Blues Unlimited - The Radio Show

Blues Unlimited - The Radio Show

Australia

Join us as we explore the wonderful world of the Blues, and it's history, heritage, and rich cultural traditions.

Episodes

This Week on Blues Unlimited - Recycling the Blues: The Origins of Classic Blues Songs (Hour 2)  

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If you've ever listened to your favorite blues song and wondered who the original artist was or who did it first, then this program is for you. We've taken a handful of world famous, iconic blues songs and traced their roots back to the "original" versions. From such enduring classics as "Sweet Little Angel" (B.B. King, Tampa Red), to "Cross Cut Saw" (Albert King, Tommy McClennan), "Baby Please Don't Go" (Muddy Waters, Big Joe Williams), and more, join us for an illuminating look at some all-time classic blues songs, and the original versions that inspired them.

Pictured: A classic slice of Muddy Waters, “Turn The Lamp Down Low” is his take on the blues standard, “Baby Please Don’t Go.”

To hear this episode in its original full-fidelity high quality audio, it may be downloaded from Bandcamp at: http://tinyurl.com/yadzulfk

Don't forget to install the PodOmatic Podcast Player app for iOS so you can listen to Sleepy Boy Hawkins wherever you go! Details at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/podomatic/id648258566?mt=8

This Week on Blues Unlimited - Recycling the Blues: The Origins of Classic Blues Songs (Hour 1)  

Hello Friends!

We're just putting the finishing touches on a brand new episode... which we'll have on tap for you next week. In the meantime, here's another overlooked gem from the archives. Enjoy! --SBH

If you've ever listened to your favorite blues song and wondered who the original artist was or who did it first, then this program is for you. We've taken a handful of world famous, iconic blues songs and traced their roots back to the "original" versions. From such enduring classics as "Sweet Little Angel" (B.B. King, Tampa Red), to "Cross Cut Saw" (Albert King, Tommy McClennan), "Baby Please Don't Go" (Muddy Waters, Big Joe Williams), and more, join us for an illuminating look at some all-time classic blues songs, and the original versions that inspired them.

Pictured: A classic slice of Muddy Waters, “Turn The Lamp Down Low” is his take on the blues standard, “Baby Please Don’t Go.”

To hear this episode in its original full-fidelity high quality audio, it may be downloaded from Bandcamp at: http://tinyurl.com/y89ajft5

Don't forget to install the PodOmatic Podcast Player app for iOS so you can listen to Sleepy Boy Hawkins wherever you go! Details at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/podomatic/id648258566?mt=8

Just One More - Crossing Boundaries: The Blues in Country & Western and Rock & Roll  

Every week on Blues Unlimited, we bring you the finest from our favorite musical universe. But there's always a lot more that goes into each episode than we possibly cram into just two hours. Among the hardest tasks we face each and every week — whittling the song selection down to just a few dozen cuts — out of a hundred or more tracks that we take into consideration.

Here's one from this episode that got left on the cutting room floor: “Let Me Play With Your Poodle,” by Hank Penny. Recorded for the King label in Cincinnati, Ohio, 1947.

Also - check out the entire BU archive of over 200 episodes at http://www.prx.org/series/31927-blues-unlimited

This Week on Blues Unlimited - Crossing Boundaries: The Blues in Country & Western and Rock & Roll (Hour 2)  

PLEASE PLEDGE YOUR MONTHLY SUPPORT TO HELP KEEP THIS GOING! A couple bucks a month will make a world of difference! And thanks to all those who have already pledged their support!!! Details at: http://tinyurl.com/gter36s

Decades before Elvis Presley took a page from the song book of Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup and sang the blues on his debut single for the Sun record label in Memphis, many other folks had done that very same thing -- that is, incorporated elements of blues into their repertoire. Starting with the Carter Family and the 'Yodeling Brakeman' Jimmie Rodgers, in this special episode of Blues Unlimited, we explore the boundaries where folk, country, and rock 'n' roll all meet and intersect with one another. And following in the wake of Elvis Presley, wind up squarely in the Blues Revival of the 1960s -- catching a bit of that 'British Fever' along the way from the religious zealotry that inspired some of the best of the British Invasion bands. A fascinating glimpse at the enormous impact the blues has had on American roots music from the 1920s on up.

