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Episode #586 – The (original R&B) Diamonds

Air Week: July 26-August 1, 2021

The (original R&B) Diamonds

The “Juke In The Back” takes a look at one of New York’s greatest, but almost unheard of R&B vocal groups: The Diamonds.  They only got 3 singles released by Atlantic Records during 1952 and ’53 and would fade into history by 1955, but their harmonies are second to none.  “Sonny” Wright’s lead baritone remains much admired as does Myles Hardy’s tenor.  Hear all six of the Diamond’s known songs this week.  Plus, Matt The Cat also features R&B songs about Detroit with Blind Blake, Tampa Red, John Lee Hooker and Fats Domino weighing in on the Motor City and Hastings Street, the cultural center of African-American life during the 20s to the 60s.

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Episode #585 – Chuck Berry, Pt. 3 – 1958

Air Week: July 19-25, 2021

Chuck Berry, Part 3 – 1958

Chuck Berry has been called the “Father of Rock n’ Roll” and with good reason. He took the blues of T-Bone Walker and B.B. King, the guitar riffs of Carl Hogan and mixed it with the fiddle and Western Swing music of Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys. Then he rolled it all into one big sonic blast. Rhythm & Blues become Rock n’ Roll when Chuck Berry began writing songs aimed at teenagers, finally granting them their own music. The “Juke In The Back” presents the final part of a 3 part feature on Chuck Berry’s early career. This week, Matt The Cat focuses on Berry’s recorded and released output during the pivotal year of 1958. He began the year with a bang and the #1 R&B tune “Sweet Little Sixteen.” 1958 was also the year that gave us “Reelin’ and Rockin’,” “Johnny B. Goode,” “Around and Around” and “Carol.” Just like in the first parts of this series, this week’s program is packed with some fantastic and seldom-heard instrumentals, showcasing Chuck Berry’s true guitar chops. So dig this final “Juke In The Back” treatment of the legendary “Shakespeare Of Rock n’ Roll,” Chuck Berry.

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Episode #584 – Chuck Berry, Pt. 2 – 1956-57

Air Week: July 12-18, 2021

Chuck Berry, Pt. 2 – 1956-57

Chuck Berry has been called the “Father of Rock n’ Roll” and with good reason. He took the blues of T-Bone Walker and B.B. King, the guitar riffs of Carl Hogan and mixed it with the fiddle and Western Swing music of Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys. Then he rolled it all into one big sonic blast. Rhythm & Blues become Rock n’ Roll when Chuck Berry began writing songs aimed at teenagers, finally granting them their own music. The “Juke In The Back” presents part 2 of a 3 part feature on Chuck Berry’s early career. This week, Matt The Cat presents every studio recording made by Chuck Berry from the middle of 1956 to the end of 1957. We pick up where part 1 left off as the hits continue with “School Day (Ring! Ring! Goes The Bell)” topping the R&B chart during the spring of ’57. We’ll also dig the demo and hit versions of “Rock and Roll Music” as well as some great, but overlooked Berry instrumentals. We end this week’s program with the demo version of “Sweet Little Sixteen” and will pick it up next week on part 3 with the evolution of that important Chuck Berry tune. Don’t miss the “Shakespeare Of Rock n’ Roll” on this week’s “Juke In The Back.”

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Episode #583 – Chuck Berry, Pt. 1 – 1955-56

Air Week: July 5-11, 2021

Chuck Berry, Pt. 1 – 1955-56

Chuck Berry has been called the “Father of Rock n’ Roll” and with good reason. He took the blues of T-Bone Walker and B.B. King, the guitar riffs of Carl Hogan and mixed it with the fiddle and Western Swing music of Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys. Then he rolled it all into one big sonic blast. Rhythm & Blues become Rock n’ Roll when Chuck Berry began writing songs aimed at teenagers, finally granting them their own music. The “Juke In The Back” presents part 1 of a 3 part feature on Chuck Berry’s early career. This week, Matt The Cat explores Chuck Berry’s first full year of recording for the legendary Chess Records in Chicago. We’ll look at his recordings from his first session, held in May, 1955 to his fourth session from April, 1956 and everything in-between. Some of the titles you’ll know by heart, like “Maybellene,” “You Can’t Catch Me” and “Roll Over Beethoven,” but others might be new to your ears, like the eerie “Down Bound Train” and the very bluesy “Wee Wee Hours.” Chuck Berry defined Rock n’ Roll guitar and his influence is felt every time some one picks up a guitar with the intention of tearing the house down. Next week, we’ll finish up 1956 and begin 1957. 

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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.”

Juke In The Back: Demo The Show

 

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