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Review: Book on Big Bill Broonzy

GUEST,Stringsinger 07 May 11 - 05:16 PM
katlaughing 25 Jun 11 - 12:00 PM
Art Thieme 25 Jun 11 - 10:00 PM
katlaughing 26 Jun 11 - 12:27 PM
Art Thieme 26 Jun 11 - 01:27 PM
Fred McCormick 26 Jun 11 - 04:56 PM
katlaughing 26 Jun 11 - 05:39 PM
GUEST,DrWord 27 Jun 11 - 10:20 AM
Fred McCormick 27 Jun 11 - 11:04 AM
GUEST,DrWord 27 Jun 11 - 11:19 AM
Stringsinger 27 Jun 11 - 11:26 AM
Big Mick 27 Jun 11 - 11:44 AM
Art Thieme 27 Jun 11 - 04:27 PM
Crowhugger 03 Feb 14 - 02:08 PM
Bat Goddess 03 Feb 14 - 05:20 PM
Crowhugger 05 Feb 14 - 05:28 PM
tenn_jim 03 Jun 15 - 04:25 PM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 04 Jun 15 - 01:11 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 04 Jun 15 - 04:08 PM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 05 Jun 15 - 01:03 PM
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Subject: Review: Book on Big Bill Broonzy
From: GUEST,Stringsinger
Date: 07 May 11 - 05:16 PM

Bob Riesman's book is an excellent source on the legendary Big Bill Broonzy from Chicago, originally from Georgia. Highly recommended reading.




Date: Sat, 7 May 2011 14:44:49 -0500
Subject: Broonzy book available now - plus upcoming events
From: rriesman@gmail.com
To: rriesman@gmail.com

Dear family and friends,

I'm delighted to report that my book, I Feel So Good: The Life and Times of Big Bill Broonzy, has now been published by the University of Chicago Press. Thanks for providing so much help and encouragement along the way! I Feel So Good is available at fine bookstores everywhere, from your local independent bookseller to online sites.

In the meantime, here's a link to the book's page on the University of Chicago Press website with some sneak previews of the book, including the Foreword by Peter Guralnick and the Appreciation by Pete Townshend:

http://press.uchicago.edu/books/riesman/index.html

Here's a schedule of upcoming appearances and signings:

Monday, May 9: Appearance on the Leonard Lopate Show, WNYC (New York City), 93.9-FM and AM 820, http://www.wnyc.org/shows/lopate/. Currently scheduled to be on between 12:40 - 1 pm Eastern time.

Wednesday, May 11: Appearance on Fog City Blues show, KALW (San Francisco), 91.7-FM, http://www.fogcityblues.com/. Currently scheduled to be on between 9:20 - 9:50 pm Pacific time.

Tuesday, May 24: Reading at 57th Street Books. 1301 East 57th Street (Hyde Park), http://semcoop.indiebound.com/57th-street-books, Chicago, 6 pm.

Saturday, June 4 (time to be announced): Reading at Printers Row Book Fair, Chicago - check listings closer to the date for exact time:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/books/printersrowlitfest/

Thursday, June 16: "Chicago Tonight", WTTW-Channel 11, Chicago, 7-8 pm (preliminary booking - likely 5-6 minute segment).

Friday, June 17: Tribute to Big Bill Broonzy concert/ book signing, featuring Billy Boy Arnold, Sanctified Grumblers, Mark Dvorak, Chris Walz and more, Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, 8 pm:
http://www.oldtownschool.org/concerts/2011/6/17_broonzy.html

Wednesday, July 20: Reading at the Pritzker Auditorium, Harold Washington Library, 400 N. State St., Chicago, 6 pm.

If you're on Facebook, here's a link to the page for I Feel So Good:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/I-Feel-So-Good-by-Bob-Riesman/149215251794215?sk=wall

The University of Chicago Press will be updating the page regularly with reviews, quotes from the book, and information on upcoming appearances.

There's more to come, so please stay tuned!

