WUMB October Program Guide

From the Studio

Salty & Mattie Holmes and the “Ghost Song”

Happy October!   So this is the month of Halloween, but I don’t have a whole lot of specifically Halloween material, to my chagrin.  But there is one group I’d like to introduce you to that I suspect you’ve never heard of… because they’re pretty well lost to antiquity. And by antiquity, I mean the 1950’s   His real name was Floyd Holmes, and was a musician in a lot of the early cowboy recordings that you’ve probably heard.  She was Jean Chapel (born as Opal Jean Amburgey).  They were married in 1947 and divorced in 1956, and had one daughter (see below.) Read More…

Victoria Spivey: “Blues is My Business”

Victoria Spivey is one of those names in American music that should be better known. In fact, her name, even when acknowledged, is often mis-pronounced. I wouldn’t have known myself how to correctly pronounce it had I not stumbled across a song of hers on an American Folk Blues Festival LP from 1963 featuring a song of hers about her father. In it she pronounces his name “Grant Spee-vey”. It’s a gut-wrencher of a song.

Victoria began singing professionally as a child in her father’s Houston Texas-based string band. When he died suddenly in 1918, she continued performing as an accompanist for silent films and alongside other Texas musicians like Blind Lemon Jefferson. During the 20s she began recording for the OKeh and Vocalion labels with the likes of Louis Armstrong and King Oliver backing her up. This period also saw the beginning of a working friendship with Lonnie Johnson, one of the developers of modern guitar-playing, that the pair returned to decades later. Read More…

Something Old, Something New For That Special Music Brew

We are making a dedicated infusion and integration of artists who are also instructors at WUMB’s music camps into the Sunday morning show (8am to Noon). I think you will find their music weaves naturally into the music and vibe we’ve had going on Sunday mornings. Also if we have any announcements to make related to SAMW or the other WUMB music camps, we’ll make them on the show. And from time to time, we will have segments that were recorded at music camp. We will continue to sprinkle in music for artists’ birthdays and surprise ourselves with the 11:20 am “Hometown Heroes” segment.

The show is being re-christened as The SAMW Café. So you can settle into Sunday morning by sipping your Sunday morning brew at The SAMW Café. I will be your humble host. This Sunday, October 4th will be the show’s premiere. Here’s a teaser of what I am working on for the month: Read More…

Guest Mix and Some Good Fortune

I spent a lot of a time as a kid listening to vinyl and staring at album covers. Of course, the music was always the most important thing, but I was also curious about the musicians themselves. What were they like? How did they live and think? What kind of magic was in them that would manifest in music that transfixes millions? Hence the staring at album cover photos, reading and rereading liner notes, and trying to figure out how to match the sound I was hearing with an actual living, breathing human being. Read More…

The Local Music Corner

Two more live music venues have jumped into the livestreaming/broadcasting side of this COVID life, as they begin their respective seasons: the Me and Thee Coffeehouse in Marblehead and the Linden Tree Coffeehouse in Wakefield. I guess where the venues are located is not that important. But if you go to their websites you will get the listings and the appropriate web links to see the shows. Curl up with your favorite libations and munchies, and enjoy the shows. Just remember that if someone in the “crowd” where you are watching won’t shut up or is clapping at the wrong times, don’t complain to Kathy (Me and Thee) or Liz (Linden Tree) about it… Read More…

Music for the Colors of the Fall

Although summer is my favorite season here in New England, it’s always a treat to see the spectacular autumn colors. Here are some songs that inspire me to embrace the change of seasons while I’m on my foliage rambles. I’ve also included a couple of  recent pics from my walks In Newburyport and Concord. Leave your favorite songs in the comments! Happy leaf peeping! Read More…

Spooky Blues….

October is synonymous with the leaves turning, Concord grapes, candy apples and…Halloween. So here’s some classic cool spooky Blues to play all month to get you in the spirit. I’ll be playing some of these tunes and more towards the end of the month: Read More…

The Child Ballads

I like to devote October to the Child Ballads. These ancient songs, dating from the 13th to 17th centuries, remain intriguing because they tell stories of deception, jealousy, revenge, obsession, murder, romance, superstition and the supernatural. In short, drama, drama, drama! Read More…

Imagine John Lennon at 80 Years Old

It seems crazy, doesn’t it?
That John Lennon was murdered 40 years ago.
That this year on October 9th he would have turned 80 years old, and that John was only 40 years old when we lost him. Read More…

Collaboration as Mentorship in Brazil

I’ve always admired the way so many in the Brazilian musical community make a point of encouraging young artists by working with them in collaborations of various sorts to help them get a start- Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Gal Costa and many other come to mind. Here is a link to a youtube video made during a studio session a few years ago that I’ve had on my list of favorites for a long time. Read More…