Our show this week revisits the great country guitar innovators and talents who contributed both session time to classic hits as well as original performances of their own. Whether they were pedal steel, Fender or Gibson electric magicians, or country pickers, we won’t discriminate. Tune in for Leon McAuliffe, Joe Maphis, James Burton, Albert Lee, Doc Watson and others on another Friday night on KWTF 88.1, Bodega Bay, listener-supported community radio for Sonoma County.
Mac Rebennack’s been around and the music, the culture, the people…they’ve embellished his art with a character like no other in roots music. He’s known them all: James Booker, Professor Longhair, Huey Smith, and Doc Pomus. He’s performed with them, composed for them, and broken bread with them. And when he takes the stage, whether that is in the traditional Indian celebratory garb or the frocked coat and hat, you can be certain that his performance will get your attention. He is coarse yet gentle, as punctual on the keys as he is laid back and lazy with them. This week’s show will sample a small set of his contributions to the American songbook including performances by Roland Stone, B.B. King, Charlie Rich, Solomon Burke, and Irma Thomas. And we’ll also hear plenty from the good Doctor himself.
Our final show at the old KOWS studio will feature the lineup you might expect…with a couple of themes running through it. The ‘take me back’ theme works well as we bring in Tennessee Ernie Ford, Jimmy Rushing, and Peter Rowan to make the plea and we’ve got the gospel themed pleas of working on a building from The Highway QCs. In addition, we’ve got some doo-wop, some ladies whose theme was ‘blues is her business’, and a run of country swing and bluegrass…all packed into two hours of elementary roots. Tune in after dinner for dessert.
He grew up with music, learning to plan violin at a young age in Poor Valley, Virginia (now known as Maces Springs), sang in a church choir and helped his uncle, Flanders Bays, who ran a mobile music school in Scott County. He would go on to form one of the seminal country music groups of the day with his wife Sara and her cousin Maybelle. Their musicianship was remarkable but the song-writing was what set them apart, the compositions by A. P. Carter representing a treasury of classic folk, sentimental pop, cowboy songs, gospel favorites, and original love songs. While there may be little doubt as to whether all songs that carried his name were original, his treatment (and that of the Carter Family group) were without peer. Tune in this Friday night for music featuring performers covering A.P. Carter songs, including The Delmore Brothers, Dave Alvin & The Guilty Men, Charlie Louvin, Ashley Monroe, and a host of others.
Not to ignore the obvious influences that Hollywood had on our culture and music, we dig into the archives to sample some of the greats as well as some of the unknowns. Popular entertainment began with minstrelsy, traveling medicine shows, vaudeville, and finally ‘the Great White Way’ of New York’s Broadway. Entertainers such as Al Jolson, Fanny Brice, Gene Kelly, Bing Crosby, as well as Harlem’s profound contribution in the names of Ethel Waters, Louis Armstrong, and Cab Calloway would capture a light-heartedness and nostalgic sound while telling small stories in a very big way. Tune in Friday night on KWTF and hear the musicals, the novelty pieces, and find yourselves riding down the river of some of the more energetic swells of the past century.
We’ll be bringing another eclectic blend of music from the past for an evening set kicks off with sounds of New Orleans beginning with a medley from the Bayou Maharajah, James Booker and closing with Irma Thomas. In addition to our usual run of bluegrass, jazz, and blues…we’ll prepare some piping hot biscuits from the country shack with Alan Lomax, Flatt & Scruggs, Pappy O’Daniel and the Hillbilly Boys, and Kacey Musgraves. There will also be a rare piece of early blues piano work from Ollie Shepard and the early century jazz band sounds of Enric Madriguera, Jimmie Lunceford, and Fletcher Henderson. Two full hours of Deeper Roots on weekday evening…carrying us over the midweek hump so that it’s all downhill from there…