October 13, 2019

Blues and Rhythm Show 260 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, October 8th (10:00 to 12:00 noon)

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Feature on this week’s program is a long one covering the Victor label’s blues and country catalogues in the early years. Victor did not enter the roots field when many other labels did but hire the leading figure in race and hillbilly music, Ralph Peer, when he left the OKeh label. Beginning in 1926, Victor quickly became one of the big three labels in the roots field. Early success included the famous Bristol Sessions of 1927 where the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers made their recording debuts on Victor. Aside from any commercial success, Peer and Victor arranged some historically famous sessions, including the Tommy Johnson-Ishman Bracey 1928 session in Memphis. As with everyone in the industry, the Depression and its effect on record sales put the program Peer ran into question but by 1934 Victor had established its budget Bluebird line and continued to record and sell blues and country records.

Our feature covers the years 1927 to 1935. To put together the feature we drew from three generations of RCA Victor reissues–the Vintage series of LPs issued between 1964 and 1972, the Bluebird CDs of the early 1990s and the excellent series of CDs When the Sun Goes Down produced by Colin Escott from the early 2000s. Obviously, what’s important is the quality of music contained by these albums and they were very good collections. It’s unlikely that we will see similar reissue programs today beyond special releases like the American Epic set but much of what we played this week is still obtainable.

Also on the program, a few recordings reflecting the growing awareness of Chicago blues from the Blues Revival era–from Storyville, Prestige and Vanguard–and a bit of Hi label Soul.

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On the Show:

Otis Spann –  Billy Boy Arnold – James Cotton – Elmore James – Big Sugar – Dinwiddie Colored Quartet – Jim & Andrew Baxter – Jim Jackson – Cannon’s Jug Stompers – Allen Brothers – Lone Star Cowboys – Daddy Stovepipe & Mississippi Sarah – Ann Peebles Johnson – Al Green – and others

Listen to the program each week at FM 93.3 in Hamilton, live on Cogeco Cable 288 or on CFMU online at the CFMU website. The program will be available to stream or download until December 2nd. 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.

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