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Big Bill Broonzy – Photo of The Week

Big Bill Broonzy – Photo of The Week

So, this picture is of Big Bill Broonzy, From the early 1940s.

Big Bill Broonzy grows up in Arkansas. Shortly after, he serves in the army during 1918 – 1919. In 1920, he moves to Chicago and makes his recording debut as guitar accompanist to African American Blues singers. Later he becomes a singer himself, and by 1940, is recognized as one of the best-selling Blues recording artists. 

His New York City concert debut is at Carnegie Hall in 1938. In 1951, he visits Europe and soon becomes popular across that continent.  At the height of his popularity, he has a lung operation, and he passes the following year.  

His most popular songs include “Key to the Highway,” “W.P.A. Blues,” “All by Myself,” and, perhaps most notably, “Black, Brown and White.”

Many students of the blues find his work almost as fascinating for its sociological as for its strictly musical content. His mother, who is born a slave, dies in 1957 at the age of 102. Fortunately,  surviving long enough to see Broonzy become a world-famous figure. His autobiography, Big Bill Blues, appears in 1955. Broonzy becomes an inductee into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980.

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