BROONZY, Big Bill.


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Royal Festival Hall, London November 1955 concert program 

Original vintage concert program produced for the Second British Festival of Jazz staged at the Royal Festival Hall in London on Saturday, 5th November, 1955, presented by the National Jazz Federation. Performing artists included Big Bill Broonzy, Chris Barber, Ottilie Patterson, Mick Mulligan, George Melly, and others. With the rise of electric blues in the early 1950s, Broonzy became an active supporter of the folk blues genre. In 1951, Broonzy took his first tour of Europe, where he was met with enthusiasm and appreciation. His appearances in Europe introduced the blues to European audiences and were especially influential in London’s emerging skiffle and rock blues scene. Broonzy’s success also set the stage for later blues artists such as Sonny Boy Williamson and Muddy Waters to play European venues. Broonzy toured Europe again in 1955 and 1957. The November 1955 tour coincided with the publication of his autobiography, Big Bill Blues, written with the aid of Belgian writer and musician Yannick Bruynoghe. Shortly after his final tour in 1957, Broonzy was diagnosed with throat and lung cancer. He continued to peform until his death on 14th August, 1958, in Chicago. He is buried in the Lincoln Cemetery in Blue Island, Illinois. Broonzy was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 1980.

In original b/w pictorial uncoated wrappers, single staple bound, 18.3 x 23.2 cm, 12 pp. Program notes by Anne Kennedy-Wilson. There is a faint vertical fold line running down the middle of the program, else in near excellent condition, tightly bound and clean. Additional images of the program available on request.


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