Sunday, March 13, 2016

Farm Boy To Superstar - Big Bill Broonzy, King of Swing Blues Guitar

Big Bill Broonzy's career began in the nineteen twenties when he played country blues to mostly black people. Through the ‘thirties and ‘40s he skillfully navigated an effective evolution in technique to a much more urban blues guitar picking sound experience fashionable with white spectators.

In the nineteen fifties a return to his old style folk-blues origins made him one of the finest personalities of the emerging American folk blues entertainment resurgence and a? worldwide artist.

His long and various career marks him as one of the key figures in the proliferation of blues guitar music in the 20th century just about any blues guitar instruction should always, always include music from Big Bill.

Broonzy licensed greater than three-hundred tunes in the course of his lifetime, with the inclusion of both variations of old style folk songs and original blues tunes. As a blues writer, he was one-of-a-kind in that his compositions symbolized the many vantage points of his country-to-metropolitan realities.



Born William Lee Conley Broonzy, "Big Bill" was one of Frank Broonzy and Mittie Belcher's seventeen sons and daughters. His birth site and date are contested.

The Mississippi Blues Commission explains that whereas he declared birth in Bolivar County, state of Mississippi, Big Bill was in fact born in Lake Dick, Arkansas.


Broonzy claimed he was born in eighteen ninety three and numerous sources state that year, but just after his demise his twin sister produced a birth certificate presenting it as 1898, the actually accepted date.

Soon after his delivery the family moved to Pine Bluff, Arkansas, where Broonzy spent his youth. He began playing music from a young age.

At the age of 10 he made himself a fiddle by using an old cigar box and figured out how to perform gospel songs and folk songs from his mother's brother, Jerry Belcher. He and a pal by the name of Louis Carter, who played a do-it-yourself guitar, started off playing at communal and religious functions.

Broonzy's own inspiration included the folk music, spirituals, work songs, honky tonk music, hokum and country blues he heard when he was young, and the techniques of his fellow musicians, such as Blind Blake, Jimmy Rogers, Son House, and Blind Lemon Jefferson. Big bill incorporated all these components into his own form of the blues that suggested the post-war Chicago blues sound, later refined and made popular by artists that include Willie Dixon and Muddy Waters.

Although was a creator of the Chicago blues style and had employed electric equipment as early as nineteen forty two, Broonzy's new, white followers wished to experience him performing his earliest songs accompanied just by his own traditional acoustic guitar, seeing as how this was viewed as to be more "honest".

A substantial part of his first ARC/CBS records were reissued in anthology compilations by CBS-Sony, and other earlier songs have been collected on blues reissue music labels, as have his later European and Chicago songs of the nineteen fifties.



In 1980, he was inducted into the first class of the Blues Hall of Fame along with twenty more of the globe's greatest blues superstars. In two-thousand and seven, he was inducted into the first class of the Gennett Records Walk of Fame together with eleven more blues greats such as Louis ArmstrongJelly Roll Morton.

Broonzy as an acoustic guitar player, inspired Muddy Waters.