Moving to St .Louis in 1953, to find a better life, he soon found work with his brother in a meat packing plant and began sitting in with the bands of Willie Foster and ’Red’ - an albino guitar player. He soon took over Red’s band and re-named it ‘Big George and The House Rockers’ hiring Albert Collins to play lead guitar. With a crack line-up he decided to open his own night club ‘The Club Caravan’ and they played there every Thursday and Saturday. For the remainder of the week he would hire both local musicians and any out of towners who happened to be passing through. Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed, Gatemouth Brown and Ike and Tina Turner were amongst those who used George’s Band as backing musicians. With his wife cooking the food and George providing the entertainment life was hard, exciting but financially sound. Then disaster struck, a drunk and aggressive client, whom George had ejected from the club, ran back in brandishing a pistol and fatally wounded George’s wife. Distraught, George relocated the club and gave up his day job at the packing factory in order to look after his forty two children.
Through necessity he immediately threw himself into a gruelling itinerary of live gigs in night clubs, bars and juke joints in and around the St. Louis metropolis. He even took up professional boxing and at one point wrestled a bear! It was around this time that George was asked to record for Chess Records in Chicago but, as the contract was for a ‘bus fare only’ deal and, as George was already well enough known in the St. Louis area, he declined. Perhaps he felt that there would be a better offer, but by 1994 no one else had come ‘knocking at his door’, so he decided to record himself and released two singles and an album. ‘Should Have Been There’ on Big G Brock Records, which he sold to his gig audiences and the odd collector in the Peterborough area!!! These now highly sought after pieces of vinyl were eventually transferred to CD at his friend Willie Richardson’s Tee-Ti recording studio and renamed ‘Front Door Man’ – to again be sold at gigs.
In 2005 George recorded a CD ‘Club Caravan’ for Roger Stolle of Cat Head Record Store in Clarksdale, Mississippi and was feted overnight as the best new traditional artist of the year. At 73 years old and with 52 years of professional playing behind him this title must have bemused George.
In 2007, with a second CD and a DVD release for Cat Head Records, Big George Brock decided that he wanted to come to Europe. Roger Stolle asked us if we would book him as part of a UK tour and we readily agreed. Bill Able, his regular Clarksdale guitarist accompanied him and George’s gruff voice and wailing archaic harmonica playing wound the clock back in The Stamford Arts Centre to the late 50’s