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Episode #635 – Larry Darnell

Air Week: July 4-10, 2022

Larry Darnell

Next to the Johnny Otis Orchestra, no R&B act was bigger in 1950 than Larry Darnell. The Columbus, OH native scored the first #1 rhythm record of 1950 with “For You My Love,” which remained at the top of the chart for 8 weeks! As a member of the black vaudeville tent show, the Brownskin Models, Darnell traveled the country and sang and danced wherever the troop could set up and perform. While performing in New Orleans, Frank Pania of the famed Dew Drop Inn asked Darnell to leave the Models and headline the Dew Drop. Soon, Fred Mendelssohn had him recording for his new label, Regal Records. “For You My Love” was followed by the influential ballad, “I’ll Get Along Somehow,” and hot sellers, “I Love My Baby” and “Oh, Babe!.” Though the hits stopped coming after 1950, Larry Darnell continued to sell well and record strong material. This week, Matt The Cat fills the ol’ Rockola Juke with his greatest records as we feature the seldom-told story of Larry Darnell on this week’s, “Juke In The Back.”

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Episode #634 – 4th of July: R&B Food Songs

Air Week: June 27-July 3, 2022

4th of July: R&B Food Songs

What’s more American than celebrating America’s birthday with some good ol’ red, white and Rhythm & Blues about THE Fourth of July staple: food? Dig in on an hour of classic R&B about hot dogs, cole slaw, potato salad, ribs and ice cream sung by Nat “King” Cole, Amos Milburn, Louis Jordan, the “5” Royales and many more. It’s the American “soul that came before rock n’ roll” on the Juke In The Back.

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Episode #633 – Leiber & Stoller’s Spark Records

Air Week: June 20-26, 2022

Leiber & Stoller’s Spark Records

The “Juke In The Back” is proud to present one of the premiere, short-lived R&B record labels of the 1950s. Started by songwriters Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller after they were stiffed on royalty payments for Big Mama Thornton’s “Hound Dog,” Spark records only lasted for a year and a half. In that time they wrote and produced some of early rock’s most defining songs like “Riot In Cell Block #9” and “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” for The Robins, “Love Me” for Willie & Ruth (Elvis Presley would go on to cut it), “One Bad Stud” for San Francisco’s The Honey Bears and many more. Spark was cut short in 1955, when Atlantic Records offered Leiber & Stoller an offer they couldn’t refuse. Catch the Spark Records story this week on the “Juke In The Back” with Matt The Cat.

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Episode #632 – Jimmy Coe

Air Week: June 13-19, 2022

Jimmy Coe

The “Juke In The Back” is proud to feature Jimmy Coe, a great 1950s saxophonist, bandleader and session man that is often ignored today. Coe came up in the 1940s playing in renown bands including the Jay McShann (at the same time as Charlie Parker) and the Tiny Bradshaw bands. After the war, he settled in Indianapolis, playing clubs until hooking up with vocalist Flo Garvin. He cut a record with her and one on his own for King Records in 1952. Even though King insisted as listing Coe as Jimmy Cole, he still caught the ear of The States Record Company. His 3 singles for States are a shining example of great musicianship, a solid groove and comedic talking blues. Coe and his group then played on records by The Students, Ronnie Haig and The Five Stars. This week, Matt The Cat moves the Jimmy Coe 78s from the back of the Juke and spotlights a true unsung hero of Rhythm & Blues.

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Episode #631 – Howlin’ Wolf: The Early Years

Air Week: June 6-12, 2022

Howlin’ Wolf: The Early Years

This week, the “Juke In The Back” focuses on the great Howlin’ Wolf’s earliest recordings.  Before he became a huge star on Chess Records in Chicago, Wolf was a local celebrity in Memphis, recording with Sam Phillips (before Phillips started Sun Records).  Matt The Cat spins Wolf’s demo acetates and his 1951 recordings, some of which Phillips sold to RPM Records in LA and others he sold to Chess in Chicago.  Howlin’ Wolf was a mammoth man in both voice and stature and you’ll hear how it all began on the “Juke In The Back.”

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Juke In The Back Promo

1940s & ’50s Rhythm & Blues

At the end of the Second World War, economics forced the big bands to trim their once great size and thus, the Jump Blues combo was born. Between 1946-1954, rhythm and blues laid the tracks for what was to become Rock n’ Roll. So how come, 70 years later, this vibrant and influential music is still so unknown to so many?

Matt The Cat is going to change that with the radio program, “Juke In The Back.” These were the records that you couldn’t hear on the jukebox in the front of the establishment. To hear all this great 1950s rhythm & blues, you had to go to “Juke In The Back.”

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Juke In The Back: Demo The Show

 

Click below to hear a demo episode of “Juke In The Back.”

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