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Tuesday, 8 July 2014

The Blues Collection - Big Bill Broonzy

The Blues Collection is an occasional series with no set days or dates hence the propensity for it to slip off the radar from time to time.
Worry not however it is back for the few of you who are following it (a very few according to the statistics!)
This time around it is the turn of Lee Conley Bradley better know as Big Bill Broonzy
One of 17 children he was born in 1893 either in Lake Dick, Arkansas or Scott, Mississippi depending on what source you refer to. What is not in dispute is that he died on August 14th 1958 in Chicago.
He was a pretty prolific singer, songwriter and guitarist performing from the 1920's onwards starting with country blues, graduating to a more urban blues style before being an integral part of the American folk music revival. These two songs are from the 30's and 40's - his urban blues period where he was extremely popular with working class African-American audience. The lyrics were often a bit risque resulting in this form of blues being seen as subversive and frowned upon by polite society.
An example being the first song recorded in Chicago on 19th November 1936 when he was a member of a group called The Midnight Ramblers.
The second song despite it's title is not at all risque. Recorded again in Chicago this time on 17th July 1941 here he is joined by our old friends Memphis Slim and Washboard Sam

The Midnight Ramblers - Out With the Wrong Woman

Big Bill Broonzy - Wee Wee Blues


  1. How did Washboard Sam get his name?

  2. The Mississippi Blues trail actually has him born in Arkansas...if we are willing to concede his Arkansas origins it's probably a safe bet. We got 'em to spare though b***es! :)

    He does have a nice marker in Scott though.