Best,
Bob


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Subject: RE: Review: Book on Big Bill Broonzy
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Jun 11 - 12:00 PM

They had a great segment about this book, with sound clips of Big Bill and others on Weekend Edition on NPR this morning: CLICK HERE. Well worth the listening and the book sounds interesting as well.

kat


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Subject: RE: Review: Book on Big Bill Broonzy
From: Art Thieme
Date: 25 Jun 11 - 10:00 PM

For years Big Bill Broonzy's guitar was hanging up on the wall at the venerable Old Town School Of Folk Music in Chicago. Near it, in a frame, on that same wall, was Bill's death certificate. In this fine work by Robert Riesman Big Bill just about lives again. Indeed, Frank Hamilton (who started this thread) and Win Stracke, were two of the founders of the school, and Bill sang at the opening night of that good institution. This book is about the unique and versatile musical artist that Broonzy was. As an early country blues singer on 78 rpm records, Bill sold many thousands of recordings. Capable of performing with just about anyone--he fit in beautifully with jazz and blues performers throughout the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. Then, out of economic necessity, Bill Broonzy morphed again, and became a huge part of Chicago's folk music revival scene sharing gigs with Win Stracke and Pete Seeger and Frank Hamilton -- even working with Studs Terkel who interviewed Bill extensively in the studios of radio station WFMT-FM. The music and talk captured there was issued as a wondrous multi-LP set on Verve Records. Valucha Arneson and Sandy Paton and Fleming Brown and so many others lurk on many of these pages. -- Bob Riesman has done a masterful job. You will not be sorry when you read this one. It is a keeper. Enjoy!

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Review: Book on Big Bill Broonzy
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 Jun 11 - 12:27 PM

I was hoping you'd have something to say about it, Art. Thanks! I will be reading this one for sure. The NPR review really was great and whet my appetite for it.

luvyakat


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Subject: RE: Review: Book on Big Bill Broonzy
From: Art Thieme
Date: 26 Jun 11 - 01:27 PM

Kat,

I never heard Big Bill in person---but he certainly was a huge presence through Studs, Frank, Pete and Fleming. Recently people like Mark Dvorak and Chris Walz are keeping Bill's music alive. A couple of decades ago, Steve Goodman did several of his songs---especially Bill's amazing version of The Glory Of Love. In Chicago the radio program The Midnight Special on WFMT-FM (hosted by Ray Nordstrand and Norm Pelligrini and Rich Warren) made sure that we "young-uns" back then knew about Bill Broonzy. For a long time I sand Bill's Key To The Highway. ---- Several times I got to play Big Bill Broonzy's guitar. Every time I touched it it had a new set of strings on it. Someone around the O.T.S.O.F.M. kept it polished and ready to play. It always sounded great. Just holding it was a special experience. Where is that guitar now I'm wondering?? Still at the school??? Hope so!

Art


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Subject: RE: Review: Book on Big Bill Broonzy
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 26 Jun 11 - 04:56 PM

It's currently available on Amazon UK for £13.82, including p&p. Which is a saving of 23%.

For a 356 page hardback, that is an astoundingly cheap price.


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Subject: RE: Review: Book on Big Bill Broonzy
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 Jun 11 - 05:39 PM

Art, every time I read one of your mimi-memoirs I am amazed...the way you express the times, the details you remember, the greats you rubbed elbows (or strings:-) with...it is all just so wonderful to read. I am so glad you share so much with us. Thank you, my friend.

Now, for those of us who may not have heard Broonzy doing the songs you mentioned, here is a youtube of him doing Glory of Love and listening to him singing Keys to the Highway, I can just *hear* you doing it, Art!

kat


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Subject: RE: Review: Book on Big Bill Broonzy
From: GUEST,DrWord
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 10:20 AM

Once upon a time [ca. 1963/4] Broonzy played The Fourth Dimension coffee house in Winnipeg. A huge man, a huge talent--and I got to sit a few meters from the miniscule stage, gobsmacked at how his giant hand danced over the fingerboard. Thanks for the thread! Will track down the book, and check out the youtubes!

cheers
dennis


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Subject: RE: Review: Book on Big Bill Broonzy
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 11:04 AM

My copy arrived this morning. Looks like a very fine read.


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Subject: RE: Review: Book on Big Bill Broonzy
From: GUEST,DrWord
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 11:19 AM

O.K. then. Blame it on old age {?} but I can't have seen Broonzy @ the 4D. Spent some awesome time listening on the youtubes. He certainly was a guitar genius!!!

any 'catters remember the 4D, next to the Pembina Drive-in near University of Manitoba? Since BBB apparently died in '58, it was someone else I saw performing there. Hmmmm. I know for certain it was there, early sixties, that I heard Joni Mitchell, and Terry & McGee, and the guitarist I characterized as "huge" in my previous post.