Pictured: A man who was no stranger to the blues, musical alchemist Bill Haley. Image courtesy of Rex Features/The Telegraph.

To hear this episode in its original full-fidelity high quality audio, it may be downloaded from Bandcamp at: http://tinyurl.com/yd5a9syt

Don't forget to install the PodOmatic Podcast Player app for iOS so you can listen to Sleepy Boy Hawkins wherever you go! Details at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/podomatic/id648258566?mt=8

This Week on Blues Unlimited - Crossing Boundaries: The Blues in Country & Western and Rock & Roll (Hour 1)  

PLEASE PLEDGE YOUR MONTHLY SUPPORT TO HELP KEEP THIS GOING! A couple bucks a month will make a world of difference! And thanks to all those who have already pledged their support!!! Details at: http://tinyurl.com/gter36s

Join us as we cross musical and cultural boundaries to find out where the Blues, Country & Western, and Rock & Roll music all meet and intersect with one another. A fascinating survey tracing the influence of the Blues over the decades — from the Carter Family to Canned Heat.

Pictured: A man who was no stranger to the blues, musical alchemist Bill Haley. Image courtesy of Rex Features/The Telegraph.

To hear this episode in its original full-fidelity high quality audio, it may be downloaded from Bandcamp at: http://tinyurl.com/y8wkf785

Don't forget to install the PodOmatic Podcast Player app for iOS so you can listen to Sleepy Boy Hawkins wherever you go! Details at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/podomatic/id648258566?mt=8

Just One More - The Low Down Gut Bucket Blues  

Every week on Blues Unlimited, we bring you the finest from our favorite musical universe. But there's always a lot more that goes into each episode than we possibly cram into just two hours. Among the hardest tasks we face each and every week — whittling the song selection down to just a few dozen cuts — out of a hundred or more tracks that we take into consideration.

Here's one from this episode that got left on the cutting room floor: “My Woman Has A Black Cat Bone,” by Hop Wilson, recorded for the Ivory label in Houston, 1960.

Also - check out the entire BU archive of over 200 episodes at http://www.prx.org/series/31927-blues-unlimited

This Week on Blues Unlimited - The Low Down Gut Bucket Blues (Hour 2)  

PLEASE PLEDGE YOUR MONTHLY SUPPORT TO HELP KEEP THIS GOING! A couple bucks a month will make a world of difference! And thanks to all those who have already pledged their support!!! Details at: http://tinyurl.com/gter36s

Join us for two hours of our favorite gut bucket blues! We’ll hear low down classics from Lightnin’ Hopkins, Joe Hill Louis, L.C. Green, Elmore James, Calvin Leavy, and many more. It’s the low down gut bucket blues, on this episode of Blues Unlimited.

Pictured: Any program featuring gut bucket blues would be woefully inadequate without representation from Louisiana Swamp Blues master, Lightnin’ Slim. Illustration by William Stout.

To hear this episode COMMERCIAL FREE and in its original full-fidelity high quality audio, it may be downloaded from Bandcamp at: http://tinyurl.com/yb9ftkkn

Don't forget to install the PodOmatic Podcast Player app for iOS so you can listen to Sleepy Boy Hawkins wherever you go! Details at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/podomatic/id648258566?mt=8

This Week on Blues Unlimited - The Low Down Gut Bucket Blues (Hour 1)  

PLEASE PLEDGE YOUR MONTHLY SUPPORT TO HELP KEEP THIS GOING! A couple bucks a month will make a world of difference! And thanks to all those who have already pledged their support!!! Details at: http://tinyurl.com/gter36s

Join us for two hours of our favorite gut bucket blues! We’ll hear low down classics from Lightnin’ Hopkins, Joe Hill Louis, L.C. Green, Elmore James, Calvin Leavy, and many more. It’s the low down gut bucket blues, on this episode of Blues Unlimited.

Pictured: Any program featuring gut bucket blues would be woefully inadequate without representation from Louisiana Swamp Blues master, Lightnin’ Slim. Illustration by William Stout.

