Program of the Week, July 30: Blues Unlimited

Saturdays from 7 – 9pm

Hosted by “Sleepy Boy” Hawkins

Blues Unlimited has already been called the best radio show of its kind, and has established a loyal, worldwide audience.

Blues Unlimited is a two-hour weekly radio show devoted to the wonderful world of the blues, and its history, heritage, and rich cultural traditions. Each installment of Blues Unlimited is typically designed to be a self-contained episode, and explores some topic or aspect of the blues universe – piano players from New Orleans, harp blowers from Chicago and Los Angeles, the blues revival of the ’60s, or the origins of famous blues songs – while other shows focus on regional styles: Detroit, Memphis, the Mississippi Hill Country, Shreveport, Texas, and the East Coast. Profiles of classic record labels like Imperial, Sun, Chess/Checker, Arhoolie, etc., are also included

Important historical milestones are often recognized – such as a two part-series on the American Folk Blues Festival Tours and an unprecedented four-part series on the Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals. Sometimes, a series of albums are featured – such as Harry Smith’s “Anthology of American Folk Music,” or “Chicago/The Blues/Today!” – produced by Sam Charters for Vanguard in the mid 60s.

Steve Franz (who is known on the airwaves as Sleepy Boy Hawkins) has been a blues fanatic, researcher, historian, radio programmer, and scholar for 30 years. He is the author of the critically acclaimed book, “The Amazing Secret History of Elmore James,” having earned his Master’s Degree in Ethnomusicology from the University of Memphis.