Opher and Mike’s Radio Programmes – 50’s/early 60’s R&B

Opher and Mike’s Radio Programmes – 50’s/early 60’s R&B

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I’ve just had a great afternoon with my mate Mike (ex-roadie for Free, Bad Company and Robin Trower) going through the rich vein of 50s R&B for our next radio programme.

It was hellishly difficult selecting a dozen tracks. We would have had trouble getting it down to a hundred.

So we missed out all the Chicago Blues for a future show, then all the girl groups, then the Doo-wop and the Rock ‘n’ Roll cross-over, then the New Orleans, then the females and finally came up with a group of artists which created a range of brilliant styles that is indicative of the amazing brilliance of the time. You can get an idea of the quality when I tell you that Ray Charles and James Brown both got dropped!

We’ve selected our sixteen artists with a view to range and variety. We wanted some familiar and some less so. We love them all:

Arthur Alexander

Barrett Strong

Chuck Willis




Don and Dewey


Larry Williams

Lazy Lester

Slim Harpo

Tommy Tucker

Screaming Jay Hawkins

Sam Cooke

Rufus Thomas

Little Willie John

Hopefully there will be some familiar names and a few less well known.

We’re now sorting out what we’re going to say and put the show together.

What do you think so far?

Have a listen:

Anyway, this week it was fifties R&B. We had a great time writing, rehearsing and recording. If you like 1950s US black R&B this might be the show for you. We love it. It was the stuff that turned on the Beatles and Stones.


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