To hear this episode in its original full-fidelity high quality audio, it may be downloaded from Bandcamp at: http://tinyurl.com/ycb8ztgy

Don't forget to install the PodOmatic Podcast Player app for iOS so you can listen to Sleepy Boy Hawkins wherever you go! Details at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/podomatic/id648258566?mt=8

This Week on Blues Unlimited - A Conversation With The Blues (Hour 2)  

** NOTE: Listener discretion is advised **

PLEASE PLEDGE YOUR MONTHLY SUPPORT TO HELP KEEP THIS GOING! A couple bucks a month will make a world of difference! And thanks to all those who have already pledged their support!!! Details at: http://tinyurl.com/gter36s

Blues expert Paul Vernon comments on Paul Oliver’s “Conversation With The Blues”:

The whole album is essentially one well-programmed series of music and monologues designed not to understand the history of the Blues as much as it is to understand the meaning of it. It’s tough stuff; there are discussions of sharecropping, violence, drug use, gambling, prostitution, being broke, hungry, homeless, on the road at a young age, playing all night for two bucks etc. All these reminiscences are delivered in a matter of fact tone, devoid of anything but the unadorned, flat-out truth, supported by some occasional laughing to keep from crying; It remains, almost 50 years after its first appearance, the single most valuable lesson of what the Real Blues is actually about. No frills, no egos, no star-kissed string bending heroics, just ordinary folks responding to their circumstances in the best way they could. It is the plain, unvarnished truth; the Real Blues, and it still moves me to tears.

Comments from The Blues Foundation on Alan Lomax’s “Blues In The Mississippi Night”:

When folklorist Alan Lomax recorded Big Bill Broonzy, Memphis Slim, and John Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson in 1947 in New York City, the results were so controversial that he waited a decade to release the album “Blues in the Mississippi Night” and even then disguised the identity of the artists and the location of the session. The three bluesmen — dubbed Natchez, Leroy, and Sib in the original album notes – did more than play the blues on the album; they defined it in candid conversation, relaying such wrenching tales of hardships and racial injustice that, according to Lomax, they feared that a release of the recording might bring reprisals against them. Lomax had worries, too, when his activities came under question, and during the McCarthy era he moved to England. The first incarnation of “Blues in the Mississippi Night” was as a Lomax BBC radio program in 1951. The initial LP release, which included an acapella track by Vera Hall and some prison work songs, was also in England on the Nixa label in 1957. It was finally released in the U.S. by United Artists in 1959, after Lomax had returned home, but not until the blues artists had all passed away were their real names revealed on expanded CD versions by Rykodisc (1990) and Rounder (2003). Despite the album’s title and subtitle (“The Real Story of the Blues Sung and Told by Three Mississippi Delta Blues Men”), the prisoners from the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman were the only performers on the album who were actually from Mississippi. -- The Blues Foundation (taken from: http://blues.org/blues_hof_inductee/blues-mississippi-night-nixa-1957-united-artists-1959/ )

To hear this episode in its original full-fidelity high quality audio, it may be downloaded from Bandcamp at: http://tinyurl.com/y8frnx8e

Don't forget to install the PodOmatic Podcast Player app for iOS so you can listen to Sleepy Boy Hawkins wherever you go! Details at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/podomatic/id648258566?mt=8

This Week on Blues Unlimited - A Conversation With The Blues (Hour 1)  

Hey folks!

We’ve just wrapped a brand new episode for you (coming next week!). In the meantime, this is one we like to dust off and pull out of the archives from time to time — and as our nation celebrates its independence the day this is being posted, seems appropriate to do so once again. Please see the full description in Hour 2 for some special guest commentary on the importance of each of the historic LPs that are being spotlighted on this program — which, we might add, are being presented in their original, uncut, unedited form. Although we have mixed feelings about having to say this, we must caution that listener discretion is advised.

Join us for a special program featuring two legendary albums. The first, a "Conversation With The Blues," was recorded by Paul Oliver during the summer of 1960. The second, "Blues In The Mississippi Night," is a haunting documentary recorded by Alan Lomax in 1947. A conversation with the Blues — on this episode of Blues Unlimited.

