Big Bill Broonzy – Complete Recorded Works 1927 – 1947 Vol 6 (1937)
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Big Bill Broonzy
Complete Recorded Works (c. November 1927 – 15th September 1951)
Vol: 6: 31st January to 13th October 1937
Featuring the recordings of:
Big Bill Broonzy, vocal, guitar; Punch Miller, trumpet on 1, 5, 6; Black Bob, piano; Bill Settles, stand-up bass; Fred Williams, drums. Midnight Ramblers: Big Bill Broonzy, vocal, guitar; Black Bob, piano; unknown, imitation bass; Washboard Sam, vocal. Big Bill Broonzy, vocal, guitar; Alfred Bell, trumpet on 12; Black Bob, piano; Fred Williams, drums. Big Bill Broonzy, vocal, guitar; accompanied by Punch Miller, trumpet on 15, 16, 17; Leeford or Aletha Robinson, piano; own guitar on 15, 16, 17; Fred Williams, drums. Big Bill Broonzy, vocal, guitar; Leeford or Aletha Robinson, piano on 18; Black Bob, piano on 19; unknown, stand-up bass. Big Bill Broonzy, vocal, guitar; Black Bob, or probably Joshua Altheimer, piano on 20; unknown 2nd guitar; unknown stand-up bass. Big Bill Broonzy, vocal, guitar; Blind John Davis, piano; Fred Williams, drums.
Genres: Blues, Country Blues, Arkansas Blues, Early Chicago Blues, Country Blues Guitar, Blues Piano,
Abridged from this albums original booklet notes. This volume picks up the recorded works of Big Bill Broonzy half way through the session of 31st January 1937. One of the tracks he sat out was Horny Frog, an alternative take of which opens this set to complement the last track on Volume 5, however he joined in for Mean Old World and’ contributed some nice growling trumpet to You Do Me Any Old Way. On 10th of March that year Bill was one of the Midnight Ramblers, a group which featured piano, string bass (probably of the “tea chest” variety) and the shared vocals of himself and Washboard Sam. The partnership between Black Bob and Big Bill seems to have ended with the session of 9th June 1937 and, by July Leeford Robinson was occupying the piano stool. The session opened with Bill pleading for the return of one “Hattie” to save him from descending into a life of drinking and gambling (a joke surely!) and continued with a song in praise of his “crankie” Model T Ford
“You can have your V8 and your Lincoln too, Give me my Model T, I know what she will do”.
The trumpet and drums are prominent on this up-tempo cut. Another of Bill’s possessions comes in for praise on Come Home Early where he sings
“Don’t be scared, it won’t bite, My damper’s made to fit an eight inch pipe”.
Leeford Robinson seems to have been a stop-gap too and after that date Big Bill Broonzy turned to Blind John Davis for support on the 88 before beginning his long association with Josh Altheimer, although it may be Altheimer working on My Girl Is Gone. The two men, working with Fred Williams, drums, held down the session of 13 October 1937 when Bill explained his wariness in commercial transactions. “When I’m ready to buy, I want my hands on it – so it won’t fly”, and dragooned the tune best known as Sitting 0n Top of The World into service for the slow and reflective blues It’s Too Late, to which Davis adds some delicate piano. This set winds up with Made A Date With An Angel – “Poor me, I can’t fly”, which is not the pop song it appears to be and is more correctly sub-titled Got No Walking Shoes.Keith Briggs Copyright 1993, Document Records.