sweartotellthetruth

June 28, 2016

Blues and Rhythm Show 233 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

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

Product Details        Product Details        Product Details

In the late 1990s the Charly label issued three CDs devoted to “Rare Soul” on the One-derful!, M-Pac and Mar-V-Lus labels. These CD compilations made available much of the catalogues of an important African-American owned and operated company in Chicago between 1962 and 1967 on well-researched and documented compilations. More recently, in 2012, Charly distilled the three compilations, which had gone out of print, into one double-CD set with 30-odd fewer tracks and a few additions. We made use of the Charly collections and other scattered resources to play music  from One-derful!, M-Pac and Mar-V-Lus on the air. One could hope that another company might dig further into the label’s history and its tape archives to fill out the picture but it seemed unlikely that would happen in the current state of the record industry.

In fact, that is just what happened as the Secret Stash label of Minneapolis embarked on a reissue program documenting not just the three labels in the Charly series but the other labels operated by the Leaners–the Halo gospel label and the Midas and Toddlin’ Town labels, as well.  What distinguishes the new series, called the One-derful! Collection, is the depth of research and extensive liner notes, on the lines of the Stax singles boxes and Numero’s Syl Johnson box. The cooperation of the Leaner family and many of the musicians and singers associated with the company made it possible to fill out the details of the labels’ histories. It was known that there were unissued recordings in the vaults but access to the United Record Distribution warehouse and tape archives turned up previously unknown and undocumented recordings by the Leaners’ artists.

George and Ernie Leaner’s company specialized in the Chicago equivalent of Southern deep Soul but didn’t feature that style exclusively. Like other great independent labels, the company’s offices and studios provided a laboratory for experimentation and rehearsal and somewhere that some of the musicians chose to be day after day. It seems that the record company was well-funded. Ernie and George Leaner operated United Record Distribution for a decade before they ventured into record making. Producers had a relatively free hand to try out artists and musical ideas but George Leaner is supposed to have had a strong interest in blues and he received his own training in the business from Chicago’s blues record boss, Lester Melrose.

Our feature will  be based upon the One-derful!, M-Pac and Mar-V-Lus catalogues, including several of the previously unknown tracks turned up in the Secret Stash researches. Also on the program, contemporary, ’60s, blues and gospel.

Product Details         Product Details         Product Details

On the Show:

Lonnie Brooks – Sonny Boy Williamson II– Willie Mabon – Johnny Sayles – Cicero Blake – Ringleaders – Liz Lands – Josephine Taylor – Donald “Preacher” Gay – Otis Clay

Listen to the program at FM 93.3 in Hamilton or on CFMU online at cfmu.msumcmaster.ca. The program will be available to stream or download until July 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 (July 5th)

Next week, we are off. The station will air a repeat.

cmc.

Product Details

January 19, 2016

Blues and Rhythm Show 213 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, January 19th (1:00 to 2:30pm)

No theme this week but we have some Soul music out of Memphis and other locations, including tracks by Otis Clay that didn’t fit into last week’s tribute feature. Also, some gospel and a bit of music with a Buffalo connection.

Product Details                                                                          Product Details

We sample the latest album by Willie Walker who continues to surprise with his ability to keep it fresh with albums of new material and inspired covers into his seventies. The new album follows on the series of albums with Minneapolis’ Butanes and Curtis Obeda.  The new album shows no creative decline from  the previous albums made with the Butanes.      

Product Details                                          Product Details

We also  have a few more blues tracks from Austria’s Wolf label and a live recording by one-time star of the chicago clubs, Ricky Allen.

On the Show:

Dyke & the Blazers – Benny McCain & the Ohio Untouchables – Eddie C. Campbell – Son Thomas – Fairfield Four – Knowles & Jackson Sextet – Otis Clay – Janet & the Jays – Willie Walker – Ricky Allen – a.o.

Listen to the program at FM 93.3 in Hamilton or on CFMU online at cfmu.msumcmaster.ca. The program will be available to stream or as a podcast until February 15th.

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.

Errors, Omissions and Updates

We secod guessed ourself on the date of Otis Clay’s hit for Hi Records, “Trying to Live My Life Without You”. It entered the charts in November, 1972. Peaked at number 24 in the Billboard Soul/R&B charts.

