Big Bill Broonzy: A musical chameleon | WBEZ
Skip to main content

Eight Forty-Eight

New book tells the story of blues musician Big Bill Broonzy

A correction has been made to this story.

He was a friend to Studs Terkel, a mentor to Muddy Waters and an inspiration to Eric Clapton. In addition, he was appreciated by both black and white audiences around the world.

And even though his career lasted more than three decades, few people know the name, or the work, of Big Bill Broonzy.

Feel So Good: The Life and Times of Big Bill Broonzy tells his story from a wide array of sources.

As the blues world converges on Chicago this weekend for the return of the annual Chicago Blues Fest, Eight Forty-Eight's Jason Marck recently talked with author Bob Riesman about the life and legendary career of Broonzy.

You can listen to audio of their full conversation at the top of the page.

On Friday, June 17, the Old Town School of Folk Music will hold a Broonzy tribute concert and a book signing with Bob Riesman.

Music Button: Kate Simko, "Margie's Groove," from the release Spectral Sound, Vol. 3 (Spectral Sound)

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated that Riesman's book told Broonzy's story for the first time. 

Get the WBEZ App

Download the best live and on-demand public radio experience. Find out more.