Lee Conley Bradley , aka Big Bill Broonzy , is an American blues guitarist and singer who died on August 15, 1958 in Chicago.
The guitar was introduced to the United States by Mexican vaqueros who came to work in Texas. It quickly became the instrument of choice for musicians and blues singers in the course of the XIX century.
Lee was born into a large family of African-American peasants, sons of Frank Bradley and Mittie Belcher. His date of birth is uncertain, he says he was born in 1893, but according to Bob Riesman, he was more likely born on June 26, 1903 as Lee Conley Bradley. Young Lee Conley, later known as Big Bill Broonzy, first plays the violin and banjo at weddings and family celebrations. He spent 2 years in Europe under the flag in 1917>. But it was as a guitarist that he began his career in the mid-1920s in Chicago. He meets Papa Charlie Jackson (en) who teaches him guitar and hiring for accompany. Lee records his first 78 tour in 1927 at Paramount Records>. Two years later, he had his first big hit with Big Bill Blues, which gave him a reputation that lasted until his death.
He recorded more than 300 discs in the spotlight and as many other great bluesmen (Washboard Sam, Gillum Jazz, Memphis Slim, among others). Singer with a strong voice, clear and engaging, with a declamatory tone, he is a complete, fast and fast guitarist whose innovative style will be abundantly imitated. His immense talent and warm personality make him popular with the black community of Chicago during the period (1930-1942) that represents the heyday of Chicago blues.