Big Bill Broonzy Vol. 1 1927-32
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Big Bill Broonzy
Complete Recorded Works c. November 1927 – 15th September 1951.
Vol. 1: c. November 1927 to 19 November 1930
Featuring the recordings of:
Big Bill and Thomps: Big Bill Broonzy, guitar; John Thomas, guitar / speech. Big Bill, vocal / guitar; John Thomas, guitar. Big Bill, vocal / guitar; John Thomas, vocal / guitar on 3 / effects on 3. Big Bill (as by Sammy Sampson), vocal / guitar; Frank Brasswell, guitar. Big Bill, vocal / guitar; probably Georgia Tom Dorsey, piano. Big Bill (as by Big Bill Johnson), vocal / guitar; Frank Brasswell, guitar. No vocal (speech only) on 10, 11; only one guitar on 7; vocal duet on 12. Big Bill (as by Sammy Sampson), vocal / guitar. Big Bill, vocal / guitar; Georgia Tom Dorsey, piano. Big Bill (as by Big Bill Johnson), vocal / guitar. Big Bill (as Big Bill Johnson), vocal / guitar; Steele Smith, banjo; or Johnson and Smith on 23, 24: Big Bill, guitar; Steele Smith, banjo; or Steele and Johnson on 25 / 26: Big Bill, Steele Smith, vocal duet; accompanied by own guitar and banjo.
Genres: Blues, Arkansas Blues, Early Chicago Blues, Country Blues, Country Blues Guitar, Ragtime Guitar, Blues Piano, Hokum, Ragtime Guitar
Abridged from this albums original booklet notes. When Big Bill Broonzy came to Chicago from Arkansas in 1920 he was still country but, as he was to prove time and again in his long career, he was also adaptable and despite his supremely affable, easy-going manner he knew what he wanted and was prepared to persevere until he got it. One of the things he wanted was to make records. His break came when he approached Paramount Records. They cut four tracks, which remained unissued but later re-cut two of the titles. The resultant record presented Big Bill and Thomas performing House Rent Stomp and Big Bill Blues. Bill later justified knowing that he was bilked on the pay he received because he and Thomas alone bought at least fifty copies!
There was to be only one more release on Paramount before Big Bill hit his big year of 1930, when, using the pseudonym of Sammy Sampson he cut five tracks, four of which appear here, for the Perfect label in New York, then, learning the tricks of the trade he became Big Bill Johnson for Gennett in Richmond before returning to Paramount as Big Bill Broomsley. From his country origins he moved on to investigate hokum numbers and vaudeville songs. Always keeping an eye out for the main chance, he upgraded his sound by the addition of a piano when he cut three sides utilising the talents of Georgia Tom Dorsey; forever malleable at the same time moulding himself into his basic, unchanging role of good-time rounder, some-time philosopher and full-time bluesman.Keith Briggs Copyright 1 991 & 2008 Document Records