Note: Broonzy discusses the complications of the record industry and the constraints it places on the music's authenticity. "I gotta forget what I know, and try to do what he [the producer] tells me." Playing with bands adds an extra complication for blues players like Broonzy, who doesn't know about 6ths and 9ths and diminisheds. "I gotta sing that, or either starve to death in New York or Chicago!"
About the session: Blues singer and guitarist Big Bill Broonzy (1893–1958) was a major figure in Chicago in the 1930s and '40s and brought his music to European audiences in the early 1950s. Alan Lomax, who held Broonzy in high esteem, had spent time with him in Chicago and recorded him at the Decca studios in New York in 1946 (see the Blues In the Mississippi Night Interview collection). In 1952 he and Big Bill met again in Paris, where Alan was on a research trip to the Musee L'Homme, and recorded two hours of songs and conversation on Black pride, American racism, and the blues as commercial popular music.
The rights to the audio, photographic, and video materials contained within the Lomax Digital Archive are administered by various publishers, record labels, collectors, estates, and other rights holders. Any uses, commercial or not, must be cleared by the specific rights holders. For questions regarding the use of any material on the LDA, please contact Permissions.
Do you have something to add, or do you see an error in this record? We'd love to
hear from you.