To hear this episode in its original full-fidelity high quality audio, it may be downloaded from Bandcamp at: http://tinyurl.com/yaw48fz8

PLEASE PLEDGE YOUR MONTHLY SUPPORT TO HELP KEEP THIS GOING! A couple bucks a month will make a world of difference! And thanks to all those who have already pledged their support!!! Details at: http://tinyurl.com/gter36s

Don't forget to install the PodOmatic Podcast Player app for iOS so you can listen to Sleepy Boy Hawkins wherever you go! Details at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/podomatic/id648258566?mt=8

Just One More - Blues and R&B from Shreveport, Louisiana  

Welcome to our brand-new "semi-regular" feature!

Every week on Blues Unlimited, we bring you the finest from our favorite musical universe. But there's always a lot more that goes into each episode than we possibly cram into just two hours. Among the hardest tasks we face each and every week — whittling the song selection down to just a few dozen cuts — out of a hundred or more tracks that we take into consideration.

Here's one from this episode that got left on the cutting room floor: "Hollywood Boogie" by Country Jim Bledsoe, recorded for the Specialty label in Shreveport, 1951 or 1952.

Also - check out the entire BU archive of over 200 episodes at http://www.prx.org/series/31927-blues-unlimited

This Week on Blues Unlimited - Blues and R&B from Shreveport, Louisiana (Hour 2)  

PLEASE PLEDGE YOUR MONTHLY SUPPORT TO HELP KEEP THIS GOING! A couple bucks a month will make a world of difference! And thanks to all those who have already pledged their support!!! Details at: http://tinyurl.com/gter36s

Located in the northwest corner of Louisiana, Shreveport has had a thriving music scene for many decades. From such blues icons as Jesse Thomas and Oscar "Buddy" Woods (of the two of them, only Thomas would make records after World War II) — to such legendary rockers as Dale Hawkins, whose big hit "Susie Q" was cut "after hours" at local radio station KWKH, Shreveport has a lot about which it can be rightfully proud. On this episode of Blues Unlimited, we focus on two of the movers and shakers in the music business in Shreveport — Mira Smith, who started up a handful of labels, including Ram, Clif, and Jo (among others) and Stan Lewis, who operated Shreveport's all-important record distributorship for many years, and finally (at the encouragement of Leonard Chess) got into the record business himself. Also on the program, some very fine country blues that were captured during the height of the post-war era, courtesy of labels like Gotham, JOB (another home-grown Shreveport label), Pacemaker (owned by country music star Webb Pierce), Imperial, and Specialty -- from an all night recording session in March 1952 that was organized by Stan Lewis for Specialty's owner Art Rupe — that give us a spectacular cross-section of the down home blues talent that was on hand in Shreveport in the early 1950s. Don't miss this special tribute to the Blues, R&B, and Country Blues from Shreveport, on this episode of Blues Unlimited.

Pictured: Map of Shreveport, c. 1920.

To hear this episode in its original full-fidelity high quality audio, it may be downloaded from Bandcamp at: http://tinyurl.com/y8st2epl

Don't forget to install the PodOmatic Podcast Player app for iOS so you can listen to Sleepy Boy Hawkins wherever you go! Details at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/podomatic/id648258566?mt=8

This Week on Blues Unlimited - Blues and R&B from Shreveport, Louisiana (Hour 1)  

Hey folks!

We're back from a much needed rest and will be wrapping up a BRAND NEW episode for you this week! In the meantime, here's a "blast from the past" that we dug out of the archives for you! Enjoy! --SBH

On this episode of Blues Unlimited, we aim the spotlight on Shreveport, Louisiana. Home to a thriving music scene, the "Louisiana Hayride" (a rival of the "Grand Ole Opry"), and more than a dozen record labels, join us for some fine blues, rhythm & blues, country blues, and a little bit of soul. It’s blues from Shreveport, on this episode of Blues Unlimited.

