Big Billy Broonzy was born William Lee Conley Broonzy in Scott, Mississippi but grew up around Pine Bluff, Arkansas, where he learned to play the violin, performing at church and social events. He tried life as a preacher and joined the army.
After the war, he moved to Chicago in 1920 where he switched to the guitar. He gained renown in the Chicago night spots and theaters. Initially his music was country, but evolved into a more city sound.
Big Billy Broonzy’s success continued into the 1950s when he was touring Europe as well as performing in the US. He had recorded a number of albums over the years with a total of 260 songs. His was very important in the blues community, both for his songwriting and his recording.
Big Billy had a positive influence on many fledgling artists – giving them encouragement as well as the opportunity to be heard.
Absolutely the Best showcases some of the best of Big Billy Broonzy. Many of the tracks are ‘live’ performances giving you the impression of being in the audience of one of his shows. This album covers a wide range of sounds and spotlights his skill with the guitar.
This album takes you back to the early days of the blues. For the true blues fan this is a must for a complete collection. For those new to the blues, it’s an education in where the blues began.