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Sunday, October 7, 2007

Artist Of The Week Big Bill Broonzy

One of the coolest stories from Iowa Blues history, and Iowa State University history,(My alma mater!) is that for about a year Big Bill Broonzy called ISU, and Iowa home. In the early 50s Bill was having health problems due to the smoky clubs in Chicago. He had played a concert at ISU, and was hoping to find a job on a farm in Iowa! He wrote to a professor at ISU who found him work as a janitor. For a year Big Bill recuperated in Ames, and eventually got well enough to perform for students and faculty. Bill enjoyed his brief stay in Ames, and joked that he went to college there. Eventually Bill was offered several thousand dollars to perform in France. Once he left for France Big Bill restarted his career, and only returned to Ames to pick up his stuff. However, he died of throat cancer in 1958.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

love this story