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.



The Chess Years

The Chess Years
  • The Complete Chess masters and alternatives. Essential. Hard to find. Grab it if you see it!
  • Recording date: 1955-64
  • Release date: 1991
  • Label: Charly Records
  • Catalogue #: CD Red Box 1
  • Length: 260 minutes
  • Available: No
  • TRACK LIST (Sonny Boy performances only)

      DISC 1

    • Work With Me
    • Don't Start Me Talkin'
    • All My Love In Vain
    • Good Evening Everybody
    • You Killing Me (On My Feet)
    • Let Me Explain
    • I Know What Love Is All About
    • I Wonder Why
    • Your Imagination
    • Don't Lose Your Eye
    • Keep It To Yourself
    • Please Forgive
    • The Key (To Your Door)
    • Have You Ever Been in Love
    • Hurts Me So Much
    • Fattening Frogs For Snakes
    • I Don't Know
    • Like Wolf
    • This Is My Apartment
    • Cross My Heart
    • Born Blind
    • Ninety Nine
    • Dissatisfied
    • Unseen Eye

      DISC 2

    • Your Funeral And My Trial
    • She Got Next To Me
    • Wake Up Baby
    • Keep Your Hand Out Of My Pocket
    • Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide
    • Unseeing Eye
    • The Goat
    • Cool Disposition
    • I Never Do Wrong
    • It's Sad To Be Alone
    • Open Road
    • Santa Claus
    • I Can't Do Without You
    • Checkin' Up On My Baby
    • Temperature 110
    • Peach Tree
    • Lonesome Cabin
    • Somebody Help Me
    • Down Child
    • Trust My Baby
    • This Old Life
    • Too Close Together
    • Too Young To Die
    • She's My Baby

      DISC 3

    • Stop Right Now
    • The Hunt
    • Too Old To Think
    • That's All I Want
    • One Way Out
    • Nine Below Zero
    • Got To Move
    • Bye Bye Bird
    • Help Me
    • Bring It On Home
    • One Way Out *
    • My Younger Days
    • Tryin' To Get Back On My Feet
    • Decoration Day
    • Stop Cryin'
    • (I Want You) Close To Me
    • One Way Out
    • I Can't Be Alone
    • Don't Make A Mistake
    • Understand My Life
    • Find Another Woman
    • My Name Is Sonny Boy

      DISC 4

    • The Key (To Your Door) *
    • Hurts Me So Much
    • Cool Disposition *
    • Dissatisfied *
    • Cross My Heart *
    • "99"
    • She Got Next To Me
    • Fattening Frogs For Snakes
    • Nine Below Zero *
    • Your Funeral And My Trial *
    • Cool Disposition *
    • The Goat
    • Ninety Nine
    • Cross My Heart
    • Hurts Me So Much
    • Nine Below Zero
    • Your Funeral And My Trial
    • Checkin' Up On My Baby *
    • Little Village


    The most extensive compilation of Sonny Boy's work to date, this boxed set of CDs includes all of the songs he recorded for Chess, in chronological order (discs 1-3), plus many alternative takes (disc 4). The package includes an illustrated booklet, with biographical notes and a critical appraisal of his recordings.

    Many thanks to William E. Donoghue, a.k.a. "'Fessor Mojo", of Seattle, Washington, for providing the above information and album cover.