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William Lee Coonley "Big Bill" Broonzy

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by

Carlos Fuentes

on 4 March 2013

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Transcript of William Lee Coonley "Big Bill" Broonzy

William Lee Conley "Big Bill" Broonzy Let's have a small background "Big Bill Broonzy." Contemporary Black Biography. Vol. 82. Detroit: Gale, 2010. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 14 Feb. 2013.
"Big Bill Broonzy." Contemporary Musicians. Vol. 13. Detroit: Gale, 1994. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 14 Feb. 2013. Source of information It starts with a change He continued his job of farming (cotton, corn and peas) but in 1916 drought wiped out his crops, and the next year he was drafted and sent to Europe to fight in World War 1.
By the time Broonzy returned from the army, he had lost whatever taste he had for farming, and in 1920 he moved to Chicago to take a job with the Pullman Company, which built train sleeping cars. How does this connect to our class? Although "Big Bill" Broonzy started to make good money in the train business, he was ambitious, and music still appealed to him.
Although he was restricted to a black audience, he was then given the opportunity to perform in 1939, since Robert Johnson had been murdered a year before, for a performance with John Hammond. Life story "When I was about ten years old I made a fiddle out of a cigar box, a guitar out of goods boxes for my buddy Louis Carter, and we would play for the white peoples' picnics and some time they would have two stages," Broonzy recalled in Big Bill Blues.
"When Will I Get to Be Called a Man?" In it, Broonzy sings: "When Uncle Sam called me I knew I would be called the real McCoy / But when I got in the army they called me soldier boy. ... / They said I was undereducated, my clothes was dirty and torn / Now I got a little education but I'm a boy right on / I wonder when will I be called a man." Born on Jun 26, 1893, in Scott Mississippi, he was one of a family of 17 who first learned to fiddle on a homemade instrument.
Broonzy's impressive musical skill, size and variety of musical repertoire, and influence on contemporaries and their followers make him one of the most important players in blues history.
He continued to tour and record into the mid-1950s before dying of cancer on August 15, 1958, in Chicago.
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