Scholars attempting to establish the earliest presence of a John Thomas playing guitar would most likely choose this country blues performer whose reputation is based totally on the fact that he recorded four duets with Big Bill Broonzy between 1927 and 1928. Broonzy developed into one of the most famous performers in the acoustic blues genre, his entire discography thus pushed into a permanent cycle of distribution.
Thomas' lively performances on numbers such as "House Rent Stomp," "Big Bill Blues," and "Tadpole Blues" also include amusing speaking parts, providing a notion of what the man's voice sounded like, a small comfort since not a whole lot seems to be known about him. Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1 (1927-1932) and 1927-30, Vol. 1 are examples of collections from Broonzy's early years that include the Thomas tracks.