This week we are visited by two men with legendary voices, in country and soul, famous for their duets and more. First, we revisit our interview with the late George Jones. From the cotton patches of East Texas, Jones was one of the most distinctive voices in the history of country music. Known as “the King of Broken Hearts,” his hits through the ’60s and ’70s remain the high-water mark for country ballads. Sam Moore, formerly of Sam & Dave, recalls his early days as a gospel singer in Miami and his conversion to pop. As a sixties “Soul Man” he recorded a string of jukebox classics then pressed through difficult times and has emerged with a second career on his own.
We pay tribute to the late Fats Domino with our favorite of the New Orleans piano man’s Imperial releases. And we hear the Fat Man’s reflective side in a rare 2007 conversation with him about escaping Hurricane Katrina’s floodwaters and how his faith saw him through. Veteran blues harp player Billy Boy Arnold tells of South Side Chicago’s early rhythm & blues scene, recording with Bo Diddley, and Fats Domino’s role in pushing black music across the color line into what would become rock & roll. Then, we catch up with a new generation of rockers, the Tedeschi Trucks Band, known for their live shows of Southern soul-inflected roots rock. We chat with Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks (Allman Brothers) about their solo careers, starting a family and a band, and life on the road together. Plus, hard-hitting R&B from Junior Parker, mighty gospel from Mahalia, and rockin’ soul from Mad Dogs and Englishmen.
Explore the connection between the wail of the cantor and the slide of a blues note— where jazz and western swing meet the klezmorium. Legendary R&B producer Jerry Wexler recalls working with Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan and more. Banjo player, and author Henry Sapoznik talks about going from Old Time Country back to the music of his roots, klezmer. Plus jazz-inflected western swing, swinging klezmer and more.
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