You got to help me, baby.I can't do it all by myself.You know if you don't help me, darling,I'll have to find myself somebody else.sonny boy williamson

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How Do I Sort Out The Overlapping Sonny Boy I and II Recordings?

Click on the "Records" bar to your left and start with those records noted in ALL CAPITALS.


The Complete Career-Spanning Recordings

CD Sets

1. The Best of Trumpet Records recordings (released and unreleased) is now included in Sonny Boy Williamson: The Classic Sides 1951-1954 JSP7766 (Made in Britain) (4 CDs including 55 cuts with Sonny Boy ), 

 2  the rare (look for one on E-Bay) Sonny Boy williamson: The Chess Years CD Red Box 1  (4 CDs with 70 released and 19 unreleased alternatives) on Charly has everything released or unreleased on Chess, and

 3. d American Folk Blues Festival '62-65 ECD26100 (5 CDs including 8 cuts by Sonny Boy) and \

  4. another five performanceson The Unissued 1963 AFBF as included on The Devil's Music; The Soundtrack to The 1976 BBC TV Documentary Series INDIGO Box Set (Do not buy other versions of the Unlissued 1963 AFBF as they have an annoying high pitched feedback squeal on them. This was not released on other versions because it had that noise and they have finally engineered it out. This CD has the marvelous and unique versions of "99," "Don't Stop Me Talkin'" and "All My Love In Vain" which he has not recorded live elsewhere.).

   5. There are also 13 tracks from the BBC special with Chris Barber in May 1964 which featured Sonny Boy Williamson on Lost and Found The Blues Legacy Vol. 3  available at .

    6.Other bootlegs have been released but they are not on authorized CDs or currently available.

DVDs Of course the 13 performances + individual performances as a finale, with Mae Mercer, Victoria Spreey & Muddy Waters and DVDs on

   1.The American Folk Blues Festival 1962-1966 Vol 1 & 2 and

    2. The British Tours 1963-1966 and

    3. Memphis Slim and Sonny Boy Williamson Live In Europe  from Hip-O including "Sonny Boy Williamson," the Stockholm Sweden-produced film for Storyville Records in Denmark and the Jazz Prism TV show      from   Belgium are on  from Hip-O

Starter collections:  A good collection to begin with is The Essential Sonny Boy Williamson (2CDs) or His Best (1CD) or a good career retrospective is Harp From Deep South. Don't overlook the brilliant live AFBF recordings, my favorites. Also don't miss The Animals and The Yardbirds recordings, which are, at times, unpolished and prematurely recorded but surprisingly competant.Some of Sonny Boy's features are excellent.

Note: Chess a re-recorded eight Trumpet Records originals including "Eyesight To The Blind" (as "Born Blind"). The results were often strikingly different. All of Sonny Boy's recordings for Chess Records were released on their Checker label.

Sonny Boy's Lonesome Cabin


 All currently being edited and updated..

  • A detailed discography covering over 50 full-length records, some very rare, by Sonny Boy plus numerous singles and 78's
  • A list of all versions of all songs known to have been recorded by him.
  • A discussion of his unique and moving harp style, with sample audio files.
  • A collection of rare photos.
  • A page of links to related resources and publications. Don't overlook this lively and informative section which introduces you to many of Sonny Boy's closest friends, peers and followers as well as gives you a brief history of Delta Blues History.

Whether you are a long-term Sonny Boy fan seeking an elusive recording or a budding harmonica player hoping to pick up a few tips from the maestro, we hope you find this site useful and interesting. If you have any suggestions or comments, please feel free to send us an e-mail at before you go. 

Tell us what country you are from, your relationship to Sonny Boy and or how his music has changed your.

'fessor Mojo AKA Bill Donoghue.

**************************************** PERSONAL STORIES AND REFERRALS INVITED ...

Tell us your Sonny Boy Williamson stories - everyone has them.

Everybody who ever met Sonny Boy can tell you about him and what happened when they met him. He was one of a kind. On the other hand, those thave have discovered his musi since he died in 1965, can only speak of how his lonesome moving harmonica, his lyrics or his blues singing touched them and sometimes their music.

