In May 2011, the University of Chicago Press will release "I Feel So Good," Bob Riesman's definitive biography of blues and folk music legend Big Bill Broonzy. Through interviews with leaders of the British blues-rock explosion such as Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, and Ray Davies, Riesman documents Broonzy's powerful impact on several of the musicians who transformed popular music in the 1960's and 70s.
In the words of American folk icon Pete Seeger, Big Bill Broonzy "was a great man, and one of the great musical artists of the twentieth century." Seeger appeared numerous times with Broonzy in the 1940's and 50s, and admired him for his courage in writing and recording "Black, Brown, and White Blues," in which Big Bill spoke out against racial prejudice. In addition, Seeger's home movie films of Broonzy playing and singing, later released commercially, captured the bluesman's talents for future generations.
Broonzy made an enduring impression on several rising stars in his adopted hometown of Chicago. Blues giant Muddy Waters told of how Bill's crucial introduction helped him get his start playing blues clubs on the city's West Side. Broonzy also appeared with a just-out-of-college Mike Nichols in 1953 on the inaugural broadcast of the city's now-longstanding folk music radio program, The Midnight Special . In addition, the blues legend also enjoyed a long history of performing with future Pulitzer-Prize winner Studs Terkel, both with the influential "I Come for to Sing" folk music revue, and during regular appearances on Terkel's popular WFMT radio show. http://shorefire.com/clients/briesman/