This Historic Day In Music: “Sweetheart Land” & “It’s A Low Down Dirty Shame”

On March 1, 1938, singer/guitarist Big Bill Broonzy entered the NBC studios in Chicago, Illinois.

Mr. Broonzy was a popular Chicago-based Blues musician who’d cut his first record in 1927. The names of the musicians playing piano, tenor sax and string bass on this March 1st session are uncertain, but it is known that the person playing electric guitar was 16-year-old George Barnes, the soon-to-be staff guitarist at the NBC studio.

The songs recorded that day – “Sweetheart Land” and “It’s A Low Down Dirty Shame” – were written by Mr. Broonzy.

These energetic, vibrant recordings mark the first time an electric guitar was used on a Blues record.

Listen for yourself.




P.S.: On March 18, 1938, The Kansas City Five, with Eddie Durham on guitar, cut the first Jazz records featuring an electric guitar. See my post from March 18, 2017 – “This Historic Day In Music: The Kansas City Five” – for more details.

P.S.S.: “Good music doesn’t get old.”

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