Big Bill Broonzy

Big Bill Broonzy ( born Lee Conley Bradley, born June 26 in either 1893 or 1898 in Scott County, Mississippi; † August 15, 1958 in Chicago, Illinois) was an American blues musician and composer.


Bill Broonzy, born as Lee Conley Bradley, was one of 17 children of his parents, Frank and Mittie Bradley. He should have spent in Arkansas, where he already learned the fiddle game by his uncle, Jerry Belcher and modestly also occurred most of his childhood. His military service he completed during the First World War in Europe. He then worked as a field worker. 1920 Big Bill Broonzy moved to Chicago, where he Papa Charlie Jackson taught to play the guitar. In 1927 he had his first recordings for Paramount. Among the songs in which he accompanied himself, was also the song " Big Billy Blues", from the future, his stage name was derived. Broonzy could not live his music first, and went up in the 1950s, yet other professions after.

After 1930, he took with Georgia Tom (actually: Thomas Andrew Dorsey ) on piano and Frank Bass Well under the group name "Famous Hokum Boys" on different disks. Around 1936 he started performing with a small band, with drums and bass, occasionally supplemented by harmonica, piano and wind instruments. The recordings from this period will be known as Big Bill and his Chicago Five. In the literature (eg Dicaire, see bibliography ), there is evidence that Broonzy may have introduced a Power Trio in the popular music - a concept that later musicians and bands such as Jimi Hendrix, ZZ Top and Cream in rock music successfully made.

In the 1930s, Broonzy was, inter alia, with Memphis Minnie go. After the death of Robert Johnson Broonzy was engaged in its place for the New York Show From Spirituals To Swing and was enthusiastically received also from the white audience. In the 1950s, he was repeatedly successful in Europe on tour. He also recorded, inter alia, with Pete Seeger, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee, and Leadbelly in 1953 and ultimately a professional musician.

1957 Big Bill Broonzy ill with throat cancer and died of it a year later. He was buried in Chicago.

Big Bill Broonzy had a not insignificant influence on blues greats like Muddy Waters and Memphis Slim. He was an excellent guitar player and has over 350 pieces composed. In 1980, he was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame, as well as his 2010 song Key to the Highway, and his autobiography (with Yannick Bruynoghe ) Big Bill Blues 1990.

Discography (selection)