January 20, 2014

Blues and Rhythm Show 115 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, January 21, 2014 (1:00-2:30 pm)

One major and one minor theme on this week’s program. Major theme is a feature devoted to Robert Nighthawk, a legendary figure who recorded in four different decades but should be better known and recognized for his achievement. Nighthawk reportedly never stayed long in Chicago but and because he spent so much time in the south he may have missed opportunities for larger success as a recording artist. Through radio, he was a recognized figure in the Delta and live recordings from the sixties show what a fine and versatile performer he was. Had he lived longer someone surely would have explored his large and diverse repertoire in studio recordings. His commercial recordings from the forties and fifties provide only a partial picture of his abilities. Although Peter Guralnick’s novel, Nighthawk Blues, is said to be based upon the life of Big Joe Williams, the title seems to invoke the sense of romance and mystery around the figure of Robert McCollum, who adopted his mother’s surname, McCoy, after being involved in a shooting, and later changed it to Nighthawk from his best known early record, “Prowling Night-Hawk”. 

We’re also going to play a few tracks from the Stax label and some related material on this week’s program–instigated by Robert Gordon’s recently published study of Stax, Respect Yourself, which we’ve begun reading. 

On the Show:

Rufus Thomas – Ruby Johnson – Stax Records, Little Richard – Bill Doggett – Rita Chiarelli – Robert Nighthawk – Dixie Nightingales – 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 February 17th.

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 28th)

We plan to put on a program of railroading songs soon but we aren’t sure how much preparation it will take. Next week’s program will likely be more eclectic.



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