To hear this episode in its original full-fidelity high quality audio, it may be downloaded from Bandcamp at: http://tinyurl.com/y8f8tut8

PLEASE PLEDGE YOUR MONTHLY SUPPORT TO HELP KEEP THIS GOING! A couple bucks a month will make a world of difference! And thanks to all those who have already pledged their support!!! Details at: http://tinyurl.com/gter36s

Don't forget to install the PodOmatic Podcast Player app for iOS so you can listen to Sleepy Boy Hawkins wherever you go! Details at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/podomatic/id648258566?mt=8

Next Week on Blues Unlimited - Lowdown Windy City Harmonica Jam (Hour 2)  

Hey folks! We'll be on vacation next week, so here's next week's episode a bit early. We'll get back to our normal schedule on June 27th. In the meantime, we've been working on an extra special brand new episode for you. As they say, watch this space for details! In the meantime... enjoy! And good blues to ya' -- SBH.

PLEASE PLEDGE YOUR MONTHLY SUPPORT TO HELP KEEP THIS GOING! A couple bucks a month will make a world of difference! And thanks to all those who have already pledged their support!!! Details at: http://tinyurl.com/gter36s

On this episode of Blues Unlimited, we're enjoying some of our favorite, rare, and overlooked harmonica jams from the Windy City, courtesy of Little Walter, Snooky Pryor, Kid Thomas, Louis Myers, Alfred "Blues King" Harris, and more!

Don't forget to install the PodOmatic Podcast Player app for iOS so you can listen to Sleepy Boy Hawkins wherever you go! Details at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/podomatic/id648258566?mt=8

Next Week on Blues Unlimited - Lowdown Windy City Harmonica Jam (Hour 1)  

Hey folks! We'll be on vacation next week, so here's next week's episode a bit early. We'll get back to our normal schedule on June 27th. In the meantime, we've been working on an extra special brand new episode for you. As they say, watch this space for details! In the meantime... enjoy! And good blues to ya' -- SBH.

PLEASE PLEDGE YOUR MONTHLY SUPPORT TO HELP KEEP THIS GOING! A couple bucks a month will make a world of difference! And thanks to all those who have already pledged their support!!! Details at: http://tinyurl.com/gter36s

A while back, we did a show called "Lowdown Memphis Harmonica Jam ," inspired by a terrific LP on the Nighthawk label with the same name. The idea for this show was pretty similar, in that we wanted to spotlight some overlooked gems and rare items from the annals of Chicago Blues Harmonica (just as the Nighthawk LP had done for Memphis), all the while showcasing some outstanding performances. To that extent, we'll be hearing some rare outtakes from Little Walter, a handful of performances by Alfred "Blues King" Harris — an overlooked figure on the Chicago scene — as was Birmingham Junior and His Lover Boys. Little Willie Foster and Dusty Brown are also featured — both of them cut for Blue Lake and Parrot, incidentally — and we'll also hear from Louis Myers, who we often think of primarily as a guitarist, but whose harmonica chops were actually quite developed, thanks to his time spent playing guitar behind Little Walter. Finally, we'll also hear from Kid Thomas, who normally gets associated with the west coast, but whose 1957 debut session for Federal Records occurred in the Windy City.... and what a fine session it was, too!

Even if the good folks at Nighthawk Records never did issue an LP by the name of "Lowdown Windy City Harmonica Jam," we'd like to think that if they had, some of the performances on tonight's episode would have been featured items. So, join us for some lowdown jams, rare items, and overlooked gems from some of the best harmonica players to come out of the Windy City.

Don't forget to install the PodOmatic Podcast Player app for iOS so you can listen to Sleepy Boy Hawkins wherever you go! Details at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/podomatic/id648258566?mt=8

This Week on Blues Unlimited - A Legend Every Night: Blues from Antone's (Hour 2)  

PLEASE PLEDGE YOUR MONTHLY SUPPORT TO HELP KEEP THIS GOING! A couple bucks a month will make a world of difference! And thanks to all those who have already pledged their support!!! Details at: http://tinyurl.com/gter36s

If you wanted to go see a Blues Legend live on stage every night, where would you go? Well, according to Clifford Antone, between 1975 and 1985, there was no better place than his very own eponymous night club, Antone's.

