Panhandle Country presents Bluegrass, Old Time, Cajun, Western Swing, Honky-Tonk, and traditional Country music with recorded music spanning a period from 1922 up to the present, live bands (both local and touring), and special shows on various styles, musicians, and genres. The show is designed not only to entertain but also to educate the listener with historical and biographical information.
You never know what you might hear; a traditional hair raising bluegrass song with paint-peeling vocals, a crying in your beer honky-tonk song, an old time string band from Africa or other parts of the world, a contemporary band, live in the studio, pushing the boundaries of musical genres, a comparison between a jazz standard and Cajun version of the same song sung in French, an archaic fiddle tune that takes you back to the 1800s, a whole show on duets, a bebop country jazz number that’ll make the traditionalists scream “where’s the melody!”, or an unaccompanied ballad telling a tragic tale.
Tom Diamant is a music historian, record producer, musician, radio D.J., record collector, and music archivist. He has a huge music collection and a large library of books on music, all of which go into producing his radio show Panhandle Country.
Growing up in Chicago in the 1950s, he listened late at night to far away AM radio stations, intrigued by the various styles of vernacular music that was still being aired on commercial radio at that time. Learning to play guitar and being around the “folk revival” that unearthed many traditional musicians, he was able to see first hand many of the giants and originators of bluegrass, old time, blues, gospel, Cajun, rhythm and blues, and country music. As a former co-owner of Kaleidoscope Records, he came into close contact with musicians who were in the forefront of the acoustic music scene in the 1970s and 80s and produced some of their recordings. He was part of Arhoolie Records for over 30 years and is a founding member of the Arhoolie Foundation and on their board of directors. Although he is retired from daily work at the Foundation he continues be involved in some of their projects such as the Frontera Collection of Mexican American Music YouTube Channel. He is the curator of the Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys Tiffany Transcriptions website, and you’ll find him with his guitar (and recently claw hammer banjo) wherever there’s a good bluegrass or oldtime music jam. You can email him at [email protected] .