Many listeners tune in by using their phones. Here is where to get the app.
Later in the week you can stream the show from the Archive Player. Launch the Sunday 6 pm segment and click ahead one hour.

Jay Bruder’s  big Washington music retrospective set, “R&B in D.C. 1940-1960” has been released by Bear Family Records and is available from their website.  It’s been reviewed in the Washington Post and Washingtonian magazine.  .

Many listeners tune in by using their phones. Here is where to get the app.
Later in the week you can stream the show from the 
Archive Player. Launch the Sunday 6 pm segment and click ahead one hour.

Jay Bruder’s  big Washington music retrospective set, “R&B in D.C. 1940-1960” has been released by Bear Family Records and is available from their website.  It’s been reviewed in the Washington Post and Washingtonian magazine.

Sunday December 3


Most of the time on The Home Town Special we chase after where the music came from. Tonight, I am going to start with where the music went by playing three tracks that show how Rockabilly echoed down through the decades with cuts from some 35 to 55 years after Elvis’s Sun recordings. Roy Kyle and Nite Life do “I Like Your Style” from 1991, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and The Flatlanders do “Dallas” from 1995 (a fine example of personification, for those of you who collect named figures of speech), the irrepressible Marti Brom does “Get A Little Goner” from her 2010 Ripsaw CD, “Not For Nothin’.”  Bob & Lucille were known as the The Canadian Sweethearts which is somewhat of a misnomer given their scorching performance on “Enny-Meeny-Miney-Moe.” Country pianist Moon Mullican teamed with Boyd Bennett for the session which delivered “Seven Nights To Rock.” The Maddox Brothers and Rose lead off a set of obscure country recordings including the original, non-hit, version of “A Satisfied Mind” by Red Hays. We’ll hear some Christmas tunes from Ed Meath (I’d never heard of him before last week), Tex Williams and The Moonglows. We had a request for The Platters so you’ll get one of their big hits and three lesser-known tracks from the time when they recorded for Syd Nathan’s Federal label. Curley King’s version of “The Pale Horse and His Rider” sets us up for a great gospel performance by The Mello-Tones.

Sunnyland Slim kicks off hour 2 with “Jivin’ Boogie” which opens the door for Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Jivin’ The Blues.” The fine piano was from Joshua Althheimer. For all his hits, Amos Milburn had an equal number of great flip-sides. We’ll hear three, including his version of Lil Green’s “Why Don’t You Do Right.” Joe Loco answers with the same title in Mambo arrangement. The Swallows of Baltimore, The Bluebirds of New York, and The Hollywood Flames show us what double entendre really means. Will Rowland and Big Joe Turner carry on the Texas blues legacy of Blind Lemon Jefferson’s “Rabbit Foot Blues.” The Davis Sisters rock out on “The Christmas Boogie.” We’ll close with three great jump blues records from The Dominoes, Little Esther, and Lil Greenwood. I hope you hear something you enjoy!

