Best of the Brooklyn Folk Festival, issued by Jalopy Records in 2014. We’re not aware of any other recordings besides the pair of live performances on this album.


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