Big Bill Broonzy

Good Boy

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"Good Boy" is the name of a single 78-rpm record cut by bluesman Big Bill Broonzy in October 1937, and an 18-track Broonzy collection released by the Fruit Tree label in 2005. While the tune itself is a real toe-tapper, the title of this disc is ironic, as Broonzy openly resented being called "boy" and later made a point of recording protest songs like "When Will I Get to Be Called a Man?" and "Black, Brown and White," an indictment of a social caste system based upon skin pigmentation. The recordings on this disc were made during a period from April 1930 through December 1941, during which Broonzy established himself as one of Chicago's primary bluesmen. This is a modestly proportioned sampling from an artist who left a very large body of recorded works to choose from. Those who are looking for an introductory overview could settle for this, but may want to opt for a selection that includes at least a few of his later efforts, as Broonzy kept grinding out studio recordings all the way up into 1957. Several of his trusted musical companions are represented here, most notably the great Washboard Sam.

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