August 5, 2014

Blues and Rhythm Show 141 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, August 5th (1:00-2:30 pm)

We play a pretty broad variety of blues and blues artists on this program but a hurried survey told us we hadn’t played a number of significant blues artists from Chicago in not quite three years on the air. We decided to devote one of our midsummer specials to correcting the situation so far as we could in 90 minutes. Blues recordings began to disappear from the R&B charts in the late fifties. In Chicago, a number of clubs closed and blues performers retired or took on full-time employment. For all the disruption that occurred in the club scene and to the lives of individual performers, blues continued to be a source of entertainment in Chicago. It retained an audience in south and west side clubs and a new audience helped support blues in places it might not have been heard before. Some performers not only met the challenge of soul music but made elements of soul part of their style. Our special will feature a selection of blues performers from the 1970s and ’80s. We’ll try to present a fairly representative selection of the blues styles that could be heard in Chicago in this twenty years span, featuring music mostly from blues specialist labels.

On the Show:

Hound Dog Taylor – Willie Williams – Mighty Joe Young – Good Rockin’ Charles – Luther Allison – Big Time Sarah – Artie “Blues Boy” White – Gloria Hardiman

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 September 2nd.

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 (August 12th)

We don’t know for sure but we’re think we’re going to take our attention down south next week.


September 23, 2013

Blues and Rhythm Show 98 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, September 24th, 2013 (1:00-2:30 pm)

Most of this program will feature music emanating from . Not that we planned a special on Chicago. It just worked out that way.

Chicago was home to a distinctive style of blues in the fifties and beyond. Mention Chicago blues and people have an idea of what you are talking about. After World War 2, independent record companies sprang up in Chicago to exploit local talent and markets. Miracle, Aristocrat-Chess, Parkway, Chance, VeeJay, United/States, USA were among the labels recording blues and gospel in the city. This evolution of local labels and studios supporting local music continued through the sixties with the rise of soul music and Chicago represented its distinctive soul styles on both locally based and on national labels. OKeh and Brunswick each operated from Chicago offices for a period of time. In the end, both blues and soul were eclipsed by disco and, later, hip-hop but not before the labels that recorded and marketed the music disappeared one by one or were the object of corporate takeovers, like GRT Corporation’s purchase of Chess and the move of Chess company headquarters to Los Angeles. 

All of the above is background to the music which was created by waves of African-American migrants to Chicago as well as and in combination with native born Chicagoans like Billy Boy Arnold. And even after the labels folded or were bought out, artists like Syl johnson and Tyrone Davis continued to perform for local audiences while new generations of performers have emerged to carry on and renew the blues and soul traditions of the city in a changing demographic. As national trends shifted away from blues and soul, Chicago still had the critical mass of support to sustain some kind of local scene.

Included on the program, once more, will be three of the headliners of the Blues Explosion show, scheduled for this coming Friday, September 27th, at Hamilton Place.

On the Show:

L.C. McKinley – Howlin’ Wolf –  Mighty Joe Young – Johnny B. Moore – Ricky Allen – Erma Franklin – Lucy Smith – Staple Singers – Norfleet Brothers – 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 October 22nd.

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 (October 1st)

We don’t have a plan yet for next week’s show. We might include some R&B vocal groups.

Upcoming programs

It’s a new season and we’re working on some rough ideas for programming themes for The Blues & Rhythm Show in the coming months. We’ll list some of them on this blogsite soon.



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