Soul Bucket History

The Soul Bucket grew out of my pure love for southern soul, rhythm & blues, jump blues and funk. I conceived it the summer before my freshman year at Emerson College. I had known that I wanted to go to Emerson since I was in junior high school, because they had and still have the only fully student-run radio station in a top 10 radio market: WERS. Originally, I thouht I'd call the show, The Soul Attic, The Soul Closet or The Soul Basement, but Michael D. Penniman set me right and suggested The Soul Bucket. It made perfect sense, since no one could deny that a bucket was soulful.

At WERS you have to audition in order to host a show. I auditioned my first semester and was turned down and given a slot as a producer on the daily folk music show, Coffeehouse. I auditioned again at the beginning of my 2nd semester and got the show. The only catch was that it was to be on from 6-8am on Sunday Mornings, right before the weekly Klezmer music show. Hey, at least my show was going to be heard, right? My buddy John Cotti designed the Soul Bucket logo and we were on our way. You can hear an excerpt from the first show from February 12, 1995 on the sounds page.

Matt "The Swinging Cat" testifyin'

It took almost a year, but finally a wise program director moved the show to Saturday Nights, where it remained for the next 2 years. First the Bucket appeared from 5-7pm and then 7-9pm, before settling in at 7-10pm to provide Boston with its weekly dose of true soul music. Over the years, I was lucky enough to have Peter Wolf, Peter Guralnick, Barence Whitfield, Walter Wolfman Washington, Little Buster, Luther "Guitar Jr." Johnson and many other special guests on the show. I also went through a lot of producers; some dedicated and some not. The Soul Bucket ended on May 16, 1998 and I graduated from Emerson on May 18th. I never missed a show for 3 and a half years and I'll never forget the listeners, guests and music that made The Bucket such a success. I loved every minute of it. UH, GOOD GOD! Never lose that soul, Boston.

Michael D. Penniman, Matt "The Swinging Cat" and John Cotti on the last Soul Bucket Show (left to right)

Soul Bucket Main

Soulful Show Sounds

Show Producers

Remembering The Bucket


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