Interview with Big Bill Broonzy on the record industry and playing in bands
@ University of Mississippi Libraries
DescriptionBig Bill Broonzy speaks with Alan Lomax about the process of recording blues music with producers and other musicians. He explains the notion that people ask for things they do not actually wish to hear. His feeling is that people are more appreciative of a watered-down version of the authentic creation. Blues musicians are made to play as they are told to stay on the meal ticket. -- Editor 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." -- Editor These recordings of Big Bill Broonzy were made by Alan Lomax in Broonzy's Paris hotel room while Alan was working at the Musee de l'Homme on Columbia Records' World Library of Folk and Primitive Music LP series. -- Editor's Note 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, as did many of his colleagues, spent time with him in Chicago and recorded him at the Decca studios in New York in 1946. In 1952 he and Big Bill met again in Paris, where Bill recorded two hours of songs and talk on numerous...
13 May 1952
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