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The Bill Broonzy Story Box set

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Big Bill Broonzy was born William Lee Conley Broonzy in the tiny town of Scott, Mississippi, just across the river from Arkansas. During his childhood, Broonzy's family -- itinerant sharecroppers and the descendants of ex-slaves -- moved to Pine Bluff to work the fields there. Broonzy learned to play a cigar box fiddle from his uncle, and as a teenager, he played violin in local churches, ... Read more in Amazon's Big Bill Broonzy Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 Nov. 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Verve
  • ASIN: B00000JWNM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 467,838 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Key To The Highway
2. Dialogue
3. Mindin' My Own Business
4. Dialogue
5. Saturday Evening Blues
6. Dialogue
See all 21 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Dialogue
2. Stump Blues
3. Dialogue
4. See See Rider
5. I'm Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town
6. Dialogue
See all 19 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Dialogue
2. Worried Life Blues
3. Dialogue
4. Trouble In Mind
5. Dialogue
6. Take This Hammer
See all 27 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Product Description

I will ship by EMS or SAL items in stock in Japan. It is approximately 7-14days on delivery date. You wholeheartedly support customers as satisfactory. Thank you for you seeing it.

Amazon.co.uk Review

Recorded on a very stormy night at Chicago's Universal Recording Studios, this session stretched across midnight, from July 12-13, 1957. The morning afterwards, Broonzy checked into hospital for his first lung cancer operation. A programme of treatment continued until he died just over a year later. Amazingly, there is no sign of any illness in Bill's clearly-ringing voice. Originally a five-album box set, it's now condensed onto three CDs, a sequence of songs interspersed with dialogue. It was a relaxed session, a conversation between Broonzy and Bill Randle, the latter setting out to capture the essence of the blues lifestyle in documentary fashion. For its time, the recording quality is very impressive, capturing the feel of Broonzy sitting right in front of the listener, silvery strings picking out traditional tunes, mostly using his own arrangements. Considering that this is an end-of-career performance, Broonzy is in majestic shape, lucidly recalling old friends, describing the origins of each number and doggedly refusing to satisfy Randle's song requests. It all provides a deep insight for the confirmed fan, but also explains the itinerant entertainer's life to the uninitiated. You won't want to hear the dialogue every time, but the set retains its logical flow as a programmed music-only sequence. --Martin Longley