I won't, as a latter-day Luddite, peek and poke the Internet for an answer, but this forum never ceases to amaze.

xcuse the thread creep. I'll be having more middle-age moments I'm sure. Despite my faulty recall, I hugely enjoyed the 'tubes of Broonzy.

keep on pickin'
dennis


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Subject: RE: Review: Book on Big Bill Broonzy
From: Stringsinger
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 11:26 AM

Yeah, Bill was one of a kind. Like Art, I got to play on his guitar in a concert at the Old Town School of Folk Music and I have to say that I couldn't get it to play like Bill did.

Shows to go you, it's not always the instrument but the player that counts.


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Subject: RE: Review: Book on Big Bill Broonzy
From: Big Mick
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 11:44 AM

I am currently involved with Circle Pines Center in Delton, MI. All over the walls are pictures of Bill and Pete Seeger. Bill lived here for the two summers preceding his moving to Chicago where he died a little over a year (I think) later. Bill cooked at Circle Pines for those two summers. Pete came and filmed Bill on the front porch, and many of those video's on YouTube are those from that time. One of my favorites is Bill playing "Hey Hey".

Circle Pines today retains all the beauty it had in Bill's time. It is a progressive summer camp for kids and a retreat center set in the beautiful woods and rolling hills of Michigan. It teaches cooperative spirit and a love for the natural way of living. I have done concerts there and helped them found the Buttermilk Jamboree music festival. Google them and read about this beautiful place. I have been considering hosting a folk music retreat there in memory of Big Bill. Wouldn't it be great to get Pete and Frank to show up? (hint, hint)

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Review: Book on Big Bill Broonzy
From: Art Thieme
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 04:27 PM

I have a worn tape of a concert that WFMT-FM in
Chicago taped of Bill and Pete. In the 1950s I'm pretty sure. Geez, it's been over 2 decades since I listened to it.
That's hard to believe.

Art


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Subject: RE: Review: Book on Big Bill Broonzy
From: Crowhugger
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 02:08 PM

This month's free e-book at University of Chicago Press is Reisman's book on BBB.
Link to Univ. of Chicago Press ebook of the month.
You give them an email address; they send you the link. I'm already on their monthly free ebook mailing list, so I can't say if you'd also have to join that list to get the freebie to download. I can say that I had no spam increase when I joined the list.
~CH.


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Subject: RE: Review: Book on Big Bill Broonzy
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 03 Feb 14 - 05:20 PM

Yes! I JUST downloaded it about an hour ago -- first of my University of Chicago Press's free books to go to my iPad.

Looking forward to reading it.

Also just downloaded "The Oxford Book of Ballads" from the Gutenberg Project.

Time's a-wastin'!

Linn


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Subject: RE: Review: Book on Big Bill Broonzy
From: Crowhugger
Date: 05 Feb 14 - 05:28 PM

Yes lots of good stuff at Gutenberg.com!


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Subject: RE: Review: Book on Big Bill Broonzy
From: tenn_jim
Date: 03 Jun 15 - 04:25 PM

Key To The Highway is often credited to Broonzy, however, it seems it was written first by Charlie Segar and lyrics changed by Broonzy and recorded by Jazz Gillum with Big Bill on guitar. Who knows the complete story on this blues standard? Love your input at http://blues-facts.proboards.com/thread/53/key-highway?page=1&scrollTo=127


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Subject: RE: Review: Book on Big Bill Broonzy
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 04 Jun 15 - 01:11 PM

Broonzy (not that he was the most reliable informant): "Some of the verses [of 'Key To The Highway'] he [Segar] was singing it in the South the same way I was singing it in the South. And practically all of blues is just a little change from the way that they was sung when I was a kid.... You take one song and make fifty out of it -- just change it a little bit.... In a way I'll say I wrote it and Charlie Segar he was in it too."


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Subject: RE: Review: Book on Big Bill Broonzy
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 04 Jun 15 - 04:08 PM

OK so Broonzy embroidered some of his stories somewhat but "surprisingly" I have known other musicians do the same thing. However in the quote re Key to the Highway he seems to be explaining something which many of us know as the folk process which must have been going on forever. One of the reasons that you will never get a definitive answer to the questions you post. But I suspect you know that.


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Subject: RE: Review: Book on Big Bill Broonzy
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 05 Jun 15 - 01:03 PM

"Broonzy embroidered some of his stories somewhat" If e.g. changing 1903 to 1893 is what you call embroidering, yes.


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