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This Week on NPR - Movin' & Groovin' to the Hammond B3, Hour 2
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July 29, 2015 02:36 PM PDT
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The first Hammond Organ -- the Model A -- was introduced in the United States in 1935 by inventor Laurens Hammond. He originally intended it for use in radio broadcasting, as a replacement for the piano in middle class homes, and as an affordable substitute for the pipe organ in churches. In the mid 1950s, the B3 model was introduced, and it quickly found a home in blues, gospel, and jazz music circles -- becoming one of their most popular sellers.

On this episode of Blues Unlimited, we'll hear Hammond B3 rarities from Saint Louis-based keyboardist Sam Lazar (Jazz guitar legend Grant Green was an early member of the group) as well as J.C. Davis (his 45 for Chess, "Feznecky"), plus all time classics from Bill Doggett, Booker T. & the MG's, Jimmy McGriff, James Booker, and a special treat from Jazz keyboard legend Jimmy Smith.

Although the original Hammond B3 was officially discontinued in 1974, we’re pleased to say that Suzuki -- who now owns Hammond -- recently came out with an updated tribute model, which is said to duplicate every single aspect of the original. Whether on a vintage Hammond B3 or the newly redesigned one, we look forward to more fine music being made on the Hammond B3 in years to come.

Pictured: Hit maker for Stax Records, Booker T. Jones.

This Week on NPR - Movin' & Groovin' to the Hammond B3, Hour 1
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July 29, 2015 02:16 PM PDT
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Dear Fans and Friends,

As we've been mentioning for the last couple of months... we're pleased to say that Blues Unlimited is now available through NPR's in-house distribution network, known as Content Depot. While that's great news for us, it is also a VERY EXPENSIVE proposition. The ONLY WAY this is going to work in the long-term, is for other radio stations to pick up the program for broadcast. And that's where you come in. RADIO STATIONS LISTEN WHEN YOU WRITE THEM AND TELL THEM ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE PROGRAM (Uhm, hopefully this one! But it's okay if you have other favorites too!). So please, do us a favor -- a quick email or a phone call is all it takes... to let your favorite radio station know that they can carry the best blues radio show around. Thanks for your help. We couldn't do ANY of this without you!

On this episode of Blues Unlimited, we're movin' and groovin' to the sounds of the Hammond B3 organ. Popular in Jazz, Blues, R&B, Soul, and Gospel, we'll celebrate the history of this hit making instrument over the years, with rarities from Sam Lazar and J.C. Davis, plus all time classics from Bill Doggett, Booker T. & the MG's, Jimmy McGriff, and more.

Pictured: Master of the B3, the one and only Jimmy Smith.

Five (Plus Two) from Atlantic: The Desert Island Classics, Part 4 (Hour 2)
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July 18, 2015 07:30 AM PDT
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Join us as we continue with our ongoing series, Desert Island Classics. This time around, we’ve got a handful of five-star vinyl, all from Atlantic Records. We’ll hear music from Ray Charles, Professor Longhair, T-Bone Walker, Blind Willie McTell, and more. It’s another installment of Desert Island Classics, on this episode of Blues Unlimited.

Pictured: The distinctive cover art for the "Blues Originals Series," issued by Atlantic in 1972, included this 5-star gem from Professor Longhair.

Five (Plus Two) from Atlantic: The Desert Island Classics, Part 4 (Hour 1)
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July 18, 2015 06:21 AM PDT
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Join us as we continue with our ongoing series, Desert Island Classics. This time around, we’ve got a handful of five-star vinyl, all from Atlantic Records. We’ll hear music from Ray Charles, Professor Longhair, T-Bone Walker, Blind Willie McTell, and more. It’s another installment of Desert Island Classics, on this episode of Blues Unlimited.

Pictured: The debut album of Ray Charles. A compilation of previous hits and singles for Atlantic, it contained three of his early Billboard R&B chart toppers.

A Tribute to “The Chairman of the Board”: B.B. King’s Biggest Hits (Hr 2)
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June 29, 2015 12:24 PM PDT
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Join us as we celebrate the life and music of B.B. King, by counting down the biggest hits of his career. Spanning the course of four decades, we’ve compiled a list of 29 songs that define the man, and his music. A tribute to “The Chairman of the Board” — on this episode of Blues Unlimited. (NOTE: this special "Producer's Cut" contains extra material NOT included in regular the broadcast version!)

A Tribute to “The Chairman of the Board”: B.B. King’s Biggest Hits (Hr 1)
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June 29, 2015 12:11 PM PDT
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Join us as we celebrate the life and music of B.B. King, by counting down the biggest hits of his career. Spanning the course of four decades, we’ve compiled a list of 29 songs that define the man, and his music. A tribute to “The Chairman of the Board” — on this episode of Blues Unlimited.

Pictured: B.B. King's very first LP, which contained all four of his number one R&B hit records.

The Candid Records Blues Sessions, Hour 2
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June 25, 2015 07:33 AM PDT
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Join us as we take a look at the recordings that Memphis Slim, Lightnin' Hopkins, and Otis Spann made in New York City for the Candid label in 1960 and 1961. Plus, we'll hear selections from a rare and fascinating LP of field recordings made in the greater Houston area by legendary song hunter, Mack McCormick. It's blues from Candid Records, on this episode of Blues Unlimited.

The Candid Records Blues Sessions, Hour 1
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June 25, 2015 07:21 AM PDT
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Join us as we take a look at the recordings that Memphis Slim, Lightnin' Hopkins, and Otis Spann made in New York City for the Candid label in 1960 and 1961. Plus, we'll hear selections from a rare and fascinating LP of field recordings made in the greater Houston area by legendary song hunter, Mack McCormick. It's blues from Candid Records, on this episode of Blues Unlimited.

Legends of Bluesville, Part 5: Blues from St. Louis, Hour 2
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May 28, 2015 03:37 AM PDT
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Join us for another installment of our ongoing series, "The Legends of Bluesville." This time around, we’re going to St. Louis, to hear from Henry Townsend, Big Joe Williams, Daddy Hotcakes, Roosevelt Sykes, Henry Brown and more. It’s "The Legends of Bluesville," on this episode of Blues Unlimited.

Pictured: Another classic from Bluesville, Henry Townsend's LP for the label is a super-rarity today.

Legends of Bluesville, Part 5: Blues from St. Louis, Hour 1
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May 28, 2015 03:20 AM PDT
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Join us for another installment of our ongoing series, "The Legends of Bluesville." This time around, we’re going to St. Louis, to hear from Henry Townsend, Big Joe Williams, Daddy Hotcakes, Roosevelt Sykes, Henry Brown and more. It’s "The Legends of Bluesville," on this episode of Blues Unlimited.

Pictured: Slated for release as Bluesville LP 1078, it was withdrawn and never issued; the label would only issue eight more LPs before ceasing production. It was later issued by Folkways as part two of a three-part series, "The Blues in St. Louis."

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