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


July 14, 2013

Blues and Rhythm Show 88 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, July 16th, 2013 (1:00-2:30 pm)

This week’s program is a gap-filler featuring blues and soul. We’re going to round out our Victor special from last week, take a brief look at the alleged antecedents of hip-hop in blues & hokum of the twenties and thirties. We’ve also got  a few historic soul recordings lined up and variety of local recordings, including a couple of Canadian slide masters.

On the show: 

Frankie “Half-Pint” Jaxon  –  Rufus & Ben Quillian  –  Chick Willis – Ellen McIlwaine – Richard Newell – James Carr – Big Maybelle – Candi Staton – Ken Whiteley – 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 August 13th.

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 23rd)

Not sure what we will be doing on next week’s show. We will present our Louisiana Music special on July 30th and we intend to present a repeat of the Alan Lomax Southern Journey special for August 6th.

Notes on  the Victor Special – July 9th

With YouTube and with downloads cheaper than albums, a lot of people don’t buy CDs any more. We only pursue downloads as a last resort. We like to have the physical album with liner notes and recording information. Anyone interested in the history of blues on the Victor label and its Bluebird logo, should check out the series called When the Sun Goes Down, subtitled, The Secret History of Rock and Roll, produced by Barry Feldman and Colin Escott.

Volume 1 and 2 of this series are the albums that include the pre-Bluebird era (1926-1931)

Volume 1: Walk Right In

Volume 2: The First Time I Met the Blues

Another album in the series covers Blind Willie McTell’s Victor output. It’s Volume 9: Statesboro Blues.

Three other albums from RCA’s earlier RCA Heritage Series from the early nineties also include early Victor material.

Four Women Blues: the Victor recordings of Memphis Minnie, Mississippi Mathilda, Kansas City Kitty and Miss Rosie Mae Moore – excellent Memphis Minnie sides

Canned Heat Blues: Masters of the Delta Blues  – Furry Lewis, Tommy Johnson, Ishman Bracey

Better Boot That Thing: Great Women Blues Singers of the Twenties – Alberta Hunter, Bessie Tucker, Victoria Spivey, Ida May Mack

All of the albums in the When the Sun Goes Down and RCA Heritage Series are worthwhile. The albums listed  appear to be available today as CDs. It’s hard to say how long they will remain available or if any similar compilations will be issued in the future, now that Sony and BMG, which owned RCA, have merged. Most pre-World War 2 blues recordings are available on Document and other reissue labels. It would be nice to see the historic rights holders continue to honour the Victor blues catalogue but we have no idea if that will happen.



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