Founded in 1975 by Clifford Antone and Angela Strehli, Antone’s, located in the heart of Austin, Texas, became one of the preeminent spots to go see live Blues — especially after a veritable "Who's Who" of Chicago veterans made the trek down south and found a new outlet — not to mention an adoring and appreciative audience — for their music. Clifford Antone’s philosophy was quite simply really. He once stated that he and his buddies wanted to hear some Blues, so why not bring the musicians to them rather than the other way around. It was a strategy that ultimately paid off, and one that helped put Austin on the map as an important city for live music. Although things were sometimes shaky at first — one story involves Sunnyland Slim, Big Walter Horton, and Eddie Taylor playing to an audience of about 5 people one night — through perseverance, the night club became a famous — if not infamous at times — home away from home for many blues legends during the twilight days of their careers (other stories involve a seemingly endless game of poker between some of the musicians that apparently had no discernible start or end to it, while someone else told a story about how Buddy Guy would come in every night that Jimmy Rogers or B.B. King were playing in the club, and sit up front, watching their every move — explaining that when he was growing up, those guy were "his heroes").

Thanks in part to Clifford's generous spirit, it seemed that the good times at Antone’s would sometimes never end. Sadly, that was not to be the case. In May 2006, Clifford Antone's body was found at his home in Austin, Texas. The club had recently celebrated it’s 30th anniversary, and he was just 56. Today, however, Antone’s is still going strong down in Austin Texas, and still carries the name of it’s co-founder, whose love for this genuine American Art Form it still bears witness.

To hear this episode in its original full-fidelity high quality audio, it may be downloaded from Bandcamp at: http://tinyurl.com/y9fo78ck

Don't forget to install the PodOmatic Podcast Player app for iOS so you can listen to Sleepy Boy Hawkins wherever you go! Details at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/podomatic/id648258566?mt=8

This Week on Blues Unlimited - A Legend Every Night: Blues from Antone's (Hour 1)  

PLEASE PLEDGE YOUR MONTHLY SUPPORT TO HELP KEEP THIS GOING! A couple bucks a month will make a world of difference! And thanks to all those who have already pledged their support!!! Details at: http://tinyurl.com/gter36s

On this episode of Blues Unlimited, a tribute to Antone’s night club. Founded in 1975 in Austin, Texas, it featured a who’s who of blues legends, live and on stage. Twelve years later, Antone’s also started a record label, capturing some of those memorable moments on tape. It's a "Who’s Who" of blues legends — live from Antone’s — on this episode of Blues Unlimited.

To hear this episode in its original full-fidelity high quality audio, it may be downloaded from Bandcamp at: http://tinyurl.com/y8w4xpvr

Don't forget to install the PodOmatic Podcast Player app for iOS so you can listen to Sleepy Boy Hawkins wherever you go! Details at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/podomatic/id648258566?mt=8

This Week on Blues Unlimited - Uncle Sam Called Me: The Blues and War (Hour 2)  

PLEASE PLEDGE YOUR MONTHLY SUPPORT TO HELP KEEP THIS GOING! A couple bucks a month will make a world of difference! And we thank you: http://tinyurl.com/gter36s

Join us as we dig into a collection of blues songs all dealing with the topic of war. Featuring commentary, insight, and criticism on Vietnam, Korea, and World War Two, we’ll hear classics from Doctor Clayton, Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, Lightnin’ Hopkins, J.B. Lenoir, Junior Wells, and many more. The blues goes to war, on this episode of Blues Unlimited.

To hear this episode in its original full-fidelity high quality audio, it may be downloaded from Bandcamp at: http://tinyurl.com/ycbmcs73

Don't forget to install the PodOmatic Podcast Player app for iOS so you can listen to Sleepy Boy Hawkins wherever you go! Details at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/podomatic/id648258566?mt=8

This Week on Blues Unlimited - Uncle Sam Called Me: The Blues and War (Hour 1)  

PLEASE PLEDGE YOUR MONTHLY SUPPORT TO HELP KEEP THIS GOING! A couple bucks a month will make a world of difference! And we thank you: http://tinyurl.com/gter36s

Join us as we dig into a collection of blues songs all dealing with the topic of war. Featuring commentary, insight, and criticism on Vietnam, Korea, and World War Two, we’ll hear classics from Doctor Clayton, Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, Lightnin’ Hopkins, J.B. Lenoir, Junior Wells, and many more. The blues goes to war, on this episode of Blues Unlimited.