Thank you for your donations to
Jay Bruder

I Like Your StyleRoy Kyle and Nite LifeFleetwood 1650Oct1991
DallasJimmie Dale Gilmore and The FlatlandersSun-CD-7011-2-01c1995
Get A Little GonerMarti BromRipsaw 223Sep2010
EENY-MEENY-MINEY-MOEBob and LucilleKing 5631April1962
Seven Night To RockMoon MullicanKing 4894Feb1956
The MostBoyd Bennett & his RocketsKing 4853Nov1955
Sweet Little YouMaddox Brothers and Rose4 Star 1210Jan1948
Beer Drinkin BluesRocky Bill Ford Sunset WranglersGilt-Edge 5023Jan1951
A Satisfied Mind (R. Hays-Jack Rhodes)Red HaysStarday 164Oct1954
Jimminy ChristmasEd Meath w Len Hawley QuintetRainbow 228Nov1953
Pretty Red LightsTex Williams and His Western CaravanCapitol 15101Jun1948
Hey Santa ClausThe MoonglowsChance 1150Dec1953
Only YouPlattersMercury 70633May1955
Only YouPlattersFederal 12244Oct1955
Voo-Vee-Ah-BeePlattersFederal 12198Sep1954
Beer Barrel BoogiePlattersFederal 12181May1954
Guitar FantasyHi Neighbor Boys w Eddie Grishaw gVocalion 04691Nov1938
The Pale Horse and His RiderCurley King Tn HilltoppersRich-R’-Tone 422Jan1948
When The Pearly Gates UnfoldMello-TonesCAMEO 1000early1950
Florida SpecialWilbert HarrisonSavoy 1164July1955
Jivin’ BoogieSunnyland Slim and his Sunny BoysHY-TONE 32circa1946
Jivin’ The BluesSonny Boy Williamson No. 1 w Joshua Altheimer pBluebird B-8674May1940
That’s ItAmos MilburnAladdin 3269Nov1954
I Love You AnywayAmos MilburnAladdin 3281Mar1955
Why Don’t You Do RightAmos MilburnAladdin 3281Mar1955
Why Don’t You Do Right – MamboJoe Loco His Piano & QuintetTICO 10-209Jan1954
It Ain’t The MeatSwallowsKing 4501Dec1951
Feel Like Riding OnBluebirdsRainbow 199Dec1952
Ride Helen RideHollywood FlamesLucky 001Nov1954
Run Mr. Rabbit RunWill Rowland OrchestraGold Star 650Feb1949
Blues Jumped The RabbitJoe Turner Fats DominoBayou 015circa1953
The Christmas BoogieDavis SistersRCA Victor 20-5906Oct1954
Will Santy Come To Shanty TownEddy ArnoldRCA Victor 21-0124Oct1949
Blue ChristmasJesse Rogers and his ’49ersRCA Victor 20-3243Nov1948
Blue ChristmasDoye O’DellExclusive 65XNov1948
Blue ChristmasElvis PresleyRCA Victor LOC-1035Nov1957
That’s What You’re Doing To MeDominoesFederal 12059Mar1952
The Deacon Moves InLittle Esther and the DominoesFederal 12016Feb1951
Grandpa Can Boogie TooLil GreenwoodFederal 10293Aug1952
Florida SpecialWilbert HarrisonSavoy 1164July1955

Sunday November 26


As the weather cools down, I wanted to warm things up on The Home Town Special with a quick trip to Hawaii. Recording engineer Bob Bertram created some remarkable sounding records out of a small Honolulu apartment. Yes, the bathroom served as the echo chamber. Bill Lawrence’s “Hey Baby” from late 1958 is a much sought after rockabilly record on the Bob’s Bertram International label. The Lawrence Brothers were Bertram’s regular studio band. They backed the teenage rocker, Robin Luke, on his hit, “Susie Darlin’.” Luke’s version of “You Can’t Stop Me from Dreaming” is another worthy entry into the rock ‘n’ roll record sweepstakes. It failed to chart, but it still holds up nicely today. It was clearly derived from a 1951 release by Helen Carter and Grant Turner with Dell Wood on piano.  That leads us to some obscure country material by The Maddox Brothers and Rose, with Fred taking the lead here, and then on to tracks by Johnny Tyler, and Zeb Turner. Saturday a week ago on Hot Jazz Saturday Night Rob Bamberger did his outstanding retrospective on the works of W.C. Handy. If you tuned in on WAMU-FM you heard more than a couple renditions of Handy’s “St. Louis Blues.” This song also had its run in the vocal group community. We’ll hear versions by The Mills Brothers, The Brooks Brothers, and The Progressive Four, a group out of Washington, D.C. Another Depression era song with surprisingly long legs was “River Stay Away from My Door.” While I don’t have the Jimmy Noone original from 1931, I do have a nice contemporary version by Paul Robeson (you would remember him for “Ol’ Man River”) and a version from The Syncopators out of southwest Washington, D.C. from 1949. The Syncopators had a brief shot at breaking into the pop charts thanks to two releases on National Records, but neither disc caught on. The group broke up within 6 months of their initial formation. We’ll cycle back to The Mills Brothers for their rendition of “Gloria” which became an inspiration to the first generation of R&B vocal groups. Shortly after The Mills Brothers original release, The Four Gabriels, a group recording for World Records in Nashville, released their slightly different interpretation of the song, but it was The Cadillacs (remember: ‘They often call me Speedo, but my real name is Mr. Earl’) who delivered the R&B version of “Gloria” which has served as the benchmark for all subsequent performances. The Wright Brothers and The Mello-Tones deliver some powerful gospel songs before Eddie Grishaw (aka Zeb Turner) delivers some great guitar licks on “Guitar Fantasy” with The Hi Neighbor Boys.

