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The blues come from a woman wanting to see her man, and a man wanting to see his woman - Furry Lewis

Author Topic: Blue Smoke - The Recorded Journey of Big Bill Broonzy  (Read 3399 times)

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Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Blue Smoke - The Recorded Journey of Big Bill Broonzy
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2010, 11:58:17 AM »
In all probability it is a rework of this:

House, Roger. 'Keys to the Highway': William ?Big Bill? Broonzy and the Chicago Blues in the Era of the Great Migration. Ph.D. Dissertation, Boston University, 1999. 247 pp.

Poor old Bob Reisman, who is soon to see publication of his years of BBB research, is no doubt spitting blood.

Such is life.

Offline TonyGilroy

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Re: Blue Smoke - The Recorded Journey of Big Bill Broonzy
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2010, 10:59:00 AM »

I ordered it from Amazon assuming it was the anticipated new biography.

Oh well.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Blue Smoke - The Recorded Journey of Big Bill Broonzy
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2010, 11:56:28 AM »

I ordered it from Amazon assuming it was the anticipated new biography.
I wonder how many others may make the same assumption? Is it too late to cancel the order or are you going to let it stand and give us the lowdown on it at some later time?  ;)

Offline dj

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Re: Blue Smoke - The Recorded Journey of Big Bill Broonzy
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2010, 11:58:43 AM »
I've ordered it too.  One can never have enough books!  I'll certainly post my thoughts after reading it.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Blue Smoke - The Recorded Journey of Big Bill Broonzy
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2010, 12:00:36 PM »
I've ordered it too.  One can never have enough books!  I'll certainly post my thoughts after reading it.
Good man.

The "other" biography is entitled "I Feel So Good: The Life and Times of Big Bill Broonzy"

Offline TonyGilroy

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Re: Blue Smoke - The Recorded Journey of Big Bill Broonzy
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2010, 12:01:15 PM »

I ordered it from Amazon assuming it was the anticipated new biography.
I wonder how many others may make the same assumption? Is it too late to cancel the order or are you going to let it stand and give us the lowdown on it at some later time?  ;)

I'm with DJ. It'll join the 100+ books waiting to be read.

My wife will have a word when it arrives.

Offline dj

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Re: Blue Smoke - The Recorded Journey of Big Bill Broonzy
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2010, 09:36:15 AM »
I got my copy today.  155 pages of text, plus index, unannotated bibliography, discography/sessionography, and a list of "recordings consulted".  Lightly illustrated.

At first glance, it looks like a short biography of Broonzy amplified by appropriate quotes from his and others' lyrics.  It doesn't look bad, but it's not the deep, critical biography that I hope Reisman's book to be.  More to follow once I've had time to read.

Quote
In all probability it is a rework of this:

House, Roger. 'Keys to the Highway': William ?Big Bill? Broonzy and the Chicago Blues in the Era of the Great Migration. Ph.D. Dissertation, Boston University, 1999. 247 pp.

You're exactly right about that:  "This book began many years ago as part of my doctoral research..." 

   

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Blue Smoke - The Recorded Journey of Big Bill Broonzy
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2010, 12:53:54 PM »
For those unaware of the discussion three years back concerning the Bob Riesman biography see

http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?amp;Itemid=60&topic=3212.0

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Blue Smoke - The Recorded Journey of Big Bill Broonzy
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2010, 12:18:28 AM »
The "other" biography is entitled "I Feel So Good: The Life and Times of Big Bill Broonzy"
It seems to have a publication date of May next year see http://www.press.uchicago.edu/presssite/metadata.epl?mode=bio&isbn=9780226717456

Offline Slack

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Re: Blue Smoke - The Recorded Journey of Big Bill Broonzy
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2010, 08:25:53 PM »
Just received this email from Roger House.

--------------------
Dear Sir or Madam,

I?m pleased to announce the publication of my book on the legendary Chicago bluesman Big Bill Broonzy.

Blue Smoke: the Recorded Journey of Big Bill Broonzy was released by Louisiana State University Press in October. It is a short biography that uses song and story to place Broonzy in the context of African American history.

I?d like to share my website with you and your readers for more information. The address is www.bluesmokestory.com.

Please pass the word.

Yours truly,

Roger House

Offline Stuart

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Re: Blue Smoke - The Recorded Journey of Big Bill Broonzy
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2010, 07:38:53 AM »
I ordered a copy from Amazon and finished it a couple of weeks ago. It's definitely worth reading. I'll echo what DJ said about it not being a deep, critical biography. However, it certainly brings out the social and historical context in which Big Bill lived his life and places him within that context. And it serves as an important reminder that as a whole person--not just the name on a record label--Big Bill live his life beyond the limited context of the recording studio.

Offline RobBob

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Re: Blue Smoke - The Recorded Journey of Big Bill Broonzy
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2010, 08:14:37 PM »
I am slogging through it each evening at the end of the day.  Mr. House does much, so far, to detail the plight of the Black American.  Some of us may be acutely aware of this situation all ready.  I am only part way in and he says nothing about the plight that has not all ready been said in other places.  Although things have changed a great deal they still have a ways to go.   He does layout several instances where the truth about Big Bill is still shaded in ambiguity but takes the time to look at it from a couple angles.  He does not really settle something things, just states that there are contradictory statements out there.

I will update after more slogging. 

Offline jharris

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Re: Blue Smoke - The Recorded Journey of Big Bill Broonzy
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2011, 04:44:29 PM »
I interviewed the author on my show about a month ago. Here's a link to the playlist/show notes: http://sundayblues.org/archives/2765

At the bottom of the post is a link to listen to the interview segment.

Offline RobBob

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Re: Blue Smoke - The Recorded Journey of Big Bill Broonzy
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2011, 05:47:26 PM »
I have to say after finishing this book that it is a worthwhile read but is not really about Big Bill as much as it chronicles his times.  Details of his life are scant while insights into the machinations of his world are rich.  It seems nothing has changed much since then.

 


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