Next week (January 26th)

TBA

cmc

January 12, 2016

Blues and Rhythm Show 212 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, January 12th (1:00 to 2:30pm)

We were putting together our playlist for this week when we checked Facebook and found a post from Harrison Kennedy concerning Otis Clay. He died on Friday at the age of 73. Otis Clay was a great if largely unrecognized figure in Soul music. He was also one of those people who created and maintained his own place in the music industry after some initial success as a recording artist who reached the national R&B charts several times over 12 years.  Otis Clay was an excellent live performer and he was a professional in the way he conducted himself. We know these things because we witnessed his live show at different times, and with different bands accompanying him, and because we once had the opportunity to interview him for radio.  We’ve put together a show that includes a feature tribute to Otis Clay. We couldn’t locate one track we’d have liked to play and we’re leaving out his most recent recordings which we’ve drawn from on some recent shows. Overall, we think it’s a fair representation of his career. 

Product Details                                Product Details                              Product Details

In later years, it was material produced by Willie Mitchell from Hi Records where Otis Clay recorded between 1972 and 1974 and again in 1977, that stood out in his set lists. He didn’t feature his earlier recordings, except 1968’s “Hard-Working Woman” which became a kind of signature song. He’d perform “A Nickel and a Nail”, which O.V. Wright recorded with Willie Mitchell for Back Beat but not so much  his own records on One-derful, unless memory deceives us.  We’re going to skip the Hi material this week (including his best-known single) for the most part but we’ll work some into future shows. Otis told people he preferred to sing gospel more than anything else and we’re including a bit of his gospel side.

Product Details                             Product Details                            

Other things on the program include a couple of Memphis barrelhouse piano players,  a bit of Chicago blues from the Wolf label and a couple of Canadian prairie blues figures.

Image result for otis clay pictures

On the Show:

Otis Clay – Booker T. Laury – Hubert Sumlin – Little Miss Higgins – Colin Linden – Gospel Songbirds – and others

Listen to the program at FM 93.3 in Hamilton or on CFMU online at cfmu.msumcmaster.ca. The program will be available to stream or as a podcast until February 8th.

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 (January 19th)

TBA

 

cmc

 

June 9, 2015

Blues and Rhythm Show 183 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, June 9th, (1:00-2:30 pm)

This week, the promised followup special covering Chicago Soul. We cover a period extending from 1961 to 1975 but most of the recordings are from the sixties. Soul music combined elements of gospel, R&B, blues and, especially in the south, country music. In Chicago, the blues element was more pronounced and singers like Tyrone Davis, Syl Johnson and Lee “Shot” Williams were performing blues before they became known as soul artists. If you doubt that the transition was meaningful, think about Syl Johnson’s initial response when he was asked to perform and record blues again. He thought that he and his music were being dissed by the new blues community. Of course, “soul”, like “blues”, was a marketing concept as much as it effectively defined a genre of music.”Soul” describes music whose characteristics are at least as diffuse as blues.

We’re short of time. Let’s conclude by saying there was a lot of blues in Chicago soul music.

On the Show:

Young Holt Trio – Syl Johnson – Jerry Butler – Ricky Allen – Gerri Taylor – Harold Burrage – Lee “Shot” Williams – Mamie Galore – Otis Clay – Tyrone Davis

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 July 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 (June 16th)

Juneteenth

cmc

April 22, 2015

Blues and Rhythm Show 177 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario) – REPEAT

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, April 21st, (1:00-2:30 pm)

Chicago Soul special: Long story. We had in mind to take this week off but last week’s show went off the rails because we left some material for the show at home. We also had a malfunctioning audio pot on our on-air board although it was repaired during the program. Anyway, we decided to repeat last week’s program but as it was planned, so this week’s program is a repeat of last week’s, albeit with the complete playlist and a working audio board.

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 18th.

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 28th)

TBA.

cmc

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.

cmc

March 3, 2015

Blues and Rhythm Show 170 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, March 3rd, (1:00-2:30 pm) – Fundraiser 2015

This is Fundraising Week. CFMU needs your financial support to help see us through another year. A successful fundraising drive secures the station and its programming for the coming year.  It also makes the difference between effective equipment maintenance and upgrades rather than deferring work to an indefinite future date. If you listen to this show or other CFMU programs via the web, you can easily donate to the station by clicking on the 2015 Fundraiser box on the CFMU homepage and clicking the donate button on the Fundraiser page. If you live in Hamilton, make a $30.00 donation and you will receive a Friends of CFMU Card which entitles you to savings, special offers and bonuses for select businesses, including the Art Gallery, cafes, stores, and services. Check the CFMU website to see a list of participating businesses.