To hear this episode in its original full-fidelity high quality audio, it may be downloaded from Bandcamp at: http://tinyurl.com/y7vdaqeq

Don't forget to install the PodOmatic Podcast Player app for iOS so you can listen to Sleepy Boy Hawkins wherever you go! Details at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/podomatic/id648258566?mt=8

This Week on Blues Unlimited - Down South Summit Meeting (Hour 2)  

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The gathering of four giants of the blues into one recording studio isn't something that happens very often, if it all. Then take into account that each major geographical region of the blues was represented by those four individuals, and the odds of it happening even once get exponentially smaller. But that's exactly what happened on July 6th, 1960, when Lightnin' Hopkins (from Texas), Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee (representing the East Coast Piedmont tradition), and Big Joe Williams (the Mississippi Delta) were all brought together in a Los Angeles studio to record an album, Down South Summit Meetin'.

It was an opportunity of sheer fate -- Sonny and Brownie were finishing up an engagement at the Ash Grove, and Big Joe Williams, an intrepid wanderer, was there to take over for them. Lightnin' Hopkins, who rarely enjoyed leaving the confines of his beloved Houston, was passing through town on his way to a music festival. Rehearsals were held one evening, and studio time was booked the following day. And while you would think that blues artists from three very different genres would have trouble connecting with one another musically, actually, quite the opposite happened. Something clicked, and after a few uneasy moments and a few missed guitar chords here and there, the musical magic that the four of them made was captured on tape, with a fine LP resulting.

After completing six titles that make up Down South Summit Meetin' on the World Pacific label, further recordings were made, but quite curiously, no one seems to remember making them. Whether they were recorded live at the Ash Grove, or were further studio recordings made the same day, no one knows. Nevertheless, the magic continued, and by the time it was all over, nearly a dozen titles were captured (some have theorized that the audience applause heard on these additional recordings was overdubbed at a later date).

On this episode of Blues Unlimited, we hear classic selections from these one-of-a-kind, historic recordings (it was an experiment, sadly, that was never repeated), along with a few tracks from two of our other favorite LPs of the Blues Revival period — Mississippi Blues by Bukka White on the Takoma label, and I Do Not Play No Rock 'N' Roll, by Mississippi Fred McDowell, issued by Capitol in 1969.

Bukka White's recordings for Mississippi Blues were made in 1963 after two enthusiasts, Ed Denson and John Fahey, sent a postcard to Bukka's old home town of Aberdeen, Mississippi, saying that they were looking for him. Simply addressed to "Bukka White - Old Blues Singer c/o General Delivery," the postcard was eventually forwarded to him in Memphis, and when the three of them connected, Denson and Fahey eagerly drove from their home in Washington, D.C., to Memphis, making them the first people to record Bukka White in the "rediscovery" period. The resulting album also became the very first issue on the now-famous Takoma label.

I Do Not Play No Rock 'N' Roll, Fred McDowell's classic on the Capitol label, was made by Wolf Stephenson and Tommy Couch — if those names sound familiar it's because they're the founders of the Malaco record label — who brought him down to their studio in Jackson one day in September 1969. Fred was sporting an electric guitar now, instead of his old acoustic one, and all the haunting, biting, and stinging qualities in his slide guitar playing were only amplified along with it. Something in the record clicked with the music buying public, and it went on to become the biggest seller in Fred's career.

Together, these three LPs -- Down South Summit Meetin' by Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee, Lightnin' Hopkins, and Big Joe Williams -- Mississippi Blues, by Bukka White -- and I Do Not Play No Rock 'N' Roll by Mississippi Fred McDowell -- represent three high points of the rediscovery period, and we're proud to present them on this episode of Blues Unlimited.

To hear this episode in its original full-fidelity high quality audio, it may be downloaded from Bandcamp at: http://tinyurl.com/ychs6rgl

Don't forget to install the PodOmatic Podcast Player app for iOS so you can listen to Sleepy Boy Hawkins wherever you go! Details at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/podomatic/id648258566?mt=8

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