Resource id #75
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Big Bill Broonzy

Big Bill Broonzy (born Lee Conley Bradley; June 26, 1893 or 1903 – August 14, 1958) was an American blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist. His career began in the 1920s, when he played country music to mostly African-American audiences. In the 1930s and 1940s, he navigated a change in style to a more urban blues sound popular with working-class black audiences. In the 1950s, a return to his traditional folk-blues roots made him one of the leading figures of the emerging American folk music revival and an international star. His long and varied career marks him as one of the key figures in the development of blues music in the 20th century.

Broonzy copyrighted more than 300 songs, including adaptations of traditional folk songs and original blues songs. As a blues composer, he was unique in writing songs that reflected his rural-to-urban experiences.

Birth and Death Data: Born June 26, 1893 (Scott County), Died August 14, 1958 (Chicago)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1930 - 1953

Roles Represented in DAHR: guitar, vocalist, composer, lyricist, songwriter, speaker

Notes: Often billed as Big Bill; composer credits as Williard Broonzy.

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 251 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BS-80388 10-in. 3/23/1934 Friendless blues Big Bil Male vocal solo, with guitar and piano vocalist, composer, lyricist, instrumentalist, guitar  
Victor BS-80389 10-in. 3/23/1934 Milk cow blues Big Bil Male vocal solo, with guitar and piano vocalist, composer, lyricist, instrumentalist, guitar  
Victor BS-80390 10-in. 3/23/1934 Hungry man blues Big Bil Male vocal solo, with guitar and piano vocalist, composer, instrumentalist, guitar  
Victor BS-80391 10-in. 3/23/1934 I'll be back home again Big Bil Male vocal solo, with guitar and piano vocalist, composer, instrumentalist, guitar  
Victor BS-80392 10-in. 3/23/1934 Bull cow blues—Part 2 Big Bil Male vocal solo, with guitar and piano vocalist, composer, instrumentalist, guitar  
Victor BS-80393 10-in. 3/23/1934 Serve it to me right Big Bil Male vocal solo, with guitar and piano vocalist, composer, instrumentalist, guitar  
Victor BS-80394 10-in. 3/23/1934 Starvation blues Big Bil Male vocal solo, with guitar and piano vocalist, composer, instrumentalist, guitar  
Victor BS-80395 10-in. 3/23/1934 Mississippi River blues Big Bil Male vocal solo, with guitar and piano vocalist, composer, lyricist, instrumentalist, guitar  
Victor BS-80611 10-in. 6/14/1934 Early in the morning B. Gillum Male vocal solo, with instrumental trio instrumentalist, guitar  
Victor BS-80612 10-in. 6/14/1934 Harmonica stomp B. Gillum Harmonica and guitar duet instrumentalist, guitar  
Victor BS-80613 10-in. 6/14/1934 At the break of day Big Bil Male vocal solo, with instrumental trio vocalist, composer, instrumentalist, guitar  
Victor BS-80614 10-in. 6/14/1934 I want to go home Big Bil Male vocal solo, with instrumental trio vocalist, composer, instrumentalist, guitar  
Victor BS-85517 10-in. 2/26/1935 The Southern blues Big Bil Male vocal solo, with guitar and piano vocalist, composer, instrumentalist, guitar  
Victor BS-85518 10-in. 2/26/1935 Good jelly Big Bil Male vocal solo, with guitar and piano vocalist, composer, instrumentalist, guitar  
Victor BS-91423 10-in. 7/27/1935 Mountain blues Big Bil Male vocal solo, with guitar and piano vocalist, composer, instrumentalist, guitar  
Victor BS-91424 10-in. 7/27/1935 Bad luck blues Big Bil Male vocal solo, with guitar and piano vocalist, composer, instrumentalist, guitar  
Victor BS-91425 10-in. 7/27/1935 I can't make you satisfied Big Bil Male vocal solo, with guitar and piano vocalist, composer, instrumentalist, guitar  
Victor BS-91426 10-in. 7/27/1935 I'm just a bum Big Bil Male vocal solo, with guitar and piano vocalist, composer, instrumentalist, guitar  
Victor BS-96230 10-in. 10/31/1935 Keep your hands off her Big Bil Male vocal solo ("blues singer"), with guitar, piano, and string bass vocalist, composer, instrumentalist, guitar  
Victor BS-96231 10-in. 10/31/1935 Sun gonna shine in my door some day Big Bil Male vocal solo ("blues singer"), with guitar, piano, and string bass vocalist, composer, instrumentalist, guitar  
Victor BS-96232 10-in. 10/31/1935 Good liquor gonna carry me down Big Bil Male vocal solo ("blues singer"), with guitar, piano, and string bass vocalist, composer, instrumentalist, guitar  
Victor BS-96233 10-in. 10/31/1935 Down the line blues Big Bil Male vocal solo ("blues singer"), with guitar, piano, and string bass vocalist, composer, instrumentalist, guitar  
Victor BS-100315 10-in. 4/2/1936 You done tore your playhouse down Washboard Sam's Band Instrumental trio, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, guitar  
Victor BS-100316 10-in. 4/2/1936 Don't 'low Washboard Sam's Band Instrumental trio, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, guitar  
Victor BS-100940 10-in. 8/5/1936 Give me lovin' Washboard Sam Male vocal solo, with guitar, piano, and washboard instrumentalist, guitar  
(Results 1-25 of 251 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Broonzy, Big Bill," accessed May 23, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108656.

Broonzy, Big Bill. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved May 23, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108656.

"Broonzy, Big Bill." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 23 May 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108656

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