“…crazy ’bout that woman ’cause Caldonia is her name”. Tune in for a mix of sounds coming from the free form archives, celebrating a century of America’s music as is the habit each Friday morning at 9 on Sonoma County Community Radio. We’ll be exploring the Cherry Red Blues, Evil Gal Blues, and Louis Jordan’s jump piece Caldonia as part of our show today. Country sounds feature two Georges: Strait and Jones, soul sounds from The Miracles and Arthur Alexander, rhythm & blues from the ladies including Varetta Dillard, Etta James, and Albinia Jones, and an oddball opening set that takes us down into some strange and exotic places “Ahbe Casaba” and “Katanga!”
Deeper Roots will be filling in for Steady Eddie’s show this week while Eddie takes a well-deserved vacation. And Dave Stroud is jumping into those two hours with a nostalgic mix of Stephen Foster, western campfire trail songs, and silver screen sendups of life on the trail. Join the fun with some classic Bob Wills, Marty Robbins, Jimmie Driftwood, and John Hartford as we listen to those crickets callin’ and those coyotes makin’ their wail. Listening to the music as the wind is strummin’ a sagebrush guitar. A hundred years of America’s music on Sonoma County Community Radio on Deeper Roots.
Free form provides our weekly exploration a wider berth in which to stretch our wings. And that’s precisely why I take a free form journey every week or so on Deeper Roots. This week we’ll be featuring at least two tracks from the great Ella Mae Morse, some R&B and Doo Wop from The Cardinals and Ruth Brown, a rare track you may never hear elsewhere featuring the late, great Dr. John, and selected tracks from John Prine, Nat King Cole, The Orlons, and a golden classic country favorite from George Jones. We’re just scratching the surface as we sail through two hours of gospel, tradition, pop, rock, country, bluegrass (inhale), blues, and jazz. Don’t miss this week’s Friday stroll on Sonoma County Community Radio.
We’re going to count down the top ten of the year 1954…in pop, country, and R&B. Nothing special about that year, just a random pick; but it was the year that Marilyn Monroe married Joltin’ Joe D. It was the year the Army-McCarthy hearings convened. The words “under God” were added to the Pledge of Allegiance. It was also a year of firsts: That’s Alright, Mama, Elvis’ first big hit, was released on Sun Records, the first Burger King opened, and the first transistor radio was developed and announced by high-tech’s Texas Instruments. The DOW Jones average closed at an all-time high of (a whopping) 382.74. Tune in for the countdown. 65 years in the rear-view on Sonoma County Community Radio.
Harmony. That blend of knowing how the instruments and vocals will reverberate against each other…and the Delmore Brothers introduced the tightest of harmonies combining the early sentiments of gospel, folk, and blues, becoming, in their time, the most popular act on the Grand Ole Opry. The Louvin Brothers were blessed with not only pure complementing vocal chops but an innate sense of timing. Others, like the Osbornes, the Stanleys, and the Monroes took the Appalachian folk sound of what would become bluegrass to another level, using their kinship as a vault that would surpass others whose symbiotic relationships would often lack the requisite DNA (not to mention timing). Deeper Roots explores a number of performers who leveraged that DNA to set themselves apart from others on the stage. It’s sibling country harmony this week on Sonoma County Community Radio. Join in the fun!
This week’s show has us revisiting the Old Chisholm Trail and prairie passages that resemble all things that follow those romantic icons whose life on the range was less than what their songs usually embellish. In the western sunsets where John Lomax first went out in search of the ‘cowboy song’, we’ll explore more enlightened performances from the silver screen to the deep folk traditions that have become so laminated with romance that it’s hard to see the images beneath. This week’s show will take us from Carl T. Sprague, the original cowboy crooner, to Johnny Horton, Fess Parker, Rex Allen, and Roy Rogers. The music is sometimes sappy (Rick Nelson’s My Rifle, My Pony, and Me), sometimes light (Roy Rogers’ My Chickashay Girl), and other times full of storytelling and history. So many performances to light up the evening sky…just before dusk…just before that ceiling of stars appears in the night sky. Join us for our first live show from our new KOWS studios in downtown Santa Rosa.
This week’s Deeper Roots pays tribute to a collection of country songwriters who made an impact on the American musical art form, defining the tone and story that was told. We’ll walk through nearly a hundred years of performances by the familiars: Emmylou Harris, Jim Reeves, Johnny Cash, and Ray Charles, all taking on the songs of A.P. Carter, Jimmie Rodgers, Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, and Cindy Walker. We’ll also hear from Dolly, Willie, and Elvis on a cold and wet January Friday in West Sonoma County. Join Dave Stroud as he enters his seventh year hosting our two hour show live from the Sebastopol studios of KOWS Community Radio.
Country swing is the thing this morning on Deeper Roots. We won’t be spending time on the ancestral roots as much as we’ll be exploring the small local bands of the Southwest. We’ll use Jean A. Boyd’s excellent reference “Dance All Night : Those Other Southwestern Swing Bands Past and Present” as our rudder and guidebook in the show. The heartbeat of any American genre is usually the local band and during the later years of the Great Depression and throughout the Second World War people were looking for something uplifting to dance to. In Texas (and really all across the Southwest) the sound was country swing: a mix of jazz, blues, polka, latin and hillbilly fiddle. We’ll be featuring the small time big names like The Tune Wranglers, Cliff Bruner, Leon Selph, Floyd Tillman, and Adolph Hofner and so many more in our show this morning, direct from our studios in downtown Sebastopol.
It’s a time that followed the second World War and baked into its foundation were the sounds of Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell, Spade Cooley, Bob Wills among others. The music was inspired by bluegrass, folk, blues, and jazz with Country Swing and barn dances sparking a popularity that blanketed the American musical landscape from the Pacific to the southern Atlantic. It was a sound that solidified the title of “Country and Western” and he’ll be sharing some of the great performances in this week’s episode: Patsy Cline, Little Jimmy Dickens, George Jones, Ferlin Husky, and Webb Pierce…just to name a few. While the sound would fade away sometime around the turn of the seventies, when rock n’ roll would elbow it (more like steamroll it) out in popularity on the airwaves, it is revered and restated to this day as a cornerstone of what we recognize as Americana music.
There’s a new tribute album out, celebrating the music of country renaissance troubadour Roger Miller. Produced by his son Dean it’s a fully formed varietal that, as Rolling Stone magazine critic Stephen Betts notes, features a dazzling lineup after being beset by repeated delays since 2015. Miller was an extraordinary songwriter with offbeat humor, part Hank Williams, part Will Rogers, and a poet of the uncommon whose song King of the Road “was positively average compared to his other oddball compositions, including Dang Me, Chug-a-Lug, and You Can’t Rollerskate in a Buffalo Herd” as Betts goes on to point out. Our show features tracks from the album, some other notable covers of Roger Miller’s music, and, of course, some wacky, some tame originals from Roger himself.