April 13, 2015

Blues and Rhythm Show 176 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, April 14th, (1:00-2:30 pm)

Today the terms “Blues” and “Soul” are often combined in a phrase and no one blinks. Blues and Soul shows. Soul and Blues festivals. There was a time when soul music was the enemy for come-lately fans of blues. Blues were authentic and organic; Soul was the inauthentic progeny of commerce. Even B.B. King and Bobby Bland were condemned in some quarters as betrayers of the real blues tradition. How far away that all seems. Meanwhile, performers like James Cotton and Junior Wells were adapting their repertoires and songlists, and others, like Little Milton and Syl Johnson became known as soul artists even though they’d begun singing and playing blues.

Besides electric versions of down-home blues, Chicago was also home to R&B combos and vocal groups. And it was the base for important gospel acts although many of the labels that recorded gospel were located in New York or on the Coast.

All of the strands of Chicago’s African American music were reflected somewhere in the development of soul music in Chicago. The music was quite diverse. Those who grew up in the south, like Otis Clay, Lee Williams, and Syl Johnson, tended to draw more upon on the blues or hard gospel. Vocal groups that formed in the Chicago high schools, like the Impressions, favoured cooler sounds.

Chicago had its own soul labels, artists, songwriters, producers and arrangers. Soul music from Chicago could be identified by its distinct vocal harmonies, brass arrangements, and rhythm, distinct from Stax or Muscle Shoals, or from Motown.

We were working on a new playlist for this week’s show but we got busy and when we looked back at an earlier playlist from 30 months ago we decided we’d rework and repeat that particular show. We’ll present the new program in the coming weeks.

On the Show:

Willie Henderson – Moonglows – Impressions – Bobby Miller – Etta James – Knight Brothers – Gene Chandler – Laura Lee – Lee “Shot” Williams – Barbara Acklin – Otis Clay – and many others

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 May 11th.

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 (April 21st)

TBA. Watch this space.


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