On the Show:

Trenier Twins – Esquerita – Cleo Gibson – Polk Miller’s Old South Quartette – John Lee Hooker – Morgan Davis  – Bobo Jenkins – Sister Jessie Mae Renfro – Big Dan & the Gospel Heavyweights – Otis Clay – Ruby Johnson – and 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 March 30th.

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 (March 10th)

Our March 10th show will be devoted to our annual International Women’s Day Special.

cmc

March 5, 2014

Blues and Rhythm Show 121 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, March 4, 2014 (1:00-2:30 pm)

BRS 121 is already in the books. We did not find time to preview the show on this site before going to air. Of course, this week is CFMU’s fundraising week–just one week in the year. So this week’s program is devoted to CFMU’s Raise Your Voice 2014 campaign. On the program for our fundraising special, blues, R&B, gospel and soul in 90 minutes. Some big records and some rare  and obscure tracks.

If you happen to be outside of the Hamilton area and listen to the program online, you’re part of our listening audience and we would welcome your pledge. The same technology that makes this program available across the web, makes your contribution to CFMU, 93.3’s fundraising campaign simple and convenient. Just go to cfmu.mcmaster.ca, look for the Promotions bar on the station’s webpage and make your contribution via Paypal. 

On the Show:

Sam Price Sextet – Sonny Boy Williamson II – Henry Thomas – Magic Sam – Blenders – Tiny Bradshaw – Georgia Peach – Antioch Female Singers – Bertha Robinson – Dee and Don – Otis Clay – 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 March 31st

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 (March11th)

March 8th is International Women’s Day. IWD is our excuse for programming a show entirely devoted to women’s blues, R&B, gospel and soul. The first African-American singers to record blues were women but male singers dominated the record label catalogues by the turn of the decade. Opportunities for women in blues, R&B and soul were limited from the thirties on, even through the soul era in the sixties and seventies. The imbalance is reflected in our playlists on Swear to Tell the Truth each week. We like to present an all-women show at least once in the year. Unfortunately, International Women’s Day clashes with CFMU fundraising each March, so we’re presenting this year’s IWD special three days after March 8th.

 cmc

April 15, 2013

Blues and Rhythm Show 75 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

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

We mentioned a feature on Hi Records for this week and, as we prepared the program, that feature became the entire show.  We’re going to look at the Hi label over the company’s twenty-two year history from its early days representing Memphis rockabilly and R&B instrumentals to its emergence as an important source of southern soul music and its tenure as one of the last bastions of the style. Under Willie Mitchell’s direction, Hi came to develop a unique variant of southern soul, rooted in Memphis rhythm & blues. Contrary to the suggestion you’ll encounter in some commentaries, Hi managed to struggle through the disco era and lasted almost to the arrival of rap.

We’ll survey the better part of Hi’s twenty-two year history. We can’t cover every significant record, trend or artist in 90 minutes but we can fill in any significant gaps with future segments

On the show: 

Willie Mitchell – Bill Black Combo – Big Lucky Carter –  O.V. Wright – Ann Peebles – Al Green – Syl Johnson – Erma Coffee – and others

Listen to the program at FM 93.3 in Hamilton or on CFMU online at cfmu.msumcmaster.ca. The program will be available to stream or as a podcast until May 13th.

We are advised that the station is working towards the introduction of a CFMU app, which make it possible to listen to this and other CFMU programs on a smartphone.

“Clog Dance”

A note about the track that opened last week’s program “Clog Dance” or “Stomping Blues” by Champion Jack Dupree, from 1944. We mentioned that the Dupree’s piano playing seemed to approximate the style on records by Arizona Dranes, but, like us, you may have wondered about the percussion, especially in light of the song’s two titles. It could have been someone, even Dupree himself, stomping on a board, or, what sounds more likely, someone beating on a box or some other object. We don’t know but we meant to say something about it last week. 

cmc

 

Blog at WordPress.com.