'fessor Mojo AKA Bill Donoghue, Host, can be reached at

Author, Don't Start Me To Talkin' (Preview of Sonny Boy's Bio) Available on

Sonny Boy is buried in Tutwiler MS next to the remains of the Whitfiield Baptist Church where it is rumor that Sonny Boy preached back in the 1930 and where his funeral was held. Sonny Boy's last two sisters Mary Ashford and Julia Barner are buried nearby. I personally visited the two sisters about three months before the fire in which they perished. The gravesite is overseen by and ta clinic is run a nun, Sister Dr. Anne Brooks who also runs The Tutwiler Medical Clinic. Visit The Sonny Boy Club and consider donation to this worthy cause.



Chess Singles

Chess Singles

The following 45 r.p.m. records were released on the Checker label by Chess Records, Chicago, between 1955 and 1964. They are listed in order of release. The dates refer to the recording sessions; the initials to the musicians who accompanied Sonny Boy (listed below).


  • All My Love In Vain / Don't Start Me To Talkin' * **
  • CHECKER 824, 12/8/55, OS MW JR WD FB
  • Let Me Explain / Your Imagination **
  • CHECKER 834, 24/1/56, OS RL LT WD FB
  • Keep It To Yourself / The Key (To Your Door) * **
  • CHECKER 847, 7/8/56 RL LT WD FB
  • Fattening Frogs For Snakes / I Don't Know * **
  • CHECKER 864, 6/2/57, RL LT WD FB
  • Born Blind / Ninety Nine CHECKER 883, 1/9/57, OS RL LT WD FB
  • Wake Up Baby / Your Funeral And My Trial * **
  • CHECKER 894, 27/3/58, LL RL EP WD FB
  • Cross My Heart / Dissatisfied
  • CHECKER 910, 1/9/57, OS RL LT WD FB
  • Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide / Unseeing Eye
  • CHECKER 927, 1959, OS RL LT WD OP
  • The Goat / It's Sad To Be Alone
  • CHECKER 943, 30/1/60, OS RL LT WD FB
  • Lonesome Cabin / Temperature 110
  • CHECKER 956, JUNE 1960, OS EK LT WD FB
  • Too Close Together / Trust My Baby
  • CHECKER 963, 15/9/60, LL RL LT WD FB
  • The Hunt / Stop Right Now
  • CHECKER 975, 14/12/60, OS RL LT WD OP
  • Nine Below Zero / One Way Out *
  • CHECKER 1003, 8/9/61, OS RL LT WD FB
  • Bye Bye Bird / Help Me *
  • CHECKER 1036, 11/1/63, LL/BE MM MR AD
  • Decoration Day / Trying To Get Back On My Feet
  • CHECKER 1065, 3/9/63, JG DH LL BG JM CJ
  • (I Want You) Close To Me / My Younger Days
  • CHECKER 1080, 30/4/64 & 3/9/63, LL BG JM FB
  • Bring It On Home / Down Child *
  • CHECKER 1134, 11/1/63 & 15/9/60, LL/BE RL LT MM WD MR FB AD # DOWN AND OUT BLUES -- Don't Start Me To Talkin'/All My Love In Vain / The Key / Keep It To Yourself / Fattening Frogs For Snakes / Your Funeral And My Trial / Checker 7-LPS-1437 *** # IN MEMORIUM (contents?) Checker 7-LPS-? ***
  • * Issued on 45 rpm record ** Issued on 78 rpm record *** Jukebox EP

    • Fred Below (drums) FB
    • Willie Dixon (bass) WD
    • Al Duncan (drums) AD
    • Jarrett Gibson (saxophone) JG
    • Buddy Guy (guitar) BG
    • Donald Hankins (saxophone) DH
    • Clifton James (drums) CJ
    • Eddie King (guitar) EK
    • Lafayette Leake (piano) LL
    • Robert Lockwood (guitar) RL
    • Jack Meyers (bass) JM
    • Matt Murphy (guitar) MM
    • Odie Payne (drums) OP
    • Eugene Pierson (guitar) EP
    • Milton Rector (bass) MR
    • Jimmy Rogers (guitar) JR
    • Otis Spann (piano) OS
    • Luther Tucker (guitar) LT
    • Muddy Waters (guitar) MW


    All tracks produced by Leonard and Phil Chess or Willie Dixon.