Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Thursday, August 25, 2016


Broonzy was an major force in the development of blues music in the 20th century, transitioning easliy from country blues to urban blues while also adapting many traditional folk songs.  Born in 1893 in either Alabama or Mississippi -- accounts vary -- and was one of seventeen children.  He learned music on homemade instruments, a cigar box fiddle and a homemade guitar, and played at social and church functions.  Broonzy worked as a sharecropper and a preacher until he found himself in the Army in 1917.  A year after his army discharge, he moved to Chicago where he improved his guitar playing under the tutelage of minstel show performer Papa Charlie Jackson, who would eventually pave the wat for Broonzy to get a record with Paramount Records.  Broonzy's first recordings did not sell well but eventually he began to make a name for himself.  He performed in New York City, worked regularly in Chicago clubs, and toured with Memphis Minnie.

By 1934, Broonzy had added a R&B sound to his songs.  Four years later he filled in for the late Robert Johnson in a concert at Carnegie Hall.  His career as a songwriter -- he had over 300 songs copyrighted -- was taking off.  His repetoire expanded into different genres, appealing to a sophisticated urban market as well to his country roots.  He toured with a folk music revue, I Come for To Sing, in 1949, after which he took a couple of years off for health reasons.

He returned to touring in 1951, in Europe this time.  Returning back to America, he become a featured act with a number of well-known folk performers.  His tour of England in the Fifties was a great sucess and helped clarify the British view of folk music.  Many later British performers, includng, Johnlennon, cited Broonzy as a major influence.

Broonzy was inducted in the first class of the Bllues Hall of Fame and in the first class of the Gennett Records Walk of Fame.  He was an influence on many artists, including Muddy Waters, Memphis slim, Ray Davies, Ronnie Wood, and Eric Clapton.

Broonzy died in 1958 of throat cancer.

'Trouble in Mind"

"Key to the Highway"

"Hey, Hey"

"Long Tall Mama"

"The Glory of Love"

"Low Light & Blue Smoke""In the Evening (When the Sun Goes Down"

"Black, Bown and White"

"Sixteen Tons"

"Summertime Blues"

"When I Been Drinkin'"

"All By Myself"

"Kansas City Blues"

"How You Want It Done?"

"I Feel So Good"

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