March 28, 2009

Sonny Terry - Brownie McGhee_68507.jpg

I was going through some old aircheck tapes the other day. Mostly Los Angeles FM stations from the 1950's and '60's. I ran across a number of tapes labeled "Live Folk Programs". They were all remotes from various clubs around Los Angeles, none of which exist any more. This particular tape, via KRHM-FM (now known as The Wave) was part of a weekly program that came from The Renaissance and The Ash Grove clubs in Hollywood. One of the frequent groups to perform was Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, two legendary figures in the Blues World. They recorded for several labels and performed everywhere in the world during their five decade career. This recording, taken off the air in December of 1959 is in surprisingly good quality, as most early FM broadcasts were. FM at the time was an afterthought in broadcasting, the exclusive property of the "hi-fi enthusiast" in the 1950's whose arcane tastes in music and massive audio systems afforded some very eclectic programming. This set features Terry and McGhee celebrating their 20th anniversary of performing together (they got together in 1939) performing "Living With The Blues" and "A Closer Walk With Thee".

(Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee - a 1960's photo)

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