Episode #720 – The Ray-O-Vacs
Juke In The Back
by Matt The Cat
1w ago
Air Week: February 19-25, 2024 The Ray-O-Vacs It’s staggering, the number of R&B groups that have been left out of the history books and off radio station playlists just because they don’t fit into an accepted category of “cool.” The Ray-O-Vacs is one of those groups. Though they made the R&B charts 3 times, that didn’t guarantee them inclusion. They were more “middle-of-the-road” than the gospel-tinged groups that were gaining popularity in the early 1950s and they weren’t a vocal group, so they can’t be classified with the emerging doo wop scene of the day. That’s probably why the R ..read more
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Episode #719 – The Hollywood Flames
Juke In The Back
by Matt The Cat
2w ago
Air Week: February 12-18, 2024 The Hollywood Flames The Hollywood Flames recorded for nearly 20 different record labels and had numerous personnel changes over their 18 year history, but they always remained popular in their native Southern California. Formed in 1949 at a local talent show, David Ford was the only member of the group to remain for its entire existence. Bobby Byrd, who was there from the beginning, remained until he began to have solo hits as Bobby Day. Other notable R&B names, Curtis Williams, Earl Nelson and Gaynel Hodge, passed through the Hollywood Flames revolving doo ..read more
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Episode #718 – R&B Influences: Lionel Hampton
Juke In The Back
by Matt The Cat
3w ago
Air Week: February 5-11, 2024 R&B Influences: Lionel Hampton Lionel Hampton’s big band was a training ground for so many of the all-time great musicians: Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus, Dexter Gordon, Joe Morris, Dinah Washington, Wes Montgomery, Little Jimmy Scott and Clifford Brown. His musical education began on drums and piano while attending the Holy Rosary Academy, near Kenosha, Wisconsin, but it was his exploration of the xylophone that would prove the most fruitful. For when Hamp jumped from the xylophone to the vibraphone, the course of modern jazz was forever enriched. He becam ..read more
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Episode #717 – James Brown: 1956-58
Juke In The Back
by Matt The Cat
1M ago
Air Week: January 29-February 4, 2024 James Brown: 1956-58 This week, the Juke In The Back features one of R&B and Rock n’ Roll’s greatest acts, James Brown. Born into a poor community in South Carolina, James Brown worked his way to the very top in the entertainment business, but it wasn’t without a struggle. As we’ll hear on this week’s program, Brown had to suffer through a mess of unsuccessful records, in order to find his “sound.” His first single for Federal Records, “Please, Please, Please” caught fire and shot into the R&B top 5 in 1956, but it was a blessing and a curse. He w ..read more
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Episode #716 – R&B Influences: Delta Rhythm Boys
Juke In The Back
by Matt The Cat
1M ago
Air Week: January 22-28, 2024 R&B Influences: Delta Rhythm Boys The “Juke In The Back” takes a deep look at The Delta Rhythm Boys, one of R&B’s early influences. Bass singer Lee Gaines assembled the original quartet while at Langston University in Oklahoma. After they all transferred to Dillard in New Orleans, things started to really happen. Dillard’s new music program was headed by Professor Fredrick Hall, who worked with the group, writing arrangements for them. Calling themselves the Fredrick Hall Quartet, they met a Buenos Aries DJ and toured South America before moving to New Yo ..read more
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Episode #715 – The “5” Royales
Juke In The Back
by Matt The Cat
1M ago
Air Week: January 15-21, 2024 The “5” Royales This week, the “Juke In The Back” features a rhythm & blues vocal group from Winston-Salem, NC that not only influenced James Brown, but quite possibly the entire soul movement of the late ’50s into the 1960s; The “5” Royales. They began their career as a six man gospel group called The Royal Sons Quintet. They kept their six member lineup even after they changed their name to the “5” Royales. They had legal battles with Hank Ballard’s Royals and their own label, Apollo Records, but managed to score two #1 smashes during 1953. Their sound was ..read more
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Episode #713 – 1954: Jukebox Rhythm Review, Pt. 1
Juke In The Back
by Matt The Cat
2M ago
Air Week: January 1-7, 2024 1954: Jukebox Rhythm Review, Pt. 1 This week, the “Juke In The Back” transports you back 70 years. 1954 was a pivotal year for American Music. The lines between Rhythm & Blues and Pop were getting blurred as more and more R&B records crossed over into the Pop Chart, causing a brand new “youth market” to open up. American teens of all colors were diggin’ that jump blues sound that had been a staple on Black Radio for years. This would lead to racial integration and eventually, the Civil Rights Movement. There is no doubt that music played an important role i ..read more
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Episode #712 – Mabel Scott
Juke In The Back
by Matt The Cat
2M ago
Air Week: December 25-31, 2023 Mabel Scott Mabel Scott was an incredibly versatile artist. She was a pianist, pop vocalist, R&B chanteuse and could shout the blues with the best of ’em. But like many of her peers, Scott never received the royalties or recognition that she deserved, even on songs that she wrote. Many others made money off her, especially on her two charting tunes, 1948’s “Elevator Boogie” and “Boogie Woogie Santa Clause,” which returns every Christmas Season. Mabel began recording in 1946 with a one-off single for the Hub Label, which should be remembered today as the prot ..read more
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Episode #711 – Cool Yule: R&B Christmas, Pt. 2
Juke In The Back
by Matt The Cat
2M ago
Air Week: December 18-24, 2023 Cool Yule: R&B Christmas, Pt. 2 The “Juke In The Back” presents part 2 of our 2 part vintage Christmas Rhythm & Blues extravaganza that Matt The Cat is calling “Cool Yule.” Louis Armstrong presents the title song with a backing group that is often overlooked and we spin a Louis Jordan Christmas record that’s hardly ever played. In-between, you’ll find doo wop morsels from The Cameos, Marvin & The Chips, The Youngsters and a rare early Sun Ra release by The Qualities. Chuck Berry thanks his baby for a wonderful Christmas while Charles Brown asks his s ..read more
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Episode #709 – T-Bone Walker
Juke In The Back
by Matt The Cat
3M ago
Air Week: December 4-10, 2023 T-Bone Walker Drop a nickel in the ol’ Rockola Juke to hear one of the best selling and most influential bluesmen and guitarists of all-time, T-Bone Walker. This week’s show looks at how T-Bone’s immense guitar talent developed from his first recordings in the early 1940s to his breakthrough after WWII with the now classic, “Call It Stormy Monday (But Tuesday’s Just As Bad)” for Black & White Records. We’ll also get a taste of T-Bone’s work for the Cornet, Imperial and Atlantic labels. B. B. King, Ray Charles and Chuck Berry have all cited T-Bone Walker as a ..read more
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