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Episode #546 – Unsung Ladies of R&B

Air Week: October 19-25, 2020

Unsung Ladies of R&B

This week, the “Juke In The Back” solutes the Unsung Ladies of R&B! We’ll dig deep into a stack of shellac from some women you know, like Varetta Dillard, Ann Cole and The Cookies, as well as from some that you may not know, such as Gwen Johnson and Bonita Cole. Matt The Cat will also feature an audition tape by the seldom heard Olive Brown, which was never issued at the time. None of the chanteuses on this week’s program have catalogs deep enough to be main features, so we’ve gathered them together so they can shine on their own program. Pick up on what these ladies are puttin’ down on this week’s “Juke In The Back” and the “soul that came before Rock n’ Roll.” 


Episode #545 – R.I.P. Gaynel Hodge & Hal Singer

Air Week: October 12-18, 2020

R.I.P. – Gaynel Hodge & Hal Singer

This week, “Juke In The Back” honors two unsung R&B heroes who passed away over the past six months. Vocal group leader and songwriter Gaynel Hodge died at age 83 on June 2, 2020 and sax honker Hal Singer left us on August 18, 2020 at the age of 100. During the first half of the program, we’ll take a look at Hodge, who was a legendary West Coast vocal group singer. He spent time in The Platters, The Hollywood Flames and The Turks, sometimes handling lead vocals. As a songwriter, his biggest accomplishment was co-writing “Earth Angel” with Jesse Belvin and Curtis Williams as well as many of the Turks best songs. On the second half of the program, we’ll dig into some of the best jump blues instrumentals ever recorded with tenor saxophonist and bandleader, Hal Singer. Born in the Greenwood section of Tulsa, he survived the Greenwood Massacre and came up working in some of the top bands of the day, from Ernie Fields and Jay McShann to Duke Ellington and Hot Lips Paige. In 1948, he formed his own combo and scored a national #1 R&B hit with “Corn Bread.” Dig on the jumpin’ sounds of Hal Singer and the smooth vocals of Gaynel Hodge as we honor two recently departed giants of Rhythm & Blues on this week’s “Juke In The Back” with Matt The Cat. 


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.”

Juke In The Back: Demo The Show


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