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Docendo Discimus TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 23 Sept. 2002
Format: Audio CD
At least, that's what the original LP liner notes by producer Bill Randle proclaimed when "The Bill Bronzy Story" was issued as a 5-LP box set 42 years ago, in 1960.
This is a very charming and interesting mixture of songs, performed solo by Big Bill Broonzy on July 12 and 13 1957, and Big Bill's conversation with Bill Randle. The sound is amazingly good, and in spite of the illness which took his life not long after, Broonzy's voice and his intricate, elegant guitar playing are terrific.
"The Bill Broonzy Story" is a low-key, sometimes melancholy affair. The kind, charming and witty Big Bill Broonzy willingly retells anecdotes from a long and often hard life (he was born before the turn of the century in Mississippi, and would sometimes joke that he had "written" this or that song even though he had never actually been able to write anything, not even his own name).
He plays blues standarts such as "See See Rider" (AKA "C.C. Rider"), "It Hurts Me Too", "Frankie and Johnny" and "John Henry", as well as his own "Key to the Highway", and folk songs and spirituals such as "Ananaïs", "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" and "This Train".
Unlike some very early blues singers, Bronzy's manner of singing is melodious, his diction is clear, and his guitar playing is sophisticated yet rhytmic.
This is an important insight into the history of the only truly original American art form still available to us, the blues, and into the world that Big Bill Broonzy grew up in. And the songs and the voice are great.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By "songwriter19" on 6 Aug. 2002
Format: Audio CD
Why pay this money when there's so much Big Bill material out there, some of which you may already have? The answer is, quite simply, that this is a magical album.
In case you're not familiar with him, Big Bill had a powerful singing voice and a powerhouse guitar style (here he's on acoustic.) To add to the bigness of the guitar sound, he played his guitar slightly out of tune (so that instead of notes sounding in exact harmony, they rang out nearly in harmony, a bit like the way some backing vocalists are dubbed in very slightly high or flat.)
Part of the fascination is the timing of the album - a year or so later and Bill lost his battle with cancer. Secondly, there's his choice of material. He declined to play some tunes that were requested, playing instead the songs he wanted - from blues and spirituals to folk and pop! I've read in a blues CD guide that "Glory of love" is nothing like blues but that Big Bill had to make a living somehow... well, well, it would appear that, whether or not today's pundits approve, this was a song that Big Bill loved to play (and, hey, if you don't like it there's something wrong with you!) There are some of his "hits" here, and a lovely tune called "Slow blues."
Then there's the dialogue with the producer. "Can you remember the first blues song you ever heard?" "Bill, how do you write a blues?" As Big Bill answers and reminisces (I suspect there may be a bit of yarn spinning and embellishing in there!) he fools around with his guitar... and the dialogue and songs just flow one from the other. It's like listening in to a chat show with the guest (a polished, virtuoso player) playing a few tunes, for example demonstrating a blues style over against a New Orleans style...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rob Dylan (San Lorenzo) on 31 Aug. 2007
Format: Audio CD
I consider myself fortunate in the fact that I own every single one of Big Bill Broonzy's songs which amount to quite a few. What I wanted to get more than anything else was an autobiography of him. Well with this fantastic cd box set, I don't really feel that is necessary because I think it serves my purpose. Three brilliant cds and it is great to hear Big Bill in conversation talking about his past life. Some great blues singers have had the misfortune of a deterioration in their singing over the years. Not so with Big Bill Broonzy! If anything his vocals are even better than his earlier years and the sound quality on these cds is quite magnificent. R.I.P. Big Bill Broonzy and thank you for your legacy!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By broonzy01@hotmail.com on 1 Feb. 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is too much, I ordered this on Saturday and it arrived, much to my excitement, on Monday. This is only a quick review becaouse it is a record that cannot be put into words. The dialogue is funny, enlightening, sad, a bit of everything from the master of the country blues! I am biased yes because the man is my absolute hero but what can you do. He is sooooo in control of his playing and his voice, at the very peak of his craft. BUY IT, then buy it for a friend and so on and so on, spread the gospel of Bill, He is the man!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Honest conversations, Flawless presentations! 28 Sept. 1999
By Bob Cooney (Lookidat@aol.com) - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I have been a collector of Big Bill's earlier recordings. He was usually accompanied by several other musicians, and it was difficult to hear his guitar work at times. This 1957 recording is Bill, his guitar, and his stories. His voice is cutting, his guitar playing is amazing, and his stories will make you cry. He even talks about these "new" fellas: Elvis and some other guy whos name escapes him. I will treasure this collection forever...Thanks Verve for re-releasing it for my generation to enjoy.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
In a perfect world this release would be FRONT PAGE NEWS 12 Jan. 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
It IS that GREAT! I have heard about the legend of Big Bill ,however, the only Cds I have heard were poorly produced an obscured his powerful playing. This package collection which serves as Bills legacy ...is chilling. Listening to him describe his friend Big Maceo Merriweather, lament his passing and then mention that his song "Worried Life Blues" will probably live forever...and THEN playing/singing a version which WILL give you goosebumbs...one can understand why Eric Clapton wasn't interested in pursuing POP music when the Yardbirds chose that direction. This is a rare combination of Historical signifigance...which is also VERY listenable..in other words..this medicine tastes GOOOOD...If you want to learn about real Folk/Blues music and its origins..and hear one of the true GIANTS play/sing/ and speak about the music from FIRST HAND PLEEEEEEEZ buy this set. By the way..the sound quality is amazing! This is simply time-capsule quality material...
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Belongs in every serious music collection 1 Jun. 2007
By S. Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A stellar collection by one of the giants of traditional accoustic blues. Recorded a year before his death, this 3-disk collection of Bill Broonzy's favorite blues songs showcases the great blues musician with a clear and modern recording and a great blues artist still at the height of his abilities. Each of Broonzy's selections is introduced by the artist himself in a studio conversation with interviewers Bill Randle and Studs Terkel. Broonzy's intoductions add a history and depth to the recordings, to the history of the blues, and American roots music and African American history in general. I can't rate it high enough.
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