Pianist Pete Johnson recorded a great session in April 1939 which was released on Solo Art, a label oriented towards jazz collectors. Johnson did an instrumental version of “B. And O. Blues” which leads to a 1932 song of the same title by Bumble Bee Slim (r.n. Amos Easton). Following up on last weeks’ Sun blues to rockabilly theme we’ll hear Billy Hancock doing “Boogie Disease,” originally a Sun release done Dr. Ross –The Harmonica Boss. This track was from a series of magical sessions Billy did with Tex Rubinowitz for Jon Strong and Jim Kirhuff‘s Ripsaw Records. Billy was an attentive song collector. One of his favorite finds was a budget LP recorded by “Luke Gordon” at Ben Adleman’s Empire Studio in the Takoma section of Washington, D.C. From that LP, Billy transformed “Christmas in Tennessee” into a rock ‘n’ roll Christmas favorite. Then it’s back to The Syncopators to hear “These Are Things I Want To Share With You,” and a West Coast pop cover by George Shelly. Both were nice recordings. Neither made much of a dent in the market. I try to give an overview of the record scene in past decades, but sometimes I glance over successful artists because I think they are too well known. This week I’ll fix that a little bit by turning a brief spotlight on Sonny Til and The Orioles of Baltimore who were hugely influential from 1949 into the early 1950s. They set the stage for the stylistic changes which would sweep the industry in the years just preceding Elvis. By now you should have a little taste of just how important Washington and Baltimore were in the early years of R&B vocal group music. Next up are two lesser-known groups out of New York City studios, The Mel-O-Dots, and The Toppers who enjoyed releases in 1952. Hal Singer takes us home with a fine version of “Blue Velvet.” I hope you hear something you enjoy!

Thank you for your donations to
Jay Bruder

Hey BabyBill LawrenceBertram Int 207late1958
Bird DogTilton SistersBertram Int LPcirca1958
Won’t You Please Be MineRobin LukeBertram Int 212Jun1959
Susie Darlin’Robin LukeInternational 206Spring1958
You Can’t Stop Me From Dreamin’Robin Luke with the Lawrence Brothers ComboBertram Int 210circa1959
You Can’t Stop Me From DreamingHelen Carter and Grant Turner, Del Wood pTennessee 789Sep1951
Mean And Wicked BoogieMaddox Brothers and Rose w Fred4 Star 1210Jan1948
Troubles On Your MindJohnny Tyler and the Riders of The Rio GrandeStanchel 102Jun1946
Don’t That Moon Look LonesomeZeb Turner rn Eddie GrishawBullet 651Apr1948
St Louis BluesMills BrothersBrunswick 6330Apr1932
St. Louis BluesBrooks BrothersDiamond 2006late1945
St. Louis BluesProgressive FourDC 8036Dec1947
River Stay Away From My DoorPaul Robeson, Recorded in EuropeVictor 22889Jan1932
River Stay Away From My DoorSyncopatorsNational 9095Nov1949
GloriaMills BrothersDecca 24509Oct1948
GloriaFour GabrielsWorld 2505Dec1948
GloriaCadillacsJosie 765Jul1954
Wake, Shake Me, Don’t Let Me Sleep Too LongWright BrothersBluebird 8755Jul1941
What Are They Doing In HeavenMello-TonesCAMEO 1000early1950
Guitar FantasyHi Neighbor Boys w Eddie Grishaw gVocalion 04691Nov1938
Buss Robinson BluesPete JohnsonSolo Art 12006 rcrdApr1939
B. And O. BluesPete JohnsonSolo Art 12006 rcrdApr1939
B and O BluesBumble Bee SlimVocalion 1720Mar1932
Whippin’ That JellyState Street SwingersVocalion 03319 rcrdAug1936
Skippy WhippyMississippi Jook BandARC 6-11-65Nov1936
Boogie DiseaseDr. RossSun 212Oct1954
Boogie DiseaseBilly Hancock and the Tenn RocketsRipsaw 213Nov1979
Feelin’ Right TonightTex RubinowitzRipsaw 212May1979
Christmas In TennesseeLuke Gordon [Brown]MVM LP-156circa1963
Christmas In TennesseeBilly HancockRipsawNov1979
These Are Things I Want To Share With YouGeorge Shelly w Bob Anderson’s Orch L.A.Skystreak 1007Feb1950
These Are Things I Want To Share With YouSyncopatorsNational 9093Nov1949
What No PearlsEarl BosticKing 4644Jul1953
Forgive And ForgetOriolesJubilee 5016Jan1950
At NightOriolesJubilee 5025Mar1950
A Kiss And A RoseOriolesJubilee 5009Aug1949
One More TimeMel-O-Dots featuring Ricky WhiteApollo 1192May1952
Let Me Bang Your BoxToppersJubilee 5136Feb1952
Blue VelvetHal SingerCoral 65070Nov1951