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Episode #680 – Story of the Signifying Monkey

Air Week: May 15-21, 2023

The Story Of The Signifying Monkey

This week, Matt The Cat loads the “Juke In The Back” with a musical history of the old African folktale about The Signifying Monkey. We’ll trace this tale’s journey to America on slave ships from Africa as it became threaded into African-American culture in song, from Big Maceo’s adaptation of the story about the Monkey and the Baboon to the Big Three Trio’s 1947 popular version of “The Signifying Monkey.” Along the way, Cab Calloway, jazzer Hot Lips Page, Rockabilly rarity Smokey Joe and even Chuck Berry have a crack at this classic story of the ultimate trickster. Also on this week’s program, Matt The Cat takes your listener requests, which run across the genre we celebrate, Rhythm & Blues. So don’t miss “the soul that came before Rock n’ Roll” on this week’s “Juke In The Back.”


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