SonnyBoy

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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FAQs

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 www.blueslegacy.net .

    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

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 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 sonnyboy@donoghue.com 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, www.sonnyboy.com can be reached at fessormojo@yahoo.com

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

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 www.SonnyBoyClub.com and consider donation to this worthy cause.

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Guest Book

Welcome to the guestbook of Sonny Boy's Lonesome Cabin. Don't forget to sign it while you're here.

Name :

john pearson

Email Address :

podunited@yahoo.co.uk

Location :

england

Date :

2011-03-16 00:00:00

Comment :

as a harp player myself sonny boy is the king of the harp sadly missed i listen to him daily along with my wife god bless you meanold man .

Name :

steve

Email Address :

orianna@netreach.net

Location :

philadelphia,

Date :

2010-07-05 00:00:00

Comment :

I've been heavy into Sonny boy lately, and just discovered your site by searching google. It's fascinating to read the comments of the legions of fellow accolytes. I think Sonny boy blended his vocals and playing like no other bluesman. Combined with the emotion and humor of his lyrics, the music captivates. But i have to say, its sonny boys phrasing that really makes him unique. Never predictable and always adding nuance. We can learn to play his music, after a fashion. But the real challenge is to find in ourselves a means of expressing our own life experience in a unique way. Sonny Boy is a great teacher. Thanks for making him more accessible.

Name :

Ian

Email Address :

ian.wright58@ntlworld.com

Location :

Glasgow,

Date :

2010-07-05 00:00:00

Comment :

I saw the great man play when he came to the UK in the mid60`s. He "Aint fattening no more frogs for snakes" now, but I keep in touch through his wonderful music.

Name :

Bill Donoghue AKA 'fessor Mojo

Email Address :

fessormojo@yahoo.com

Location :

Healdsburg CA

Date :

2010-05-10 00:00:00

Comment :

Welcome to the redesigned Sonny Boy's Lonesome Cabin. For those of you who are new and don't know me, I am your host and have done extensive collection of oral history on delta blues in general and on Alex "Rice" Miller AKA Sonny Boy Williamson II and Robert Lockwood Jr. AKA Robert Jr., Robert Johnson's stepson who would have turned 95 this past March. I am working on both book and documentary projects based on my work. There are many surprises. Sonny Boy's "lies" turned out to often be largely true, what many people including his best friends thought they knew about him was false and he was the most influential first Black media star of the Deep South as well ss the musician most mentioned in other musicians' biographies and the one who more bluesmen honored with a tribute song than any other. He was a giant among men.

Name :

'fessor Mojo

Email Address :

guru@donoghue.com

Location :

Seattle, WA USA

Date :

2010-04-26 00:00:00

Comment :

Congratulations to Andrew Campbell for building such an imaginative website. It is an honor to carry on in his tradition. Watch this site for some amazing and fascinating content on Sonny Boy or contribute to it here. 'fessor

Name :

Ron Pierce

Email Address :

harp1119@aol.com

Location :

columbus, ga usa

Date :

2010-04-26 00:00:00

Comment :

I love this site, And THANK YOU !! for keeping the Blues alive. I'll never forget Glendora.. Your good friend. Ron Pierce

Name :

MANUEL SANCHEZ

Email Address :

BETICO@CANTV.NET

Location :

VALENCIA, CARABOBO VENEZUELA

Date :

2010-04-26 00:00:00

Comment :

FESSOR, LO ESTÁS HACIENDO MUY BIEN. SIGUE ASÍ. SONNY BOY SEGURO QUE TE LO VA A AGRADECER PERSONALMENTE ALGÚN DÍA (ESPEREMOS QUE SEA LEJANO).

Name :

Joe Collier

Email Address :

joe-collier@home.com

Location :

Nashville, TN USA

Date :

2010-04-26 00:00:00

Comment :

Please continue the great work on one of the greatest bluesmen of all times.

Name :

John B. Warnken

Email Address :

ics@gte.net

Location :

Tampa, Fl. USA

Date :

2010-04-26 00:00:00

Comment :

I am a native of Helena, Ark home to Sonny Boy I used to hear his music as a child on KFFA King Biscuit Time Show. Too bad I am just now discovering his talent's. But his Music will live foreever.

