October 27, 2013

Blues and Rhythm Show 103 on 93.3 CFMU (Hamilton, Ontario)

Swear to Tell the Truth for Tuesday, October 29th, 2013 (1:00-2:30 pm)

We have not programmed a lot of white country blues week to week. Recently, we took a look at our composite playlist and recognized how little of this music we’d managed to fit into the show. We suggested last week we might do a feature on Western Swing but the feature we have put together would be better characterized as Old Timey, covering the period 1924-1935. White Country Blues serve some of the same functions as blues in the African-American tradition. They serve at times  as ironic commentary, humour, and even social protest. Some singers, like Jimmy Davis, Gene Autry and Cliff Carlisle, specialized, at least part of the time, in “blue” blues. White Country Blues also at times betrayed a fascination with African American music, speech and behaviour. Some white blues amounted to parody of black style, like the minstrel tradition, and, as with the minstrel tradition, some parody appeared to be sympathetic, even, at times, admiring, and some contemptuous and hateful. 

In the set we’ve prepared we haven’t sought out the songs that were topical or salacious. It’s a selection of blues that we hope will illustrate simply that blues was a significant part of Old Time or Hillbilly music, beside the ballads and breakdowns. 

On the Show

Lonnie Johnson – Bukka White – Big Chief Ellis  – Morgan Davis – Uncle Dave Macon – Frank Hutchinson – Dock Boggs – Charlie Poole & the North Carolina Ramblers – Riley Puckett – Holmes Brothers – and many 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 November 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 (November 5th)

Undetermined as of today. We’ll update.

Errors and Omissions

Last week (BRS 102), we played Curtis Jones, but we failed to mention that, like Memphis Slim and Eddie Boyd, Curtis Jones moved to Europe in the 1960s and made records there. He also made a well-received album for Delmark, in Chicago.

We experienced several skips on the CD track we played by Curtis Jones, “Bad Avenue Blues”. The CD players at the station are quite sensitive. We examined the surface of the disc to see a flaw or anything on the surface to cause the problem but couldn’t find the source of the malfunction.



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