9 JANUARY 2022

Like the blues and other musical genres, Western swing — especially Western swing from the ‘30s and ‘40s — loves its double entendre songs. One of the best-known, whose origin is attributed to the blues artist Memphis Minnie, is “What’s the Matter with the Mill?” You’ve likely heard it before, by Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, or Moon Mullican, or another swing act — but until I heard Elana James sing it with Hot Club of Cowtown, I never realized what a difference a female vocalist makes in conveying the, uh, hidden meaning of the lyrics.
   
You can hear it, too, if you dial up SWING ON THIS Saturday evening at 7 p.m. Tulsa time. I’ll also have the usual quotient of tunes that range, as the saying goes, from the sublime to the absurd. This time around, by popular demand, I’ve got an encore of one of the most unusual entries ever in our “San Antonio Rose” parade — “Just Like A Rose of San Antone, Approximately,” from our friend Michael H. Price and His Western Swingmasters. Sublime? Absurd? Both? You be the judge.
   

Plus, the flip side of Billy Parker’s breakthrough single, “Thanks A Lot,” played from the original 45 rpm record, and versions of several American standards — including, especially for the Leon Lifers, one from Tulsa’s Master of Space and Time.  
 

That’s SWING ON THIS, airing locally on Tulsa’s NPR affiliate, KWGS (89.5 FM), and live-streaming everywhere at publicradiotulsa.org

 

1. “Sugar Blues,” Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys
(for JACK & CAROLE BENDER)
2. “What’s the Matter with the Mill,” Hot Club of Cowtown
3. “Pink Champagne,” Merl Lindsay and His Oklahoma Nite Riders
(for BRAD & ANN JAMES and the GLASS LIFTERS)
4. “Go to Town,” the Lucky Stars
5. “Out of Your Heart,” Billy Parker
(for HAMILL TIME)
6. “Brain Cloudy Blues,” Merle Haggard
7. “Just Like A Rose of San Antone, Approximately,” Michael H. Price
and His Western Swingmasters
(for SAM BARRETT)
8. “Gotta Keep ‘Em Movin’ Along,” Billy Mata and Texas Tradition
(for DENA WOOD)
9. “Birmingham Bounce,” Leon McAuliffe
(for BARBARA BARRETT)
10. “Canadian Sunset,” Rose Sinclair
11. “Tom Cat Boogie,” Johnnie Lee Wills and His Boys
12. “Little Liza Jane,” Shelby Eicher
13. “Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me,” Brazos Valley Boys
(for DWIGHT HALDEMAN)
14. “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes,” Leon Russell
(for the LEON LIFERS)
15. “Riverboat Shuffle,” Junior Brown