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George wanted to take Lonzie to record with Albert Macon and Robert Thomas, and the daughter was hesitant to let Lonzie get in a car with George, or with anybody, but George reassured her. So George helped him in the car, and put the car in reverse, and drove directly into a nearby ditch. Lonzie turned and said, "Man, George, you may as well let me drive!" - Fred Fussell describes George Mitchell chauffeuring the blind Lonzie Thomas to a recording session, from notes to The George Mitchell Collection

Author Topic: Big Bill Broonzy  (Read 4614 times)

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Online Prof Scratchy

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Re: Big Bill Broonzy
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2014, 07:20:35 AM »
According to the very knowledgeable folk at RBF (Stefan Wirz/ Paul Garon/ and Chris Smith, BBB first played electric guitar on tracks with Lil Green from 1940 on. Check out Stefan's Lil Green discography here:
http://www.wirz.de/music/grlilfrm.htm
You can find some of these Lil Green tracks posted on you tube.

Offline JRO

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Re: Big Bill Broonzy
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2014, 08:15:25 AM »
Hi, and thanks again Prof Scratchy. I know the connection between Lil Green and Bill and I checked Stefan Wirz's www-site. I hoped there would have been Big Bill discography. Pity there isn't one there. Wirz and others do such a great work there. I hope more certain light will come to matter of Bills earlier electric guitar recordings.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Big Bill Broonzy
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2014, 08:34:09 AM »
Hi, and thanks again Prof Scratchy. I know the connection between Lil Green and Bill and I checked Stefan Wirz's www-site. I hoped there would have been Big Bill discography. Pity there isn't one there. Wirz and others do such a great work there. I hope more certain light will come to matter of Bills earlier electric guitar recordings.
There used to be a discography and superb it was too - 100 pages of it. Compiled by Chris Smith. He also funded its publication out of his own pocket.

http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=2327.msg27022;topicseen#msg27022

Online Prof Scratchy

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Re: Big Bill Broonzy
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2014, 08:42:02 AM »
Thanks again to Stefan Wirz for pointing to the July 1939 session recorded by Sonny Boy Williamson, with Bill on electric guitar. Here's one example, but there are more on youtube:

Offline JRO

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Re: Big Bill Broonzy
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2014, 09:20:45 PM »
Thanks Bunker Hill. I send a message to Blues & Rhythm Magazine asking if they got the discography available in some format. Let's see what comes out.

Thanks Prof Scrachy for the Sonny Boy Williamson clip. I check my Sonny Boy records and youtube.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Big Bill Broonzy
« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2014, 02:45:11 AM »
He also funded its publication out of his own pocket.
He didn't. My "little grey cells" ain't what they were. I was thinking of Chris's 180 page That's The Stuff: The Recordings of Brownie McGhee, Sonny Terry, Stick McGhee and J.C.Burris. An astounding labour of love.

Online Prof Scratchy

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Re: Big Bill Broonzy
« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2014, 09:05:59 AM »
Well JRO _ I've trawled through the you tube offerings, and the earliest self-accompaniment on electric guitar may well be this one (though I do stand to be corrected):

Offline JRO

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Re: Big Bill Broonzy
« Reply #22 on: June 18, 2014, 11:29:35 AM »
Well, well, great. Thanks again Prof Scratchy.

I e-mailed to Chris Smith via Blues & Rhythm and Chris still has got few BBB discographies left. There's one coming to me. Thanks again for info to Bunker Hill.

Offline JRO

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Re: Big Bill Broonzy
« Reply #23 on: August 05, 2014, 08:32:44 AM »
Does somebody know who took this photo of Big Bill and when it was taken? I'm also interested of Big Bills guitar in the photo? What model and when it was made?

I guess the photo was taken in late 1940's as Bill has the same guitar in many photos that Yannick and Margo Bruynoghe took at that time.

Offline Lastfirstface

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Re: Big Bill Broonzy
« Reply #24 on: August 05, 2014, 02:30:18 PM »
I don't know about the origin of the photo, but the guitar looks to be a '40s Blonde Gibson L-4 with a mounted DeArmond pickup (possibly an FHC or Rhythm Chief).

Edit: I was just reading back through this thread and took a look at the Wirz Sonny Boy Williamson discography only to find a picture of him with the same guitar in the heading. Pickup definitely looks like a DeArmond FHC on the Gibson L-4.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 02:35:25 PM by Lastfirstface »

Offline JRO

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Re: Big Bill Broonzy
« Reply #25 on: August 07, 2014, 01:00:39 AM »
Thank you Lastfirstface for fast answer. The guitar is Gibson L-4 but is it the finishin blonde or natural?

The time picture was taken is still open as well as the question who took it?

Offline Lastfirstface

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Re: Big Bill Broonzy
« Reply #26 on: August 07, 2014, 07:51:53 AM »
In regards to blonde vs natural: in this case they're the same thing. A lot of the '40s Gibson archtops could be ordered in sunburst or natural (which is often referred to as blonde.)

Here's one similar to Bill's on Archtop.com:

http://www.archtop.com/ac_42L4N.html
« Last Edit: August 07, 2014, 07:53:37 AM by Lastfirstface »

Offline JRO

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Re: Big Bill Broonzy
« Reply #27 on: August 07, 2014, 08:50:40 AM »
Thanks again Lastfirstface, outstanding page with lots of info and great photos.

Offline Lastfirstface

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Re: Big Bill Broonzy
« Reply #28 on: August 07, 2014, 11:39:46 AM »
Here's a pic from the Document Records Facebook page where he's holding the same guitar. Their description places it "around 1940".

https://scontent-b-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/t1.0-9/10357457_649695298433539_6826874801052463085_n.jpg

Offline JRO

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Re: Big Bill Broonzy
« Reply #29 on: August 07, 2014, 12:05:42 PM »
^Thanks again. If the estimated year of the picture is right in Document records fb site, BBB's Gibson is pretty early one and he used it at least almost a decade as this photo has been taken by Bruynoghes late 1940s in Chicago. Their first photos were taken 1947 when they visited New York. Riesman's biography of BBB says that the picture with BBB with Lester Melrose and fellow musicans was taken c. 1940s.

 


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