Name :

Lee Pevsner

Email Address :

lpevsner@prodigy.net

Location :

Merced, CA USA

Date :

2010-04-26 00:00:00

Comment :

Thanks for the tremendous website. I like one of the previous guestbook writers grew up in Helena, Arknasas. I would go down to KFFA on my lunch hour during high school sometimes and watch the King Biscuit Boys perform. I attended the King Biscuit Blues Festival for the first time this past October. It was great !!!

Name :

BIG TONY

Email Address :

bigtony1@geocities.com

Location :

SWEDEN

Date :

2010-04-26 00:00:00

Comment :

Great site about one of the great harmonica players. You've done a very nice job. Keep up the good work! (I'll be back...)

Name :

Birk Warnken

Email Address :

ics@gte.net

Location :

Tampa, Fl USA

Date :

2010-04-26 00:00:00

Comment :

No discussion of Sonny Boy would be complete without talking about his home for over 40 years, Helena Arkansas and where he lived in an upstairs apartment rented to him by Morris Gist the owner of Gist Music. Gist Music Store is still in operation as is old Mr. Gist. I used to one of the group who took music lessons over the Gist Music Store. KFFA was right across the street in the Helena National Bank Bldg. I am trying to rack my brain to remember if while I was in and out of the music store if I ever saw Sonny Boy. I do know however, that sometime during 1965 when Sonny Boy died, the music teacher Mr. Smith I took accordian lesson's from disappeared without a trace. Interestingly enough that music room above the store still exists exactly like it was in 1965. I know because Morris Gist took me up there last year. He locked the door in 1965 and left everything intact. A small piece of history that links me back to the year Sonny Boy died. I know there are other's who will read this who have stories they can relate. If your from Helena and have a story. Why not post it for all to read about. Another interesting thing about Gist Music Store is that people come from all over the world to the store and buy a harmonica from Mr. Gist they will have him inscribe the Harp and then take it to Sonny Boy's Grave in Tutwieler Mississippi just south of Clarksdale. They put the Harp on his grave as a memorial. I went to see myself and sure enough on the top of the Tombstone placed neatly were three harps inscribed to Sonny Boy. It's worth the trip to find the grave to see this. Beside the Graveyard still stands the Church where reportedly Sonny Boy played as a child. It sits in ruins falling down in the weeds. I would like to see a map of how to get there posted on this web site. I have a picture of the grave and the church. It's worth the trip.

Name :

smokeydog

Email Address :

smokeydog@webtv.net

Location :

Nashville, TN USA

Date :

2010-04-26 00:00:00

Comment :

Great site!! I enjoyed my visit. See ya'll, smokeydog

Name :

'fessor Mojo AKA Bill Donoghue

Email Address :

guru@donoghue.com

Location :

Seattle, WA USA

Date :

2010-04-26 00:00:00

Comment :

For those of you who asked, "Fessor Mojo's Don't Start Me To Talkin'", the only book on the life of Sonny Boy Williamson II is available in the US at 1-800-982-2455 or outside the US at 508-478-5997. Here are some comments from reviewers: "Wonderful and Spellbinding book" Toby Byron, Producer of Bluesland video “Congratulations on your excellent research to date.” John Broven "The most valid Sonny Boy information I've ever read!" Tim Moody, Editor of the former Mississippi Saxophone, The Blues Harmonica Players Magazine "This is a great book and deserves to be read, more than once. Kudos to 'Fessor Mojo" Kenny Blue Ray, Blues Guitarist "Lots of fascinating facts (and myths) in the well-researched account." Real Blues, Oct/Nov 1997

Name :

timmy ross

Email Address :

elwoodb@webtv.net

Location :

monroe, n.c. USA

Date :

2010-04-26 00:00:00

Comment :

I HAVE BEEN LISNENING TO SONNY BOY FOR OVER 30 YEARS.NO ONE WILL TAKE HIS PLACE!!! I AM LOOKING FOR A CHESS RECORDING,DOES ANYONE KNOW WHERE TO FIND IT. MIGHTY LONG TIME. THANKS AND SONNY BOY FOREVER!!!!!