From the Record Shelves #200

Bill Bailey Won’t You Please Come Home

LP Mercury International 134 565 MFY

Big Bill certainly was big, and his death in 1958—when he succumbed to cancer— removed one of the greatest singers from the active blues scene.

The uncredited comment on the sleeve begins this way, and I couldn’t agree more, even if I was too young at the time to miss him from the active blues scene.

This was my introduction to Big Bill Broonzy. It’s quite wonderful when you by yourself in your teens discover someone great without reading about or being recommended about the artist in question.

It happened that the record was there among hundreds, maybe thousands, of LPs in a yearly sale at a central department store in town. I went home with my bargain and was immediately caught by this tune, which was familiar to me already. For the great guitar playing, the voice, and above all for the swing. Since then, Broonzy has been at the top of my list of favorites, and he will remain there.