:: Title :: Conversation with Big Bill Broonzy, Memphis Slim, and Sonny Boy Williamson about a racist plantation owner and Prince Albert tobacco
:: Genre :: spoken, story
:: Performers & Instruments ::
Broonzy, William Lee Conley (Big Bill) [vocal]
Chatman, Peter (Memphis Slim) [piano, vocal]
Lomax, Alan [vocal]
:: Setting :: Decca Studios
:: Location :: Manhattan, New York City (New York), New York (United States)
:: Language :: English
:: Culture :: Southern U.S., African American, Mississippi Delta
:: Session :: Blues In the Mississippi Night interviews 3/47
:: Date :: 3/2/1947
:: Reference Information :: TD96.0, Track 2 (00:03:04)
:: Original Format :: Acetate Disc
:: Session Notes ::
1 - In 1947, using his own Presto disc recording machine, Alan Lomax recorded bluesmen Big Bill Broonzy (1893-1958), Memphis Slim (1915-1988), and Sonny Boy Williamson (1914-1948) at Decca Studios in New York City, after they had given a concert at Town Hall. In a session of candid oral history and song, the three artists explain the origin and nature of the blues. "They began with blues as a record of the problems of love and women in the Delta world," Lomax wrote. "They explored the cause of this in the stringent poverty of black rural life. They recalled life in the Mississippi work camps, where the penitentiary stood at the end of the road, waiting to receive the rebellious. Finally, they came to the enormities of the lynch system that threatened anyone who defied its rules." The interviews were issued in a fictionalized form in Common Ground (1948) under the title "I Got the Blues," but they were deemed so controversial that their album release was delayed for ten years. When United Artists finally issued them on LP as "Blues in the Mississippi Night" in 1959, Lomax used pseudonyms to protect the artists and their families. (See the Blues in the Mississippi Night CD [Rounder 1860].)
:: Recording Notes ::
0 - Memphis Slim tells a story about a plantation owner who was so racist he wouldn't allow anything black on his property, including black chickens, and who scolded a black man for beating a white mule. Bill Broonzy recalls blacks being told to ask for "Mister" Prince Albert tobacco.
:: Collection :: New York Blues Interviews 1947



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