April 15, 2014

Blues and Rhythm Show 127 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, April 15, 2014 (1:00-2:30 pm)

This week’s program is about the years preceding the so-called “Blues Revival”. The term was based upon the idea that the blues had been lost and needed to be rediscovered or revived. The Blues Revival was about artists and styles from the past history of the blues. It was about Son House, Bessie Smith, and Bukka White, rather than contemporary stars like B.B. King, Bobby Bland and Junior Parker. Our first idea was to devote a single program to the phenomenon of the Blues Revival but we decided to expand our coverage to include the prehistory of the revival, starting in the 1930s. This week’s program tracks the changes in mainstream attention to and interest in the blues and we conclude that what the Blues Revival really describes is the new and rapidly expanding folk audience’s discovery of music most of America didn’t know anything about. The revival began with interest in the blues of the twenties and thirties and was partly inspired and given impetus by the 78 collector culture and interest in the artists who made the records twenty to forty years earlier. Interest soon extended to classic Chicago blues, music only a decade past at the time. By the end of the sixties, writers like Paul Oliver had begun the task of writing the history of blues in close detail. 

A byproduct of the Blues Revival is the huge amount of research and study that has been devoted to this corner of American musical and cultural history since the sixties. Today’s program tracks the stages in mainstream America’s interest in and exposure to blues from the late 1930s to the late fifties and early sixties.

On the Show:

Leadbelly – Joe Turner – Sonny Terry – Pink Anderson – Furry Lewis – Scrapper Blackwell – Memphis Slim – Alberta Hunter – Dave Van Ronk – Reverend Robert Wilkins

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 May 12th.

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 22nd)

Don’t yet have a plan but we’ll mix things up on next week’s program. Check the blogsite closer to the date.


March 30, 2013

Blues and Rhythm Hour 73 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Program for Tuesday, April 2, 2013 (1:00-2:30 pm)

A full-length special on Gotham Records of Philadelphia. Gotham Records was a medium-sized independent label that was founded on jazz and R&B. Big enough and well-enough financed to acquire titles from smaller labels but without the distribution clout, in the end, of King, Savoy, or even Atlantic, which was a later arrival on the scene. Nonetheless, Gotham assembled an interesting catalogue of jazz, R&B, and, especially gospel. Our special will deal with the artists recorded by Gotham, rather than the masters acquired from Miltone or from Joe Von Battle in Detroit.

We’ve done features on Savoy, King and Atlantic. Those labels had rosters better known to us today and in their time. Gotham had great artists and its share of hit records. Just as importantly, it represented a fascinating segment of the music being played in the clubs, theatres and churches of the day and brought to record sounds we we wouldn’t have available to us today had Gotham never existed.

 On the show: 

Jimmy Preston – Earl Bostic – Dorothy Donegan – Tarheel Slim – Sonny Terry – The Dixieaires – Thelma Cooper – Frank Motley – Tiny Grimes – Edna Gallmon Cooke – Harmonizing Four

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 April 29th.



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